Book Reviews, Reviews by Ariel

Review: Given (Give & Take #3) by Kelli Maine

I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Review: Given (Give & Take #3) by Kelli MaineGiven by Kelli Maine
Series: Give & Take #3
Published by: Forever Yours, Grand Central Publishing on 3/4/2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: ARC From Publisher

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon

Review Score:
About the Book:


For Merrick and Rachael, Turtle Tear Island has become their own private paradise with days of unimaginable bliss and sizzling nights in the bedroom-and beyond. But Rachael and Merrick's happiness is shattered when his daughter, Nadia, suddenly becomes increasingly demanding of his time and devotion. It soon becomes clear that Merrick will have to make an agonizing choice: the woman whose love saved his tortured soul or the daughter he never knew existed . . .


Rachael can't stand the thought of losing Merrick after everything she's sacrificed to be with him. She had thought she and Merrick were done with secrets, that the passion that burned so brightly between them had forged an unbreakable connection, but she begins to wonder if she ever really knew the man at all. Now the love they've fought so desperately to protect may not be enough to save them . . .






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Given is the third book in the Give & Take series by Kelli Maine.  Definitely not a book to be read on its own.  I got through it ok, but reading the first two books in the series definitely would have helped.


How to explain Givenin a nutshell… the two main characters are Rachael and Merrick, and the book switches back and forth between their perspectives with every chapter.  Merrick has two children from a sexual encounter when he was far too young to be having them, and he was under the impression that the mother had died in childbirth for his entire life, up until a few months before the third book takes place.  It turns out Enzo, Merrick’s father, paid Gina, the mother of Merrick’s kids, to disappear.  Now close to his son, MJ, Merrick would like to get to know his daughter, Nadia.


Rachael is Merrick’s very serious girlfriend.  She’s an architect and she absolutely loves Merrick.  However, she does not love his daughter.  When Nadia begins making strange requests of Merrick and talks about wanting to do the right thing, Rachael gets suspicious.  Oh, and did I mention that in previous books, Nadia was apparently working with Enzo to take everything from Merrick?  Yeah, that was a thing, from what I gather.  Merrick refuses to turn his back on his daughter, and Rachael refuses to come in second for Merrick’s affections.  Needless to say, their relationship definitely gets put to the test in this novel.


First issue I had with this novel:  I absolutely could not stand Rachael.  She was whiny and completely not understanding of Merrick’s desire to help his daughter.  Like, yeah, Nadia is definitely a somewhat mysterious character, and you do question her motives.  But she’s Merrick’s daughter, and he hasn’t been a part of her life in all of her twenty years.  So it’s understandable that he’s going to want to help her and make up for lost time.  I’m not saying Rachael’s suspicions aren’t justified, but she really should have let Merrick do what he felt he needed to do.  Also, she gets very concerned throughout the novel that she’s always going to come in second to his kids.  Now, I don’t have kids, so I can’t speak from personal experience, and maybe I’m wrong, but I think your kids should always come first.  They are your flesh and blood, that you brought into this world, and whether you were with them from day one or if you didn’t know about them until they were 20 years old, you’re going to want to protect them.  Rachael just came off as extremely selfish and I had a really hard time liking her.


Merrick wasn’t necessarily that great either.  I said that Nadia’s motives should definitely be questioned, and I meant it.  But Merrick is blinded by the fact that his daughter wants to be a part of his life, and is calling him Dad, and has the same business savvy that he does that he doesn’t want to see that she could be getting close to him for less than pure reasons.  He isn’t trying to push Rachael away, which is how Rachael sees things, but he is caught between a rock and a hard place.


The plot itself seemed very soap opera-esque which is fine, if that’s what you like.  It isn’t what I was expecting going into the novel, but there was a plot twist at the end that made me want to keep reading the series, so that was really well done.  And the side characters were great.  MJ, Merrick’s son, was one of my favorites, although you don’t hear from him a ton.  Other great side characters include Joan, Beck, Mr. Simcoe, Paul, and Maddie, not listed in any particular order.


Overall, I’m giving Given 3 out of 5 controllers.  It was entertaining and a really quick read but every time I had to read a Rachael chapter I got really irritated.  I think I’m going to pick up the first two books and see if it changes my mind at all, so we’ll see.




My Rating

rate - 3

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Books In The Give & Take Series: