I’ve been reading Taken in Every Way by Ella Gottfried. I came across it a little indirectly; when I was browsing the erotica section on Cheap E-books, a different book caught my eye.
Unfortunately, it turned out that I was unable to finish that book, and the author suggested I try Taken in Every Way instead. So although Taken wasn’t exactly selected from one of the Novel Finds reading lists, browsing the site still pointed me in the direction of a fun reading experience. I count that as a win!
I should also point out that Taken in Every Way is a huge, campy collection of novellas! And while I’m enjoying the collection, I am writing this review having read only a few of them. Here’s what I thought about the ones I’ve read:
- Good Character Development
This is especially striking because the novellas are not very long. Gottfried does a great job creating quirky, fairly complex characters, given the genre and medium. The characters in the stories I selected were also believable, despite the rather enjoyably outlandish situations in which they found themselves.
- Engaging Prose & Decent Editing
There were grammatical mistakes but, compared with other erotic fiction I’ve recently read, it stood out as a smooth read. This doesn’t reflect too well on the genre I guess, but I believe we’re getting there.
More importantly (in my opinion), the narrative structure was good.
I really liked Gottfried’s prose style – especially in the stories written from a first person perspective. It was quite natural, and the prose fitted each individual story she was telling.
- Good Intimate Scenes!
A vital component of good erotic fiction! The stories I read were sexy. The collection is fairly diverse, which is nice; there’s probably something in there for most people. I got the idea that some people may find them kinky; like some of them included taboo circumstances, and threesomes, etc.
Is that kink? It’s hard to measure, because obviously it’s a spectrum.
Let’s just say that as someone who reads a lot of erotica, I found the intimate scenes well-written and on the tame side (but still sexy; the language was descriptive and evocative), and I can imagine that somebody else may find them kinky. I hope that’s helpful.
This happened in a couple of the stories I read, but not all of them. It is a common practice in erotica that I’m personally just not into.
Basically, the author develops a really terrible, villainized character, whose sole purpose is to make the protagonist look good. So, if the protagonist is a girl-next-door-type, then the villainized character is, of course, a shrill diva who wears far too much makeup. You get the idea.
Some people might like this – it just isn’t for me. I think there are more subtle ways to develop character and relationship dynamics. And I think Gottfried did show a good command of character/relationship development; she certainly did not rely on only one technique. I just didn’t like that particular approach.
This collection is fun! It has the vibe of a sort of “erotic cult-favourite” about it; sexy, campy, quirky, and memorable. I’m going to continue reading it.
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