Taken[Reading] ➶ Taken Author Charlotte Stein – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of I never meant to hurt anyone least of all Johann Weir You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living He has these wild eyes—eyes that light It was just a prank I didn't want to be a part of I never meant to hurt anyone least of all Johann Weir You wouldn't know that he sells literature for a living He has these wild eyes—eyes that light something up in me—and he must be twice as big as I am with strong warm hands Hands I try not to imagine everywhereHe scares me And thrills meBut now the deed is done and I have to face the conseuences He says he just wants to hold me here until the police come but it's been hours and I'm still hereChained to a pipe in his back room like a prisonerThe only person I have to talk to is Johann and I tell him dark shameful secrets—secrets that involve the metal around my wrist and him standing over me But I can't stop I need him to know everything I need himJohann has his own secrets—ones he wants to tell me too And than anything I want to listen And maybe before he sends me away he'll punish meJust a littleJust enough. GODDAMMIT Every time I read a Charlotte Stein book everything I write sounds like garbage for a week Okay Full disclosure Charlotte and I are emailtwitter friends and I do believe we share a publicist I promise that's not why I'm reviewing TAKEN however this is just me being compelled to rant? Yes rant about how much I loved it I mean where do I begin? My heart was in my throat the whole time I imagine the author just clutching at her chest as she writes the heroine's stream of consciousness it's that compelling and deep and descriptive I don't think one line of this book has ever been written anywhere else and that's saying something considering there's at least a thousand published books in the world kidding there's probably The hero and heroine smoke pot together and it's glorious More recreational drug use in romance please also mostly kidding The hero HanI will be thinking about him for a damn long while He's un be lievable The way he speaks the things he says I miss you even when you're here his mannerisms blows kisses to the earth in general Anyway Please read this book It's really flipping great First this cover represents nothing about this book So disregardI read the first page of this book and immediately cuddled into my couch a little tighter Stein's voice her characters and her erotic words make me happy The one I call the secret werewolf in my head because honestly that is what he looks like He wears tweedy jackets with leather elbow patches and these tiny wire rimmed glasses s he should seem harmless But then you notice his black as pitch beard and his wild dark hair and his eyes like twelve past midnight and suddenly it doesn't feel that way at allRosie and her friend like to visit this rare book store but the owner is kind of surly and yells at them if they touch first edition books so they decide to get revenge But they get caught vandalizing the store and as Rosie watches her friend escape she finds herself being dragged down to the basement of the store by the owner The gorgeous hairy rugged JohannHan didn't really mean to kidnap Rosie he just wanted to restrain her while he called the police But all of a sudden he looks down and he has her chained to his bed and he realizes he could be in a lot of trouble He panics and then can't decide what to do finally trying to free her but of course he can't get the handcuff off All the while this is happening Rosie starts to realize she isn't going to be murdered or abused that this man this werewolf because he is so hairy is actually a huge softy with a great sense of humor Han is SO embarrassed he overreacted and chained her up and then couldn't get the chain off He is also SO embarrassed he is attracted to her He is in his early thirties and looks upon twenty four year old Rosie as too young for him But Rosie knows what she wants and she wants her werewolf He just looks big and hairy and rugged like he spends his spare time climbing mountains in the dark or was possibly enslaved in the sixteenth century by his vampire betters I bet he had a long lost love who burned to death leaving him tormented and lovelorn and oh my God I really need to stop thinking like thisI LOVE Charlotte Stein heroes They are always so big and hairy And sex crazed yet kind of awkward Han does yoga and wears corduroy pants And he likes to spank girls and he always thinks he is too kinky for them But Rosie is vivacious and outgoing and wants every dirty thing that Han has to offer He even starts to warn her of things he could do and Rosie says bring it How about if I blindfold you and make you feel your way around harrowing obstacles until you find various parts of my naked body?Oh my GodAnd that excites you tooall right Is there anything that doesn't? he asks and though he packs a lot of incredulity int that one little sentence I can tell he really means itI also adore Stein's heroines To start this book Rosie goes through about every situation that could happen to her being chained to someone's bed From being murdered to other crazy and silly ideas Once she sees that Han is actually a good guy she torments him with her words and actions and it made me laugh over and over againBefore we get to the sweaty sex we have to get through their awkward first meeting especially when Rosie has to use the bathroom while chained to a bed It puts them in a close position “I don’t think Stockholm syndrome happens so fast Or because your kidnapper has a supernice ass” I say but I swear I do it only because he totally totally does The second he turns around it’s pretty much all I can see The corduroy hugs the curve of it like an overexcited hand and when he moves I swear I can see muscles bunching thereHe has muscles in his buttIs it any wonder I feel the need to comment?I doubt I could stop myself if he begged me—a point that proves true a second later“Please do not look at my ass while I attempt to not listen to your underwear coming off” he says swiftly followed by me asking even salacious things“Can you hear it sliding down my thighs?”