Claimed by Love is the second Ryders book in the Love in Bloom series by Melissa Foster, with each book being a standalone story. These do not need to be read in order since they are about interconnected characters, but I do recommend reading them in order if possible as I think that the reader gets the most enjoyment out of them that way. It is always so fun to see familiar faces and to get to see how each of them progress as the series continues. Melissa Foster is a great writer, and this series is definitely worth following along with each book.
Duke Ryder is a real estate investor looking to turn Elpitha Island into an exclusive resort. The Liakos family knows that they need someone to help them rehab the island as it has fallen into disrepair. Duke knows that the Liakos roots run deep, and he has no problem being the man to transform their beloved island into what he knows will bring tourists back to the island. But when he meets his tour guide of the island, the daughter of the owner, he knows that he will have a tougher time convincing her to let the island go. Gabriella Liakos knows that the island needs help, yet she doesn't trust an investor to stay true to the island she knows and loves. As a family law attorney, she will do whatever it takes to keep it from being sold to the wrong person. But from their very first meeting, Duke and Gabriella feel an attraction between them that just continues to strengthen as they spend more time together. But can Duke have both Gabriella and the island when they come from such different backgrounds?
I liked these two together so much! Duke and Gabriella had such a strong chemistry right away, and I really enjoyed watching as they got to know one another. At first glance these two have little in common, but they found that they had a lot more to connect over than they had first thought. Gabriella took one glance at Duke and thought she had him pegged, so it was good to see her realize that there was more to him than his looks and that his motives weren't as awful as she had expected or feared. These two might have come from extremely different backgrounds, but both of them had such strong ties to family and I think that is what made them work so well. That is one of my favorite things about Melissa's books! She always shows the importance of love, family and friends, and I definitely felt that here. Gabriella's family was fun to read about and I liked that Duke showed genuine interest in them and the culture of their family and the island.
Overall, this was another really good story from Melissa Foster. I enjoyed the book a lot, and I loved the characters. Melissa Foster always has unique characters that are anything but cookie-cutters and I absolutely adore that! It makes reading each book so much fun and though you know that the book will have emotion and steam, it will also be something completely different than anything you have read before. Melissa Foster is the queen of contemporary romance, and I honestly cannot get enough of her books! If you are a fan of contemporary romance books, you need to be reading Melissa Foster! She never disappoints, and her stories are always favorites of mine. The minute I finish reading one of her books I am already anxious for her next, and that is definitely the case here. I can't wait to read whatever she comes up with next as I know I will love it! I highly recommend this series and anything else from Melissa Foster. If you are already a fan of hers, this one is a must read. If you haven't read anything by her before, you are seriously missing out and should give her books a go!
**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**