Monday, September 11, 2023

Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure by India Grey


Despite the ridiculous-sounding title, this book is great. Our players are Olivier and Bella, two people from two families that dislike each other because of the doomed liaison between his father and her grandmother. Because of it, Olivier is determined to get his sexy revenge on the family for the same and ruination they caused his own: banging. Also, he basically became rich just to spite her fam, so there's a little bit of The Great Gatsby about TAKEN FOR REVENGE, BEDDED FOR PLEASURE, too.

I liked a lot about this book. The author's writing style reminded me a lot of Caitlin Crews's because of the gothic elements and the multiple sex scenes. Normandy countryside and forbidden boathouse trysts? YAS. I liked that the heroine wasn't a virgin and had a truly traumatic relationship history that led to some psychological issues (including attempted suicide). When she talks about it, on her terms, it felt like it was handled very sympathetically, and it wasn't lingered on. 

I also thought that the family history element was really well done and I could see why Olivier hated her family. I also loved that the heroine wasn't a virgin, and that neither the narrative nor the hero shamed her for it. The focus on art was also wonderful. Also, the sex scenes? *chef's kiss* He cuts up his back while having sex with her on the floor where some glass broke, because stopping would have hurt more than the glass.  

That's determination.

That said, this wasn't a perfect book. The villain came out of nowhere and so did the OW drama. I also really wished that Bella's grandmother had gotten her own HEA. It kind of felt like she was left behind in the narrative just as soon as she wasn't useful to the plot anymore. There should have been more foreshadowing; I think this would have made the third-act drama feel less spontaneous, especially if it had been tied up with Genevieve getting together with her old flame. Also, the dated technology references (Blackberries) were hilarious, and so is the scene when the hero massages the heroine's lips on their museum date, like blppblppblpp, to make it look like she's wearing lipstick. I actually had to stop reading when I got to that part because I was giggling so hard.

Silliness and qualms aside, though, the banter game in TAKEN is on-point. If you like Millie Adams and Caitlin Crews, you'll love India Grey. I'm so glad I bought a ton of her books when they were on sale. If they are all like this one in terms of quality, I'm about to have a lot of fun, indeed.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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