Do you think if I rolled around on the floor and waved my arms that Courtney Milan would rub my tummy? Because I have to tell you, I am so her bitch. Which is not to say that Unclaimed is perfection in a yellow cover. There’s an editorial choice made near the end that I take issue with. (Everyone loves a reunion story, I suppose.)
Back to the book. Mark is the poster child for purity. This made me nervous because in my experience the guys with the purity rings are either A) lying, B) closet cases or C) destined to cheat on their RealDoll. (Did you see the episode of Dollhouse with the RealDolls and the golfing serial killer? I mean, all the icky rape culture implications aside, oh wait. You can’t examine Dollhouse without them. Hm. Back to the book again.) Mark is D) None of the above! Mark Turner is Jonas Brothers famous for being a normal guy who just decided not to exploit women.
Jessica (I started to Google Jessica as a Victorian name but I got distracted by Rhenis as a cross gender name of unknown origin and ended up just trusting Milan. I mean, this is a series with a dude named Smite. If she wants a Jessica she can have a Jessica. It’s probably even historically accurate.) is not as impressed with Mark’s purity as the rest of London. (I don’t think she’d be into boy bands either. Jessica strikes me as more of a bar rock kind of girl.) She hasn’t been a virgin in a very long time, leading her to think that Mark is of the lying type. For the right bribe, she’ll prove it. This leads to a WTF moment for me. It seems the Turner boys reclaimed their childhood home. Some serious stuff went down in that house but Mark decides to go back there to lay low. I haven’t been in my childhood home in (cough) years and I still have nightmares about the place. I didn’t have half of what the Turner boys dealt with so their affinity for the home confused me. But it’s Mark’s house, he can live in it. Flashbacks are his own fault. (Burn it down and salt the earth, I say.)
Aside from Mark and Jessica there are some really excellent side characters and a number of Smite sightings. (He’s the cute Jonas Turner.) Also, a dog. Sort of. Mark has to deal with all the small town drama that his celebrity and her impurity bring with them while navigating his very normal personal desires. Jessica realizes she’s been living inside a shell of herself, unable to see past her survival mode long enough to claim her own life back. I adored them, and I adored their story. Even with the sentimental bits and the weird real estate issue. Unclaimed is a love letter to morality for morality’s sake and the power of siblings in our lives. Bring on Smite and toss me a tennis ball.