Review: Burn by Maya Banks

5th Aug 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Burn by Maya BanksBurn by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #3
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: August 6th 2013
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Erotica
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 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.

 

With the final installment in the Breathless trilogy here, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed Burn! Out of the three, Burn really was more of what I wanted out of this series. It wasn’t only about how much sex could be put on the page, or about how dominant the male could be, but more of a good symmetry between all the elements. I was also really happy to see a much more emotionally stable relationship in this one. Things weren’t high-drama, like in Fever, but instead it had the right amount of conflict and suspense.

Ash was always my favorite and the one who intrigued me most. We always knew he was charismatic and charming, but in this book we also learn he’s devoted, loving, and intense. Josie was his opposite in a lot of ways, but most importantly she matched on a lot more ways, which made them the perfect match. He never tried to crush her independent spirit (on purpose, anyway) or keep her on a leash, but they both agreed on what it would be like between them, and I felt that since they were well-matched. It was also really fun to see all the characters from the series involved in this book so much. Though, I must say, I’ve never had the conversations these group of ladies have with my friends. Ha!

Burn was a good end to this triology, and Maya Banks is still a great writer in my book. I look forward to continue reading her novels.

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About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Fever by Maya Banks

15th Apr 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Fever by Maya BanksFever by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #2
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: April 2nd 2013
Pages: 416
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 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.

All throughout reading Rush, the first book in this Breathless trilogy, I was immensely curious about Jace and Ash. They had this thing going on where they only slept with the same woman at the same time, and I must admit I was really excited to see how this would play out in this book, which is about Jace. Soon after starting Fever I realized their relationship wouldn’t be something we explored. Womp womp. Still, I was interested enough in Jace alone to find out more about him. But it turns out that I wasn’t wooed by him either. And even though we find out a lot about Bethany’s past and her struggles, I never really felt like I knew who she was. It really felt like her whole identity revolved around what Jace wanted her to be.

I’ve come to realized while reading this that I do not enjoy these type of males. If they’re dominant in the bedroom, I can get on board with it…but if they try to control the woman, from who she sees and talks to, what she can and cannot wear, or where she can and cannot go? Oh, HELL no. Jace spoke of being this type of person to Bethany. He told her that’s the kind of relationship they would have…but in the end, he never really followed through with any of those demands, other than when it was about her safety. I was so glad and it made me not hate Jace in the end. Would I call him my next book boyfriend? Eh, probably not.

I did like that there was more emotion and romance in this book than in Rush. Jace and Bethany definitely brought on the dramatics, but they also had really sweet moments. And Maya Banks’ writing is, as always, great. While this may not be my favorite series of hers, I will continue on to the last book in this trilogy, Burn.

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Rush by Maya Banks

18th Mar 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Rush by Maya BanksRush by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: February 5th 2013
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 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.

Well, here’s the thing about this book. Yes, it’s Erotica and I don’t usually review them on the blog…but it’s written by Maya Banks. I love her KGI series! So when I received this for review, of course I wanted to read it! And overall I liked it. I liked it WAY more than Sylvia Day’s Bared to You, another Erotica novel I reviewed on the blog, but I wasn’t totally invested in Gabe and Mia’s story. I am beginning to think that these “Fifty Shades of Grey” type of books are not for me though.

My biggest issue with Rush was Gabe. There really wasn’t much I liked about the way he was. He never really showed much emotion and it made it hard for me to find any romance in the sexual encounters between him and Mia. And there were a ton of sexual encounters, but they all seemed overly brash. I wish there had been less sex and more connection/relationship building, which kind of sucks to say about and Erotica novel but it’s how I felt. I think what saved him in the end for me was how he came around in the end, even though it was after some major f’ups with Mia. Mia was definitely likeable but she would just go along with everything. I get that they signed a contract where she agreed to all this stuff but I thought maybe she’d try to get Gabe to be less cold with it all.

While I enjoyed Mia and Gabe’s story well enough, I kept thinking about the other two guys we meet in this book, Jace and Ash. They have something reeeeeally interesting going on and I am BEYOND intrigued to figure them out! I think a lot of the times they were what kept me reading this book, so I definitely look forward to reading Fever and Burn.

