Monday, August 29, 2016

Review & Tour: Taken by Amy McKinley

Title: Taken
Author: Amy McKinley
Genre/Age: Paranormal Romance
Series: Five Fates Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Champagne Books
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺.5
SynopsisForged through a childhood trauma and cursed by the Fates, Layla vows never to be at another’s mercy. With determination and training she evolves into a deadly weapon and quiets her inner demons—until the prophecy activates, shattering her peace. The gods who want her dead converge and the hunt to end her life truly begins. The skills that Layla honed for protection become an unconscious tool for death and destruction, threatening not only the gods but her family.

Entrenched in clan turmoil, Thaull’s life hangs at a precipice. He’s faced with a condition known only to his kind, the soul-divide. If not dealt with, his soul will rip in half and he will turn into an unstoppable, ice-cold killing machine. As he hunts the traitor within his Phantom Warrior clan he worsens. A fragile thread of hope remains. The love of a female, freely given, can save him. Through a premonition of an alluring demigoddess, he gambles his very existence in the chance she will be his salvation. ‬‬‬‬

She will go dark from her curse. He will go numb from his. To survive, Layla must risk trusting another or become another.‬‬‬
Sunlight sliced into Layla’s eyes the moment she cracked them open. An impending threat
itched along her skin. Outside, mostly naked and vulnerable, she jackknifed to a sitting position.

Darkness roared to life. No! She’d dropped her guard. Out of the corner of her eye, she just
managed to register Thaull lunge for her before her vision faded.

It was different this time...the reemerging. She took stock of her shaking limbs, the hand
clamped onto her wrist, and the deep rumble of displeasure rattling in a male’s chest as reality seeped into her consciousness.

Her free hand grasped for her knife, her senses expanding, filling. Thaull. She knew his smell, and from last night, his name. Oh gods... What had she done?

Terrified to see the condemnation in his eyes, or worse, the pall of death filling them by her
hand, she slowly turned. Transfixed by the splattered blood covering his bare chest, she
followed the trail up his neck until her gaze landed on his face. His raw carnality hit her like a
blast of heat. Was he always this way? His calculating eyes narrowed, observing her every

Unsure what to say to him, she cleared her throat. “Get out” hardly seemed appropriate.

Before she could speak, he was on her. His mouth forced hers open, his tongue filling her,
fighting for space. He kissed the breath from her, and she was glad for it.

With his hand fisted in her hair, he tugged her head back, staring with an unfathomable look that pierced the depths of her soul. She stood, plastered against him, because he willed it. What just happened?

Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author of the Five Fates Series. She lives in Illinois with
her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at


Books available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Champagne Books, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, iBooks

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.** 

Mythology meets modern paranormal romance!

Yep! I hadn't read the first book, so when I began reading Taken, I was surprised to find some of the characters were well-known mythological beings instead of made-up ones. It added a sort of nostalgic feeling for me, since I read a lot of mythology in high school.

This book is about Layla, a tough blacksmith who prefers to be left alone. Along with her sisters, Layla has been cursed since birth and the prophecy shadowing her life is about to take effect no matter how hard she tries to fight it.

Thaull, though I'm not sure how to pronounce that name, is living a similarly doomed life. He is being consumed by darkness as his soul begins to slip away. But he finds hope when fate shows him a vision of Layla. He knows he must go to her but fears she may be his undoing if not his savior.

The characters are multi-layered and there are a lot of them. The story is also quite complex, with different worlds and creatures inhabiting them. I found myself having trouble keeping up. This was my fault, entirely, as I have not read the first book of the series. From reading other reviews, I assumed this could be read as a stand-alone or out of order. Now, I realize it wasn't the best idea.

I became confused at times, trying to understand who everyone was and what their roles were. And I did have to re-read a few scenes to really understand them, especially when Thaull first visits Layla. About half-way through the book, I began to enjoy it a bit more.

My only real critique is with the romance. There is a lot of emphasis on the action, the prophecies, the secondary characters, and descriptions of the locations, etc. I wanted more on the romance side. 

Even if the book is not centered around romance, if there is going to be a romantic angle, I think it should be done thoroughly. Thaull and Layla's very first time together isn't even included. It's skimmed over. I would have liked to see more one-on-one time with our couple to make their romance more believable. The ending, however, was pretty enjoyable.

In closing... 
This was a good read with a unique storyline and very well thought out characters. I am trying to decide if I should go back and read the first book before going forward. It may save me some confusion in the long run. 3.5 suns!

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