I have some troubles with using this collocation. The main issue is where I should use
take a liking to and where just
like. For example:
He took an immidiate liking to Anna.
Why don't we use
He liked Anna immidiately.
take a liking to
indicates a more passive involvement.
He took an immediate liking to Anna.
This seems a bit distant. Possibly he is not sure about pursuing some involvement with her.
He liked Anna immediately.
This is more confident statement. He clearly wants to get to know her better.
You can also keep "took a liking to" together:
He took a liking to Anna immediately.
All three of these are correct. There are obvious differences between the three in both tone and flair.
It is dangerous to assume, "He liked Anna immediately" is not in use. While it may lack in style it does establish a point in a clear, straightforward way.