Tag: Maya Banks

Throwback Thursday Review: Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks

Posted June 21, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya BanksReviewer: Holly
Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks
Series: McCabe Trilogy #2
Also in this series: In Bed with a Highlander, In Bed with a Highlander, Never Love a Highlander
Published by Ballantine
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 323
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars


Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of romance and romantic suspense has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Seduction of a Highland Lass, an indomitable Highland warrior is caught between loyalty and forbidden love.
 Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put to the test his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires.

An outcast from her own clan, Keeley McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice: Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on November 29, 2011.

Where the first book in the series had more external conflict, this one has a lot more internal conflict.

Alaric MacCabeis on his way to a neighboring clan to formally offer marriage to the Laird’s daughter, Rionna MacDonald, to secure an alliance, when he’s attacked. All of his men are killed and he’s gravely wounded. He manages to make it to Keeley MacDonald’s cabin on the outskirts of the clan. She’s a skilled healer and is able to save his life. When his bothers, Ewan and Caelen, show up, they decide to keep Keeley since they need a healer in their clan. Not only is Keeley charged with caring for Alaric, but Ewan wants her to attend the birth of his first child.

Keeley was cast out of her clan as a young girl after the Laird made unwanted advances and his wife cried her a whore. She’s been living alone ever since. The idea of being accepted as a healer in a new clan is appealing, but she’s not happy to have been snatched from her home with no choice. The deciding factor in her not fighting her situation is Alaric. They formed a deep bond while Keeley was caring for him.

The problem is Alaric promised to marry Rionna MacDonald. The MacDonald land lies between the McCabe keep and the new land Ewan McCabe (the laird) inherited when he married his new wife. Without the alliance the clan will be divided, not to mention the other alliances they’re working on might be jeopardized. Alaric knows his duty. As much as he wants Keeley, he knows he can’t have her. Not permanently.

Although Duncan Cameron, the villain from the first book, is still a threat in this novel, but the focus is on the internal conflict of Alaric and Keeley being in love but unable to marry. The story could have become bogged down with angst, but Banks managed a good balance between sexy-times, humor and conflict.

Keeley was a practical woman. Her clan threw her out, but she isn’t so hung up on it she’s willing to cut off her nose to spite her face. When Ewan offers her a place with the McCabe clan, she takes it. Her practicality and levelheadedness worked well with the conflict, too. Yes, she wanted Alaric, but she understood what was at stake and what would happen if they risked everything. Alaric also knew his duty, but my heart broke for him. He knew right away that he wanted Keeley and no other, but he also knew he didn’t have a choice.

I think too often in historical novels the main characters throw convention and duty out the window to the detriment of the story. Yes, it happened, but it was rare. I think for a couple to focus more on duty than on love brought a touch of realism.

The story isn’t perfect. There were times when it was bogged down with useless info. The dialogue ran toward cheesy now and again. I also found myself struggling to connect to Keeley in the beginning. Thankfully that didn’t last long. 

Overall this was a satisfying read. I enjoyed the characters and the conflict. Banks has penned a strong second novel for this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

McCabe Trilogy

four-stars


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Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway): Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks

Posted October 7, 2014 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 15 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper CollinsGenres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense

keep me safeToday, Maya Banks has a new release. Keep Me Safe, the first in the Slow Burn series, which follows the exciting and heart-pounding adventures of Ramie St. Claire, a woman with the remarkable talent of locating missing victims by feeling their pain, is available today!

Rising above the talents of a typical psychic, Ramie uses her gift to locate missing victims by connecting with their emotions and feeling their pain. However, every gift comes with a curse. Every time Ramie locates another victim, she loses a piece of herself and experiences the same physical and mental pain the missing victims do. When the younger sister of Caleb Devereaux disappears—rich, handsome, impatient Caleb Devereaux—he immediately seeks out Ramie’s help and talents, igniting chemistry between the two that they never expected.

When tracking down Caleb’s sister leads to Ramie’s suffering and eventual disappearance, Caleb vows to do everything within his power to help her. After Ramie suddenly reappears, deeply in need of Caleb’s aid, Caleb knows he will lay everything on the line, even his heart, to shelter Ramie from harm.

I love books that feature parapsychology. I generally don’t read romantic suspense, but I’m going to make an exception for this book, I think.

The second book in the series, In His Keeping, will be available in January 2015 and the third book in the series, Safe at Last, will be published in March 2015.

Giveaway: We’re giving one print copy of Keep Me Safe away! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep Me Safe is available now from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Taking It All by Maya Banks

Posted August 20, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 0 Comments

Taking it AllNatalia’s review of Taking It All (Surrender Trilogy, #3) by Maya Banks

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. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier 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. And prove to 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 far more back. Himself. His undying love.

As a whole, I enjoyed this series well enough. I thought it was a different outlook on the dominant submissive type of relationship where all parties involved were happy and respected. We always see happily ever after in romances, but rarely do we see what happens afterwords. Where does a marriage go, and how do they overcome their fazes?

Because of this, when I finished the second book, Letting Go, I’ve been looking forward to this release. I must say that sadly, it didn’t fulfill my expectations.

