Review: Kept (The Enforcers #3) by Maya Banks

no-brainer

Title: Kept
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 10/25/16
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  The Enforcers #3

Overview

He can’t change who he is.

A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.

She can’t change what she wants.

Hayley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: for her to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working multiple jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Hayley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful person he’s ever experienced, he’ll have to do the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. Let her go. But he’s totally unprepared for the lengths to which Hayley will go to fight for his love and for a future brighter than the sun…

My Thoughts

I loved the first two books in this series when we got to know all about Evangeline and Drake and what made them work as a couple.  There were so many highs and lows, all of then including the bigger group of enforcers or the brothers – and i think that’s what makes this third book so great.

From the first two, we met Silas, who is Drake’s #2 in the circle, and we saw how Evangeline was able to get under his skin a bit and show him that he is worthy of attention, affection and love – even if it’s not romantic love.  Mind you it’s not something that Silas will even admit to himself since he considers himself to be a monster both for what he does for Drake now and what he did when he was a child.  (mind you we have no idea what that was for most of the story).

He deserves to find happiness and love and i’m so happy to see it come in the form of Hayley.  She’s our typical female lead, barely getting by in the world, no family and no real friends – working a million jobs just to pay bills and really that’s what her life is.  She’s trying to fulfill her father’s dying wish that she follow her dreams to become a re known violinist and that’s what brought her to NYC and into Silas’s life.

His immediate need to protect her and care for her – even after only seeing her on a security camera in his building shows you that there’s so much more that he has to offer that he doesn’t even admit to himself.  When he finds himself physically protecting her and then having to care for her, feelings develop even faster and they find themselves in an interesting predicament where he’s got his control and rules and his ‘dark dark life’ and she’s ‘innocent’ and deemed fragile.

The journey that we take with these two is typical of what we’ve seen in the first installment of this series.  There’s a macho guy who’s got so much pride that he’s not willing necessarily to trust and put faith into a woman, and then there’s a woman who finds herself in the cross hairs of a mob war so to speak and therefore a target and something that these burly men need to get rid of.

The questions that you ponder throughout this book though are a few.  How long is it going to take for Silas to open up to Hayley about who he is and will he be open enough to let her react and have an opinion. Do they even have a chance?  Why is everyone so afraid to mention Evangeline to Hayley  – even Silas which is to his own detriment.  Who’s the next target from the mob feud and as a result, who’s going to likely get shot/killed etc?  I feel like there’s so much that could happen in this book, and because of Ms Bank’s skill, we’re able to see it all unfold at a good pace and get to a resolution that actually makes sense.  Not to mention that there’s so much chemistry leaping off the pages – if there’s one thing that i know i’m going to get when i read a book by Maya Banks it’s the need for a cold shower since we see that Silas is quite skilled and while Hayley is not, it’s so hot, and sexy, and intense that you can’t help but to get pulled in.

Honestly, i really really like this series and i hope that we get more since i feel like Maddox definitely needs something as do Thane, Jax, Zander, Hartley and maybe now Andre.  Enjoy!

Review: Taking it All (Surrender Trilogy #3) by Maya Banks

No-Brainer

Title: Taking it All
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group 8/5/14
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  Surrender Trilogy #3

Overview

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects…

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all.

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband—a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love.

My Thoughts

We know the stories of Joss and Kylie and we know that Chessy’s marriage was picture perfect for a while but less so in recent years, It’s about time to understand what’s going on and then see if we can figure out what’s going to happen next.  It’s a roller coaster and at what point something that seemed way too easy to happen turns ugly.

Chessy, the woman who’s set herself up in the role to play the perfect wife,the perfect hostess and the perfect submissive finds herself in a situation where her husband of 5 years spends more time dealing with work and keeping his business running and successful than paying any mind to what makes Chessy happy.  Because of this, we see it all come crashing down, on the worst night possible – their anniversary.

On a night that’s supposed to be theirs and theirs alone, Tate does the unthinkable and puts work first, leading Chessy to explode and want out.  She’s finally forced to confront him, and surprisingly it’s almost like Tate didn’t even realize how bad it was.

