Take This Man

A Give & Take Novella


By Kelli Maine

Read by Annie Green

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The emotional rollercoaster of the USA Today bestselling Give &Take series by Kelli Maine continues! A man never wanted a woman as much as he wants her.Merrick Rocha is the kind of man who makes a woman yearn for more. And for Rachael DeSalvo, he’s the kind of man who could easily fit into her picture of happily-ever-after. With each touch, each kiss, her body is thrilled as she never knows what to expect next. Their wedding day-and night-are no exception.Now, as they come together as one, free to trust as deeply as their bodies connect, Rachael is finally ready to . . . Take This ManPraise for Kelli Maine!

Taken by Storm is a passionate love story that grips you by the heart from the first page and doesn’t let go. MJ and Maddie’s love is soul-deep. Maine has written a masterpiece!” — Kristen Proby, Bestselling Author of the With Me in Seattle series.

“This book hooked me from the very beginning and glued me to every page. MJ stole my heart and quickly became one of my new favorite leading men. Loved it.” — Michelle Valentine, New York Times Bestselling Author of Rock the Heart


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Table of Contents

An Excerpt from Taken


Copyright Page

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Dear Readers,

It's with bittersweet emotion that Rachael and Merrick's story comes to a close with Given and Take This Man. Not many people know this, but Rachael and Merrick have been with me since 2007, when I put them in the first novel I ever wrote, an urban fantasy (new adult, which wasn't a real genre then) novel that never saw the light of day. Until the summer of 2012, they passed their days in a place I called Misfit Character Island. I never realized all those years they were sitting on Turtle Tear waiting for me to gift them a new story that would introduce them to readers.

Turtle Tear is a real place in my mind. I know it inside and out. I'll miss being there with Rachael, Merrick, Beck, Joan, Maddie, MJ, and you. I hope you've enjoyed reading their stories as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

All My Best,




I never thought this day would come, and yet, it came faster than I'd ever imagined. Staring at my reflection in the antique dressing mirror in the big back bedroom on the second floor of the Weston Plantation, I felt excitement spark through every nerve in my body. My grandmother's wedding dress fit perfectly, and the lace overlay my mother had added to hide a red wine stain on the front matched flawlessly. Actually, I liked the dress even better with the addition.

"You look…" Aunt Jan tilted her head, faltering for the right word. "I was going to say you look like a princess, but I know you'd hate that, so I'm just going to say you make a beautiful bride."

I let out a nervous laugh. I would've hated it if Aunt Jan called me a princess. "Thanks. Where's my mom?"

"She's coming right up. She had to get something from her room that she wants you to have today."

As if summoned, my mom popped through the door. She took one look at her sister and frowned. "Jan, I thought we agreed you'd wear a dress today."

"A nice pantsuit is fine for a wedding," Aunt Jan said, turning to me for confirmation. "Right?"

I paused from fiddling with my delicate hairclip made of pearls and white heron feathers found on Turtle Tear Island. "You could wear jeans and I'd be fine with it as long as you're here."

Mom rushed over to me, waving her hand around my head, prodding the knot that held the sides of my hair back and fingering the loopy thick curls that hung down my bare back. "I hope there are no fleas or lice in those feathers. I can't believe you'd want something like that in your hair."

I refused to let my mother—who was only acting over-the-top crazy today because she was even more nervous than I was—get to me. "Mr. Simcoe soaked them and made sure they were clean. Don't worry."

"Well," Mom said, wringing her hands, "okay then. Do you have the strand of Great-Grandma DeSalvo's pearls I sent you?"

"Right over there on the dresser. I need help fastening them, though."

Aunt Jan picked up the pearls and draped them around my neck. After they were fastened, she kissed my cheek. "I'm proud of you, kid. Not just for getting married. You know that." She chucked me in the arm with her fist playfully, and turned for the door. "I'll give you two some mother-daughter time."

Mom and I watched her leave, the solid wooden door clicking shut behind her. "Come sit for a minute," Mom said, taking my hand and leading me to the windows overlooking the expansive backyard, where an enormous tent had been set up for the reception. Workers in black tie were setting up tables, dressing them in white linen.

I sat on one side of a Victorian love seat in a small sitting area, and Mom sat beside me. She reached into the pocket of her beaded pink jacket and pulled out a man's ring with a blue stone. I recognized it as my father's. His father had given it to him. "The dress covers old and new with the lace bodice, and borrowed since it was your grandmother's. You needed something blue," she said, placing the ring in my hand. "If you'll let me, I'll sew it into the underside of your skirt. I'd like Merrick to have it after the ceremony."

Tears sprang to my eyes as my heart clenched. "Only if you give it to him, Mom." My father's presence would be missed—him walking me down the aisle especially—and for Mom to make him a part of today with his ring… it was more than I could take without breaking down.

"I'd love that," she said. I dove across the love seat and hugged her. She held me tight and kissed my forehead. "I'm so happy for you," she whispered. "I know your father would've loved Merrick. He's a man's man, just like your dad was."

I nodded, unable to speak around the lump of emotion stuck firmly in my throat.

"Now stop the tears," Mom said, holding me back from her. "You're ruining your makeup."

"She better not be ruining her makeup!" Shannon, my best friend from home and college roommate, said in the doorway. "Sorry. Hope I'm not interrupting."

"No." I stood up, waving my hands toward my face to dry my eyes. "You're fine. I think I need a touch-up, though."

"I'll grab my sewing kit while she's busy with you," Mom said, straightening her tea-length raw silk skirt, which rustled when she walked.


  • "I love the banter between Rachael and Merrick throughout the book..... some steamy scenes that will not leave you disappointed."—The Indie Bookshelf
  • "I loved this book! And seriously, I am shocked about it...This book was a definite winner for me. After Fifty rating: 5/5 for sure!"My Keeper Shelf Blog

On Sale
Mar 4, 2014
Hachette Audio

Kelli Maine

About the Author

Kelli Maine is the USA Today bestselling author of Taken and its sequel, No Take Backs: A Taken Novella She watches entirely too much reality T.V., which led to her compulsion to write dramatic romance novels. Blessed with a unique ability to bond with difficult people, she’s convinced she could win Big Brother. Her deathly fear of heights would keep her from completing half of the detours on The Amazing Race, and she’s shocked nobody has ever penned the Survivor Diet Plan: Eat one cup of rice for thirty-nine days and lose fifty pounds!

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