Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mastered by Maya Banks is Now Available & Reviewed

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.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy and the Breathless Trilogy knows what makes readers hot. Now she turns it up in Mastered, the explosive first book in a new series of a desire too dangerous to resist.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆
I love Maya Banks but I have to admit I was not overwhelmed with her latest, Mastered. Evangeline is a Southern transplant to New York City, moving there in an effort to better provide for her disabled parents. She makes decent money as waitress in a pub and because she shares an apartment with three friends from Mississippi, she’s able to send money home each week. Hard working and determined to help her parents, she’s not interested in dating, flirting, or having fun, until Eddie. Eddie is determined to woo her and when she finally gives in, he insults and dumps her all in the same night.

To me, what makes Evangeline a less than interesting heroine is that after she meets Drake she loses her self-worth and independence, which she had to have to leave rural Mississippi for New York. Letting a man take over her life so completely in such a short amount of time seems out of character for her. There are numerous instances where her will is subjugated for Drake’s.

Drake is an interesting character. He’s dominant, controlling and overbearing. His backstory is such that it makes you feel sorry for the child he was, which makes some of the things he considers important understandable.

Part of the problem is that while Drake hides who he truly is from Evangeline, he wants to know all of her secrets and dreams. When Evangeline goes out of her way to do something she thinks is considerate for him, Drake not only tears her down, but does it front of his associates. FINALLY, she grows a backbone and leaves him.

I’m hoping that in book two she will continue her growth and not give in to Drake’s domineering ways.

Evangeline is being sent into the lion’s den by her three best friends to get her confidence back after her ex-boyfriend dumped her. She doesn’t want to go to this club by herself but when she gets there, she finds the ex and things get out of hand really quick. When she thinks that he is going to hit her, someone finally steps in. While the ex is thrown out, she is taken to the boss’s office, thinking she is in trouble for causing trouble in the club. When she sees Drake, she can’t believe how beautiful he is but then again everyone working at this club is beautiful. Drake Donovan is the owner of the club, Impulse, and has his hands in many other businesses that he keeps from Evangeline. He doesn’t want to soil her with his dealings. He wants her submission and to own her. And when she gives him that can he protect her from himself? Will she win over all of Drake’s men and have them protecting her too? What will happen if she learns the truth of what Drake really does?

I love Maya Banks’ Slow Burn series and when this one came up in our reading group I had to have it. The only thing I didn’t like is that the heroine was from Mississippi and she was portrayed as being wishy-washy or she needed others to tell her what to do, as if she couldn't think for herself. I am from Mississippi and don’t need anyone telling me how to live or what to do. I know it is just a story but sometimes people actually think what they read is how things really are.

I've read many of Ms. Banks' stories, and enjoyed them all. What I have noticed is that the pace is getting slower and slower. Sometimes that is really good, in a world where everything moves so fast. There is a strong nod to a BDSM relationship here, however he does little to explain or prepare her, yet her innocence and naivety is a key feature of the story. I found that bothersome at times.

This story unfolds very, very slowly, and I felt that there was too much detail in places. It served to emphasise certain points, but became repetitive – admittedly Evangeline needed them repeated to her! Having been lulled into this feeling of lassitude, the ending was much more dramatic – and ensured that I will have to get hold of a copy of the second book, as there are now a lot of loose ends to resolve.

3.5 stars
I'm a huge Maya Banks fan but I have to say this one wasn't my favorite, and that's not even taking into account the cliff hanger ending.

Evangeline has been wronged by her ex and her three best friends have talked her into going to a club and rubbing his face in what he let get away. When the ex gets physical with her, security of the club intervenes and her life changes forever.

Drake Donovan is the owner of the club and the minute Evangeline steps through the door he decides she will be his. He immediately demands her into his office and after a very steamy session, sends her home with the strict instructions to return the next night. Evangeline is a shy woman who doesn't realize her own beauty and decides to blow Drake off, knowing he can have any woman he wants. The only problem is, Drake has decided he wants Evangeline.

I felt there was too much "fluff" in this book. Some parts were really repetitive, at the same time I couldn't put it down because it had me hooked from page one. I was super pissed at the way that Evangeline treated her friend Steph when she came to verify that Evangeline was safe with Drake, and then later on in the book when her three "best friends" treat her like crap. I really enjoyed Evangeline’s interactions with Drake’s staff though, that was hands down my favorite part and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for their own stories. As for part two on this one, I'll definitely be checking it out to tie up all the loose ends but I'm really hoping book two lacks the repetitiveness of book one.

Maya Banks is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, and the Sweet series. Her chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance and Scottish historical romance.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as in her Yahoo! Group and on her website.

Connect with Maya

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Mastered (The Enforcers #1) by Maya Banks to read and review.

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