Taken (Give & Take Book 1)
Well well well… what do we have here? Why yes!! A book that has a little of everything that I love in my reads, markedly… that “broken hearted millionaire tycoon that will do whatever it takes to get what he wants” feel. Remind you of anyone?
In fact, when I received this email from Annie, I KNEW I was SO IN!!!
“Hey Maryse, I’ve followed your blog forever and got hooked on Mr. Gray and Maddox right along with you. I had the opportunity to review a new book along the same lines early called Taken by Kelli Maine. Loved it. Overpowering, hot, rich dude in love with an unlikely person. You should check it out.”
The author sent it to me to read and possibly review, and I’m so glad I did. Yep, Annie… I recognized that feeling too! And while it didn’t make me go all-out *squee-crazy*, I was still pretty much stuck to it like glue.
It started off with a moment of … ruh roh. I read the synopsis so I knew. Yep. But you know me… heck, I dunno. What is up with me and “kidnapping” books? I’m drawn to that crazy subject, and even more so to the crazy circumstances that develop. You know. *whispers* Stockholm Syndrome.
So what’s it about? Self-sacrificing Rachael turns down the job of her dreams (renovating an old historical hotel that she’s passionate about) to stay with her lonely mother, and continue interning and struggling to make ends meet.
Merrick, the gorgeous 30-something year old, billionaire tycoon that wanted to hire her, just *feels* it , bone-deep, that she is PERFECT for the job. He can’t believe she turned him down, and he proceeds to secretly… stalk her. And after the course of a few months, feels it bone-deep… that she is perfect for HIM. So he takes her. To that very beautiful hotel (on an isolated island) that he knows she won’t be able to resist. And hopefully, she won’t be able to resist him, either.
“You made a lasting impression on me, Rachael, and I don’t like to be turned down. I needed to find out why you didn’t come work for me.”
How can a respected, beautiful man be entirely crazy? “So you kidnapped me?”
You flinch at my words. “I’m detaining you until you choose to be here.”
OMG!!! Right? ‘Cause come on!! Gorgeous or not, who in their right mind, kidnaps people expecting love???
Your dimples make you look like a nice guy. You’re not a nice guy. “I want to go home.”
You run your finger underneath the rope and stroke my wrist. “You are home, Rachael.”
Oh no. She said dimples. I was done for. *giggle*
But let’s be honest here. In every one of these books, the “bad guy” is well… hot! So can ya blame me, er… I mean… her? Hehe. I know I know… in real life, that’s way off base, and yes, if I’m okay with it just ’cause he’s *hot* well… Hey wait a minute! No no… I’m not gonna over think this. It’s fiction, after all and what makes it fun is that I can get carried away by it, without having to deal with the actual consequences. I love the scary stuff, and these are my virtual roller-coasters so you KNOW I’m totally gonna ride this kind of theme over and over again. And that’s exactly what makes this “exciting”. It’s sort of… an outrageous version of “possible romance”, and while your mind tells you one thing, if the author does it right, she makes your heart tell you another.
Your expression is so warm and open. You’re begging me to let my guard down – to let you in. I want to, but it’s insane. You have issues, and I haven’t gotten to the core of them yet.
And this one steps in quite nicely, in that way. To tell you the truth, it’s on the much lighter side of the “kidnapping/stockholm syndrome” theme. Much lighter. You don’t struggle as much with that inner turmoil (oh sure, it’s there… but you’ll see what I mean).
Are you insane, or just badly misunderstood? Am I insane for wanting to be with you?
Okay, I’ll tell you what I mean right now, in terms of “feeling”. Ready? This…. “hero” did remind me of Christian Grey. Not to the HUGE extent, depth and intensity that is “Fifty”, but if you’re looking for something with that “feeling”, that similar emotional connection and DIS-connection to love and life, that whole “larger than life” billionaire persona with the broken heart, you’ll find it here.
Your heart pounds against my back , like a frightened child. You take a shaky breath and squeeze me tighter, with both arms now.
*sniffle* ohhh that whole part totally had me. The book just got better and better. I was IN it.
And the only thing that would have made this better was if it was just a little “harder”. A little bit more cryptic, and mysterious. Maybe some of that moody atmosphere. Something to put me a bit more on edge. A little more turmoil and fear… more of that ruthless tycoon side that we are told about. And I think, a longer book could have delivered that (possibly bumping this up to *squee-worthy* for me).
But don’t get me wrong. I felt this book.
Overall, it was an interesting, exciting, heart-catching take, and certainly one I’ll add to my “What to Read After Fifty Shades” list. Because in the grand scheme of things, there were moments that had me catching my breath, had my stomach doing that *swoon-dippy* thing and a bit of slow-motion reading going on (for those of you who don’t know… that’s what I do when an intense scene really captures me. I suddenly start reading it very slowly, my eyes widen, my breathing feels like it stops. And if the scene is really good, I re-read it again, right away).
Some scenes had me reacting like that a few times and isn’t that what I’m looking for in a “potential-romance” read?.
P.S. This one is steamy. And I mean… well, WOW (for me, anyway). I’ve read steamy scenes that end up being more detail then steam, but there was just something about this one. The intense attraction and passionate moments in this book were palpable.
P.S.!! There’s a follow up novella! No Takebacks (Give & Take)