Kept (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Blood Lust, novella 1)

Rated 4.37/5 based on 53 reviews
Greta is a werecat whose tribe plans to sacrifice her during the next full moon. Her only hope for survival is Dayne, a sorcerer who once massacred most of the tribe. What’s that thing they say about the enemy of your enemy? More

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Review by: Melanie Simmons on July 01, 2013 :
This book is a compilation of three PNR novellas all by Zoe Winters.

Kept is the first novella. It consists of Greta who is a cat therian (another word for shifter), and Dayne, a sorcerer with a very bad reputation. Greta is sentenced to be a sacrifice. Her mother, who is refusing to save her, but helps her to escape and send her to Dayne for help. Dayne is in a bind because he needs therian blood to go after the head of cat shifter clain, but can't get it from his normal online source. When Greta shows up to his door, Dayne agrees to protect her until the full moon. There are several hilarious moments between the two. There is also many misunderstandings between the two.

Claimed is the second novella in this book. It contains the story between Anthony, a vampire running to be king vampire for the next century, and Charlotte (Charlee) a human friend of Greta. In a drug induced blood lust, Anthony drinks from Charlee and then attempts to wipe her memories, but completely erases her entire memories of herself. Anthony is forced to care for her while trying to win the tournament, to keep it from Lucas who is evil.

Mated is the last in this book. We meet Jane in Claimed when she is trying to stay alive in the vampire world. She has been able to see vampires for what they really are, which is part demon, since she was a child. Vampires don't like that much about her. They are also not able to control her mind, like they can with normal humans. Jane is given to the alpha werewolf, Cole, as payment for a debt. We learn a lot about Jane's past, which is truly horrific.

This is a great PNR series. I can't wait to read more. I would highly recommend this series to people who like PNR stories. The sex does exist in these stories, but not to the graphic detail as some other stories. I don't this this subtracts from the story in anyway.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Edyth Chamblee on June 06, 2013 :
Kept was awesome! got to get the book! for all of those that don't know Zoe Winters get to know her! I'm always on the look out for writers to promote and she will be one that I'll be shouting about from the rooftops!
Zoe Winters I say to you Brava!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Alder Wode on Jan. 03, 2013 :
I really enjoyed this story. In particular, I appreciated that the author did not drag me through pages and pages of "he loves me, he loves me not" angsty nonsense just to fill a page limit. Yes, the story was compressed (hello, NOVELLA), but I felt the pace was just right for the information presented. I read the other two stories in the series and enjoyed them as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jessica Wenzel on Nov. 08, 2012 :
I enjoyed the idea of a werecat and all that came with it. At first I was a little weirdest out by the idea of her being in heat but it makes sense. I loved the background story and the characters but the sex scenes could have been longer or more detailed. Otherwise it was a quick enjoyable read :)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: angie lilly on Sep. 09, 2012 :
I was a tad disappointed in this ebook. The story was awesome and, as a huge cat lover, I loved that it was about a werecat; however, the writing was pretty bad. The sex scenes had the potential to be awesome (think cat in heat) but were too short and lacked any sort of description. I found myself lost many times thinking I had skipped pages or paragraphs but no, some stuff was just not there that needed to be...this was throughout the book not just the sex scenes. I really feel like this could be an awesome book. Great history, characters, storyline, sexual chemistry, uniqueness, etc. but this author seems to have rushed thru the book and it reads almost like an outline. I could keep going with this but will just say it seemed unfinished in many many ways. It kept my attention and I wanted to finish it, but I wanted much more than it delivered.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: L Fuleki on Aug. 14, 2012 : (no rating)
I enjoyed the storyline of a werecat and the beginning developments
of Greta. I did think that so much of the basis for Greta's character
was not developed enough. Too much was left undeveloped around
the other characters such as Simon and Jaden, Anthony and Charlee, Dayne
as well as a more substantial reasoning for the existance of the
town and it's importance in the story. Although I enjoyed reading this
book it was like eating cotton candy with not enough substance.
Maybe it needs to be longer to develope the storyline and characters
into a deeper and richer element of undertones.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Eileen Shanahan on July 27, 2012 : (no rating)
I enjoyed this book and will be reading more of them
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Victoria Zigler on June 26, 2012 :
An excellent introduction to Zoe Winters' books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Gayle on April 02, 2012 :
I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tracey Luke on March 09, 2012 :
I read this over lunch the other day and it was a quick read. On the whole, it wasn't a bad book. I like the concept of the world but felt that this story was lacking.

