Title: Taken by Passion
Author: Jaymie Holland
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Series: Wonderland Series (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback, 208 Pages
ISBN-10: 0312386664 (Macmillan)
ISBN-13: 978-0312386665 (Macmillan)
Reviewed by: Sheila
After being cheated on yet again, full-figured Alice O’Brien decides that she will leave behind her dreams of Prince Charming. From now on she will be a “love ‘em and leave’ em” kind of girl. However, when she—literally—tumbles down a rabbit hole, she discovers that she has left the familiar chaos of San Francisco behind and stepped into something vastly different. And it is here that she meets the fierce, powerful shapeshifter named Jarronn, who is one of the four irresistible brothers who rule this strange and fascinating land. Jarronn quickly seizes Alice for himself and threatens to introduce her to untold pleasure and to steal her furiously pounding heart. However, Alice soon learns that Jarronn deliberately lured her into his kingdom in order to make her his mate in hopes of averting a dark danger that threatens his people. But can their bond of passion save them?
Quick & Dirty: A twist on Alice in Wonderland: only this Wonderland is BDSM themed and the King of Hearts has better uses for Alice other than chopping off her head.
Opening Sentence: King Jarronn scrubbed his hand over his light beard and flexed his powerful muscles as he scowled at the four cards lying facedown on the a’bin.
Alice O’Brian’s life is not all roses. She lost her job only to come home early and find her man in a very compromising position with two other people. She may not know it yet, but her life is about to get much more surreal. Falling down the proverbial “rabbit hole” and landing in the land of Tarok, Alice is about to experience pleasures far beyond her wildest fantasies. With potential violence from enemies of the kingdom to the sensual punishments of her new King, Taken by Passion is a buffet of BDSM bounty. It unveils a world of BDSM liberation from the sensual punishments within the walls of dangers awaiting outside.
Alice is the kind of woman that struggles with low self-esteem. Going from a relationship where she is constantly being put down for her looks and sexual wants only compounded the problem. Now in Tarok, she isn’t given an option: Her absolute obedience and trust are demanded. Jarronn won’t allow Alice the luxury of self recrimination. Her reluctance and eventual surrender are as uplifting for her as it is for the reader. Giving into one’s true desires takes courage that many don’t possess. Leaving all she knew behind, can Alice truly be happy to spend the rest of her days in a world so different from what she had before?
Jarronn, King of Hearts and High King of Tarok is the “Alpha Male,” with all the arrogance that comes with it. In order for his people to once again prosper, he must take a wife, a perfect mate. With the use of magic, Jarronn finds his future High Queen in the human world and brings her back to his. He is a Dominant and requires his bride-to-be to become 100% submissive to him. His character never waivers in his purpose or determination like the predator he is. At times he seems almost cold toward Alice during her training but his underlying adoration for her does shine through occasionally. Is Jarronn going to be able to tame this beauty, or will he lose everything by pushing her too far? Will the two of them stand united against the larger threat looming on the horizon, or will they crumble under the onslaught?
The land of Tarok is as amazing as it is tempting in its views of physical pleasures. All of her people take delight a variety of sexual delights available to them. The land itself is divided into four separate kingdoms ruled by four brothers. With a twist on the “Wonderland” theme, each king’s title is known for a card: i.e. Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs. Jarronn is The King of Hearts as well as The High King of all the lands. The acceptance of what is viewed here as “private” or “kinky” is a way of life for everyone in Tarok. I like that the taboo of BDSM is lifted, giving Alice more of an opportunity to embrace her personal desires in an environment that is so open.
Taken by Passion may just be a re-release of an older book by Holland (McCray) but it still is a fantastic read. It is sugar and spice with a bite. If this book is any indication, the rest of the series will be quite the read. Though I may recommend keeping a cool drink on hand just in case it gets too hot for you!
Jarronn’s ears pricked toward the rainbow gardens. His three brothers and the sorceress had arrived at the fountain, prepared to treat his future bride to a view of his kingdom’s pleasures.
Lowering his head, the king nudged up the soft material covering her breasts and freed both rosy nipples. With a swipe of his rough tongue, he licked one bud, bringing it to a tight peak. The woman sighed and arched her back, thrusting her chest toward him. He laved her other nipple, determined to awake his future bride in a way that would have her senses on fire.
It is time.
He rumbled his satisfaction as she moaned again. The woman would be perfect.
So long as she obeyed and submitted to his every demand.
And providing she passed the tests that would allow her to become his queen.
FTC Advisory: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin provided me with a copy of Taken by Passion. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. I only get paid in hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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