Dual Review: Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey

Format read: ebook copy provided by the author for review
Release Date: 12 March 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Number of pages: 113 pages
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s WebsiteAmazon, Samhain, B&NRead an excerpt

Blurb:

She needs an escape…and he’s exactly what she had in mind.

College senior Ellen Price spends every spare minute studying to get into medical school. Until spring break yawns before her, as empty as her wallet.

With no money to hit the beach, she fills her empty to-do list with a plan: for just one week, she will become the kind of take-no-prisoners woman she secretly wishes to be, starting with the hot guy at the bar. It’s a no-risk situation: at the end of break, he’ll head back to his campus, and she’ll go back to hers. No muss, no fuss.

At first, Josh Markley isn’t sure what to think when the quiet, intense beauty from his pre-med classes approaches him for a night of casual sex. Even more mystifying, she doesn’t seem to return his recognition. But if she wants to play “strangers in a bar”, he’s game.

Their passionate night is a welcome respite from life’s stress, but afterward, Josh realizes he wants more—from himself, from life, from Ellen. Except she still thinks he’s a one-off she’ll never see again. Confessing the truth now—before she figures it out on her own—could shatter the fragile beginnings of just what the doctor ordered. A forever love.

Warning: Contains mistaken identities, a sometimes-glasses-wearing hottie, deep questions about figuring out what you want from life, and a red-hot college romance.

Our Thoughts:

Stella: Take What You Want was my first story by Jeanette Grey but definitely not the last! Her storytelling sucked me in and I gobbled it up in no time, closing my ereader with a happy and contented sigh. 🙂

Marlene: Take What You Want is a sex-into-love story. This is a trope that may be more difficult to pull off in real life than it is in fiction. YMMV. Or it’s difficult to pull it off in fiction and make the switch seem reasonable. The characters in this story manage to do that.

But what made this story work for me was the way that Ellen decided not to sit around and mope when her friends took their expensive Spring Break to the Bahamas, but instead that she tried to take a “vacation from herself”. Her inner dialog showed how difficult it was for her to step outside her comfort zone, but she still did it. She tried to become a new person for just a little while.

Then her emotions got engaged, and she wanted something real. And for that, she had to be the real Ellen and not new Ellen.

Stella: I concur, Ellen despite having such an ordinary name was anything but boring. I loved how such a serious and relatable young woman created this alter ego to live out her fantasies and experience things she only read/dreamed of. I found that exactly because she was such a girl next door she was a heroine the reader could identify with and feel as if her story could have happened to anyone. It was also moving to see that besides being a serious, dedicated and ambitious pre-med student there was an insecure, vulnerable side to Ellen.

Marlene: Even though Ellen was the one who was supposedly pretending to be someone else, Josh was also pretending quite a bit too, and not just because he was going along with Ellen. The first night, he was perfectly willing to go along with her just to get laid, and why not? She was the one who picked him up, after all.

But he knew who she was all along, and pretended that he didn’t. Why she didn’t recognize him says something about how much she kept her nose to the grindstone, or how big those lecture classes were. Or both.

The real issue for Josh was that he was pretending in most of the rest of his life. His father had big plans for him, plans that Josh knew he wasn’t going to fulfill. Josh had his own dreams, and hadn’t worked up the courage to disappoint his father.

Stella: Well actually, if I remember correctly, Josh was convinced that Ellen knew/recognized him, but pretended not to know him for some roleplay. But yes, both Ellen and Josh were pretending to be someone else and both had some major things on their minds regarding their future. But it was interesting to see how they were exact opposites to each other in the sense that Josh was more confident and sure in his own feelings for Ellen and their relationship, he had to take decisions regarding his studies and future career; while Ellen was sure about her career and completely clueless and vulnerable about her private life and her relationship with Josh.

I loved Josh. *sighs* He was lovely and wonderful. A guy, who despite being described as sexy and handsome, what you remember about him is how tender and warm-hearted and funny he is. I loved how he was the “girl” in the relationship, that is how he was the one who wanted much more than a meaningless fling right from the start.

And wanting more wasn’t just about wanting her body. He wanted the seductress in the high heels and short skirts, all right, the one that oozed sex and confidence. But he wanted the girl in the plain sweaters with the loose waves that fell over her face, too. The one that hid in the last row of the lecture hall but who always knew the answers. The one that dissected a pig all by herself, looking kissable even in a rubber apron and goggles and gloves. He wanted her to want more than a fuck from him. He wanted her to remember him. To know him.

And I absolutely have to comment about the sexual attraction, chemistry between Ellen and Josh: it was off the charts! Their love scenes were incredibly hot, sexy and tender, emotional at the same time. You’ll need a fan with this story! 😉

Marlene: So, in addition to the smoking hot love story, a love story where the guy is trying not to let the girl know he’s in love with her until she’s ready for it to be love, we also have a story of two people on the verge of adulthood who need to figure out who they really are, and not just who they are pretending to be.

Verdict:

Marlene: I loved this one. The story just plain worked for me. Ellen deciding to try being someone else, screwing up her courage, and thinking that no one would know if she completely embarrassed herself. Josh finally being noticed by the girl of his dreams, waking up in the morning and knowing that one night wasn’t enough. Then trying to figure out how to get her to that same realization, because she’s so not there. At the same time, they both have all those end-of-college decisions weighing on both of them.

And their chemistry practically set my iPad on fire from the very first page.

I give Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey 5 fiery stars!

Stella: I completely agree with Marlene, I LOVED Take What You Want and Jeanette Grey became a must read author for me. Not only was Take What You Want a thought-provoking and emotional journey of self- and love discovery for the characters, it was a sensual, sexy and addictive story I couldn’t put down until the very end. At the beginning I was reluctant to read Take What You Want fearing that due to the characters being in college it would be hard to relate to their problems, but take it from me, that concern was for naught. Thanks to Jeanette Grey’s gripping writing I felt invested in Ellen and Josh’s life and relationship and those two are characters as well as their story is one I will long remember.

And oh boy was their story sizzling! *fans herself* 😉

So yes, I also give Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey 5 scorching stars and urge you all to pick it up! 😀

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.
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