08 May 2012

ARC Review: Joely Sue Burkheart - Yours To Take

Format: ebook
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 05-08-2012
ISBN: 139781609286804
Series: The Connaghers #3
Characters: Vicki Connagher, Elias Reyes, Jesse Dean Inglemarre.
Genre: Contemporary romance (BDSM)
Received an e-ARC for review.

Summary Goodreads:
All fire and gunpowder need is a stray spark… 

The day one of her old clients gunned down a cop, former defense attorney Vicki Connagher lost everything—her passion for justice, and her lover, Detective Elias Reyes. The dead cop’s partner. 

Even though she’s following her dream to start her own fashion line, it’s tough with heartache as her only companion. Until she brings Jesse, a wandering street artist, in from a freak Texas snowstorm. His submissive flirting brings out dominant tendencies she never knew she possessed, yet she hesitates to let him take her as far and as hard as she wants to go. 

Some homeless junkie in Vicki’s house? Not on Elias’s watch. Pride kept him away, but as long as Jesse is staying in Vicki’s downstairs shop, he’s staying with Vicki. On the couch, but it’s a start. As the days go by, the three work out an uneasy alliance. But Vicki’s joy at having Elias back in her life is tempered with a growing desire to have it all. Elias in her bed, and Jesse under her command. The only question remaining is if her tough alpha cop is willing to embrace all that she is… 

Product Warnings Explicit sex, BDSM, a tough alpha cop, a reluctant Domme, and a smoldering submissive street artist willing to do anything to belong to her.


Through a twitter convo I got curious what Yours to Take was all about. I read the blurb and my interest was piqued. I think a threesome is hard to pull off romantic wise and each author creates its own development to make it believable. While Joely Sue Burkhart isn’t an unknown author to me the Connagher series is my introduction to her. I love the tropes she incorporates in this series and the conflicts that arise from it. With Yours To Take I was kept on my toes, I was kept wondering what the dynamics were between these three personable characters I grew to love in their story.

I think Vicki Connagher is the epicenter of this story. I absolutely adore the women in this series. Vicki is creative, emotive, confident yet has a vulnerable streak. She forms a contradiction for me. At one hand she wants to dominate and at the other hand her dynamics with Elias tell me she surrenders to his strength. The interplay between Vicki, Jesse and Elias was something for me to figure out and it confused me at times but also kept me so very involved with the twists and turns in the characterization of every key player in this story.

Elias Reyes is a tough-as-nails cop. He has a commanding presence, goes after what he wants with sheer determination and is sometimes bull-headed. He brought a potent energy to the mix and I loved how he could make Vicki surrender to his touch. His controlled personality stood directly opposite to his explosive intensity in the bedroom.

And then there is Jesse Dean Inglemarre, the starving, homeless artist. From the moment he was introduced in to the story I fell in love with him. He tugged on all my heartstrings with his strength, weaknesses, poise and passions. He was the calm center between these two turbulent, magnetic personalities. What I also really enjoyed was the contradiction in Jesse's and Elias' personalities. Each on their own is an incredible male but together they form the answer to Vicki’s wants and needs. To see that interlock with each other was an interesting journey!

At first sight Vicki, Elias and Jesse seem to have insurmountable problems and I had no clue how they would overcome them. But there was also a fierce and budding love, a woman getting to discover her Domme side and two men who come with their own issues. It entwined in to a challenging romance with animated dialogues which coalesces these three distinctive personalities. There were times where I thought that Jesse would perhaps be second best to Elias. The balance was off, I didn’t feel an emotional connection between Elias and Jesse. Each in his own way vied for Vicki’s heart. Vicki was all that mattered to Elias and Jesse, so by the end, within their own rules and needs, it came together making this Ménage a trois work. I would’ve loved to see a deeper connection form between the two men but that was something that I wanted, not necessarily something the characters needed!

I think in the span of this story (about 155 pages) Burkhart did an incredible job with the character development. They each came alive and engaged me from beginning till end. Their sexy times where spine-tingling good and though I realized Vicki was very much at the beginning of discovering her Domme side I would’ve loved an elaborate scene or two where she gives it her all, instead of feeling a range of insecurities. There was one scene that singed the pages but it felt like Elias was in control of both Vicki and Jesse, and it made me think Vicki was more a switch between the two sides of her than anything else.

I have to give props for the secondary cast because they brought such a flamboyant vibe to the story. I mean Mal and Colby just…WOW. These two together equal pure sexual heat!! Of course various Connaghers have their moments in Yours To Take but none have my love as much as Mama Connagher. First of all, the scraps of info I got on her relationship with her late husband just mesmerized me. I so want their story!! But most of all she enamored me with her straight-forward commanding attitude and the love she bears for her children.

Yours To Take, while not perfect, is a story of enigmatic characters who make the love soar and their sexy moments go from sensual blooming to full-blown passion. The Connaghers are a family to enclose in your heart!

4 stars

Quote 1: Jesse 
But there was something undeniable in his eyes, a deep, soul-piercing light that she couldn’t forget. Without saying a word, he managed to reach inside her and tug, hard, amplifying her guilt and worry.   
Quote 2: Jesse 
Jesse didn’t care if the cop had primary claim on her, not really, as long as she claimed him. He’d do anything she wanted. Hell, he’d beg the cop to do him if that’s what it took to stay close and eventually find his way to her—their—bed.  
Quote 3: Elias 
Leaning against the door jamb, he gave her a sardonic wink. He’d already dressed for the evening. Dark to Jesse’s light, hard to soft, grim to demanding to light and giving, he, too, managed to take her breath away.  
Quote 4: Mama Connagher 
“I didn’t raise a doormat, Beulah Virginia.” Vicki winced at her Mama’s raised voice and held the phone away from her ear. “If you want this man, you tell him to marry you or get the hell out. I love you. Come home as soon as you can.” 

Joely Sue Burkhart on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Samhain


  1. Glad you enjoyed it so much Leontine. Not my kind of book though ;). Is it common that a female Dom is called a Domme?

  2. All I can say is: I want! *g*

  3. Awesome review! I'm so glad you liked it!

  4. Great review! Will need to check this author's work out on GR's. Thanks for sharing, new follower :-)

    Vix @ http://ttoria.blogspot.com

  5. I do love Joely's writing, and you almost have me sold on it, but still not sure about it...


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