Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Mastered, by Maya Banks {ends 1/13}

She might not have much, but she'd always known who she was and where she stood. Now Drake threatened everything. She was so shaken by what had transpired, and perhaps she'd been too caught up in the whole Cinderella fairy tale that she hadn't truly comprehended the magnitude of what she'd agreed to.

Or perhaps she'd known exactly what she was getting into and that secret part of herself that had reveled in Drake's authority had asserted itself and reached out for something she'd been missing, an essential part of herself that would have been denied. She could resist and risk being unfulfilled, thus returning to her ordinary, predictable life. Or she could embrace the unknown but tantalizing life Drake was offering her and perhaps discover who she truly was and what the real Evangeline wanted.

Meet the new Mr. Grey: Drake Donovan. I've reviewed books by Maya Banks before, and they're always full of sexy scenes, with a good story to boot; however, this one was very similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, with Drake's profession being a little more sketchy than Christian's.

Official synopsis:
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.

This is the first book in Banks' new series, The Enforcers, and book II, Dominated, will be out on May 3rd, which continues Drake and Evangeline's story - this book ends on a cliffhanger of sorts and so I'm assuming we will find out more in Dominated

Evangeline is a 23-year-old small town girl, who lives in NYC working a waitressing job so that she can support her parents, which she has essentially been doing since the age of 9, after her father got into an accident and lost her job. She didn't get to go to college because of this, and apparently jobs are better in NY (????) so she moved there. She lives in a tiny apartment with three friends in Queens, and her friends send her to an exclusive club with a VIP pass one night so that she can show her jerk of an ex, Eddie, how dumb he was to let her go.

At the club, she runs into Eddie and things escalate quickly; soon, however, the owner of the club's goons descend and kick Eddie out, delivering Evangeline to said owner, Drake Donovan.

This is the point where things start to get a little unbelievable ... I'm leaving out some of the more R-rated things in the scene but basically Drake decides he wants Evangeline, and she should move in with him (and essentially start a Dominant/submissive relationship with him). She's kind of loving this but also kind of wary (and should be) and the next day she doesn't show up; Drake sends one of his club goons after her (and I mean 'club goons' in the nicest way, as they all seem tough but protective men) and convinces her to do it: to actually move in with him and be his submissive.

There were things I liked about this book and things I did not. You have to suspend disbelief for most of it - this Goodreads review kind of illustrates my feelings, even though IMO a 1.5/5 star rating is too low for this book. The sex scenes were hot as Banks's scenes normally are; however, the writing seemed a little shoddier this time. I was actually giggling to myself while reading some of them, because the lines were so ridiculous, and things that 'normal' people would not say. The story itself was interesting, but to me it was basically Fifty Shades, like I said before.

One thing I really disliked was how low the main character's self-esteem was. There are reasons for this, as stated in the book: Evangeline grew up in a small city, she never really knew how beautiful she was, etc etc. Even though Drake and even ALL OF DRAKE'S (HENCH)MEN basically tell her this over and over, Evangeline is still like "oh, I'm just average-looking" and "oh no, I don't know why you would want me, I'm not special." It drove me a little nuts ... not going to lie. By the end of the book, I think she does know she's more than "average," at least in the looks department, but the whole book she repeats her party line over and over ... and over.

All this being said, I do want to read Dominated just to see what happens with them. Mastered isn't a book I'd rush to buy at the store or on Amazon, but if you're looking for a decent-ish story and you're a fan of Fifty Shades, it's one you might enjoy. 

3 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


Enter via the widget below. 1 lucky reader will win a paperback copy of Mastered

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, January 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, otherwise an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!



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