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Take Me Paperback – November 15, 2005
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"Emotionally charged and deliciously erotic. A must-read from cover to cover."
-- Jaid Black
"Oh my! Bella Andre's Take Me is wonderfully sexy -- a big, fun fantasy with an equally big heart. You'll cheer these characters on as they find each other...and themselves!"
-- Emma Holly
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre is known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly). Winner of the Award of Excellence, the Washington Post has called her “one of the top digital writers in America.” Married with two children, Bella splits her time between Northern California and the Adirondacks. You can visit Bella online at BellaAndre.com.
Top customer reviews
Oh, and there were great sex scenes as well, did I mention that? :-)
1. For one, it is insanely repetitive. The protagonist, Lily, is insecure about her weight and doubts that hero, Travis, could possibly find her attractive. This is normal enough and quite endearing at first. However, as the book progresses we get treated to the same EXACT scene over and over again: Lily is insecure about her weight at the fashion show, insecure about her weight after everyone praises her, insecure about her weight when she kisses Travis, insecure about her weight when she is traveling to Italy, insecure about her weight after seemingly every single Italian man is attracted to her, insecure about her weight after she has amazing, passionate sex with Travis, insecure about her weight after she MARRIES Travis etc. It doesn't stop. And after a while it stops being endearing and starts being (a) really boring and (b) INSANE.
2. The two main characters are seriously unlikeable. Travis is an inveterate womanizer who seems to have zero understanding of either ethics or psychology. I think he is supposed to come across as super-confident but that just translates into him treating people really poorly. He also appears to have zero understanding of what it is like to be insecure about your body which is hilarious. Has he never met a woman before? Could he not have predicted some of Lily's likely reactions?
I never connected with Lily. She seems sheltered, naive, dim and pathologically insecure. She is portrayed as having a debilitating lack of confidence that has led her to accept a much lesser job than the one for which she is actually qualified. She doesn't pursue romantic relationships. She dresses in baggy and unflattering clothing all of the time...but yet, these insecurities magically disappear whenever it is not convenient to the plot. She is able to sashay down the runway in a formfitting outfit. She has totally uninhibited sex with Travis. She quits her job with no notice and travels to Italy at the drop of a dime. She breezily accepts a new job working for someone she has actively disliked for years without even asking about salary, hours or responsibilities.
These things would be great if they showed an actual progression of her character but, instead, it is like each step forward is just another opportunity for the author to hit us with another version of the same scene where Lily freaks out about her weight in the exact same way. Is Lily deaf, dumb and blind?
(mild spoilers ahead)
3. My last issue is just with the absurd lack of ANY reality. I like a soft, dreamy romance as much as the next girl but this was just boneheaded. How is Lily qualified to head up the interior design of an entire, gigantic mansion as her very first independent job? As evidence of her amazing and bold eye for design she selects traditional Italian tiles and fabrics for an Italian style house. Really? While a solid choice it is hardly the kind of decision making that would get a totally inexperienced interior designer a multimillion dollar job. I get that Travis digs Lily but, way before it turns to love and WAY before he has any idea of her skills, he gives her a big ol' blank check and puts her in charge of his most important and most personal job. A job which apparently has an infinite budget and no deadlines. Plus there's all expense paid shopping trips to Italy, an infinitive supply of custom clothes and friends and family who can drop everything to join you spontaneously in a foreign country. That's not wish fulfillment, it is science fiction.
Also, it NEVER occurs to Lily that people get married at the Wedding Festival? Never? Seriously? Woman. Just look around you.
In conclusion, the book is really well rated so I guess a lot of people where really into it. I don't know. I found it a struggle to just keep reading through to the end.
This book is a great beginning to an interesting story. The characters are great and likeable. The one thing I wasn't sure of is how quickly they made major changes. I don't know how a woman self conscious of her body suddenly over comes everything, especially the end. How a man so concerned with arm candy, suddenly makes a huge change to going with his gut. The part I found to be the most interesting, and most neglected in this book, was re entry into life upon returning from Italy.
I am still a fan, but I didn't think this was quite finished. I want to know more.