Good morning fellow story lovers!
I have recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Felicia Tatum’s ‘Intoxicating Passion’ box set as part of a review blast for the author. I hope you find this review encouraging and enjoy my thoughts on this well written set of novellas.
Title - Intoxicating Passion Box Set
Author - Felicia Tatum
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance
Journey with Korah and Dane in the Intoxicating Passion box set, as they battle their individual demons on the way to finding a way to care for one another.
Korah Daniels is a nineteen-year-old college student dealing with the aftermath of leaving an abusive relationship. After letting down her guard, she meets a sexy guy at a Halloween party, but quickly realizes her past isn’t as far gone as she hoped. Will she be able to run from her abuser? Will she continue to hold her heart dearly or will the mysterious Zorro find a way through?
Dane Davidson is the ultimate playboy, never sticking around for more than one night. When he encounters Angel Eyes, he discovers his heart isn’t as locked up as he imagined. The more he learns of her, the greater he desires her, and wants to protect her. Will Dane be able to let go of his past so he can have a future? Will Korah be the one who makes him want to change?
The five Intoxicating Passion novelettes take you along with Dane and Korah, as they face the answers to life’s biggest questions.
My overall impression of this story as a whole is FANTASTIC! But I appreciate that you (like me!) may need more than just a one word summary to inspire you to click that download button; so here goes…
Intoxicating Passion is a set of 5 short stories (novelettes) making up one whole story. The story focusses on two main characters, Korah Daniels and Dane Davidson; both immediately likable in their own way. With Korah you get the immediate sense that she is someone who has had some bad stuff happen in her past that affects her attitude towards things in the present. She comes across as slightly impatient sometimes, a little socially anxious and she doesn’t like being in the limelight at all, preferring to be more of an observer in any situation. And there is one thing that is also loudly evident about her; she has very little faith in men. Unfortunately due to a not so nice past with an abusive ex-boyfriend Korah automatically puts men into ‘types’ when she meets them and she’s quick to judge them without really getting to know them. When you find out what she’s endured however, you find yourself understanding why she acts like this. But she never once acts like a victim though; if anything it’s obvious she is just trying to get on with her life as best she can and the only times we see her past actually affecting her is when she gets upset sometimes and cuddles her childhood soft toy ‘Elle’ for comfort.
The main male character, Dane Daniels, immediately doesn’t come across as the perfect guy; far from it in fact. From the get go it’s clear he’s a player, a total womaniser who will be far from the typical prince charming love interest. But it is also immediately apparent that he uses his physical relationships as a way not to deal with his actual emotions, masking a pain he doesn’t want to feel. Dane clearly has issues with women from his own past experiences and it seems it’s always his first instinct to run away rather than face the issues. He’s infuriating in the sense that he just refuses to deal with his emotions, choosing instead to run away from them, convinced that his womanising is the way to forget his feelings and move on. But when you get past the fact that you kind of want to slap him in the face, he is actually very likable and you find yourself wanting to tell him it’s going to be okay; you’re sort of rooting for him from the beginning even though you want to punch him!
Both characters face problems unique to themselves, throughout the story as it unfolds. For Korah it’s the abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend that hinders her chances at having a happy ever after with anyone else because she can’t help but see the worst in any man she meets. Unfortunately for her, the one guy she instantly feels an attraction for is your typical bad boy who loves to sleep with a new woman every night. So this fuels her belief that men are bad and they can’t be trusted. She has a hard time with this fact, especially because no matter what she does, she can’t rid herself of her ever increasing feelings for Dane. For Dane, his problems stem from his past with women; being heart broken by a girl and then his trust in women being obliterated by his mother only enforces to him that women only hurt you if you let them into your heart. So his journey really begins the moment he first lays eyes on Korah because of the instant effect she has on him (which he rebels against every step of the way) causing him to have to deal with the feelings he tries to keep buried.
On the whole the story basically tells the tale of these two characters getting into an emotional game of not only battling their own feelings with past issues but also their feelings for one another. Korah can’t deny that she is attracted to Dane physically; she can’t stop herself ogling him on more than one occasion but always reprimands herself for doing it because she thinks she knows his type. And her lack of faith in men is always there at the back of her mind telling her that Dane will just hurt her, that he’s just after one thing. Dane on the other hand tries desperately not to feel anything besides physical attraction to Korah because sexual feelings are easier to deal with; with the other types of feelings, he can’t handle them because they scare him to death. But the two of them are unable to stop being drawn to each other no matter how hard they fight it. In every encounter they share they must endure an infectious sexual chemistry that literally leaps off the page at you and more often than not it sparks an argument between them because they constantly try to fight it, getting mad at each other when really they’re just mad at themselves for not having any control over their feelings.
It was a refreshing change to read characters who weren't stereotypically perfect and who didn’t have perfect fairytale lives. It made them seem more real somehow because they both had issues and flaws. I think because of this Korah and Dane helped to heal each other in ways only someone who is broken can do; they both understood that if you want to move forward all you can do is try rather than ‘hey presto’ everything is fixed and we’re happy now.
My favourite part of the book was in book five, at the end when Dane decides that the ‘elusive four letter word’ may not be so elusive after all and he wants to tell Korah that he loves her. When he tells her he needs to talk and she sees that he is evidently nervous, she automatically assumes that he’s going to end things with her and she tells him it’s okay, getting upset in the process. Dane is shocked when he realises that she thought he wanted to break up and he explains that he wants her to be his girlfriend and that he loves her. Korah tells Dane that although she has enjoyed her time with him she wants more; she wants all of him, even his scarred heart. She is under no illusion that Dane isn’t your regular perfect prince charming but he is real and he cares for her. She appreciates that happily ever after doesn’t mean being happy 100% of the time and she’s okay with that. Dane assures her that they will make it work and that he’s in it for the long haul as she is stuck with him now because he won’t let her go.
Although I wasn’t sure it would work, being a set of five short stories, I was surprised to find that I actually loved it! Whereas with a lot of novels, you can often get dragged down by the pages and pages of descriptive background story; with these novelettes that isn’t the case at all. I think it’s fairly similar to watching a 30 minute television show; from the offset you’re thrown into the story and due to the short length of each book, every page has some sort of action that propels the story forwards rapidly so by the end of the ‘episode’ you feel like shouting ‘NOOOOOOO!’ because you’re hanging on the edge of your seat desperate for a continuation. It really did work very well and I’d be encouraged to read more of these types of books. The actual writing style was easy to read, making the story easy to follow which is always a must when I choose a book to read. And the suspense element, as I said before about there being something happening on every page, I was eager to turn each and every page just to find out what was going to happen. A definite page turner!
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a love story that isn’t as straight cut as ‘girl meets boy, they fall in love, the end’. This book has a lot of ups and downs and both characters endure a fair bit of emotional torment whilst fighting against issues that have plagued them for a long time. But the struggle is actually what makes the ending so much happier because although they don’t sail off into the sunset, happily ever after; their acceptance of each other and their admittance of their feelings makes all of the bad things they’ve been through feel totally worth it. I guarantee you will love this story as much as I did and afterwards you’ll be looking for your very own Dane Davidson to fix!
About the Author-
Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.
She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking and books. Animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She's currently working on various other projects.
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Felicia-Tatum/e/B00AGI1IVQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1377902684&sr=8-2-ent
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