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks

12th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Echoes at Dawn by Maya BanksEchoes at Dawn by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #5
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: July 3rd 2012
Pages: 307
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline--an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister--has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is running out...

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He's unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he's fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time...hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it's pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

I have been somewhat intrigued by Rio, though I can’t say his was the book I was dying to read. I think part of it is that he isn’t a Kelly. When the main character is a Kelly, you get a lot more of the whole family dynamics, and that’s what I was essentially missing in while reading Echoes at Dawn. I was missing the Kelly clan!

Normally I also don’t complain about how quickly relationships develop in romance novels, but I really don’t get where Rio and Grace’s sprung from. Aside from their sexy intimate moments, I didn’t feel sparks. I also didn’t understand where their undying love for each other came from.

I did feel the story picked up for me in the last third of the book, but maybe not enough to really make an impact on my final thoughts on it. I really wanted to love it like the other books in the series but it was just not to be the case. The actual story wasn’t the problem for me, it had all the same great, action-filled elements that we see in this series…it was just I didn’t connect with these particular characters. I will for sure be continuing with the KGI series though. No doubt about that.

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks

3rd Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Whispers in the Dark by Maya BanksWhispers in the Dark by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #4
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: January 3rd 2012
Pages: 333
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

She came to him when he needed her the most

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She’s the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he’ll never return to his family. With her help, he’s able to escape. But he isn’t truly free, because now she’s disappeared and he’s left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he’d once needed hers?

Now he rushes to save her before it’s too late

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who’d already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn’t have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He’ll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?

Damn Maya Banks for making me cry once again! The Kelly brothers always make me feel all the feelings, y’all! So why I am surprised that Nathan would do that to me? I think maybe because the twins, Nathan and Joe, haven’t been around as much as the rest of the Kelly brothers. We’ve only seen them sporadically until now. Those two will definitely steal your heart. Bet on that.

This book had the usual suspense we come to expect from this series: kidnappings, guns, helicopters, if it’s actiony and military, this series has it. But this particular book had a touch of something…more. Something…out of the norm. It definitely made for an interesting twist. And another thing that was different – the ending, while it might bring some closure to Nathan and Shea’s story, it doesn’t completely end it. It is obvious this story is not completely wrapped up when you’ve turned the last page. I’m really looking forward to its continuation.

While I loved the story and the Kelly family, I can’t say that Shea is my favorite protagonist. I don’t know what it was, but I just did not find myself making any kind of connection with her. I certainly felt strong empathy for Nathan, but Shea? Nothing. I was just indifferent towards her. I didn’t take away from the story for me, but I would have loved to have loved her.

I am always excited when picking up the next book in this series, because I really love ALL of the characters already introduced. I look forward to reading each of their books in turn. Whispers in the Dark is not my favorite of the series so far, but I did love it all the same.

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Hidden Away by Maya Banks

3rd Mar 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Hidden Away by Maya BanksHidden Away by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #3
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: March 1st 2011
Pages: 486
Format: eBook | Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

A man who shoots first and asks questions later…

Most people would take an all-expenses-paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who’s in hiding after witnessing a murder by Marcus Lattimer, her half-brother—and a personal enemy of KGI. This gig may be beneath a disciplined soldier like Garrett, but if he gets a shot at Lattimer, it will all be worth it…

…and the ultimate moving target.

But Garrett hadn’t counted on falling for Sarah. He’d considered seduction as a tactical maneuver, but when he glimpses Sarah’s dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe—even after she disappears on him. Garrett doesn’t know exactly who, or what, Sarah’s running from, but whatever it is, she’s running for her life…

Everyone who has met Garrett so far describe him as scary upon meeting him. He’s always scowling and his protective streak for his family can be overwhelming to outsiders. Then you get to know him, and he gets to know and love you, and he becomes this big, sweet, playful teddy bear. Out of all the Kelly brothers, I’ve liked Garrett the most (with Donovan coming in at a close second).

I can see why Garrett would immediately want to protect Sarah. She wants to be this strong person who overcomes her fears, but she needs a little help. She is very much vulnerable still after her rape, but she is determined to get better. Garrett and Sarah together were incredibly sweet. I loved how easily they could make each other laugh and how compatible they were.

