Megan Hart wraps up her first serial, Every Part of You, with this fifth and final installment, aptly titled Takes Me. Like pretty much all of Hart's work, I quickly got hooked on the characters and became invested in them finally, blessedly, working their way into a committed relationship. This one has been bumpy, thanks to a hero with serious Daddy Issues.
When last we saw Elliott, he was being an asshat to Simone. Takes Me opens up with Simone wallowing. She's hurt, she's wounded, she's a shell. She made the colossal mistake of falling for Elliott, who has turned tail and run. Her ex, who cannot bare to see her like this, thinks that what she needs is a sex club - and off she goes to get some release. Meanwhile, Elliott has a run-in with Simone at their office building that leaves both of them battle scarred and wounded. Then his past shows up on his doorstep one evening and Elliott has to face the cold, stark reality that the best thing he ever had in his life? He threw away. Is it too late for him and Simone?
I'll be honest - I didn't love this. Mostly because I'm so over the sex club "thing." I get why it's here, but I still wasn't in love with it. Simone's ex thinks a "release" will do her good - and while the encounter is hot, and she gets off on it - it only temporarily fills the hole that Elliott's departure has left behind. In other words, sex is great, sex is fun, but sometimes not even sex can fix everything that is making you feel "bad."
But still. Sex club. Blah.
Anyway, where this story does work is with Elliott's grovel. This serial has mostly hinged on Elliott being screwed up emotional (oh boy, is he!) and him being a jackass. For the most part, Simone holds her own with him. She's emotionally "strong." Her mistake is falling in love with him, and bless her heart - she doesn't make things easy for him when he tries to apologize. He does a fair amount of begging and pleading, which well he should!
I did feel things were a little rushed at the end, but I'm not sure if that's because they were, or if I'm such a sadist I just wanted a lot more blood and angst on the page. Also, by this point, I was pretty well invested in Simone and Elliott as "real people" (which I know they aren't - but Hart's characters have that effect on me) and just wanted to spend a lot more time with them. This hasn't been my absolute favorite thing that Hart has ever written, but it was so very good and did what I want all serials to do - which is to hook me, propelling me through the installments with a sense of anticipation and urgency.
Final Grade = B-
Overall Grade For The Serial = B