This is where i felt like things changed way too quickly and easily and i should have given Maya Banks more credit.  See, all it took was some begging and pleading and promises that things will change, added on top a night of intense passion and heat, and they were back on track.  realistic right?  nope.

We spend some time lulled into a sense of security, allowing us to pick back up on some of the continued story lines of the other 2 couples, where we find that Joss is pregnant, and Kylie is beyond happy with Jensen, that it’s inevitable that the other shoe will drop.

on a night at The House – a private BDSM club, we see that Chessy is willing and excited to participate in a special scene arranged by her husband.  It’s then that things go awry that a final wedge is put between the couple and things are changed for good it seems.

The rest of this story takes us on a journey of a woman who’s forced to stand on her own, and be strong since she’s put up with so much, but has to remain stoic not to fall back into what was great in the past.  We know that Tate’s apologetic, but that’s not enough.  In this story – we see that Love isn’t always enough, and that’s a twist that i think that Ms Banks does well and was necessary to mix things up a bit here.

The ending of this story is one that i kind of expected, but added a nice dimension to things.  Not only do we get to see how Chessy continues her life and what the means for Tate, but we see an epilogue for Joss and Kylie as well – in a nice way to tie up their stories too, and give us closure on it all.

I’m really pleased with the dynamics in this series – i feel like each character was created with a specific role in mind, and while the ladies are quite similar as are the men, there are nuances that make each of them very unique so that you’re really interested and intrigued to what their story will mold into and what that will bring to the dynamic of the overall group.

On that note – have a great Monday all.

Review: Giving In (The Surrender Trilogy #2) by Maya Banks

No-Brainer

Title: Giving In
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group 5/6/14
Length:   225 Pages
Series:  The Surrender Trilogy #2

Overview

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. Now, the story continues as one woman, haunted by the shadows of the past, explores the possibilities of a new beginning in ways she never could have imagined…

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit fully to him will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

My Thoughts

We return to the world that we met Dash and Joss in, to explore and dive deeper into what makes Kylie tick.  As you’ll remember, in book 1, Joss was getting over the death of her husband, that same man who is Kylie’s brother.  So we see that along with the death of her brother, the only person that she felt protected her from anything and loved her, she’s also trying to figure out how to live with all that she went through in abuse from her father when she was a child.  Of course, that means that she’s got an aversion to men, dominant men, so when Jensen Tucker comes in and takes on the role of Partner in their business, things go from ‘eh’ to downright uncomfortable.

Jensen quickly realizes that he doesn’t need to have his fully dominant persona be in play at all moments because he realizes that Kylie is what he wants and she’s terrified of all that.  In the same moment, Kylie realizes that while she’s got this disdain and hate for him, there’s also something else there.

Where we go in this 2nd installment of the series, is that we get to see Kylie being forced to come to terms with the confident and strong person that she is, along with finding herself to be able to be ‘happy’ and come alive at the hands of a man.

It’s a sweet story – one that we see time and time again though – both main characters have dark dark backgrounds that will of course pull them apart.  When they open themselves up to one another, we see that it does more harm than good – and Kylie ends up getting hurt and Jensen does what he thinks is best, which means breaking up with her and going their separate ways.  It’s only through girl squad power that Kylie is able to deal with things, and we see what that means for the remainder of the story.

One thing to note with this book – what we usually get from Ms Banks in the forms of a really hot and steamy, naughty book – all those elements are there, but i feel like something was missing.  it wasn’t as hard hitting as we usually get but i don’t know if it’s me. There are steamy bedroom scenes for sure – which are always core to what we get with Ms Banks, but i feel like the rest of the story was just a bit ‘less deep’ than we usually get.

In any event, i can’t wait to see what happens in book 3 with Chessy and Tate since we all know that something is brewing there.

Review: Dominated (The Enforcers #2) by Maya Banks

No-Brainer

Title: Dominated
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing Group 5/3/16
Length:   352 pages
Series:  The Enforcers #2

Overview

The desire that exploded in Mastered continues its conflagration in Dominated—from the New York Times bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy.

