Review: Mastered by Maya Banks

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Author: Maya Banks

Book: Mastered

tl;dr recommendation: there were bits I absolutely adored and then parts I could not stop rolling my eyes. Thus, this baby gets 3 stars.

Book Summary:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Breathless Trilogy comes the first novel in the Enforcers series—a bold new direction in erotic romance that explores the games men and women play, and the price they’re willing to pay for pleasure.

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.

Coming May 2016: The Enforcers Book II: Dominated

Longer Review:

Alright. Here goes. This book is a solid three for me – which means that it was fine but I didn’t love it. I wanted to love it. So fucking bad – but I didn’t start to actually really enjoy myself  until the last 15 pages, which is a little ridiculous being as how this book is over 350 pages.

The basic premise is this: Evangeline is dumped after hit-it-and-quit-it Eddie takes her virginity and calls her bad in bed. Her friends obtain a VIP pass to get her into Impulse, the hottest nightclub in town full of Beautiful People so that she can feel better about herself. She goes, feels immensely out of place because she declares that she is decidedly Not Beautiful and she has an altercation with Eddie. This incident makes Drake, the owner of Impulse (who has been watching her since her entry into the club), take action. He basically declares her his submissive at that moment and kidnaps her the next night after work.

I was infinitely more interested in all of Drake’s men, who were essentially on rotation so that we could meet all of them, than I was in Drake himself until the end of the book. He’s a contradiction and somewhat of a hypocrite. It drove me  mad. The man is overly possessive – borderline stalkery controlling – of Evangeline. I was able to forgive the kidnappy submissive thing, because Fiction.

But then his fantasy night threw me for a complete fucking loop. It was so out of the realm of things that I would have imagined he would allow and while I was reading I was actually doing one of those open mouth close mouth things where I was speechless and couldn’t decide why or how or what was happening.

Evangeline was a fine character. She gained a teensy bit of a spine at different places in the book and for that she earned some points. But she’s one of those heroines who does not think she’s pretty or beautiful or smart of any of those things. I was working on getting over that character flaw because she certainly has her pride and she’s basically the nicest and sweetest person on earth. She grew on me.

I think my biggest problem with the book was twofold: 1) the intense repetition of facts that we already knew – like, I know that Evangeline doesn’t think she’s pretty, I don’t need to be told every four seconds; and 2) the fact that nothing happened in the story until the last fifteen pages. I did not need forty pages (I’m guesstimating) on Evangeline’s skinned knee. I didn’t see how that pushed the story further. The Skinned Knee Incident could have happened and been over in like 5 pages. Seriously. This book needed major editing and I bet you books 1 and 2 could be condensed.

However, I did love when Drake and Evangeline had their sweet moments in bed and their intimate moments that built their relationship. I loved the connection they shared and the impending groveling that will occur in book 2. This was a hard read for me because there were bits I absolutely adored and then parts I could not stop rolling my eyes. The story had so much potential for me but I swear, this was not the Maya Banks read that I was expecting and hoping to love. Thus, this baby gets 3 stars, with intense hope that book 2 will give me more story.

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

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