The rest of the Kelly family appears even less in this one than the other two books, but their scenes pack an emotional punch because it deals with Rusty. As of this book, the Kelly brothers still just see her as a nuisance, but by the end they will have you crying with how they change this. Also! We get to see what happens to Sophie and Sam, which was really fun to read. Dealing with a pregnant woman who is well past her due date is not a walk in the park. Also not a walk in the park? New born babies. And as Sam states, nothing in the military trained him for that.

I cannot express just how much I’m enjoying this series. I really, really am. Maya Banks has only solidified that love in Hidden Away. I am now off to read the next installment!

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: No Place to Run by Maya Banks

9th Feb 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: No Place to Run by Maya BanksNo Place to Run by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #2
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: December 7th 2010
Pages: 332
Format: eBook | Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

Now he's her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

Sam Kelly completely intrigued me in the first book, so I was really excited to find out what made the level-headed oldest Kelly brother tick.

Sam was, oh-so-damn-sexy in this book. He burned up the pages from the get go!! It really surprised me, but then not really…I mean, they do say to watch out for those quiet ones, don’t they? ;)  And Sam Kelly is one to keep an eye on, that’s for sure! Actually, I wouldn’t mind keeping more than my eye on him. *sigh*

So, ok, he’s damn sexy…but he’s also strong, passionate, loyal, and smart. He is the person you want at your side when all goes to hell. Sophie definitely needed that person. Poor Sophie. She’s had a rough life. But she has such a strong character and she’s incredibly brave and protective. I really admired that about her. Sam and Sophie’s connection was clearly physical…with something else that was inexplicable to either of them at first. Once reunited, it’s both easy but complicated. So many secrets between them, but yet their connection is as strong as ever.

Though the rest of the Kellys are in this book, their presence is not as dominant as in the first book. The enemy in this one is pretty ruthless, which made for a nail-biting story. There are kidnappings and gun fights, explosions and people getting shot in the head…more than once. lol

No Place to Run is definitely not lacking in action or suspense and especially not lacking in romance. A great sequel in the KGI series and I am absolutely looking forward to reading Garrett’s story next.

 

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks

26th Jan 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: The Darkest Hour by Maya BanksThe Darkest Hour by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #1
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: September 7th 2010
Pages: 290
Format: eBook | Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.

Mission:Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t...

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he's built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

It seems impossible that a book would have me all teary eyed by chapter two, but Maya Banks knows how to shoot straight for the heart. The story of Ethan and Rachel is not a fairytale. Before she was presumed dead, they had problems in their marriage. Ethan, having realized just how wrong he’d been to push his wife away, doesn’t get the chance to make things right when the news of her death reach him.

A year after her death, after all his suffering and grieving and guilt, he is handed that second chance by form of evidence that his wife is still alive…alive, but being held captive by a drug cartel. This is where she’s been the whole time she’s been thought dead.

Can you imagine?! Finding out that, while you’ve been at home, for a whole year, your significant other has actually been going through who knows what at the hands of a drug cartel! It would probably kill me. Thankfully Ethan quickly springs to action and, with the help of his brothers, he executes Rachel’s rescue.

But being rescued is half the battle. Dealing with the ramifications of what she went through, of the things Ethan said before her disappearance, is not going to be a cake walk. I may have cried a few more times. I’m a cry baby sometimes, lol. I loved how real their struggles were, and how much of a strong spirit Rachel had.

In this book we also meet the whole Kelly family…and there’s a lot of them! It was fun and interesting meeting each one and seeing their own personalities come through. I don’t know how Maya Banks deals with all of the running around in her head at once. I bet it’s loud in there! Lol They’re always together and they’re mostly all boys, except for Mom, Rachel, and Rusty! I would probably need a break and often if I lived with them, being the loner that I am. Who knows though…I did end up falling in love with all of them, so I might not want to leave them.

If you’ve never read a romantic suspense book, let me recommend this one. It wasn’t overwhelmingly military-ish, but had just enough action to keep it suspenseful. I should also mention that the sexytimes were steeeeamy but romantic…nice balance! And now I play the waiting game and hope my public library has the next book available soon because I cannot wait to read the next in this series.

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose 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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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