Taken Hard by Sam Crescent

Taken Hard by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

With women throwing themselves at him, Caleb Hard never intended to settle down. But he secretly wants to find a woman and have a marriage exactly like what his parents have. The moment Lilly enters his world, he can’t get the woman out of his mind.

Her mother’s reputation follows her everywhere, and Lilly is used to being whispered about. When Caleb offers her friendship, she’s more than happy to take it. What she doesn’t expect is for him to admit he wants a virgin like her. A perfect gentleman, Caleb doesn’t rush.

He’s fallen in love, and this isn’t about sex. He wants forever, but he doesn’t want to scare her off. Is there any chance of them ever truly working?

Lilly’s mother was the town whore and from a young age Lilly had been branded with the same reputation. As such she avoided men in general – and the Hard boys in particular. Caleb Hard was certainly a player, but after being introduced to Lilly something about her struck him as completely different. Intrigued, Caleb desperately wants to learn more. Will Lilly be willing to risk her heart and her reputation on a man like Caleb?

I found this to be a fun and seriously steamy story. While both Lilly and Caleb’s characters were somewhat predictable this didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the story. Caleb has a large and rambunctious family which always is a great addition to a story with plenty of antics and interesting secondary characters. I also likely that Lilly had her own set of close friends with Aunty Betty and Eliza. It gave me the strong feeling that even with her personal strength and determination Lilly had her own tribe to help uplift and protect her and Caleb couldn’t take advantage of her emotions and feelings for him.

I was both relieved and impressed that Caleb and Lilly took their time in getting to know each other. While it’s fairly standard for an erotic romance to have the main characters jump into bed and be intimate pretty early on I really enjoyed that Caleb took his time with Lilly and let things progress a little more naturally and slowly. This was wonderful to read and really heightened my enjoyment of the story – seeing Lilly and Caleb form a connection, interact together and it let me see how they could work in the longer term and not just be simply infatuated with each other and have that whither down the track. It was lovely to read and really bumped up the believability for me.

That said there was certainly plenty of steam and passion once Lilly and Caleb made it to the bedroom. Readers looking for an explicit and steamy story should definitely find this aspect of the book meets their expectations.

With a good sized cast of secondary characters, some fun and interesting conflict with other members of the town and a lovely emotional and slow paced romance this is a great book. I enjoyed the small tag towards the end giving the reader a small glimpse of what the next book in the series will be and feel that this is a steamy and lovely story.

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