“No All I can hear is the blood rushing in my ears”“They are cotton with Tuesday on the bottom”“Stop that That is not cool”“Which one? Talk of my underwear or your backside?”“Both of them Both of them are not cool”Coming in at just 100 pages it's a uick read but very satisfying For a blurb leading you to believe it's dark and dangerous it's actually a very light and funny book It's a stand alone as wellRating B Believe it or not I found this book to be a little dialed down for a Charlotte Stein novella I mean it is all there dark and scary start with a spooky behemoth who has chained a wanna be vandal in his basement The blurb has overtones of punishment and deep secrets The first half of the novel where everything is still an unknown is terrific taut and original And then it flattened out for me a little At least for a Charlotte Stein ditty So this book gets 35 rounded to 4 stars for the inspired stream of un self consciousness via Rosie and the delightfully twisty and uirky HanThe uotable uotes in this one really tickled which is unusual for a Stein novel I won't uote any because that would be cheating and do yourself a favor and stay away from spoiler reviews You will enjoy this novella a lot if you doAddendum I made a handful of my highlights visible because they show the personality of this stalwart Stein heroine without being too spoiler y Enjoy 45 STARSI don't want to lick this lovely edition of Great Expectations But I will do it in the name of hot sexAny day I read Charlotte Stein is a great day Johann Han like Han Solo cool right? Han is the big burly owner of a bookstore He's funny sweet loves to speak in hyperbole and has some serious ideas about how controlled he needs to be to keep himself out of trouble Rosie Callahan So basically the most adorable name ever Enter Rosie college student who's definitely hanging with the wrong sort of people and who's really really ready to make Han lose his precious self controlWhen Rosie's friend causes mischief in Han's bookstore Rosie pays the price by becoming Han's prisoner handcuffed to his bed downstairs Before you get too crazy about any non con this isn't what this is about It's funny and sexy and they only person doing anything out of their comfort zone is HanCharlotte Stein really knows how to give us restrained heroes and wanton heroines It's fantastic You almost feel sorry for the poor guys for their inner battle He wants to talk Most probably about me and my hair trigger vagina Nothing kills a lust daze faster than a hair trigger vaginaAs much as this is so typical amazing Charlotte Stein I found some things were a little different For one thing there was dialogue from the hero than usual And since Han was HILARIOUS I can only say that was a very good difference I loved their banterAlso I daresay that there was slightly less steam in this than a typical CS novel But not by much Don't get me wrong this isn't something you want your grandmother or teenager to know you read It's still beautifully filthyAs usual I really wanted to highlight a ton of passages and I'm not going to bombard you with uotes but this is too good not to includeIs it really that big a deal?Having to stand over my captive while she pees? Yeah kind of a big deal Usually comes with feelings of intense remorse and a lengthy prison sentenceCome on You know that isn't going to happenThe remorse is already happeningEven though I don't mind one teeny tiny bit?Well considering you probably have Stockholm syndromeI don't think Stockholm syndrome happens so fast Or because your kidnapper has a supernice ass I say but I swear I do it only because he totally totally does They crack me up Charlotte Stein has such a uniue voice In the Under the Skin series alone she takes on darker tones effortlessly but she also does the angst uite well too In TAKEN she takes on another route and makes this one a little silly and awkwardThe heroine Rosie and her friend have been annoying the crap out of this rare book store owner even going as far as vandalizing his store when Johann catches Rosie and drags her to the basement and chains her to his bed It sounds a little bit silly but to be honest Stein makes it that way She refers to the hero as a werewolf which is hilarious because he is big and hairy and than a little awkward When he panics and realizes what he has done to Rosie he tries to uncuff her and this starts a little tirade between the two They speak about totally random things things that normally make me roll my eyes and ask what is the point of all this but Stein somehow makes it all work and the awakwardness between the two soon turns into something a whole lot like sexual tension It’s brilliant actually what Stein is able to do here I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off as effortlessly as Stein canSince the book is just under a 100 pages it’s one that I think will be good as a refresher It’s different silly but still very sexy Stein writes some intriguing heroes that are worth reading about and TAKEN works well as a standalone tooARC provided by publisher I picked this up because it was reviewed highly by RT It's a fun read and fairly short If you like erotica give it a try Pretty much any romance involving a kinky bookseller is always going to get my vote And if it's by Charlotte Stein? Double vote Can we vote twice? Whatever I just didTaken a recent offering by Stein features Rosie Callahan a young woman still in college and Johann William Weir a rare book dealer In a prank gone wrong Rosie is captured by the bookstore owner and chained up in his basement a setup that sounds completely sinister and is actually totally comedicThere's a lovely counterpoint in this book between the devilish elements of dark romance and the vulnerability insecurity and humor both hero and heroine display over the course of the book Both of these characters are capable and better wrapped than they think they are especially when it comes to each other It takes this absurd situation to allow them both to unlock desires they either didn't know they had or weren't comfortable indulging Plus there's an age gap here which is my favorite thing in romanceBut the best part of Taken is just how slyly it references those 80s and 90s historicals that feature the kidnapping of the heroine by the hero In those books the heroine is often an innocent but feisty young virgin