My rating: 3 of 5 stars
TAKEN BY STORM is focused mostly on the relationship of 2 characters, MJ and Maddie. Although they have different parents, they were raised in the same house and were close friends growing up. As they grew into adults, their feelings for each other developed and an intense love affair began.... until the day Maddie left, with no explanation. The story begins the day she returns.
This is the second full novel in the Give & Take series. I highly recommend reading the first full novel (TAKEN) and the first novella (NO TAKE BACKS) before reading TAKEN BY STORM as they contain HUGE cliffhangers that will lead you right into MJ and Maddie's story. Otherwise, you might find yourself a bit lost as to who everyone is. Because of that, I can't say too much about these characters or I will be giving away some pretty big surprises in the previous books!
I struggled with TAKEN BY STORM for many reasons. The first is that it was hugely different from the first book, TAKEN. It lacked TAKEN's intensity and darkness, which I expected to continue throughout the series. TAKEN BY STORM was sort of sweet and fluffy, a bit too much for my taste as I caught myself rolling my eyes every now and then.
I had a hard time connecting with MJ and Maddie and I often questioned their struggles when the solutions seemed so obvious. Their sexual relationship didn't pull me in either, and I was tempted to skim some of their scenes a few times.
About halfway through TAKEN BY STORM, a paranormal element was introduced. It felt like it came out of nowhere and didn't really flow well with the story after a while. I kept wanting it to either be explained or not be focused on so much. (It eventually is explained, by the way. But by then I was too pulled out of the main story and had a hard time keeping focus on everything that was going on.)
What I did like was catching up with Merrick and Rachael, who were the main characters in TAKEN. I noticed that the story seemed to pick up for me every time they were "in the room" as I could actually feel their connection with each other. They seem to have a passion and intensity that MJ and Maddie lack. I also liked that there were a few surprises in TAKEN BY STORM that were completely unexpected. I had no idea they were coming and I was pleasantly surprised by that.
Overall, I was disappointed in TAKEN BY STORM. It was a book I was highly anticipating as TAKEN was a 5 star read for me. The next novella (TAKE ME BACK) focuses a bit more on Merrick and Rachael so I plan on continuing the series in hopes of getting back to some of the magic that was created in book one!
✳✳ Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
✳✳ Reviewed on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews by MissyGirl