Obsession (Arum #1)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: May 31, 2013 (Entangled Covet)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Obsession is an adult spinoff set in the same would as Jennifer L. Armentrout’s brilliant young adult Lux series. (If you haven’t’ started it yet, check out VBC’s review of the first in the series Obsidian.) It sees 23-year-old Serena Cross thrust into the middle of two warring alien species: the Luxen and the Arum. When her best friend claims to have seen her boyfriend turn into a human glow stick, Serena has her doubts. But when her friend is murdered in front of her by the same type of being, Serena can’t deny the truth. Something is out there and that something now wants her dead.
Born Arum Hunter has been locked in an extraterrestrial battle his entire life. Employed by the Department of Defense, he is given the task of keeping a human woman alive. Lethal, arrogant and totally centered on his own needs, he quite frankly doesn’t see the point of protecting her, but anything that pisses off the Luxen is worthy of his time. One thing he didn’t count on was the fact that Serena may make him do something impossible… actually feel human.
Being a huge fan of the Lux series I couldn’t wait to see how this world would work in a paranormal romance setting. There was a slight readjustment period to begin with as I got used to it being from the Arum’s side. Once the story got going though, the shades of grey on both sides began to show and I was swept away by Armentrout’s talent for writing relatable characters and smoking-hot chemistry. In fact, this new perspective, combined with nods to the Lux series throughout, made me want to go back and re-read the whole series to see how this new angle changed things. Saying that, while you may miss out on a few details, Obsession can absolutely be read as a standalone or as an introduction to the Lux series without any major spoilers.
Powerful enemies and warring factions make for plenty of action, acting as fuel to the burning attraction unfolding between this pair. Even after her world is turned upside down, Serena had a lightness to her that worked brilliantly against the darker nature of Hunter. There was an element of danger to all their interactions as Arum can feed off human energy, particularly in highly visceral states such as fighting or sex. I generally didn’t know if Hunter would ever have the ability or the desire to deny his cravings. He’s bossy and has absolutely no desire to be the hero but Serena challenges all his preconceptions. I loved how brutal honest he was, not only with Serena, but also with himself. And once he puts his mind to something though, this guy ain’t messing around… I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks!
If you’re looking for a leading man (alien?!) who’s more anti than hero, red hot romance and fresh world building that makes you want to know more, then pick up Obsession. I really hope we see more Arum novels in the future.
Sexual Content: Graphic sex, references to rape.