It was nice to revisit the old Characters Kiley, Joss, Nash, and Jenson. I wanted to see how happily they ended up. However for the most part, I felt that this was a pointless book.  First off. Chessy’s unhappiness in her marriage. It seems that she grew unhappy as time passed, but didn’t do anything about it. She never had any kind of conversation with Tate, expressing her feelings. When she finally did, it seemed to me that Tate was willing to listen and change. The entire thing felt at least to me, that it could’ve been avoided with good communication and compromise.

One of the things I love most about romance novels are devoted heroes. Every hero in this trilogy is absolutely devoted to his heroin. Still, while the story line of each book was different, the personalities of each hero and heroine were exactly the same. It felt as though I was reading the same book for the third time in a row with a different plot.

In spite of my nit picking, I did enjoy this series, and liked how everyone ended up. I hear that this author has a romantic suspense series. I’m looking forward to her take on that genre!

Grade: 3 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

This book is available from Berkley.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Taking it All by Maya Banks

Posted August 13, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Taking it All by Maya BanksReviewer: Holly
Taking It All by Maya Banks
Series: Surrender Trilogy #3
Also in this series: Letting Go
Published by Berkley, Penguin
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fiction
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

MAYA BANKS...I'M READY FOR THE NEXT RIDE NOW SAID USA TODAY. AND NOW, MAYA BANKS IS READY TO DELIVER. FROM THE MUST-READ AUTHOR (ROMANCE JUNKIES) OF LETTING GO AND GIVING IN--THE NEW NOVEL IN HER SURRENDER TRILOGY.
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.

This is a novel full of angst. Tate has been falling down in his job as husband to Chessy since his business partner bailed and he had to take over everything himself. For two long years she’s been neglected while he focused on work. While being neglected is never fun, for Chessy, who doesn’t work and looked to Tate to give her the comfort and security she didn’t get in childhood, it’s horrible. He promised she’d never feel alone or lonely, yet for two years that’s all she’s felt. When he bails on her for their anniversary and she catches him wooing a client instead, it’s too much. She refuses to live her life where she isn’t a priority and demands Tate realize that.

Tate is appalled when he realizes how far apart he and Chessy have grown. He was so focused on building his business he didn’t realize he wasn’t giving her what he should have been – his time and energy. Once she opens his eyes, he vows to do all he can to make her his number one priority. Again. Until he really drops the ball and it’s the last straw for Chessy.

I enjoyed the dark angst of the book. Chessy was frustrating in the beginning. For two years she sucked up her feelings and put on a good face. While it could have been noble, she came off as a martyr. Once she decided to put her foot down she really came into her own. While she seemed weak in the beginning, she proved she was only willing to be pushed so far.

Tate really screwed up. It was hard seeing him fail so spectacularly. When he made his second, huge mistake my heart nearly stopped. I didn’t think he could come back from that. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how he did come back, but he did. In the end I believed in their relationship and felt Chessy’s forgiveness was true.

There were drawbacks. Tate’s pet name for Chessy is “my girl”. It was really over-used to the point of becoming annoying. I started to cringe each time it came up on page. My other frustration were the chapters from Kylie and Joss, the heroines from the previous two books. To be fair to Banks, this is a personal pet peeve. I really dislike when the previous characters get chapters in later books. They already had their books, I don’t need more from their points-of-view.

I also found the D/s aspects of the book to be kind of rushed. Especially in the end. I needed to see more in depth conversation to believe what Tate did to Chessy was truly forgotten on her part. I believe she forgave him, but I don’t see how she could have just gotten over it.

This was a compelling read. I couldn’t put it down. Definitely my favorite of the three.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Ready: Giving In by Maya banks

Posted May 21, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 1 Comment

giving in largeNatalia‘s review of Giving In (The Surrender Trilogy, book 2) by Maya Banks

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.

 

 

This is the second book I’ve read by Maya banks, and it was great! When I read the first book in the series, Letting Go, I was looking forward to Kylie and Jensen’s story.

The book surprised me. As many books before it, we have an abused heroine consumed by her past, and an alpha male wanting to save her. However, unlike books before it, this book represented a more realistic aspect of love, and complications with oneself.  I expected Jensen to make everything better and save Kylie. I thought she’d become someone able to withstand being a submissive in every way, and I couldn’t figure out how an author would make it happen in a couple hundred pages. . I was pleasantly surprised. Jensen and Kylie both made everything better for each other. They were two people with their own demons to fight, and they did so, nicely. Rather than saving each other, an impossibility, they complimented each other. I love how patient Jensen was with Kylie and her traumas. I didn’t expect that. He was incredibly sweet with her! I really appreciate the respect represented in this series, given the usual nature of the genre these days.

When it came down to it, Kylie was exactly what Jensen needed. I loved that the author didn’t all of a sudden make Kylie in to this person able to withstand s and M just because the book is fiction. We saw an ending where they both were just beginning to work on their issues, and the promise for further growth for the couple.

The next book in this series is coming out in September, and I cannot wait. As many who have read this series can attest, the characters can stick to you. I’m dying to read Tate and Chessy’s story!

 

4 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 


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