To save her, he had to betray her…

In Drake’s shadowy world, his enemies would exploit any weakness he had in order to bring him to his knees, and so he’s never allowed himself to care about anyone…never exhibited any vulnerability, and it made him a force to be reckoned with. Until Evangeline—his angel. A woman who slipped past his defenses like no one had ever managed. She was his to protect and ultimately, to do that, he had to do the unthinkable and drive the only good thing in his world away.

But he will stop at nothing to get her back…

Devastated and destroyed, Evangeline doesn’t know what made Drake turn on her in such a shocking manner. She only knows she’ll never be the same. He once freed her from all her inhibitions, only now she is a prisoner to never-ending pain. But when Drake finds her again, she realizes there is more to his world than she ever imagined, and she must decide if she can once more trust—and submit—to the man who holds her wounded heart in his hands. And he must convince her of just how far he’ll go to regain her love and forgiveness.

My Thoughts

This is yet another example of how Ms Banks knows how to weave a story together so nicely that you’re not only drawn in by the characters both main and supporting but the story line just keeps it flowing at such a nice clip that you’re dying to keep reading even when it’s like 3am.

In this 2nd installment of the series, we see that Drake and Evangaline are at a crossroads of a sort – where Drake’s hand was forced in a sense for him to make his ‘enemies’ think that Evangaline was nothing more than a warm body to him in order to keep her from danger.  In doing that though, he pushed her so far away that she wanted nothing to do with him, even though without him she had nothing and felt like she was nothing.

This story takes us on the rollercoaster that is their relationship.  Drake has to not only find her, but convince her to believe that he didn’t truly mean anything that he said, and of course that is something that never comes easy in these stories.  Trust is a hard thing to come by as we’ve seen with both our mains, and it’s only through the help of Drake’s men who adore and love Evangaline themselves that we see progress being made.

If that weren’t enough, they are going to find themselves dealing with issues and challenges at every turn.  How much do they share with the public – how will he keep her safe, and what will that all mean for their relationship which is in a territory that neither are familiar wit hand are comfortable with.

If you think that’s enough to make a really good story – there’s yet that other element of something amazing that Ms Banks always gives us and that’s chemistry and heat that is sooo intense that you can’t help but root for them.  And if you think that the depth of relationship is enough between these two, you can’t forget all of the men that are in their circle – Silas and Maddox of course are favorites but the others (sans Hatcher of course) are definitely worth learning more about as they are not just sexy in their own ways but ultimately great guys. So…not sure who will be next featured in this series but i can’t wait to see what happens.

Review: Mastered (The Enforcers #1) by Maya Banks

No-Brainer

Title:  Mastered
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 12/29/15
Length:  326 pages
Series:  The Enforcers #1

Overview

What he wants, he takes with no remorse or guilt.
 
She stood out in his club like a gem, unspoiled and untouched. A lamb among wolves, she clearly didn’t belong. Drawn to her innocence he watched as she was surrounded by men who saw what he did—but no one but him could touch her. He summoned her to his private quarters. He sensed her fear. He also recognized the desire in her eyes. And he knew she wouldn’t leave before he possessed her. She had no need to know his secrets. Not until he had her under his complete and utter control.
 
What he wants, she isn’t sure she can give him.
 
The moment he told her want he wanted, she couldn’t resist. Instinct told her to run, but her heart said stay and walk the fine line between pleasure and pain. Though she wasn’t sure she could ever completely surrender, the primal part of her wanted to try, even knowing this man could break her in ways she never imagined. Because once he possessed her, he owned her and it would be too late to turn back. She can only pray that he doesn’t destroy her in the end.

My Thoughts

I don’t know that i’ve ever come across a book by Ms Banks that i haven’t loved and this intro to The Enforcers series is definitely on my list of great stories.  The interesting thing here is that at the end of the book, there’s a whole ‘explanation’ about how this series came to be, and how this book was supposed to complete the story of Evagenline and Drake,but there was too much there, and there was a need to make a continuation into book 2.  So, we are left on quite a cliff hanger that’s somewhat reminiscent of the cliffhanger from book 1 in FSOG  but still, a great way to keep me interested.

What threw me off at the very beginning of this series are the names of all the characters – we have Lana and Nikki who are mains from other series that i’ve read and i kept wanting to make some connection here with those folks and this story, but obviously that’s not the case.

