Series: Give and Take
Author: Kelli Maine
Reviewed by: Onnica
Basic Story: Rachael DeSalvo has let her dream job and her bright future go – all because of a sense of duty towards her controlling mother. One night after her roommate ditches her at a club, she meets a handsome stranger. He offers her a drink and then blackout.
She wakes up tied to a bed and has no recollection of how she got there. Her captor – Merrick Rocha, billionaire tycoon soon explains why she’s there. Having turned down the job he offered her to manage the island development and seeing for himself how much it meant to her, Merrick is convinced that she needs to be there, whether she agrees or not. Shocked and furious at being drugged and kidnapped, Rachael will do whatever she can to escape. However, that’s easier said than done on an island only accessible via helicopter when no-one knows you’re missing.
Gradually, the charismatic billionaire reveals facets of his troubled character and tries to explain his ill-thought out plans to her. Their attraction to one another confuses Rachael and she’s eager to distance herself from Merrick. Attraction is one thing, but forgiving him for taking away her free will and putting her in this situation is another.
Why you should read it: The book is written in quite an original style – from Rachael’s point of view, as if she’s writing to Merrick. For me, this kept the story (however you feel about it) interesting. She observes the world around her and builds up a picture of her captor-turned-potential lover. Her description of Merrick, paired with her conflicting feelings heightens the tension between them and moves the story along. The sexual situations were very hot – and her reluctance to give herself to him really does keep that tension going.
What you might hate: Ok, so how did you meet your other half? I’m guessing he didn’t roofie your drink at a club and ‘whisk’ you away to a secluded island so that you could project manage a redevelopment? The taking advantage of Rachael may completely alienate readers – and I totally understand why that might be the case. I didn’t read this book immediately for that very reason. The premise is pretty messed up and Stockholm syndrome may be going through your mind; but somehow, the author succeeds in keeping the story on an even keel. Rachael’s no fool and Merrick’s no monster. You may also be over stories about poor post-graduates being picked up by rich billionaires…
Rating: I’m going to give this 3/5 – I found the story engaging and Rachael was a good heroine. I’m still wondering why I liked it so much, as it’s a pretty awful way to start a romance, but I wanted to stick with it and I’m glad I did. Do look out for the follow-up novella No Take-Backs, too.