I am not generally a series romance reader; Harlequin has plenty of imprints I like but I tend to stay away from Nocturne and the like as it doesn't give me enough bang for my buck, so to speak. The stories tend to be too short for my tastes (usually less than 300 pages or so) and before I know it, I've finished the book and am left wanting. However, when I heard that Lilith Saintcrow was going to be writing for them, I knew I had to try it out. I was not left wanting.
Lilith Saintcrow has a way with words. Her books are definitely not what I would consider to be mainstream; she doesn't really write romances and her UF books have a touch of the strange to them. For example, she chose to write about weres in Taken but instead of the usual, garden variety werewolf, she picked the carcajou, a wolverine. (Carcajou is actually French for wolverine.) Saintcrow's books are weird, yes, but that appeals to me and thus I enjoy them. I also enjoy her contributions on deadlinedames.com; she has a way of breaking down a subject and explaining writing without being boring or professor-ish.
Taken got a three and a half star rating on B&N.com and four stars on Amazon and while that isn't so shocking, I was surprised by the reviewers who claimed that Taken is "not really a romance" and "Slooooooooow". Now, I was surprised by the lack of nooky in Taken; there is no penetration here, not even after the curtain falls at the end of a scene. (Except for probably after the ending. I'm just assuming.) There is a bit of kissing but there's no real romancin' going on and if you've read the book description, you'll figure out why: Sophie is damaged and Zach's a good guy in a tight spot. He understands that slow and steady and TRUE will win his race and I found it refreshing to see a woman like Sophie find a place where she belongs and fall in love with a man she can trust without the all too typical sex her up style I've found in so many romances where the men use their sexuality to bind a woman to them like a drug. (I'm not generalizing here, just sharing what I've read.) So yeah, Taken ended up being more PG-rated rather than R but this reviewer is okay with that.