Genre: Erotica

Review: Burn by Maya Banks

Posted March 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Burn by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Burn (Breathless, #3) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 353
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

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.

This is the final and best book in the Breathless trilogy. Not that it took much to be better than Rush and Fever. Ash has always been an intriguing character. He’s always seemed like the “aw shucks” type of guy. He never seemed to be much more than a pretty face. There was a hint of more in Fever, but that book was such a train wreck that I wasn’t even thinking of Ash.

Ash first notices Josie in the park. He doesn’t know what about it is that draws his eye, but he’s instantly mesmerized by her. When he approaches her, he’s intrigued when she immediately gathers her things to flee. No one flees Ash. If anything women flock to him. Then the piece of paper she was drawing on flies loose and he sees that she was drawing him.

The way they come into each others lives is kind of messed up. I think by the time I read this book I was pretty much numb to the way these men acted. So the fact that Ash had a guy start following Josie for safety purposes didn’t even raise a red flag. When Josie went to a pawn shop to temporarily pawn her moms jewelry so she could pay her rent, Ash didn’t think twice about buying it and then blackmailing her into going out with him.

Seriously, what is wrong with me that I didn’t think there was a problem with that?

During their date, they both admit their undeniable attraction to each other. Josie admits that she broke up with her on again/off again boyfriend because of him. She wasn’t really happy when she said that. Ash makes sure she knows that if she agrees to be his, he will literally take over her life.

As I’m writing this review, I am seeing the big picture of what Maya Banks was trying to do here. In the first book there was sexual assault, in the second book a character was homeless, in this book there was physical assault. This all happened to the women. I don’t know what the point of it was except to make the men feel helpless.

It was my favorite book of the three because Josie was my favorite heroine of the three. I just really enjoyed her. I was going to give this book a 4 out of 5, but as I kept going along in my review I realized that there was no way that I could do that. There were just too many problems.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Breathless

three-half-stars


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Review: Rush by Maya Banks

Posted March 8, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rush by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Rush (Breathless, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 396
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking...

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.

I have been glomming Maya Banks for some reason. I’m still unsure why that is. I used to love her books. Like love love them. Now I just like them. I think I’m reading them because they’re quick and easy. Yep, that’s why.

Gabe Hamilton has been burned. Badly. By someone he trusted. Now he doesn’t trust. In fact he trusts women so little that he makes his would-be lovers sign a contract before he starts any sort of relationship. Even when he finally gets Mia Crestwell into his arms, he gives her his contract.

Mia is shocked when she reads Gabe’s contract. Shocked, dismayed, and turned on. She knows if her brother and Gabe’s best friend and business partner, Jace Crestwell, ever finds out about their affair that he would go ballistic. As shell shocked as she is at the contract, Mia can’t turn Gabe down. She’s wanted him for too long to even think about denying him or herself.

This a light BDSM book. Definitely erotic, but not terribly so. I’ve read more erotica books to be sure. There was no calling Gabe “master”, so don’t let that stop you from reading the book. It was a shame what Mia had to endure while Gabe was grappling with his feelings for her. Actually, it was straight fucked. No matter how Gabe tried to make it up to her, what he did was just about unforgivable.

I was going to give this book a 4, but as I started writing my review, I decided to change it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Breathless

three-half-stars


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Review: Kept by Maya Banks

Posted February 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Kept by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Kept (The Enforcers, #3) by Maya Banks
Series: The Enforcers #3
Also in this series: Mastered (The Enforcers, #1), Dominated (The Enforcers, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 310
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the author of Mastered and Dominated comes the third Enforcers novel—the searing story of a woman who finds sanctuary in surrender...

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...

Haley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working two 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 Haley 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 thing he's ever experienced, he knows he'll have to do the hardest thing he's ever had to face. Let her go. But he's totally unprepared for the lengths Haley will go to fight for his love and a future brighter than the sun...

Kept is the final book in the Enforcers trilogy. I’m a little disappointed that it’s a trilogy because I would love to read Maddox and Justice’s stories. They featured prominently in this trilogy so I was very surprised that they didn’t get their own books. Still, I would have been more surprised had Silas not had his own book. He definitely needed a book.

Silas had the childhood from hell. He lives with demons that no one should have to face. He knows that there is no hope for him and he accepts that. He is an enforcer for Drake Donovan, but even Drake doesn’t give Silas orders. Silas does what he wants, when he wants. He’s loyal to Drake because he wants to be, not because he has to be.

Haley is desperately searching for an apartment. Working two jobs and only on a partial scholarship at a prestigious music school, Haley is running out of options. When she comes across an ad for a walk-up apartment, she decides to check it out even though she knows it may be too much. Still, Haley is hopeful. That is the kind of person she is. When she finds out the rent for the apartment, she is devastated. Haley knows that her time in New York is running out.

Silas sees Haley on his security monitors and instantly wants to protect her. Moving her into the apartment next to his is something that is completely unexpected. Silas is a loner by nature, but Haley brings peace to his world. It’s her music that starts their relationship although Haley doesn’t even know that Silas is listening to her.

A series of events bring Haley and Silas face-to-face. Soon after they are in an intense relationship, one that Haley revels in. When Silas breaks her heart, he’s only trying to protect her. The only problem is that he ends up bringing danger to her door. He only hopes it’s not too late to save her and her love for him.

