by Maya Banks
Series: Surrender Trilogy #2
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction
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.
I read Letting Go by Mira Banks the first in her Surrender trilogy and struggled to completely connect with characters. When I learned that Giving In would be Kylie’s story, I knew that I had to read it. With a childhood, steeped in violence and her skittish, attitude, I could not imagine her in a BDMS relationship. Banks delivered a heart-warming story with two damaged characters and I found myself rooting for this impossible romance.
Kylie has built up this wall around herself and the outside world, since her brother’s death that wall has been cracking and crumbling. Every day she builds them up and every night the nightmare’s chip away at her progress. Jensen sees right past the walls, past the damage and sees the strong woman beneath the cold surface. He is a dominant alpha, one who needs to protect and possess. They are quite the misfit pair and Banks did an excellent job of allowing us to understand them, see their damaged souls and come to care for them. Their romance was slow-building, with moments that touched you. The sex was very vanilla and revealed the softer sides of BDSM. There was very little angst, at least nothing over the top or dragged out. Kudos to Banks for surrounding these two with good friends and sound advice. We see the other characters from Letting Go and the girl’s interactions were fun.
For all that I enjoyed about Giving In I was not completely able to slip into the story and lose myself. The plot is well done, and the characters were ones I became vested in, but at times the conversations between characters and declarations felt awkward, drawn out and overdone. The conversations felt more like “telling” then “showing.” These forced conversations ripped me out of the story and I felt myself skimming. Since I experienced similar situations in Letting Go, I think this is just Banks style, and I may never be fully satisfied with her books.
Giving In was a solid read with beautiful moments and Banks fans will enjoy Kylie and Jenson. Her care with them was commendable, and she made me believe in them as a couple.
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