In any event, we learn that Evangeline is coming off a breakup from a guy that she thought was ‘special’.  special enough to lose her virginity to, and yet he didn’t find that to be so special and dumped her immediately after.  It’s only when her girls get her all dressed up to make him see what he’s missing that her life takes a turn.

As expected, he responds to her being there in a less than savory way, trying to be forceful with her physically while throwing insults at her too.  If that wasn’t enough, Vangie feels like she’s so out of place and just wants to run, but at least some huge badass security guys come to her rescue (unbeknownst to her from Drake’s direction) and bring her back to his sanctuary – his office – a place that no woman has ever been allowed.

This of course is where everyone’s beginning to wonder what’s gotten into Drake since he’s acting out of character, and yet Evangeline is being given the world and aside from her friends, everyone seems to be ok with it.

The path that we take in this story is an interesting one.  Ms Banks makes a big point to introduce us to all of the men who work for Drake and their personality nuances from one another.  We’re also given O information about his past and the pasts of his men that of course makes Vangie more curious to get to know things.

What im surprised about i have to say though is the pace in which Evangeline gets used to what he’s got to offer her sexually and how well she adapts.  The other thing that i’m VERY surprised about is that he’s quite the dom personality, the kind of guy that seems like he’d kill anyone who touches her, yet there’s a scene that he actually shares her.

We almost never see that happen, at least not this early in a series, so it was a surprise, but it was really hot.  The chemistry that we see from these 2 is intense and i think that there’s so much more to see since the way that this first installment ended was on an explosion of sorts – there were things said and done that you have to wonder if they’ll ever come back from, and i think that it’s part of the intrigue that will make me want to keep reading.

So on that note – i need to track down the release date of the next one and then count down the days!  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Review: Letting Go (The Surrender Trilogy #1) by Maya Banks

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Title: Letting Go
Author:  Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  2/4/14
Length:  352 Pages
Series: The Surrender Trilogy #1

Overview

THE FIRST BOOK OF THE SURRENDER TRILOGY

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And never have the consequences of erotic exploration been so irresistibly inviting, so shockingly intimate, and so totally unexpected…

LETTING GO

Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her: dominance. Lonely, searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find would be the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.

Dash has lived in an untenable position for years: in love with his best friend’s wife but unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.

When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of all things related to this author – and while the story was good, i think that it was my own personal reading fail that made this story a bit less than amazing.  it took me a few extra days to get through it, but i think that there’s some great stuff here.

As the synopsis says, we meet Joss on the 2nd anniversary of her husband’s death and she’s trying to let him go to live her life.  Her husband’s best friend Dash is there as well, as always, being her rock and supporting her choices.  She’s never thought of him in more romantic terms, and seeing as how she has her own darker desires that she wants to fulfill, she’s never imagined what he can do for her.

It’s only when she actually takes action, against the wishes of some of her friends that her life changes.  She goes to the House  – owned by Damon Roche who we met in the Sweet series, and things go amok.  Joss goes, as planned but never gets to live out those fantasies.  Dash is there to her surprise and lays claim to her since that’s something that he’s wanted to do since the moment he met her even when she was married.

The journey that we go on in this story is twofold . one of learning to love and let go – Joss and Dash both being able to move on from Carson’s death and the other is of self discovery – Joss learning what her desires are and what makes her feel like a woman and allowing it.

there are 2 things that bummed me out here.  the entire time, i thought that Ms. Banks our author was trying to ellude to the fact that Carson’s car accident wasn’t an accident.  She kept saying Carson had a conversation with Dash not long before his death asking him to take care of Joss and his sister.  So, for me, i figured that it meant that something happened that he was worried about.

The other piece – and again i’ll say that it’s probably more my fault than the writing, i just wasn’t into the scening.  there was 1 in the beginning when they first come together as a couple that i felt was hot and passionate, but the others – they didn’t hold my attention and i found myself rushing through them to get to the meat of the story.  but…since i know that our author usually writes hot and steamy scenes, i’ll take this on myself.  Also, we only get a tease of BDSM here with one night at the club and a little bit of light bondage when i would have thought that we’d get more since that’s the lifestyle that Joss was craving.

