I will start by saying I like erotica, straight romance, paranormal romance & even a little BDSM in my choice of books. That said, I forced my way through this read. This would have been a 1 star if I couldn't finish it but since I could... I reluctantly give it 2. I'm very forgiving in reads like this. I don't expect much at all, let's face it, they will never be true classics (which I also love). This one, I still can't get the distaste out even after waiting a week before deciding to pen a review. ---submission is one thing. Dominance another. This is slave/master training and while that works in a lot of stories where this one failed, IMO is the heroine's choice to be where she is. Had there been one scene, even if it was flimsy, where she had free choice to return home or stay, etc. I think I'd have thought more of this book but because she didn't, this felt more like a submissive with a healthy dose of Stockholm syndrome. The pretty little bow to "see her sister" at the end didn't help my perception along & I sit torn between wanting to see if her sister gets to kick butt in her book with the brother of the king or if he author turns her into a "submissive/slave" because that is what this alternative world royalty expectations seem to be built upon. Anyway, unless it shows up for free, I doubt I'll buy the second book. This author, to me, left a big gap in making this a free will choice of a lifestyle and that's a pretty big taboo to me.
The female protagonist whines way too much about being fat . I hate it even when authors go on and on about how beautiful someone is. It's redundant filler and gets old quick ! I also disliked how she is forced into obedience almost to the point of slavery and chained naked when she first arrives and throughout the story. The storyline makes no sense and there are very little sex scenes and not that interesting either. Actually it's just weird and not good enough too trudge through all the unnecessary slavery and whiney fat insecurities. I just didn't get it and was left asking ...Why ?
If you're looking for a book that is nothing but sex-and by sex I mean something you'd find on some b-grade porn site, then you'll like this book. It had such a great blurb and I really like erotic fantasy/paranormal romance novels but this book was not even half way to that caliber. I liked that the heroine was not the usual stick skinny beauty but that was about all that I liked about "Taken by Passion", There was no passion in this story only some stereotypical BDSM themes that left me feeling like Alice was debased continually and developed some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Again, I have read a lot of BDSM themed romance novels both of this genre and mainstream/contemporary novels and this one just left me feeling flat and disappointed. I wouldn't recommend this book. I really wanted to love it-again the blurb sounded great but the story didn't make muster.
Normally, for half star reviews, I give the benefit of the doubt to the author and I rate them up, in this case, it's far too close to 4 stars to give that added boost, so that's why I rated it down not up. First, Alexi would have been better suited character-wise to lead the house of hearts. Alice had way too many insecurities to be the leader of 4 houses (easier to break, perhaps, but not better in the long run)--someone with Alexi's confidence needed to be in that position. Also, I loved the detail the author put into describing the land of Tarrok, but I wish she had given Alice a little bit of power. I kept waiting for her to emerge as this regal queen the author promises early on in the book, and all we ever see is a damsel in distress--that's NOT a queen capable of ruling 4 houses, so I'm back to team Alexi--I think she could be capable of ruling. There was a lot to like about this story, it made for a fun, easy summer read, but I didn't agree with the character personality traits. (And body image had zero to do with that, the character could have been strong and plus sized, and it would have made her MUCH more attractive).
I made myself finish this, but I didn't really enjoy it. Two problems with this story- 1) the only thing this had to do with "wonderland" was that the female character was named Alice and kept comparing herself and her situation to the other Alice. Seriously disappointed that this wasn't an actual wonderland story. 2) this is a Dom/sub story, and that's fine. However, I believe everyone should have a choice of whether or not they are in a relationship. The main character was transported to another world and forced into this relationship and went along with it because she liked the idea. Not because she trusted him, asked for it, or even understood it before she was forced. This really bothered me, and it bothered me even more when the male lead talked about how her submission and trust was good and her strong spirit would help her be queen- she had no spirit, she was a dimwit that went along with a situation she was uncomfortable with and that was never explained until she was head deep in it. This was an incredibly disappointing read, I will not be continuing the series.
I opened my reader this morning and fell down the rabbit hole - as in Alice in Wonderland - except this fairytale is not for children or the faint of heart. "Taken By Passion (Wonderland 1)" is replete with sexual tension and sensual encounters as Jarronn, King of Hearts, "trains" luscious Alice in preparation to become his Queen of Hearts. Not only is King Jarronn tall, dark and hotter than a desert sun, but he has three(!) equally as delicious brothers, the King of Spades, Clubs and Diamonds. Deal me in! I feel like a good game of cards! The only ointment in this delightfully spicy scenario is their evil sister who is determined to have their kingdoms for herself and will use any means necessary to achieve that goal even by using poor Alice whose low opinion of herself makes it so easy to use and abuse her. I grinned like the Cheshire Cat as I read of Alice's adventures in this sensual Wonderland and want to visit again soon. There are three other brothers who need Queens as well!