Review: Claimed by Love by Melissa Foster (The Ryders #2)

Claimed by Love is the second novel in The Ryders, a mini-series in the Love in Bloom universe by bestselling author Melissa Foster. Set on Elpitha Island, this is the story of real estate investor Duke Ryder and family law attorney Gabriella Liakos. Duke and his partners are interested in purchasing the Liakos-owned island, which isn't as profitable as it once was. Gabriella has been brought in by her grandfather to make sure Duke sees everything the Elpitha Island has to offer, but Gabriella isn't keen on selling the one place she's always considered home. Profitability is key in every business deal, but Duke finds himself distracted by his tour guide. He's never been one to cross the line between business and pleasure, but the more time he spends on the island and the more he learns about Gabriella, her family, and their heritage, the more Duke is enchanted. The mix of Greek culture and Southern charm are in full force, but a deal still needs to be made. Can Duke lay claim over Elpitha Island as well as the passionate woman who so loves it?

This was a straight-up romance without any significant issues that either of the main character needs to overcome, whether as individuals or as a couple. There's that instant chemistry between Gabriella and Duke and there are definitely both sweet and steamy moments that make for a good read for any romance reader. They're both very close to their respective families and Duke can fully understand and appreciate why Gabriella isn't too thrilled over the idea of selling Elpitha Island. Other than the thing with the island, however, there isn't really any conflict that would have upped my overall enjoyment of the book. Don't get me wrong. The love story itself--Duke and Gabriella meeting and falling in love and realizing that they're each other's "the one"--made for a huge reason why I liked this second in the series. However, I personally think some conflict or a truly believable challenge to their relationship and a happily-ever-after would have been the extra something to make it better. Still, Claimed by Love was a worthwhile four-star read. ♥

Date Read: 18 August 2016

Learn more about Melissa Foster.

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