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: 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!