Series: Breathless

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
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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: Fever by Maya Banks

Posted March 12, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fever by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Fever (Breathless, #2) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #2
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Rush (Breathless, #1), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: three-stars

Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise...

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.

Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

This book. This book was not for me. It is book two in the Breathless trilogy. This trilogy follows three best friends/business partners. In Fever we get the story of Jace Crestwell, who is the brother of the heroine in Rush. It’s made abundantly clear in Rush that Jace and his best friend Ash share women.

Jace’s eye is caught and held by a waitress who is working Gabe and Mia’s engagement party. He’s immediately smitten and wants her for his own. For the first time he doesn’t want to share with Ash. Ash, who is used to picking up clues from Jace, naturally tells Jace that he’ll put this one in the bag. It was all very smarmy. Especially when we get it from Bethany’s point of view and learn that she’s homeless and basically fucking them for her next meal and a warm bed. It doesn’t matter at all that she feels desire for them.

After their night together, Jace is shocked when Bethany disappears. Usually he is the one that does the disappearing. Not only that, but he soon discovers she is homeless. He goes crazy trying to find her. When he does, he moves her into his sister’s old apartment with the intention of moving her in with him as soon as possible.

Bethany just goes along with the whirlwind that is Jace. She doesn’t know why Jace wants her, but he does. The whole thing is just uncomfortable to read. Not because she was homeless. It was how Jace didn’t trust her because she was a willing participant in the threesome with Ash. It was that Jace didn’t want her to lift a finger to do anything. It was just a gross book.

Yep, that explains the book. It was gross. I honestly don’t know why I finished it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Breathless

one-star


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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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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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Guest Review: Burn by Maya Banks

Posted September 11, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review:  Burn by Maya BanksReviewer: Ames
Burn (Breathless, #3) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #3
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 353
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-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.

I debated reading this one after the wreck that was Fever but I wanted to see what kind of woman Ash would end up with. I was hoping it would be someone feisty and who would stand up to him, because he’s a charming guy and used to getting his way. Yeah…I definitely set myself up for disappointment with that expectation.

Ash is in the park one day, when he spies a beautiful woman and her sketchpad. Just by observing her, he can tell that the diamond collar around her neck is not for her. He also knows what that collar signifies: she is a submissive. And her dominant does not understand her if he gave her that collar. When their eyes meet, Ash walks over and introduces himself. And then he tells her that if he was her dom, he would give her a collar that suits her. Definitely arrogant. Josie, the young artiste in the park, is not one to fall at his feet, although she does think he’s beautiful. From that brief meeting, Ash sets men to keep an eye on Josie and buys up all her artwork at a small gallery. When one of his men sees that Josie sold some jewelry, Ash buys it and uses it to meet Josie again. Ash knows he wants Josie, and he wants to give her a chance to get to know him. Not long after, Josie moves in with Ash and they begin to fall in love. But an enemy from Gabe’s past is not done with the three friends and makes his move against Josie…

Burn did not wow me. I didn’t connect with the characters. I wanted Josie to have more of a personality than she did. She was like Bethany 2.0. Except not homeless. She’s just a vessel for Ash to pour all his love into. It’s a bit harsh, but that’s how it comes across. Her job, being an artist, makes it very easy for her to move into Ash’s life and wait around for him. Ash’s takeover of her life rubbed me the wrong way. He meets her and then right away sets about stalking her (via his employees) and taking over her life. She puts up a bit of a fight but then caves when he moves her into his apartment. Fine, she wants someone to take care of her. Part of her being able to do that is her recent success with her paintings. Someone is buying up all her work and that gives her confidence. Of course that comes back to bite her in the ass…and then she shows some spirit. But it felt like too little too late by the time that happened.

Overall, Burn was underwhelming. Ash was almost a carbon copy of Jace and Gabe when it comes to how he treats his woman. The sex scenes were repetitive and the conflict (with Gabe’s enemy from book 1) was weak. Overall, Burn did not wow me nor did it make me angry like Fever did.

3 out of 5

Breathless

three-stars


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Guest Review: Fever by Maya Banks

Posted April 11, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Fever by Maya BanksReviewer: Ames
Fever (Breathless, #2) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #2
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Burn (Breathless, #3), Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: three-stars

Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise...

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.

Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.
Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

I’m not going to lie, I had serious issues with Fever.

Jace and Ash are best friends and are known for enjoying a woman together. So when Ash notices Jace checking out one of the wait staff at Mia and Gabe’s engagement party, he decides to proposition her, something Jace specifically asks him not to do. Jace is drawn to the woman and when Ash talks about sharing her, he doesn’t know why but he does not like it. Ash doesn’t listen to Jace and goes after the woman.

Bethany, the waitress in discussion, needs this job. She gets to eat the leftovers and it gives her some much needed money. Right away the reader gets that Bethany is homeless. And to top it off, she’s practically supporting her ‘brother.’

Jace and Ash are rich (not quite the way the summary described them as the most powerful men in the country, that’s a bit of an exaggeration) and Bethany is the exact opposite. But they don’t know that.

So Ash goes to Bethany to ask her if she wants to fool around. She’s not interested until Jace shows up to get Ash to back off. When she realizes that it’s a threesome Ash is proposing and that Jace is part of the deal, she’s intrigued. She says she’ll do it if they feed her. They think nothing of it and off they go.

And this is where I had some serious problems. There’s definitely a power imbalance here. Jace and Ash are in this to get off. And their dialog between the two of them while they’re engaged in sex with Bethany proves that. On page 27 of the pdf copy I had (from Netgalley) Jace says “Her pussy is mine.” I know we’re supposed to see that as some romantic thing, that he doesn’t want to share her with Ash on some level but I did not take it that way at all. I was frankly disgusted that they would refer to Bethany in terms of body parts while she was right there. She’s a flesh and blood woman with feelings who deserves more respect than to be broken down into body parts to be fought over.

Contrast that with Bethany’s reasons for the threesome. Yeah she’s attracted to Jace (and Ash but more Jace) but she wants a warm place to stay for the night and a meal.  Survival.

I was put off by the whole scenario. But hey, Jace is smitten with Bethany and her tiny body and how vulnerable she looks, so this is a romance! I kept reading despite being very uncomfortable with that whole scene. So during the morning, Bethany sneaks off and Jace spends the next two weeks looking for her. He finds out pretty quick that she is homeless which makes him more determined to find her.

Once he finds her, he takes over her life, almost completely (Bethany still tries to do some stuff on her own that always results in Jace freaking the hell out). And this whole scenario rubbed me the wrong way too.

Jace is a control freak. And really, who else but a homeless woman who has to rely on him for everything could make him happy? Seriously. He wants to control every aspect of her life and he does. He has found his perfect woman.

“But if having her own apartment gave her a semblance of power and at least the guise of having a choice, then he could deal. Because he knew she had neither power nor choice. She was his. Belonged to him. That didn’t change because she had the appearance of independence.” (p. 155)

That whole paragraph sums up Jace and his feeling of ownership towards Bethany. He totally loves her right? How infuriating and patronizing and condescending!

I like an alpha hero but this was too much. I was not comfortable with this story at all. I could go on but I’m going to leave it there. I did not like the inequality between Bethany and Jace.

1 out of 5

Breathless

one-star


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