Review: Taken by Storm (Give & Take #2) by Kelli Maine

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Title: Taken by Storm
Author:  Kelli Maine
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 5/7/13
Length:  291 Pages
Series: Give & Take #2

Overview 

DECEPTION

Maddie Simcoe knows the devastation that comes from keeping secrets. Now, she’s desperate to move on from the heartbreak that almost destroyed her — trading wild passion that once made her knees weak for a life of comfortable stability. But before Maddie can start over, she must return home to put the past behind her once and for all…

PASSION

When Maddie blows back into MJ Rocha’s life, nothing will stop him from proving to her that walking away from him was the biggest mistake of her life — not even the engagement ring she wears. Her every look, every touch tells MJ that the fire that once raged between them still burns hot, and MJ won’t give up until Maddie gives in to the inferno.

REDEMPTION

Trapped by a hurricane roaring through Turtle Tear Island, MJ and Maddie find shelter in each others’ arms. While the lightning flashes, MJ and Maddie are helpless to fight bonds of desire that tie them together. But just as they’re about to surrender to the torturous longing that consumes them both, the storm unleashes violent secrets from MJ’s past…secrets that could wash away all MJ and Maddie’s hopes of forever…

My Thoughts

so, all in all, this series is getting much more complicated – but in a decent way.  The one thing that i’m going to say – and i’d love to hear your thoughts – in the first installment, we were under the impression that Merrick got his babysitter preggo – and that she had ‘taken care of it’ – and in this book, we are told that she had the baby and died…and then there were hints that Merrick knew this – or that he knew she died, but didn’t know that she had a baby – and then there were hints that he knew that she had a baby.  so…i’m all confused on that front.

Anyhow, we’re reintroduced to this mix when Rachael has gone back with ‘grandfather’ to meet MJ and try to help build that relationship between Merrick and his son.  At the same time, we see MJ who’s 20, having trouble finding his place in the world.  He knew all along that his father didn’t know about him – for the most part, and nowt hat he’s in college, he’s trying to find his path, but not doing in the right way.  He’s getting into fights (like his father) and being a bit impulsive rather than thinking things through (also like his father).  So this story takes us on his journey, with his impulsiveness driving an even bigger wedge between him and Madddie – his past lover, hope to be future and forever lover – and daughter of the caretaker of his grandfather’s mansion.

So…complicated right?  Let’s see, the sense that we’re given is that Maddie ran away from MJ about a year prior and didn’t tell MJ why she was leaving.  While she was gone, she ‘fell in love’ with someone else who’s proposed, but since Maddie feels like she still has some connection with MJ, she’s asked for time…and takes it back where MJ is.  At the same time, we learn that there’s a reason that Maddie left – some secret that she’s keeping for Enzo – MJ’s grandfather – and this secret keeps coming up throughout the book, in thought only since we don’t learn what it is.

Following the path of these folks, we end up back at Turtle Tear island, with the family reunited – and trying to get to know each other again.  We get to see Rachael and Merrick really trying to make something work of their family, and trying to give Maddie and MJ space to sort out their own relationship.

What’s nice about this story is that we still see the ques to make the bigger family work with Merrick and Heidi, even though we don’t get a great impression of Roger – Heidi’s husband here either.  I just don’t like him, and i think that we begin to see a much darker side to him as this story progresses.  Merrick doesn’t trust him, and MJ gets a similar impression.

The questions that we’re posing throughout are whether MJ and Maddie will get together, and what will bring them together since we all know how stories like this happen.  We also really want to know what the secret is since it seems like a really big one to keep Maddie away and to be fearful of – since Enzo continues to hold it over her and threatens her and her father if it’s revealed.

I’m curious to see how things progress here since we meet someone new that no one expected, and we find out about others from the past and their history – and all the while, wondering what Enzo will do next and who’s going to pay for his actions.

There’s a sweet next step though here – we see that there’s a bond between the current story line and the past owners of Turtle Tear, and we get to see the story there progress in the sense that we continue on to their plantation in FL – which is the next real estate purchase – all for good reason.

So, i guess i’m not quite giving up on this series, and i’ll have to read #2.5 before i get to the ARC that i got from Netgalley on #3.  I’m sure i’ll be back tomorrow with a follow up – so enjoy for now!

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