Anyhow, it was a good intro to this trilogy and i can’t wait to see what happens.  i guess i need to finish the Sweet trilogy though cause i feel like i’ve missed something since there’s a character or 2 or 3 that i don’t know the back story on that i’m sure i would have if i had read it.

Review: Sweet Seduction (Sweet #3) by Maya Banks

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Title: Sweet Seduction
Author:  Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  12/31/12
Length:  304 Pages
Series: Sweet #3

Overview

Salon owner Julie Stanford wanted Nathan Tucker ever since she gave him his first massage. Getting paid to feel every inch of his body, stripped, oiled, and spread out in front of her? Stuff dreams are made of. But the sexy guy was oblivious to the signals she was sending—until she finished off his final rub-down with something extra. In fact, the best extra he ever had. Unfortunately, he came around too late. Now Julie’s moving on . . .

The woman was driving him crazy. She lit fire to his insides then ran like a scalded cat. And now she’s going to someone else to have all her fantasies fulfilled? Over his dead body . . . He’s more than willing to give her what she wants, and as soon as he pins the little minx down, he’ll show her his own brand of sweet seduction.

My Thoughts

The story continues with this clan of friends, and I am happy to say that it took me MUCH less time to read #3 than it did #2, although i’m surprised why.  what we get here is the continued journey of all of these ladies and gents – with a hope at seeing what really lies underneath, and what kinks support that.

This third installment is all about Julie and Nathan – we know that Julie’s into Nathan, but she hasn’t had much luck – partially for lack of trying and partially cause they are both a bit too ‘dense’ for their own good.  It’s only after calling in a favor to Damon like Serena did that things get juicy.  See – we know that Julie’s really strong minded and independent, and when she’s decided that maybe she needs to fulfill her own fantasies instead of waiting for Nathan to come back to her (since he seems to have moved on) all bets are off.  Julie’s desires are in the realm of threesomes and Damon is the guy to set it up.  We know that Micah is in to them as well, and it’s just a matter of finding the other guy to work things out.

Where it gets good though is that we know that Nathan isn’t into kink AT ALL but since he learns of what Julie wants and won’t let another guy in on that, he gets involved – in a good way.  Julie’s dreams and fantasies are fulfilled – given that it’s not just a threesome, but she wants to be blindfolded so she doesn’t know who the guys are  – so the sex is amazing, and Micah and Nathan are good for her.  yet, she doesn’t know it’s them.

The question then becomes, will she find out that it was them, how will she find out and what will it mean?  The interesting thing separate from this is that she and Nathan start to do a little ‘dating dance’ separate from the sex club, so it’s definitely making things more complex.

True to Ms. Banks’ style – we get some vivid scening and some great depth of these characters and relationships.  One of the other great things that i LOVE about her style is that we never leave the other characters far behind.  Both Faith and Serena get big roles and their stories continue without taking away from Julie.

The other nice thing that i really like is that the lead in and teaser to Micah’s installment really makes you interested.  We never really got the full sense of his history and there in the one chapter that brought us there a bit – well i have to say that i’m really excited to pick up that book.  Enjoy!

Review: Sweet Persuasion (Sweet #2 by Maya Banks)

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Title: Sweet Persuasion
Author:  Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  12/31/12
Length:  352 Pages
Series: Sweet #2

Overview

The man of her dreams would give the orders. For him, she had two words that satisfied them both…“Take me.”

For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients’ fantasies. Never her own. Until now…

Her most secret desire is to give ownership of her body to a man. Someone who will command her, pleasure her, and have complete authority over her. So she seeks out Damon Roche, owner of an exclusive sex club and a man strong enough to make her do anything he wants. Anything.

Together they’ll journey into a world she’s only dreamed of. She’s given the opportunity to immerse herself in a different life while her normal one waits for her to return whenever she wishes. Damon has no desire to let her go, however. Serena is the woman he’s long searched for, and it’s up to him to convince her to stay when the game is all over with. He wants their fantasy to become their reality and for Serena to remain his pampered, cherished submissive.

My Thoughts

I have to admit that it took me the better part of the week to get through this book, and while i can’t fully blame it on the story, i feel like i might party do so.  This week has gotten away from me so apologies to all of you that missed seeing anything from me this week.

