Series: Breathless

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)
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: two-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)
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: two-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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Guest Review: Rush by Maya Banks

Posted February 22, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Rush by Maya BanksReviewer: Ames
Rush (Breathless, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Also in this series: Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 396
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: two-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.

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.

Despite enjoying Mia and Gabe’s characters, I had a few problems with Rush.

Mia is Jace’s little sister and that has made her off limits to Gabe for years.  There was no way he was going after his best friend’s sister.  But one day out of the blue, Gabe saw Mia on the sidewalk and something about her that day made him realize that he couldn’t deny himself any longer.  He had to make her his.

Gabe hasn’t realize that Mia has wanted him ever since her teenage years.  But Mia never in a million years that that a guy like Gabe (older, sophisticated, rich) would want a girl like her.  Mia is a beautiful, kind woman with a big heart and she definitely underestimates herself.

When Mia appears at his hotel’s grand opening alone, Gabe realizes this is his chance to claim Mia, but becoming his lover isn’t going to be that easy for Mia.  Gabe has been burnt in the past by another woman and he has all his lovers sign a contract – basically signing over control to Gabe.  He’s very dominant.  He’s unapologetic about it but he doesn’t want the media getting any wind of his sexual proclivities.  Mia needs to be sure she’s ready for what he’s going to dish out before she signs the contract.  She may be young, but she knows what she wants.

There were some aspects of Rush I enjoyed.  Like I said I liked Mia and Gabe’s characters.  I liked that she was his best friend’s little sister and I liked the age difference between them.  And the sex was hot.  But it did get repetitive after a while.  There were also some clichés on that got on my nerves.  Gabe referred to Mia as kitten a few times and liked it when she got angry, because she was like a kitten when that happened (little claws that do no damage kind of thing).  For some odd reason, I find that metaphor very annoying.  There was also an incident that I understand was meant to create conflict for Mia and Gabe but I absolutely hated it.  Gabe, reacting in a non-logical way to Mia making him vulnerable, puts her in a dangerous situation that Mia does not come out of unscathed.  Hated that.  It left a bad taste in my mouth.  And there was the corny as hell ending.  As much as I liked Mia and Gabe, all these factors added up to me not liking Rush that much.  But there was enough there that has me interested in the second book in this trilogy.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Breathless

three-stars


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