Review: Mine to Take (Matrix of Destiny #3) by Dara Joy

Mystical galaxies, wizards, shapeshifters, aliens, adventure, and sizzling romance lurk in the pages of the para-romance novel, Mine to Take by Dara Joy. 

The beautiful Jenise is more or less a prisoner in her own home. The evil Karpon desires her and yet also wants to kill her. Jenise longs to be free of him before he can conquer her making her his wife.

As luck would have it, Karpon holds a fierce Familiar (shapeshifter) in his dungeons. If Jenise can some how free the Familiar, she too might be free of Karpon.

The Familiars are a wild and sexual people, therefore Jenise bargains with the captive using the only thing she has in her favor….her virginity.

The Familiar, Gian, agrees to the bargain and after taking her, the embark on a journey that will take them through a series of tunnels, portals, and plants in order to reach the safety of his home planet, M’yan.

From the moment he laid eyes on her, Gian is fiercely attracted to Jenise. He craves her and wants to be with her every minute. Jenise also feels the magnetic attraction but worries that too much passion means being trapped. She is afraid to submit her heart to Gian, though she has no objection submitting her body to him….her heart remains caged.

Alternative cover (this was the edition that I read)

Will Gian and Jenise make it back to the planet of M’yan safely or will the evil Karpon catch up to them and kill them both? Will Jenise submit her heart to Gian? Will Gian ever fill his sexual appetite for Jenise? Embark on an erotic journey through the galaxies.

One of my friends recently read this book and recommended it to me, since her and I both love all things supernatural. While I like para-romance novels, this book had the feel of a harlequin romance to me (if I were to judge it by it’s cover) so I was not entirely sold on reading it.

I have this preconception of some erotic/romance novels so I just don’t read a lot of them….I like a story with substance and character development, not page after page of sex.

But when she brought me this book and explained the context of the story, I was intrigued and why not read it right? After all, I am a book reviewer I should read LOTS of different genres. So I thought I would give it a go.

I was actually rather surprised by this one. It had an interesting plot line. I am not a huge fan of shape-shifters in general but this was an interesting twist in the story and the world in which the shape-shifters lived was intriguing. I liked that the plot was simple yet had a high fantasy/sci fi feel to it.

I enjoyed the setting more than I thought I would. I am normally not a huge ‘space’ literature fan, but I do love movies like Star Wars. This story was set in a world sort of like  a Star Wars, Avatar, or Total Recall, with shape-shifters which was fun and whimsical.

Yes ladies, it has some hot and steamy sex scenes, but let’s be honest….after Fifty Shades of Grey every sex scene I read now just seems tame by comparison. Though I doubt readers will be disappointed in this novel :).

I liked Gian’s character. I thought he walked a fine line between cocky (no pun intended) and confident which I like in a romantic interest. He was playful, a little arrogant, funny, and sensual. The fact that he was also a shape-shifter (his spectral form being a cat) enhanced his interest for me as a reader.

Jenise on the other hand bored me. I never could connect with her and I felt her need to be ‘free’ was a little childish and unrealistic. She sought freedom…but she never really clarified what she meant by freedom. At times I thought her reaction to Gian and his world were overwrought and our of character for her. I also struggled with Gian’s nickname for Jenise, Creamcat. I felt it was a little cliche and irksome but yet in a weird way, it fit into the story yet I couldn’t quite bring myself to find it a charming pet name.

My biggest struggle with the book was that it was a series. Mine to Take is the third in the Matrix of Destiny series, so coming into the story this late in the game threw me off. I was a little confused by the characters and what was going on. I felt like there was a whole back story that I was missing and not everything is resolved in this book which suggests more to come in future books.

Besides that though, this was a great quick read. It was nothing like I expected and was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the story and setting. Much more than just a erotic romance novel.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Mine to Take (Matrix of Destiny #3) by Dara Joy 

  • Mass Market Paperback, 391 pages
  • Published November 28th 1998 by Leisure Books (first published 1998)
  • ISBN 0843944463 (ISBN13: 9780843944464)

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5 (enjoyable para-romance/erotica novel)

Genre: Romance, erotica, para-romance, fantasy, sci fi, high fantasy

Memorable lines/quotes: 

A man who does not know what he seeks cannot recognize it when he finds it (136)

2 thoughts on “Review: Mine to Take (Matrix of Destiny #3) by Dara Joy

    1. I was hoping to finish The Hangman’s Daughter this last weekend but home improvement projects took up too much time for me to do any reading….hopefully I’ll finish it this week, so far so good :).

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