This was probably my favorite book in the series. Silas was extremely dominating and Haley was submissive, but she was also very strong willed. There were things that she wouldn’t let Silas get away with and I fully appreciated that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Enforcers

four-stars


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Review: Dominated by Maya Banks

Posted February 25, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dominated by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Dominated (The Enforcers, #2) by Maya Banks
Series: The Enforcers #2
Also in this series: Mastered (The Enforcers, #1), Kept (The Enforcers, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 13, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Book number two in Banks’ Enforcer series. It is a continuation of Mastered. When I say continuation, I mean that it picks up right where Mastered left off. Same couple, same everything. It completely understood that Drake and Evangeline needed their story finished, but over an entire second book? Questionable. It was more of the same. Drake kept fucking up and Evangeline kept forgiving him, all the while waiting for him to end things with her.

Seriously, it was the same stuff, but written a little differently. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, but some parts were very yawn worthy.

The book begins with Drake frantically looking for Evangeline. After being kidnapped by his enemies, Evangeline is left with nothing. Well, almost nothing. Before being kidnapped, she found out that she was pregnant. She also found out that Drake will never trust her. She knows that one day it will ruin them. After literally begging on her knees for Drake to listen to her, he throws her out. To say that his enforcers are not happy with him is a vast understatement. They know what kind of woman Evangeline is even if Drake doesn’t. They band together to protect her. After being kidnapped she gives Drake his engagement ring back and flies home to her parents.

Drake knows that he fucked up beyond imagining. After the first time he did the unspeakable to her, she forgave him. He’s not sure that she will forgive him this time, but he won’t give up. He wants his family together desperately and he will beg Evangeline if necessary.

I really did want to knock Drake upside the head. What a flaming moron. Does he know the woman he claims to love at all? Seriously. In the end, this book ended up being about forgiveness. The human capacity to forgive is strong, especially in Evangeline.

I did enjoy this book enough to move onto the third and final book in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Enforcers

three-half-stars


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Review: Mastered by Maya Banks

Posted February 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Mastered by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Mastered (The Enforcers, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: The Enforcers #1
Also in this series: Dominated (The Enforcers, #2), Kept (The Enforcers, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Breathless Trilogy comes the first novel in the Enforcers series—a bold new direction in erotic romance that explores the games men and women play, and the price they’re willing to pay for pleasure.

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.

Coming May 2016: The Enforcers Book II: Dominated

I love Maya Banks and have for years. It’s true that my reading tastes have changed, but what can you do? I was going through my “to-read” shelf on GoodReads and noticed that Kept (#3 in the series) was on the list. This is a trilogy that I was really looking forward to years ago and I don’t know why I never read it.

Let me preface my review by saying that this isn’t exactly a romance. I don’t even know that there are true romantic elements here. This is a BDSM book where the hero takes complete control of the heroines life and does unspeakable things to hurt her. Unforgivable things to most of us. Things that may be too much for a vanilla romance reader to read. Sometimes need overcomes all else and that what happens here.

After a thoroughly disaster first sexual encounter, Evangeline has revenge on her mind. Well, it’s not really on her mind. It’s on the mind of her three best friends. After dressing her to the nines and giving her a VIP pass to one of the hottest clubs in New York, they send Evangeline on her way to show Eddie just what he’s missing. Except their plan backfires in a big way. When Evangeline arrives, she immediately knows that she doesn’t belong and it’s evident that everyone watching knows it too. After (barely) being admitted inside the club, Evangeline feels even more out of place. She doesn’t notice the men staring at her. What she does notice is the women sneering and looking down on her. Deciding to write the whole night off as a mistake, Evangeline attempts to leave when she runs into Eddie. Which goes nothing like she imagined. When the bouncers step in to save her from a violent attack, she is humiliated. Even more so when they take her to their boss.

Drake noticed Evangeline as soon as she walked through the doors of his club. She has a look of innocence and sweetness that men wanted and women hated. She didn’t belong there. When she is attacked, Drake is enraged. When his men bring her to his office, he intends to tell her exactly why she doesn’t belong there. Except she apologizes profusely and tells him that he will never see him again and that she knows she doesn’t belong. Everything he was going to tell her sounded like blasphemy coming out of her mouth. The only way to shut her up was to kiss her and kiss her he did.

My biggest problem with this book is Evangeline’s lack of confidence and self-esteem. The woman thought nothing of herself. She had pride in spades, but she thought she was only with Drake until he was sick of her. Which she knew was going to be sooner rather than later because she just didn’t measure up to who he was used to being with. She was just a southern girl that was trying to take care of her ailing parents. She was nothing.

Honestly, it got old and fast.

She doesn’t quite know what Drake does for a living, but is happy with him so shrug. When it’s time to protect her life, Drake goes to awful lengths to protect her. He humiliates her in all the worst possible ways, but especially as a woman. The little confidence she had as the woman Drake could possible love is gone in the blink of an eye.

As much as Evangeline bugged me, the story still sucked me in. I read it in no time at all and moved onto the next one as soon as I finished this one.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Enforcers

three-half-stars


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