Friday, August 16, 2013

"Taken by the Passion" by Maxine Mansfield (REVIEW)



Title: Taken by the Passion
Author: Maxine Mansfield
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Lizbeth wasn't given a choice whom to marry. She'd been betrothed to the stubborn, arrogant, egotistical, Adan Hammerstrike, barbarian prince, heir to the throne of Alaria, and...and...murderer, since the day she'd been born. But, did that mean she wasn't entitled to follow her own dreams? Especially if those dreams could keep those she cared for safe? And so what if Adan had grown from the troll of a little boy he'd been into a ridiculously handsome, sexy man. Her heart could resist him, couldn't it?

The last thing on Albrath Adan ever wanted was to be saddled for all of eternity to the screeching, boring, lackluster, Lizbeth Soulenticer. Though her beauty's beyond compare, there are only so many turns of the hourglass in a night to enjoy it. The rest of the unbearable time, he'll be forced to contend with her silly hero worship, and her stupid pet choices. But, Adan is a man bound by duty and honor, and he will do what he must, even though he longs for a mate who will challenge him in bed and out. Not that he'll give her his heart, mind you, at least not until they both find themselves Taken by the Passion.


EXCERPT
He held out a hand toward her. "Spend this one night with me, Lizbeth, and  if you still feel the same in  the morning, we'll talk about you possibly going to the Academy and taking a few classes now and  then. After all, how would it look to my family and friends if my brand new wife took off before the sun rises on her wedding night? I have appearances to uphold, we both do." 

Lizbeth sizzled with anger. "I don't like you, remember? I couldn't care less how this looks to anybody, and...and...and, I won't spend this night or any other with you, until I have to, even on a bet." 

Lizbeth shook her head and turned to leave, yet Adan's next words not only stopped her forward motion but had her turning and facing him once more. 

"I never took you for a coward, Lizbeth, guess I was wrong. You say you know me better than I know myself. I say prove it, Lizard. If you can manage to answer ten...no make that five questions about me correctly, you win." 

His grin grew even bigger. "And if you win, not only will I escort you to the front gate and wave you through the portal on your way to the Academy, I'll be happy to inform my family and friends that you're leaving me. That you find a dusty, old institution more sexually appealing than you do your own husband, and rightly so." 

The grin disappeared from his face. "But, if you don't answer all of the questions correctly, you'll spend this one night, this entire night, willingly in my bed, in my arms, as my wife, in every sense of the word. Deal?" 

He held out his hand again, and Lizbeth stared at it. Her fingers itched with the temptation to take him up on his offer. A life without interference or being under Adan's thumb, even for a short while, was more than a little tempting. Could she trust him, though? Lizbeth hesitated, weighing her options. Other than being a bunny killer, Adan Hammerstrike was 
known far and wide for his word. Once he gave it, he never took it back. She'd spent the majority of every day, for as long as she could remember, learning everything there was to know about the arrogant barbarian prince. She couldn't lose, and this was an opportunity she couldn't afford to pass up. 

Lizbeth smiled as she shook his hand. "Deal."

Author Biography: 
Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield and I write romantic fantasy. I live in the far northern state of Alaska
where the summer days are long and the winter nights even longer.  I have one very special man, our three equally special children, and six delightful grandchildren in my life. Not to mention a very bossy African Grey parrot named Gabriel. Oh, and Gnomes! Many, many gnomes.

Links:
http://www.maxinemansfield.com/blog.html
http://www.maxinemansfield.com/default.html

My Review
5 Stars
This has to be one of the best romance novels I've ever laid eyes on. The love scenes were passionate, gripping, and hot. The world the story takes place in is complete, a full fantasy world, unlike most books in the genre that gloss over setting while focusing heavily on the relationship aspect. One of my favorite things from this book, which is totally unique in my opinion, was the rambling and vulgar rants of the gnomes. They provided comic relief on a scale I'm totally not used to. I found myself laughing out loud more than once while reading this.

My only real gripe with the book was that Lizbeth started out as a bit of whiner. As the book progressed, she found her fierce and let her Barbarian genetics show, and that made me happy. I discovered that this is actually the third in Maxine Mansfield's 'Academy' series, and seeing who the characters are in those books (who were secondary characters in this one) I'm seriously considering picking them up, as well.

I'm definitely going to recommend this to a few friends!