Granted, it's a novella, which means it's really short and is only a sliver of the world but still didn't capture me enough to want to read more.

The "fever" used in this book is a typical plot device used in a lot of fanfiction to get two people together sexually that wouldn't normally get together. I hated that she used it. I get why and I get why it was somewhat "legitimate" but it was so contrived.

I guess the thing that bothered me the most is that there was nothing really unique in the book at all. It was age-old plots and devices.

The only thing that was truly interesting or unique to me was the main characters birth and how it was interpreted according to their mythology. It was a key component of the book but everything wrapped around it just bored me.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ashlee Scheuerman on Jan. 27, 2012 :
A tantalising looking into a very magical and sensual world with "Kept". Even for a novella, the story would have benefited from a slightly slower pace, to properly relish the details and characters. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Zoe Winters' work in the near future.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: books73 on Jan. 09, 2012 :
Started this on Sat. morning and could not put it down. The characters were great! Ready for the next one!!!!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tiffany Fulton on Nov. 29, 2011 :
Me LOVE!! It was like watching an episode of Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Angel! Dayne reminds me of Spike and Angel at the same time---the vampire who can't help but act human for a woman he might be in love with but he knows he has to be keep up the whole badass vamp thing...I read this in two days due to time constraints but I loved this series...werecats rule!!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Marta Szemik on Oct. 17, 2011 :
A new fan is born! I read Kept in one sitting. OK, so the laundry didn't get done, but the kids were fed. I enjoyed getting lost in this novella, in a good way. Well written with colorful characters and easy to follow. Good sense of style and humor. Left me wanting to dig into the next one.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Misty Dietz on Aug. 24, 2011 :
Nice, quick read, but it took me a while to get into it (I hadn't read the others in the series). I really enjoyed Zoe's fresh spin on Greta's shifting--that was really interesting, but I never really got a sense of what the H/H saw in each other other than safety (for Greta) and someone to protect (for Dayne). I realize it's a novella and a paranormal, but I still wanted to see more compelling motives for why they'd want to be together for the rest of their lives after the imminent peril had passed. Other than that, it was a fun read. I liked how Dayne handled her "heat." :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lia Emi on Aug. 23, 2011 :
what a wonderful book to read. I enjoyed reading this book so much. Can't wait to read the other books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lia Emi on Aug. 23, 2011 :
what a wonderful book to read. I enjoyed reading this book so much. Can't wait to read the other books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lia Emi on Aug. 23, 2011 :
what a wonderful book to read. I enjoyed reading this book so much. Can't wait to read the other books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lia Emi on Aug. 23, 2011 :
what a wonderful book to read. I enjoyed reading this book so much. Can't wait to read the other books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: honeymae palmer on Aug. 11, 2011 :
This novella is a wonderful way to introduce the characters, settings and set the tone of the story. Meeting Greta, a therian with so many quirks and Dayne, a wizard, so hot and so talented, well, the heat between these two will make you sizzle! Non- stop action will keep you reading and when you get to the end you will be looking for more! A new author
that knows how to develop a plot and adds humor, emotion and adventure in just the right amounts.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Dr Sam J Schaller on Aug. 05, 2011 :
Initially I read Zoe's novella because I was curious what "paranormal romance" would encompass. I was relieved to find none of the usual cheesy romance novel euphemisms in the therian world. But then, what do you expect from a guy who writes paranormal thrillers?
I thought she started with a good premise and had an interesting approach. A little more background on the therian world would have been helpful. Enjoyed it!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Donna McDonald on Aug. 05, 2011 :
Story premise was very good. Paranormal world was interesting and therian "facts" kept me intrigued. The biggest shortcoming was that the story wasn't long enough to get me as involved with the characters as I wanted to be. Dayne was fascinating, all that old magic, but I know so little about him. Also, I craved more background on what was going on. I would recommend this book because I definitely intend to buy others in this series in the hopes of finding out more.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jackie Beintema on Aug. 02, 2011 :
Loved It!!!! Written well.. Can't wait to read the other novels Zoe has written.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: chiara on July 08, 2011 : (no rating)
Even if it is not the genre that I usually read, I have to admit that the story was well written.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Siobhan Muir on June 26, 2011 :
I thought Kept was a well written, tight story that grabbed me right from the first chapter. I was confused with Anthony the vampire, but he became more important later. Overall, a very good story and worth reading if you have an hour free.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: ann cooper on June 05, 2011 : (no rating)
After i got though the 1st chapter the book was great i enjoyed reading it
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: K. E. Ireland on May 29, 2011 :
This book, and the other two books in the Blood Lust series, walked a careful line between full romance, and full novel. I almost wish Zoe Winters had added more to both the romance and the world's backstory. This series has lots of hints at wonderful and awesome stuff that happened before the novella begins, and her romances are lovely and could easily have had the tension continue for pages and pages.
If another 100 pages were added to each book, this series could easily kick Twilight's and Anita Blake's *ss!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Liz Morten on May 22, 2011 :
It was good. It was a cute little story. I give it a 4.5 because it was short and I WANTED MORE!

Wait, how do you do the "half" part?
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Judy Cox on May 08, 2011 :
I enjoyed this paranormal novella. It threw me a little in the first chapter, but kept on reading and it leveled out and I really enjoyed it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nicole Sheldrake on April 29, 2011 :
I agree with Katja that the beginning was a little confusing but the novel definitely picked up and I read it straight through in one sitting. A fun read for sure!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Katja Rinne on March 21, 2011 :
I've never read a novella before in my life. Short stories yes, novels yes, but never a novella. This one was a pleasant one to be my first.

There was some problems with the first chapter, that made it a bit confusing and I had to re-imagine several things, because they were told so late in the story, that I already had thought something myself.

Overall I liked the plot, story and writing very much though. Some unnecessary portraying was going on especially at the start, but the writing got better and better towards the end.

Want to read the other ones too.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: WendyB on March 07, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book. The main character was well thought out and different from other types of were animals that I've read about, in attitude as well as size. Would have liked a bit more background, but you can't have it all in a short book like this. I will be quite happy to pay to read more from this author, I just have to figure out how to buy things in dollars without the bank charging more to convert the payment than the price of the book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle Jensen on Feb. 17, 2011 :
Good story. Felt a little tight given the shortness leaving me me wanting to know more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: cheriehocking on Jan. 27, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book and straight away was looking for the second one.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cherie Saenz on Jan. 10, 2011 :
Very good paranormal romance. The story was interesting and it drew me in. It reminds me of Sherrilyn Kenyon's work.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: John & Toni Rakestraw on Dec. 31, 2010 :
I admit I wasn't all that excited when I started reading this novella about werecats. I mean, what is so exciting about shape shifting into a housecat? But as I read the first chapter, I found I wanted to find out more about Greta. As her circumstances became dire, I wanted to find out how she would survive.

I started this on Christmas Day, and found myself riveted to my computer screen until I had read the last word. The author has a wonderful writing style that kept me in my seat, hanging on her every word.

