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May 5, 2014

Liked It: Giving In by Maya Banks

Series: Surrender Trilogy 2
Format: Print ARC
Release Date: April 6, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Source: Pulisher
Genre: Erotica
In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. Now, the story continues as one woman, haunted by the shadows of the past, explores the possibilities of a new beginning in ways she never could have imagined…

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit fully to him will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.


GIVING IN by Maya Banks, book two of her Surrender Trilogy is still erotic but more romantic than Letting Go. I don't know which of the two I like better, there are specific parts about GIVING IN that I liked but overall I had problems suspending disbelief throughout the novel. 

Brief summary, Kylie is Joss' sister-in-law and a victim of physical abuse when she was a child thanks to her father. Jensen Tucker, Kylie's new boss, also had a rough childhood. His father didn't beat him up but he grew up watching his old man treat his mom like a punching bag. Both of them have control issues because of their traumatic pasts. On that note, I liked how these two navigated through their troubles as they build a romantic relationship. Jensen was very accommodating, attentive, and loving to Kyle, he really went out of his way to reassure and show her that his intentions are good and that he's there for Kylie and Kylie alone. Not sex or anything, just Kylie. 

Kylie for her part was receptive to Jensen's love and caring ways. She was very patient with Jensen when his demons came back to haunt him. She was very gentle, kind, and understanding when Jensen finally bared his soul to her and revealed his past. In that moment, Kylie healed Jensen with love and it was a beautiful scene. There was a great give and take between these two and for a Dominant, Jensen was very submissive to Kylie. 
"What it means is that you're in the driver's seat, baby. Whatever happens from here on out is up to you. It means that when or if we make love, you'll be in complete control and I will be at your mercy. It means that when it comes to you, I'm not dominant, nor do I have any desire to be. I am, in effect, at your feet." - Jensen
Now on to the part that had me scoffing and rolling my eyes a bit. First, I wouldn't necessarily tag GIVING IN as having insta-love however Kylie and Jensen's love affair was fast and sweeping. Bear in mind that Jensen is Kylie's boss and though there's an obvious attraction between the two, I would expect for at least Kylie to exercise caution especially since she's the most vulnerable between the two. Here's what happened, they were in a business dinner and Kylie thought she saw her dad which gave her a panic attack. Jensen rushed to her side and offered comfort, told her that he'll spend the night with her and Kylie can cuff him to the bed so she'd be reassured that he won't touch or hurt her.

Who does this?! 

I mean under a different circumstance sure it would be akin to a one-night stand. But given Kylie's backstory and all the other pieces, I can't help but scoff at her judgment. Sure enough Kylie had nightmares that night and because Jensen was cuffed to the bed, he wasn't able to comfort her in time did he.

Now for the conflict, like in Letting Go, the conflict in GIVING IN is a little bit flimsy. I mean these two had several soul baring sessions, a touching show and tell of their wounds and scars which will surely tug anybody's heartstrings. Now after all's been said and done, Jensen realized that he's not good for Kylie. I mean are you kidding me?! You initiated this whole love is healing thing with Kylie and now that she's madly in love with you, you want to bolt because of your own demons?! 

I get the flight or fight reflex, what I didn't appreciate is how little he valued Kylie and her love for him. Kylie allowed him to step into her life and scare her demons away the least Jensen can do is give Kylie a chance to do the same, right?! Of course Kylie was able to sort it out and they still had their happily ever after. I just can't help but shake my head over Jensen's immaturity at this point.

Now I may have issues with GIVING IN but it doesn't mean that this was a bad read. I may not have liked some parts but I blame some of that to PMS (ooops... TMI!) plus I'm a reader and a blogger so my views are very subjective. If I were to just look at the romantic part of GIVING IN, I loved it! Jensen is the perfect guy for Kylie and for any girl with a past, his love in unconditional and I give him A+ for effort. I just wish that the conflict was executed differently or Jensen acted more in character. 
"I'm only better when I'm with you," she whispered. "You make me believe, Jensen. You make me believe I can have a normal life and a normal relationship. You make me have so much hope for the future. But only with you. I don't want those things except with you." Kylie


39 comments:

  1. I love Maya Banks' historicals but haven't read any of her erotica and sadly this won't change anytime soon especially now that I'm going through my erotica-reading slump.
    Great review.