In any event, it’s been a while since i started this series, so i had even forgot a bit about what made it so good.  We had met Faith and Grey in their own story and it was hot and tension filled that i knew that there was something good to be said about the others that we met – Serena and Julie and even Damon, Micah and Nathan.  In this 2nd installment, we get  to become much better acquainted with Serena and Damon, and start to see what’s next for Julie and maybe Nathan….

This all starts when Serena who has a company that’s job is to fulfill people’s fantasies (on the clean side that is) and she realizes that she has her own fantasy – one that’s a bit more naughty.  She goes to Faith for help and the outcome is so much more than she ever expected.  Serena wants to be someone’s sex slave and she’s directed to Damon who owns ‘The House’ a BDSM club and someone who’s well versed and capable of finding her a partner.

That partner turns out to be none other than himself since she’s exactly what he needs, and his job to role play with her turns quite real. The issue of course in this story is that the lines become blurred between reality and fantasy for Serena while for Damon it’s always real.

What i liked about this story is that Ms. Maya Banks, our lovely author stays very true to her writing style in the sense that we get great back stories on the characters and very good scening.  I think that the downfall for me is that at times they were really predictable and i felt like i could have just fast forwarded a bit to get on with the story.  again though, i think more my problem than a problem with the book.

What keeps the story going is that we see Serena challenged by what Damon wants her to do and what she admits to herself that she wants, and it’s hot.  It’s always intriguing to me to see a strong woman acknowledge herself as a submissive and then to see what happens when the power is handed over to someone else.  Damon clearly knows his way around a woman and around domination and that’s really amazing to see here.

The best bits start to happen towards the end when you’re not sure who is going to compromise on what – and what will happen.  we see that a death becomes the downfall of things for Serena and it means that things will become so much more challenging.  She feels like she has to walk away from everything that she has and knows, and it becomes a fight for her to keep going.

I’m really excited now to see who’s next in the series and how it will play out since it seems like Julie has a plan for how to get her man, or to get another man, and it’s nice to see that they are all stretching themselves past boundaries that had been set up to see how sexual and passionate they can be when someone else is in control.  Enjoy!

 

Review: Burn (Breathless Trilogy #3) by Maya Banks

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Title:  Burn
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group 8/6/13
Length:  368 Pages
Series: Breathless Trilogy #3

Overview

Ash, Jace, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Ash, it’s the woman who changes everything he’s ever known about dominance and desire…

When it comes to sex, Ash McIntyre has always explored his wilder side—extreme and uncompromising. He demands control. And he prefers women who want it like that. Even the women he’s shared with his best friend, Jace.

But Jace is involved with a woman he has no intention of sharing. And now even Gabe has settled into a relationship with a woman who gives him everything he needs, leaving Ash feeling restless and unfulfilled.

Then Ash meets Josie, who seems immune to his charms and his wealth. Intrigued, he begins a relentless pursuit, determined she won’t be the one who got away. He never imagined the one woman to tell him no would be the only woman who’d ever drive him to the edge of desire

My Thoughts

This is one of my favorite trilogies in the genre because or main doms are so different, yet their stories give us a great sense of being so intertwined and reliant on one another, and there’s such great anxiety and tension.  Maya Banks does a great job i think in bringing us women that are strong because of the way that they grew up yet sure of themselves enough to know that they can allow a man to take control and revel in it.

So this is the story that we’ve been waiting for – where Ash is the focus, and we get to see him on his own.  If you’ve read the first 2 books in the series you know that he and Jace used to be a packaged deal and they were infamous for their threesomes.  Then Bethany came along and Jace was smitten and completely in love.  leaving Ash feeling like he was on the outside, and that’s precisely where book 3 takes off.  We find him in a place where he’s feeling like his brothers/best friends are moving on from him for their women and he’s got no one for himself.  His control of everything seems to be slipping away and that is how he finds himself in a park, staring off into space in his own thoughts, when he spies Josie across the way, deep in thought as she’s drawing, that is until their gazes lock and things are changed for both.