I found the characters well written and developed. The writing flowed easily and the conversations were natural and well written. Kudos to Ms. Winters; I look forward to reading more of her work.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cathy Runke on Dec. 18, 2010 :
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. give me anything paranormal and an awesome author like Zoe Winters and I'm hooked.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: s Printer on Dec. 17, 2010 :
I really enjoyed this story with all its twists, and look forward to reading the rest in the series. Thanks Zoe!! 3 1/2 stars
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: catherine curtis on Dec. 15, 2010 :
i really enjoy the book... it was not the type i read but it still got me in to it and i def read more of her books. i like how the character interacted w. each other and the magic and romance is a great mix to. i def need to read the rest of her books to.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jean Patton on Dec. 08, 2010 :
Enjoyed the story, great interaction between the characters.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: katrina whittaker on Nov. 27, 2010 :
Short and sweet but definetly hawt !! Magic and romance !! Really enjoyed the character development, the story definetly one of a kind uniqiue and saucy. Greta's character I really enjoyed, the whole werecat idea very intersting.The storyline kept me rivited the whole time, reading on full throttle the whole way. A short read, but full of substence !! I will continue to read Zoe's novels, and will be purchasing the next two instalments ;) Thanks for the free read it was deinetly a great taste of whats more to come !!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lizzielvr on Nov. 25, 2010 :
Great Novella, now I need to read the rest of them!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jessica on Nov. 15, 2010 :
Great read. Enjoyed the interactions between Greta and Dayne.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ilona Fenton on July 23, 2010 :
In Kept the thing I liked most was the unusual aspects of the cat shifter (no large cats here!). The interaction between the two main characters was consistent and gave the book substance beyond what I had expected from such a short read.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys magic and romance.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Becka Sutton on July 19, 2010 :
I initially read Kept by Zoe Winters via the free pdf on her site, but I've since purchased it for $0.99 from Smashwords so I could stick the ePub version on my android phone. This in itself probably tells you I felt it was worth something.

Kept is a fairly light paranormal romance novella, though it does have its dark moments and you certainly wouldn't describe it as fluffy.


1. Werecats are kind of unique in fiction, especially werecats that are actually domestic cat size as opposed to big cats.
2. The two main characters were reasonably well developed considering the fact it's a novella.
3. While it only scratches the surface of the world there's a sense of strong worldbuilding underpinning the story.
4. The sacrifice plot was intriguing enough to make me tolerate the romantic. (I can only take paranormal romance when something else is happening as well.)
5. The writing is solid.
6. The sex, thank goodness, is not explicit.


1. The romance didn't really convince me. The attraction yes, but it seems they just kind of fell into the relationship at the end. Given the situation it's not unbelievable that would happen, but it didn't feel like it would last. Ironically I'm listing this as a flaw because it's supposed to be a romance and those relationships are supposed to feel stable at the end, but it actually made me like it better.
2. The antagonist was a total nutjob with very little motivation beyond blind ambition that we saw. This made him seem very two dimensional. I know it was a novella, but he had enough page time to add a bit of complexity to him. He was actually kind of boring.
3. At times the characters' reactions were just too predictable. The plot relied on them doing stupid things. Young scared werecats can be excused that but intelligent, long lived sorcerors (even hot ones) should know better.


If you like paranormal romance you'll almost certainly enjoy Kept. I enjoyed it and I don't even like romance as a rule. I know it's available free from her website, but go buy it. The author deserves it and it's only $0.99. I'll be buying the other 2 books in the trilogy at some point but my to buy list is as long as my arm.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brazen Snake Books on June 05, 2010 :
Aside from a sort of rough transition between Chapters 1 & 2, I really enjoyed this novella. I can count on one hand the number of cat-shifter books I've read, and I'll be looking for more after this. The world and magical properties are expertly and seamlessly built - it was completely believable and easy to become engrossed in the story.

I'd highly recommend this to anyone who likes paranormal romance.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ruth Ann Nordin on May 18, 2010 :
I read this series out of order. I read Claimed first because of the unique plot idea, and I liked that book so much I had to go back and read this one. I just finished it and admit I had a hard time putting it down. Since other reviewers summed up the book, I won't bother with that. Instead, I'll mention what I liked about it.

