Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mastered by Maya Banks - Review

Author: Maya Banks
Publication Date:  29 December 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Series:  The Enforcers, book 1
Genre:  Contemporary Erotic Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 3.5 Stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~

Book Description:

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.

My Review:

After being pushed by her friends to leave a bad and in the end mentally abusive relationship behind by going to one of the hottest clubs in the city and strutting 'her stuff' in front of the man that hurt her, Evangeline Hawthorne ends up in a world she only dreamed of during her deepest fantasies.  

Drake Donovan is not a man to be trifled with.  This is his world and he rules it by following his own strict set of rules.  Let no one close, trust very few...and even those few trust hesitantly. Earn and demand respect, and never have a liability.  Yet in one night his carefully constructed world begins to crumble around him.  She doesn't belong in his world but in the face of a doe-eyed innocent Drake Donovan can not turn away.  

So I am pretty torn on this book and a lot of that oddly has to do with the and can be explained by the friendships in this book.  First off, I do not like Evangeline's friends, (Drake and I totally agree on this point) they are instead of supportive (thought they act as though they are being so) manipulative, jealous, petty, and in general I think a group of mean girls.  We don't get a lot of time with them and perhaps in the future they will grow on me, because I have no doubt we will see them again (a lot) but as of this book I am again appalled by the idea of female friendship that I keep seeing come up in books.  It's all very slick and pretty on the outside but full of ugly when you look a bit closer.  

On the flip side of that I LOVED Drake's friends.  These are a group of men that know the importance of standing up for one another, of having someone's back, of caring for those your friend(s) love because you truly love your friend.  I want to know everything about these friends of Drakes, the little tidbits did nothing but wet my appetite.  It felt like where with the female characters we were watching a gaggle of teenage girls (which they are not and which makes me rather sad) with Drake's friends we are getting the story and the behavior of grown men and I really wish we could have had the same feel from both sides.  Both sides have clearly struggled through life, yes it is clear what Drake's inner circle has gone through (although we really don't know what that is yet) individually growing up is likely much harsher than Evangeline's but both sides have known adversity, sadly only one side has seemed to 'step-up' to the plate.  

This dichotomy between the friendships is the same challenge I had through the whole book.  I loved the story, not so much the relationship, I loved one set of friends not the other, I loved the mystery but didn't feel like I got enough information.  I needed less mental fluff from Evangeline and more depth from both characters.  Donovan makes it clear over and over again that all he needs from Evangeline is her trust and she claims over and over that he has it but then she gets snitty and does something that goes against her statement, not once, not twice...but continually through out the book.  Mastered turns from what I see as a potentially deep love story to a battle of wills, temper-tantrums, and apologies.....and then there is the cliffhanger.  Nooooooooo!  Haha 

So you may think now that I didn't like the book, well I did actually.  I like the cast of characters, I liked Donovan and his 'brothers'. I like that there is a story in there, one that can be really powerful and moving when we get to it and I do hope that we will get to it.  I will continue to read this series because I want to get to the nitty gritty of it and learn all the details.  I loved that deep down both the main characters have similar flaws, they both need someone to care for them, they need someone to love them, to prove that they are worth everything.  I loved the peek we got into Donovan's world, and I am looking forward to seeing how Maya develops it, how she opens it up to us.  I feel a bit like Maya was the Donovan in this situation, only letting us part way in because she wasn't quite sure she could trust us with all the ugly yet and I want to yell "Trust us Maya, you can trust us to love you if you just let us in!"

 If you enjoyed 50 Shades, The BlackStone Affair, or other Contemporary Erotica Romance you will enjoy this.  Know that it ends on a cliff-hanger, know that there is a lot left to learn at the end of this book and even a lot will still be left to learn at the end of the next book.  I am curious how many books will be in this series, because Drake seems to 'have' a lot of men and I want to know all of their stories.  That being said know that if you go into this book you are making a commitment, because I don't think you will be able to stop at just one!  

***This is a MATURE adult Erotica read!***


My name is Maya Banks and I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets. I’m more of a cat person, but my daughter became convinced she NEEDED a dog. So convinced in fact that it became her mission to convince her father and me. She prepared a two page hand written proposal that detailed WHY she needed a dog, and well, after I sent her to her father (I knew he wouldn’t tell her no) we embarked on the search for the perfect dog. The journey that was two hours away and that I got pulled over for speeding while I was on the phone with my agent who had an offer from a publisher for one of my books… The officer wasn’t impressed. He wrote me a ticket anyway. Thus, I now tell my daughter that her dog turned into one very expensive concession! But isn’t he cute?


When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel. One of our more recent trips was to Scotland, which was every bit as comical as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. You know the part about “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” as they went round and round the roundabouts? Yeah, that was us, only we couldn’t even get out of the airport in Glasgow without hitting three of those suckers.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.

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