From what we know of Ash, he always gets his way and he wants Josie.  Of course that means that he’ll use his power and money to find her, find out about her and make her his.  That’s what he does, and of course since we’ve seen the mistakes that both Gabe and Jace have made with their ladies, he’s going to make the same ones too.  Josie of course though comes from a complicated life as well, one that’s not so nice and tidy, and she herself is in a relationship (D/s) of sorts which complicates things more.  She’s not free to be with Ash, at least not yet.

So the journey that we go on with them is one where Ash feels the need to protect and own Josie, and she finds herself in a position where the timing is precisely right for that. of course things are never clean and simple, and they find themselves in a situation where trust is of the utmost importance, between them and those around them, someone gets beat up, and maimed, another person lands in the hospital, and you don’t know if there’s going to be a happy solution for anyone.

I loved that we got to see a lot more of Mia and Bethany and that they didn’t just fall by the wayside as their stories ended.  we also got to meat Brittany (Ash’s sister) and see the complicated dynamic of his family and how he’s afraid to trust that someone may have honest motives.

What i really loved and i’m worried that we’ll hear nothing more about is Brittany and Kai.  That’s a story that i’d love to get into more, and even Carol and Brandon (although that one doesn’t seem like a power trip like Kai and Britt).  I feel like Kai would fit in PERFECTLY with Gabe/Jace/Ash, so here’s to hoping that there will be another story to make this more than just a trilogy.

On top of a great plotline, there’s such heat and passion between these 2 (Ash and Josie) that you know what you’re going to get here.  Ash knows how to push Josie to her limits while tormenting both of them just the same.  It’s hot, it’s steamy and it’s perfect for this third installment.  Enjoy everyone, and make sure to keep the A/C on cause you’ll probably need it!

Review: Fever (The Breathless Trilogy Book #2) by Maya Banks

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Title: Fever 
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group (USA), 4/2/13
Length: 416 pages
Series: The Breathless Trilogy #2

the slightly awaited 2nd installment in the Breathless Trilogy has arrived and i have to admit that i was waiting to see what was next for the 3 sexiest men in the city.  Knowing that we had Gabe’s story all wrapped up in Rush, next on the docket was Jace…mia’s brother.

so we open into the engagement party for Gabe and Mia where everyone’s excited for the happy couple that managed to sort things out in book 2, meaning that we get to see what the future lies with the other 2 boys who everyone knows are majorly into threesomes.  So true to form, Ash notices that Jace is checking out a particularly attractive woman who happens to be working at the party and makes his intentions known.  this is how we meet Bethany.  She’s working for the caterer and upon meeting Ash and Jace who are polar opposites, decides to take them up on their offer for a threesome mostly because it means that she’ll have somewhere warm to stay that night.  see the thing with Bethany is that she’s homeless and she’s been on the streets for about 4 years now trying to survive.

Unlike all other encounters that Ash and Jace have shared, Jace finds himself very possessive of Bethany and doesn’t really want to share her with Ash.  throughout the fun that night, he is very particular about what he’ll allow Ash to do and doesn’t want to even share her.

That begins the torrent romance that they begin and we get to see a harder/dominating side to Jace which is a nice little kink.  Of course though, things are never cut and dry.  while Jace is trying to give Bethany everything in the world (a place to stay, food, clothes the works), Bethany has a ‘brother’ that has been on the streets with her and he’s managed to get himself involved in some less than savory things that some how manage to keep Bethany entwined.

So this is a story of a developing relationship and romance that’s new for both (jace has never been a one woman guy and never been in love) and bethany hasn’t had anything her entire life.  Bethany’s brother Jack is a wild card and there’s just so much that can go wrong.

all in all not a ‘bad’ story – but what i always get frustrated with is when we’re given a glimpse into a character that’s clearly a dom, and in this case Jace even goes as far to say that he wants a ‘slave’ – a full submissive in and out of bed – but we don’t really get into too many scenes with him in that role.  he does a little basic paddle work or spanking, some tying up and all that, but really the best sex scenes are just some less than vanilla things, nothing really BDSM.  i think that the book could have pushed a little farther given that there’s a lot of set up to Jace being all dark and dangerous.

regardless – i’m looking forward to August when Burn, the final book in the trilogy comes out.