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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden


I’m generally not a fan of novellas, but as an avid fan of Cynthia Eden’s dark romantic suspense titles—and with her focusing on her Harlequin and paranormal releases in the last while—I decided to give MINE TO TAKE a try. Reunited lovers? Obsessed stalker? Hot sexy billionaire with a dark past? So many suspects that you can’t make up your mind who the villain actually is? A crapload of crazy? I’m sold. MINE TO TAKE has the makings of a fantastic romantic suspense title with two intriguing characters but suffers from the limitations of its short length, with the well-crafted suspense taking top billing and making the characters and the romance feel underdeveloped. Thankfully, Cynthia has listened to her fans clamouring for more of Skye and Trace and their story will have a full-length follow-up in mid-September.

MINE TO TAKE starts off with a bang, with heroine Skye Sullivan trapped in the wreckage of her car after an accident that she suspects was not an accident at all. It continues with Skye going to former lover and current billionaire owner of Weston Securities, Trace Weston, for help with a stalker that’s dogging her every step. From there, it’s a pulse-pounding, fast-paced thrill-ride that will have you frantically turning the pages and changing your guess about who the stalker is until the very end. Cynthia’s romantic suspense writing has this indescribable intensity that draws you in from the get-go and makes her one of the best in the genre, and this is evident even in a novella. She’s also very adept at crafting strong, sexy heroes and steamy love scenes. Trace Weston is alpha to the max, a billionaire who came from nothing. He let Skye go once so she could live her dream of becoming a prima ballerina and now has the means to protect her from harm. His protectiveness readily veers into possessiveness since he believes that Skye has always been his and is unwilling to let her go again now that she’s back in his life. He’s undoubtedly sexy, but he’s a bit too controlling (inside and outside the bedroom) for my taste, and almost as taken with Skye as her stalker. I have some mixed feelings about Skye. She’s a survivor of a tough childhood in foster care, she’s being victimized by a stalker, and she’s faced with asking the man who taught her everything about her sexuality and then told her to get out of his life for help when no one else believes her… but she’s also given to a bit too much drama and veers into TSTL territory sometimes. Running out unaccompanied in the middle of the night when a deranged stalker is after you? Not exactly the smartest move. And because of the novella length, I felt like the characters were not as developed and three-dimensional as Cynthia Eden is capable of making them. The sexual tension is palpable and the sex is hot, but the two of them resolve many of their issues too quickly. There are definitely many more secrets in both their backgrounds that could’ve been more thoroughly explored for a more satisfying experience, but these will (thankfully!) be the subject of the follow-up, MINE TO KEEP.

Overall, MINE TO TAKE is a great way for new readers to discover Cynthia Eden’s compelling dark romantic suspense voice. It’s a short, intense read with a great suspense plot that will keep you guessing until the end, though it does suffer from the limitations common to novellas. The fact that there will be a follow-up to complete the story arc bumps my rating up to 4 stars. And if you enjoy this novella, be sure to check out her fantastic Deadly series—DEADLY FEAR (book #1) ranks as my favourite romantic suspense title of all time!

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |





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