Since I read Claimed first, I enjoyed seeing Anthony and Charlee before they got together.

I loved the fact that Greta had to hide with a man (a sorcerer) who had a grave mistrust of her kind due to being tricked in the past. I thought that issue of "could he trust Greta?" to be an excellent plot point. It was fun to see Greta in heat. I read romance books with varying levels of sexual detail, and unlike some reviewers who thought Zoe could have done more in the description, I actually thought for this book with the focus where it was that a lot of detail with the sex would have diluted the plot. (That's just an opinion of course.) Personally, I thought it was done just right.

I thought everything Greta did to protect herself made sense. If I were in her shoes, I would have done the same things. So I wasn't yelling "you stupid woman!" at her like I've done while reading some books. Dayne was a real sweetheart who had a quiet, sexy way about him. I just loved how he helped her while she was in heat. *wink*

And though I neglected to mention it in my review of Claimed, I love the humor Zoe carefully inserts into her stories. I'll give an example. Dylan told Greta that she was on the altar like one of those women in a cheesy B movie. I think we've all seen one of those movies and can relate.

I'll definitely be looking out for her next book!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: MT Murphy on March 24, 2010 :
Like most guys would do, I will preface my review by saying that I do not usually go for romance novels. Kept by Zoe Winters has made me rethink that.

Don’t let the romance tag fool you. There is no freakishly noble, donkey-cocked vicar. The words “lust spear,” “pulsating mounds of love pudding,” and “throbbing pocket of desire” do not appear at all.

We are introduced to therian (were-cat) Greta and her tribe of fellow supernatural creatures. An ancient prophesy rears its ugly head, sending our feline heroine running for her fur. The only person who might be able to keep her alive is the sworn enemy of her kind, the evil sorcerer Dayne.

The action gets started on the first page and does not let up until the end. The sex scenes are not overly graphic, but they are far from PG. Instead of moping around and pining for true love, these characters fuck, and it is hot.

Rather than using the supernatural as a setup for a cuddle fest, Winters breathes life into the denizens of this world. They are believable and flawed, which makes them much easier to root for.

Throughout the story, the prose keeps the tone fun and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. Not once did I find myself speed-reading to find the next good part. I patiently devoured each word as it came. By the end, I realized that the “romance” tag was a misnomer. This is a good paranormal fiction tale. Period.
(review of free book)

Review by: Rachelle Reese on April 07, 2009 :
Ms. Winters' characterization of Greta's "catness" is brilliant. Reading it, I could almost imagine one of my cats shifting into human form and perching on a kitchen stool. A delightful diversion.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Haltom on March 11, 2009 :
There are a lot of books on here that are highly rated that would have benefited greatly from an editor's pen - this isn't one of them. Hopefully the site will get more content of this caliber - the writing is crisp, smart and highly entertaining. Bravo, Ms. Winters, and I hope we get to read more from you in the future.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Marty Donnellan on Feb. 19, 2009 :
This is not normally a genre that interests me but the author's fresh style drew me in. The main character, the werecat, has a dry, almost world-weary appeal. Some of the concepts are rehashed, but blended together in unexpected new ways. Very entertaining.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lauralynn Elliott on Dec. 16, 2008 :
Ms. Winters' novella is well written and very deep for a short read, with a little humor thrown in. However, the most important element in a great story to me is whether or not it keeps me entertained. This one kept me reading! Great job!
(review of free book)

Review by: E. Patrick Dorris on Dec. 12, 2008 :
I don't know why no one has reviewed this before. I don't read romances or paranormal stuff in general, but the author has such a crisp, descriptive style that I was drawn right into the story. You don't know me, but my friends say I'm a picky reader. I put books back on the shelf in the bookstore all the time because either they failed to grab my attention, or they were so poorly written that they couldn't keep it.

Give this book a read, you won't regret it.
(review of free book)

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