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  2. I've heard really good things about Maya Banks' writing, but have yet to see a review above 3.5 stars for this book, so I don't think I'll be adding this trilogy to my TBR pile. Your review only further reinforced that fact. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. I was so excited to finally try her books, this one isn't the best I think

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  3. ...0_0 Ok the part you had trouble with was just weird

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    1. Hahaha and that was the BEGINNING! So it's foretelling

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  4. I like the cover and glad to hear there were things you enjoyed even if it had its share of issues too.

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    1. The cover is pretty, I have to give it that

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  5. I love Maya Banks historical (love them!) But I didn't hit off with her contemporaries, actually I was with Rush, since then I have shy away from her contemporaries.
    I need at least a 4 from you to give them a second chance. Once thing I know is that's she's very capable of writing really good books.

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    1. I heard Breathless wasn't awesome either so I skipped that and moved to this instead. This isn't her best that much I can tell

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  6. I haven't read Maya Banks yet, but eventually I will. The handcuff thing strikes me as odd. Not sure I see the point of having someone in your bed if you have to handcuff them to tolerate them being there. Exactly what is their purpose at that point?

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  7. Oooh I read book one and enjoyed it for the most part. Was curious how book two would be.

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    1. I know you did, read this and maybe you can help me see it in a different light

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  8. I wasn't a huge fan of LG, and had no plans to continue the series until the pub sent this one. I was curious about Kylie and Jensen and thought I'd give it a try. But no, not with the "handcuff me so I can't touch you." If a boss/friend actually said that to me, I would blink about fifteen times then laugh.
    Thanks for the review. It was VERY helpful!

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    1. Bwahahaha!

      Yeah it just didn't make sense to me. It was too convenient and Jensen felt like a creeper in the beginning, offering to sleep beside her to keep her safe

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  9. Nope. Can't do the abuse aspect. Glad you liked it, great review. Very informative!

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  10. The cuffing thing is a little strange I confess mainly because of the background story. I saw some mixed reviews about the series on some blogs so I think I'll pass. But thanksfor your review!

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  11. Cuff to the bed...errr, so he won't touch her...errr. Now I love me some Maya Banks, I love her KGI series...well...errr until Donovan's book which was truly a bit weird with his behavior. Anyhoo, I am glad you are giving Maya a read. I haven't started this series yet. I shall keep on with my KGI and also the Sweet series. I think #2 was too hot for my library it has every book in Sweet but # 2. Not unless someone nicked it. HA! It sounded very fifty shades ish. LOL!

    lovely honest review matey

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    1. I think I should shift to KGI instead, I know you love that series and from the looks of it, that may be better, way better, than this one.

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    2. I have put soooo many readers onto KGI. Not one complaint. Until errr.... Donovans book which was the last one and OMG...what happened? I did try to fight what everybody was saying about it, but gahhhh. I have to agree. It goes against my Maya B love to agree about Donovan's book. But Swanny's book is up next , and it has a great cover. Check out # 1 Sam's book, you will be in :D

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  12. Holy crap! Did he bring his own cuffs, LOL?!

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    1. Right?! Coz she's not into BDSM so isn't it handy that there's one?

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  13. Awesome review. Well now, I do like the healing via cuffing a guy to the bed recipe. There a pharmacy or something giving out prescriptions for it? :D
    It sounds like an interesting read, maybe a bit frustrating, but sometimes I end up liking the frustrating ones more than others, lol. Not sure what it says about me, maybe I'm a closet masochist or something, lol, but I do wanna give the trilogy a try. I'm not rushing into it though, I'll admit.

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    1. Try it, some people liked it and like I said I'm just probably PMS-ing LOL

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  14. Not a huge fan of her contemporaries, but her historicals are good.

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    1. I'm starting to believe that now, too bad I'm not into historicals right now but I'll keep that in mind

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  15. I haven't heard much about this series, Braine. But I've heard lots of good things about Banks. I think I'd probably like Giving In but I also think I'd have the same issues you had with it. I do like the sound of the romantic element though - Kylie and Jensen sound great together. Excellent review!

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    1. The romance is great, I think she tried too hard to inject BDSM, if that was out of the picture, I think I would've liked this better.

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  16. Not sure this is one for me, the romance sounds good but I think I would have some of the same issues as you. Thanks for the honest review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. Thanks, Teresa, suspended disbelief is almost nil here for me

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  17. I think I read one of her erotica stories before and had some of the same issues. I'll think I'll stink to with her historicals, I think they're more my taste.

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    1. I think I'll try her historicals one of these days, maybe that will help me keep the faith

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  18. seems like this one really wasn't her strongest series

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  19. Great review Braine, I struggled with aspects of this, but was glad I read Kylie's story

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    1. Me too, out of curiosity I'm glad I did.

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