Review: Taken by Lora Leigh

takenReviewed by Jaimie

Ordinarily novellas or shorter stories are not my thing but I do read them if they are a part of a series I am already in to. Taken is a collection of novellas and short stories by Lora Leigh. All of these have been previously released so if they sound familiar that is why.

Reno’s Chance

This one is the first in Ms. Leigh’s Tempting Seals series and even though it is short, Raven and Reno are one of my favorite couples from the series.

Raven has been in love with her best friend’s brother since she was a teenager but she is convinced that she is too much like her mother to allow herself to be with him. While her father was away on missions as a Seal, her mother would fall apart and when he died, her mother never recovered.

Reno has known for years that Raven is in the one but he has also known that rushing her would be a mistake. He needed her to realize that she was stronger than her mother and that she would be able to survive and thrive when he was on a mission. He’s done waiting and he sets out to show Raven how good it could be between them.

The sex between these two was smoking hot and their chemistry jumped off the pages, but there was also a very sweet story there. We see some of Raven and quite a bit of Reno in future stories in the series but I would have loved to see these two get a full length book. Overall it is a satisfying and enjoyable introduction to the Tempting Seals series.

B+

For Maggie’s Sake

This story picks up after Dangerous Games and is the third in the Tempting Seals series. I don’t want to give away too much about Dangerous Games in case you haven’t read it, but the story in this one is directly related to the goings on in the previous book so it would not do well as a stand alone.

Joe Merino was a Seal and now works for the DEA. He has been in love with his best friend’s wife ever since he blew his chance to be with her. Now that Maggie Samuels’ life is in danger, he goes above and beyond to protect her, while trying to take down those that threaten her.  We get to know Joe a bit in the previous book and there is only a couple of quick mentions about Maggie so it was fitting that most of the novella was surrounding their relationship as opposed to the story that drove the series. There was some of it to move it all forward but the majority of time was spent on the couple.

Overall a fast, enjoyable read but not one of my favorites of the series.

C+

Atlanta Heat

This story is the 6th in the series and I was really looking forward to getting Macey’s story after seeing him in previous books. I was slightly disappointed that it was a novella but it was still enjoyable. Mason March (Macey) is the communications guy for Reno’s Seal Team. His home is a fortress that few people are invited in to. When Emerson Delaney, the Admiral’s goddaughter is kidnapped by terrorists, Macey hides her in the one place he figures is the safest – his underground home. After lusting after her for years, Macey knows that having her in his quarters is a bad idea, but it’s the safest option for her.

Emerson has lived her life in an emotional vacuum, with her parents always preaching about duty and honor. Up until Macey, she had been sure she could live the life that she was supposed to and not let anyone close or ask for love. She doesn’t stand a chance when Macey sets his sights on seducing her.

I loved this couple. Macey is a sweet, alpha man and Emerson is a feisty, strong woman. There is a scene in the epilogue that is adorable and one of my favorites.  A quick, but enjoyable story that doesn’t do a whole lot to move the overall plot of the series forward, but still serves its purpose.

B+

Night Hawk

The Elite Ops series is a spinoff of the popular Tempting Seals series and is the second book in the new series.  Night Hawk is the code name for Lillian Belle, one of the female agents of the Elite Ops group. Although they have signed away twelve years of their lives in exchange for a new life with a new identity, she finds herself drawn to Black Jack, another operative. Night Hawk’s group is supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering and she hears a rumor that directly impacts Black Jack’s mission.  There is no doubt that the duo are drawn to each other but both seem to accept that it is never going to happen so they settle for one kiss.

The events in this book are related to probably my favorite book in the Elite Ops series, Maverick and it sets the book up nicely. Eventually this couple gets their own full length story so I think this one was really just put out to set the rest of the series up. It was a very short freebie and it made me look forward to Black Jack as well.

B

Coopers Fall

This book is the first in the Wounded Warriors series and given the way Lora Leigh writes her Seals and other military men, I really hope this one continues! Ethan Cooper has been lusting after his prissy neighbor Sarah Fox since she moved next door, and when he looks out of his window and sees her laying in her backyard naked, he is unable to look away.  After returning from the Army, Cooper opened a local bar that frequents bikers and all types of people so in his mind he thinks Sarah is way out of his league and would never be able to tolerate his sexual needs and desires.

Tired of being known as the town virgin since she relocated there, Sarah is determined to break out of that and live a little. After being the victim of a senseless crime when she was a teenager, she spent years running and has finally found a place she wants to call home. Ethan may not remember it, but the two had met before and he was the primary reason she moved to town. Now she is ready to do something about it.

Loved this couple and story. Ethan is your typical badass alpha man and sometimes comes off as overbearing but not in a way that ruins him. Sarah may be innocent in some ways but girlfriend has a bad side and she wants Ethan to help her discover it. There wasn’t a ton of suspense in the story but that is partially because it was a short one. The time was spent developing the relationship and getting to know the hero and heroine better and the sex was hot! Really enjoyed this one.

B+

Sheila’s Passion

This story is the second in the Wounded Warriors series and given that the first two have been short stories as opposed to full length, I’m a little worried the entire series will continue that way. I’m hoping not, but even if it does I will keep reading them because I enjoy the characters that have been introduced.  Nick Casey is one of the men that works at Ethan’s bar and we were briefly introduced to him in Coopers Fall.

Sheila is the daughter of the man that Cooper and his bouncers report to when they are gathering intel on criminal activity in the area. After being fooled by her first real boyfriend who was only with her to get a lucrative job from her father, Sheila is understandably wary about men that report to her father. The two dance around each other with neither willing to admit they love the other, but expecting the other to admit it.

I hadn’t read this one and I’m not sure how I missed it. It was a great story, I loved the two leads and I really enjoyed the set up for future books in this series.

B+

*ARC Provided by St. Martin’s

Click to purchase: Amazon

Taken
by Lora Leigh
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin

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