and the hero an experienced powerful Highlander or pirate or whatever I loved the heck out of those books in high school and often find myself to some degree chasing that high when I dip into older historicals But what worked for me at 17 isn't the same as what works for me at 36 Now the consent issues in those books bother me keeping me from being as fully immersed in the story and the romance as I'd wishTaken captures all of that dark powerful older man magic but gives him to a heroine who is eually experienced and comfortable with her sexuality if not everything about her looks And while she is in theory chained up against her will it's crystal clear from very early on in the story that she is way on board with every element of their uirky unspoken and un analyzed role playing It's the hero who is ambivalent about the things he wants needing the heroine's push to indulge his darkest fantasies It's the first time I've experienced a modern writer evoking the same feel of those barbarian encounters never mind in a contemporary without turning the heroine into a push over or the hero into an ass And doing it in a way that didn't conflict at all with my desire for the heroine's enthusiastic consentSo the bottom line is that I adored Taken It's a story with a new plot and an old feel told in the inimitable style of one of contemporary romance's most interesting writers It's even way romantic than it had any right to be what with the bubble baths and wine the and hacksaws and handcuffs A thoroughly engaging surprising and of course sexy readFor a recipe for Honey Pepper Salmon inspired by Taken visit Cooking Up Romance He reads things to me in German then chuckles over the fact that I ever thought it would sound amazing I have to explain to him that my heart kind of wants to eat his face after hearing him saying ich and liebe and dich Asdfghjkl That's it That's my genuine reaction to this entire bookI have to repeat myself againStein doesn't write Meet Cutes Stein writes Meet Weirds This entire series proves my point I really didn't expect Han and Rosie when I read blurb she breaks into his bookstore and he chains her to a pipe until police comes? It screams of some pseudo foreshadowing Ds projecting some psychological turmoil orwhatever I was wrongYou see Johann is this huge burly shaggy man werewolf in hiding who is also flustered and nerdy and it makes him like the most adorable creature to try to prank to And whatever comes out of his mouth just makes him and bonkableIt's no wonder Rosie doesn't want to be unchained once she gets to talk to himComparing to previous two installments Taken was lighter in tone and funnier Still about messed up people but their mess is not as angsty Half of the book is one giant foreplay with words and nerd references that made my geek heart stutter in delight Stein is particularly uirky writer whose special flair for writing erotica with weird yet lovable characters isn't everyone's cup of tea I have her on my autobuy list simply because in genre that rarely works for me she seems to be one author who always does I am totally digging this meta flirting she writes Minor uibble I had with this one and I guess it's restriction of short format is that her female character narrator simply seems to be overly excitable and arousable in moments where slower burn would better work imo Recommended Just finished reading Taken and I'm staring at my cursor wondering how do I put into words how to describe this book Hmmmm? It certainly wasn't what I expected from the blurb I thought I was going to get a psycho thriller Something scary something wickedly delicious I mean he has her 'Chained to a pipe in his back room like a prisoner' so it should be scary and possibly Stockholm Syndrome ish Right? Nope Oh I have it now Cuckoo erotic romanceTaken reads uick and the plot and dialog move fast Mainly because Rosie is a rambler Be prepared for that Filled with her humorous rambling antics we get to experience her thoughts as she goes from reluctant conspirator of a prank to captive to horny lover Johann or just Han is her 'captor' for lack of better word although I think of him as a uptight closet Dom Uptight because he doesn't want to have these thoughts and feelings of wickedness And what a reluctant fight he puts up against Rosie and himself But slowly she breaks him down and when she does things heat up interestingly There's not many twist to this story but it sure is a fun ride as Rosie has a tendency to creatively over exaggerate UNDERSTATEMENT her thoughts and feelings As Han begins to capitulate to Rosie's words you can see he has just as creative and sexually wicked as she is That translates into there's light BDSM action The ending is sweetly delicious and very satisfying Taken is a great naughty fun story and a great read to pass an hour or twoI received this book from the JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensatedStars 35 Flames 3 Some authors have a truly distinctive voice I'd definitely place Charlotte Stein in that category Her intense storytelling and offbeat characters amplified by phrasing that almost veers into stream of consciousness definitely stands apart from much of what I read I've enjoyed a few of her works in the past but wasn't uite sure her Under the Skin books would be uite my brand of fantasy However when I saw Heather Stanton's DIK review of Forbidden I knew I had to jump in Taken is by turns goofy and intense and the final product is unforgettableAs the story opens readers will think they have stumbled into some dark and perhaps about to get kinky suspense Rosie a college student who needs to rethink her choice of friends has come to a rare books shop with a friend and they start a little fire The mastermind gets away but burly shop owner Johann Han grabs Rosie and before she knows it she's handcuffed to a bed in the basementAnd then suddenly everything somehow changes Instead of dark suspense we get social awkwardness and glimmers of humor as Rosie and her captor banter with one another I'll be the first to admit that it's odd but something about their awkward earnestness and flirtation blends with the edginess of the situation to create an oddly sweet storyThis is a partial review You can find the complete text at All About Romance