Author: J.C. Owens
Publisher: Etopia Press
Kidnapping the brother of a mob boss was madness. If only it had stayed that simple.
It had all gone wrong. Sent as a mercenary to kidnap Kirith Martinelli from his tropical island home, Landon finds himself on the wrong end of a job gone bad. But there’s more to Kirith than meets the eye—he’s the brother of feared mob boss Enzo Martinelli, and he’s taken Landon as his captive. Kirith makes Landon an offer he can’t refuse: stay with him for three months—until he tires of Landon’s body—and then Landon may go free.
Landon, fearing his own criminal family more than the man before him, quickly agrees. Three months will buy him enough time for his brothers to lose his scent, and then freedom will be his. But that freedom has a steeper price than Landon bargained for as he’s drawn into the secrets of Kirith’s past. He can’t ignore the sadness and loss behind his captor’s beautiful eyes, and Landon finds himself wondering if three months will be enough—for either of them…
Kirith leaned back in the chair, a furrow forming on his brow. He seemed to come to himself with a faint curse.
He swung his gaze back to Landon, meeting his gaze. Steepling his fingers together, he regarded Landon over their tips.
“I have been considering what to do with you.”
Landon tensed, swallowing the last of the orange juice with a single gulp and setting the glass down with a thump, his heart beginning to pound.
Still, Kirith didn’t seem like he was about to do something terrible; he seemed more contemplative than anything else, certainly nothing like he had been when he first captured Landon.
Landon watched him warily, not trusting this sudden change.
Kirith gave a faint sigh and rubbed his jaw with one hand. At that moment, he looked weary, as though Landon were just another problem he had to contend with, and an unwelcome one at that.
“Now that my initial anger has died down, I find myself in a quandary. Considering that you did not harm Laura, I am at somewhat of a loss. I have thought of giving you to one of my friends and letting them deal with you, but…”
Landon couldn’t decide if that would be worse or better. Certainly he didn’t want to be with whoever had Nate. He wanted to be nowhere near his brother. If he survived this, this might be his only chance to escape, to be free of both Nate and Adrian once and for all.
Kirith sighed again, bringing Landon back to the present.
© JC Owens
Where do I begin with my thoughts on this book – I have been hearing of this author for a few months now and about how much she does really good angst, which I find I am in the mood for at the moment – so I opted for her latest release TAKEN.
The book starts off with Landon the reluctant hero if I can call him that in his usual spot – under his brother’s thumb, doing something that he has no love for and wishing for a better life while hoping against hope that the feeling that he has that something is just not right does not bear fruition.
No such luck and before long the simply in and out plan of his brother on their latest mission goes pear shape and the team soon find themselves in a bit of bother that has no redemption in sight, that is until Landon’s captor gives him a choice - “be with him for three months and then have his freedom or take his chances with someone else” – He does say a bit more than that to him – but that’s the end result after much thought.
With words like those – to a young man like Landon, whose every moment has been one of staying in the shadows and doing as told, he knows this is his one shot at what could probably be his only way out of a family that knows no better. But as is everything in life this comes at a price and this price of feeling a connection to someone else is one Landon has no experience with and he wings it for the most part but three months is three months and not an awfully long time…
TAKEN is a book of mixed blessing for me – The first part of the book I totally loved and thought that Kirith with his strong take charge personality and Landon who was just like a sponge for the little bit of affection and knowledge that he gets from and under kirith guidance were perfect together and had a decent chance of making a go of it.
With a few support cast tossed in for good measure, I got more of Kirith background rather than Landon, although there wasn’t much to know as the story progress. Both protags are easy to like and their mindset is shaped by their upbringing and as such I understood the decisions they took when they met and eventually got together.
The story took a turn and a whole new scenario opened up that really took me by surprised and somehow lessen some of the characters in my eyes. While the two parts of the book (a rather tension filled first half and the almost too sweet last half) came together eventually, new plotline was introduced that I never saw coming and there was no build up or even any indication that what happen could have happened.
The bulk of the book is quite dark, however the gorier details were either glossed over or told in such a way that I could not really emphasize with any of the affected party.
The little touches of magic for me in this book was how the author brought together sexually naive Landon and much more experienced Kirith, I like the fact that as much as Landon was new to so much he was streetwise and knew to grab a good thing when he had the chance and get the most out of every moment that presented itself.
I also really liked Kirith brother Enzo – I thought he was the most consistent of all the people I met in TAKEN. I liked his take no prisoner attitude as well as his love and devotion for his little family. I even respected how he went about getting things done – pity I didn’t get more of him.
Too much was left hanging and unsaid and even the “getting together” was a little overshadowed by the all the little satellites of players that the author introduced that were experiencing their own trauma.
While TAKEN did not grab me – I like the author’s style enough to add more of her earlier word to my reading list. I am really hoping she revisits Kirith and Landon at a later date and close up some of the plotline from this book.