Friday, January 01, 2016


Title: Mastered
Series: The Enforcer #1
Author: Maya Banks
Genre: Erotic/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Book Blurb: 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.

Nikki's Thoughts: Maya Banks. The authors name alone incites happiness in me. I have loved her books for what feels like forever! I know I am going to go through a whirlwind of emotions when I pick up a Maya Banks novel.

Drake Donovan is different, in my opinion, from all the other heroes that Maya has written. He's more...brutal? He's definitely rougher around the edges in how he treats people. It was a bit of a shock at first. I wasn't use to this type of hero in her books. It was when he started opening himself up to Evangeline that I really saw into the heart of him. I relaxed a bit more with him. He puts a whole other meaning to the word, alpha! He has the alpha attitude in spades!

Call me old fashioned, but I love a vulnerable heroine. A strong woman is great, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I like seeing the woman being built up into the person she's meant to be. I think in reality that a lot of woman suffer from a low self esteem, for a myriad of reasons. I could relate to Evangeline. I could understand why she struggled with her self worth. It's a real human emotion and struggle. She's strong, really strong, she just needed someone to help her see that. I love how Drake slowly helps her realize all that she has to offer a relationship and that she's important.

The dynamic of this relationship could definitely raise a few eyebrows. Drake is a dominant. He requires Evangeline's complete the bedroom and out. While he wouldn't clip her wings so to speak, he wants to have a say or hand in most things that she does. It's not for everyone. But it worked for these two. It was an equal partnership. They both gave things that the other needed. It's hard to see it at first, but they truly compliment each other. Evangeline struggles with all the material things that Drake gives her. The only thing she wants is his heart. This issue is pretty prominent throughout the book. Eventually, you understand his need to provide for her, to give her extravagances that blow her mind.

There are so many secondary characters in this book and they definitely make you want their stories. Drake is surrounded by uber alpha hotties that work with him/for him. I kinda fell in love with them all! I'm really hoping that they all get a book...hint hint, Maya!

I feel like you, the reader, should have fair warning. This book has a cliffhanger. Just typing that makes the vein in my forehead throb all over again. I don't like cliffhangers. I absolutely avoid books with them. I'll wait until the next book is out and read them together. There was zero indication that this book was only part one. I feel like the reader should know before they start the book, that way you're given an opportunity to decide if you want to go ahead and read it, or wait until the full story is out. I was so in love with this book and then...BAM! It ended right at a point where my heart had been shredded and I was having an awesome ugly cry. I was so put off by the cliffhanger. There's an authors note about the end of the book! I would have liked that information from the get go.  

So, even though the cliffhanger made me all " hulk smash " mad, I adored this book! I loved the hero who wasn't quite a hero at first. I loved the dynamic of their relationship and the passion these two shared. The love scenes were classic Maya freakin' sexy and hot! Panty dropping hot to be exact! Now I'm left anxiously awaiting book two. I need to see this through with Drake and Evangeline. For now, I'm going to go find a quiet corner, rock back and forth and try to find my way out of the cliffhanger funk.

Grade: A for the story, but dropped down to a B+ for the unexpected cliffhanger
Originally posted at The Book Reading Gals

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