My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A few things to begin this brief review of “Take Me Back” by Kellie Maine: First, this is the first work I’ve ever read by Maine and its in the middle of an ongoing series. That may skew my perspective slightly more compared to someone who is already familiar with the “Give and Take” series. Second, this is a novella and a very brief read which I took my time reading over, and actually didn’t mind the writing style. I’ve written in this style of prose several times before (and it reminds me that I have a brief piece that I have to finish for a review I wrote quite some time ago, oddly enough it’s also erotic themed. Coincidence? Pretty much.).
Tangents aside, “Take Me Back” was a brief erotic read that showcased the relationship between Rachel and Merrick, a couple living in a home their restoring an old hotel on Turtle Tear Island. It actually had an interesting backdrop that I wish had more character, place and situational intimacy to it than it did. Rachel discovers a trunk that leads to old secrets that are within the place they’re restoring as well as people who once lived in the area. But there’s a part of the past that calls out to her (in the form of a ghost) that prompts her to discover the truth of why that ghost can’t rest well. It causes tensions between Rachel and Merrick, who doesn’t believe in ghosts and thinks Rachel’s off on an obssessive journey. In the end though, the mystery comes to some turns, but not in a way that satisfied me.
I thought the writing style could’ve been used to give this a lot more bite than what it did – there was a great deal of detachment that really didn’t use the style to its fullest form. Even the sensual scenes were brief, dashed off, and lacking fire. It felt a bit too repetitive to me on that level, but at least my attention was held by the interactions between characters and learning a bit about them as I went through this story, as well as the involvement of the ghost and what that led to. There were a few questions I had with respect to Merrick and Rachel’s relationship that I realized just from reading the plot synopsis of the first book, but there were other points that I picked up within the text fine. It was okay for a brief read, but somehow left me wanting more from it. I don’t know if I’ll check into this particular series more, but I’m willing to read other works from Maine in the future just to have more of an idea of her style.
Overall score: 2/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Forever.