by Maya Banks
Series: Surrender Trilogy #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend. Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more. When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to..
Letting Go the first book in the Surrender Trilogy was my first Maya Banks novel and my first foray into the world of Dominance and Submission. Mini-review: Touching, sensual and edgy. Letting Go was a passionate and heated romance that was hindered by secondary characters.
Josslyn has been widowed for three years. She has grieved the loss of her beloved husband, but she is lonely and ready to move on. She makes the decision to explore the one thing her husband was unable to give her. She fantasizes about being dominated and seeks this at an exclusive club known as the House. When Dash, her husband’s best friend discovers her at the House, he is furious and whisks her away. He has secretly loved his best friend’s wife and vowed to take care of her but seeing her be submissive with another man unravels him. When Josslyn shares with him her darkest desires the tale that unfolds is powerful, sweet, and intense.
Josslyn is a strong character who knows what she wants and was able to suppress this side of her out of love for her husband but now she is ready to fulfill her desires and I respected that. Dash was definitely swoon-worthy, and their chemistry was good. The friends to lovers’ trope is always a good one and when you add in dominance and submission it can get downright heated. Banks made me feel their emotions but at times I felt like I was swimming in it. They came off as too needy..that whole “don’t ever leave me; I love you and without you, I would die” is often a turn off for me. Banks did an excellent job of exploring their sexual desires, and I liked the balance she gave us between tender lovemaking and heated edgier exploration. The steamy was well done, and the world of Dominance thoroughly explored. We meet a cast of secondary characters that were interesting, but sadly the interaction between them felt forced and awkward.
Letting Go was a novel that I devoured and yet struggled with. The interaction between Josslyn and Dash allowed me to submerge myself in their romance, and passion. The romance progressed quickly with a few twists towards our HEA. The secondary characters while unique wasn’t developed enough for me to connect with despite my interest. The tale had a nice flow to it, but there were moments when the couple interacted with secondary characters and those conversations pulled me out of the tale. They felt awkward and stiff which was in sharp contrast to the couple’s communication. Despite these issues, I never struggled to continue and was invested enough to discover the outcome. The world of Domination is an interesting one, and Banks gave me a greater understanding of the emotional side of it. The sex scenes are not vanilla and were quite detailed but subdued. Maybe my perception is wrong, but at times I felt Dash was too sensitive to be a true Dominant. I did, however, feel Josslyn wanted and needed to be submissive.
Despite my struggles with Letting Go, I do plan to explore more of Maya Banks works. This may surprise you, but I fully intend to read book two, Giving In which will feature Kylie. Out of all of the secondary characters. I am curious about her past and anxious to see how she handles submission.