Review: Given (Give & Take #3) by Kelli Maine


Title: Given
Author:  Kelli Maine
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 3/4/14
Length:  288 Pages
Series: Give & Take #3



For Merrick and Rachael, Turtle Tear Island has become their own private paradise with days of unimaginable bliss and sizzling nights in the bedroom-and beyond. But Rachael and Merrick’s happiness is shattered when his daughter, Nadia, suddenly becomes increasingly demanding of his time and devotion. It soon becomes clear that Merrick will have to make an agonizing choice: the woman whose love saved his tortured soul or the daughter he never knew existed . . .


Rachael can’t stand the thought of losing Merrick after everything she’s sacrificed to be with him. She had thought she and Merrick were done with secrets, that the passion that burned so brightly between them had forged an unbreakable connection, but she begins to wonder if she ever really knew the man at all. Now the love they’ve fought so desperately to protect may not be enough to save them . . .

My Thoughts

As we knew from the last few books, the happiness that Merrick and Rachael shared would have to have some bumpy road up ahead in order to survive, and this installment is exactly what we were expecting.  We remember that Nadia had left to go back to her mother but it seems like that’s not necessarily what she wants – yet she’s not making it easy for Merrrick to get her back.  This story takes us on the journey of these guys – following Nadia to Paris and then to the South of France in the hopes that Nadia will choose Merrick over her mother and grandfather.  That doesn’t happen quite so easily….until it happens a little too easily.

It’s a good thing that Rachael is so suspicious – since we’re beginning to see Nadia’s true intentions come out, but Merrick is too blinded by the fact that she’s his daughter and he feels this huge sense of guilt that he wasn’t in her life.  Because of this, there’s a huge question looming whether Rachael and he will survive, since it seems like he’s going to choose his children and ex over her.

I think that it’s a nice twist on what we’ve been reading so far – we get alternating chapters in the POV of both Merrick and Rachael which makes things much easier to follow and much better than a full book in the 2nd person.  We also get to see what the other is thinking in the moment, vs. getting a one sided re-telling.

I have to say that i fully expected some of what happened to happened  it wasn’t a surprise to me based on how some things were set up – but the deaths that happened in this book – i don’t know that i was expecting those to happen.  It made for some great tension at least.  The return of Enzo pulling the puppet master strings was also exactly what we knew was going to happen, although i kept waiting and keep waiting for the shoe to drop in what he did to Mr Simcoe.

So – i believe there’s still one more novella in this series to read- so i guess our journey continues – but….for the most part – the biggest pieces of the story are complete.  There’s still the resolutions for Beck/Joan that we’re waiting on since they seem to have their own little bubble in life.  especially after Merrick fires Beck and tells him to go back home and be a professional cellist.  Maddie and MJ still need their happy ending as well and now that the dynamic has changed in this story – it’ll be nice to see where they end up and how.

I don’t know about anyone else  but are you waiting to hear more about the montgomery tie and relationship to Gina?  I have to admit that i didn’t pick up on that at all before, and it was only when she pointed out the relation that it made me wonder what she was after…i still wonder.

Anyhow – i’m glad that i stuck with this series – it definitely got better as things progressed and i hope that you guys choose to take the journey as well.  Enjoy!

Review: No Take Backs (Give & Take #1.5) by Kelli Maine


Title: No Take Backs
Author:  Kelli Maine
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 1/8/13
Length:  150 Pages
Series: Give & Take #1.5



The man Rachael DeSalvo loves more than anything is suffering in silence. The grand opening of Turtle Tear Resort should be a time of celebration for Merrick Rocha. But he’s suddenly intent on selling off the business he built from the ground up-and Rachael’s hell-bent on finding out why. Only one man can give her the answers she seeks, but meeting with him would be the ultimate betrayal to Merrick. Merrick once asked Rachael to trust him against all odds . . . can he do the same? 

My Thoughts

We’re just getting settled back into the relationship between Rachael and Merrick when the hotel is set to open – at least for one weekend so family friends and crew can come and enjoy.  Rachael and Merrick have found their rhythm together, and they are in their blissful honeymoon stage – while everything continues to move around them.

If you remember from the end of book 1,  Merrick’s assistant now works for Beck – who is the hot foreman of the builders, and that’s a good and bad thing.  it gets her out of Rachael’s hair and into someone else’s bed.  It’ll be interesting to see if that friendship ever happens though between the girls.

At the same time, we’re reminded that Merrick has a very strained family relationship – his father is suing him for the company that Merrick took through the roof, and at the same time, he doesn’t have much of a relationship with his sister because her husband thinks that Merrick is a bad influence.

Bring these folks along with Rachael’s mom and aunt, and best friend Shannon to the island and things are going to get dicey.  Not only do we see tempers flare, but we see all sorts of sexcapades taking place, which is to be expected.

It’s kind of sad to say, but it’s the last chapter or 2 that really piqued my interest, and while fully expected given some hints and comments in book 1, it was still a nice surprise and lead in to the next installment.  Do you know what i’m talking about w/o giving away spoilers?

Anyhow, i’m off to book 2 in the hopes that this series will redeem itself from the half fail that i found in book 1.  Enjoy!