Taken by Love (Love in Bloom: The Bradens, Book 7) 5*
Daisy Honey fled Trusty, Colorado, after years of battling rumors sparked by her gorgeous looks and lust-inducing name. Now a physician on the brink of a promising career, she reluctantly returns home when her father is injured in a farming accident. Daisy expects the small-town girls who hurt her in the past to take cheap shots again--but she's completely unprepared for a run-in with tall, dark, and wickedly sexy Luke Braden, the only man who has ever stood up for her--and the man she's never forgotten..Luke Braden is handsome, wealthy, and the best damn gypsy horse breeder in the Midwest. After a restless youth, he's finally ready to settle down--only connecting with women is nothing like connecting with horses, and he's never met a woman worth the energy. After an arrest in a neighboring town, Luke's past comes back to haunt him, and he realizes that his inability to find love runs deeper than he ever imagined..A chance encounter sweeps Luke and Daisy into a world of passion. For the first time ever, Luke feels a connection, but Daisy's life in Trusty is anything but permanent, and Luke can't manage a future until he puts his past to rest.
What a fresh breath of romantic literature this story is! Melissa Foster has written a tale without the typical 'romance format', all of us, who read romantic novels are familiar with. The story also touches few social issues, we all should be concerned with.
Daisy and Luke are honest and straight forward with their feelings, attraction, reaction towards each other. There was no hiding, or fighting against it. I loved that they were actually dating in the beginning, That they wanted to get to know each other on a deeper level, not just to explore the physical appeal and interest they had. The passion runs high between them, the heat level is up, the love they feel for each other is deep, genuine, and palpable.
The story is set in a small town Trusty, Colorado. Melissa Foster paints an idyllic picture of the charming small town living, where gossip runs like a wild fire, where people step up, supporting and helping each other, when the need arises.
But not all is good and lovely in Trusty, Colorado. The story is a reminder how bulling can, and will, affect on people, for a long time coming.
Amongst the other issues Melissa Foster touches with Taken by Love, is domestic abuse, and how often we just look away, wishing someone else would step in and do something about it. In like manner, we see closely Luke's struggle with the abandonment issues, after his father had walked away on the family, before Luke was born.
But through all the issues, problems, and struggles the characters has to work through, the family stays strong and supportive, having each others back.
Taken by Love is not just a sweet, heart melting, and swoon worthy love story. It made me think, take a notice, and evaluate myself on many levels. I couldn't just inhale the story on one sitting, I had to stop and think about the deeper issues, that were brought up. Certainly worth the five stars I gave it, since this is a story that will stay with me.