Giving In by Maya Banks

May 2nd, 2014 Kimberly Review 76 Comments

2nd May
Giving In by Maya Banks
Giving In
by Maya Banks
Series: Surrender Trilogy #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

76 Responses to “Giving In by Maya Banks”

  1. Lindy

    I am a reader that needs a story to show me, as opposed to telling me. I don’t think I would be satisfied with this author’s writing if this is the case. I’m glad that you did enjoy it to a certain extent. Thanks for your honest opinion Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She is very popular, and I love her historical fiction. This series for some reason just didn’t wow me

  2. aurian

    I do like her KGI books and her historical highlanders a lot, but this erotica is just not for me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like her historical and think I will try her KGI books, thanks Aurian!

  3. Emily

    I have to admit I prefer Maya Banks’ historicals to her most recent contemporary novels. There’s something about the dialogue that doesn’t resonate with me in her modern-set work. That being said, I’m totally going to read this book!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed Emily, I enjoy her historical novels too. Have you tried her romantic suspense? Did those have awkward conversations too?

  4. Christy

    Woohoo … content warning! Haha. I’m not feeling to super damaged characters right now, though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..I always feel weird using it, but figure if it ain’t vanilla I should add it.

  5. Lily B

    sounds decent, but I think she wrote better stories. This book almost sounds like it wasn’t needed in the series.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think this is a trilogy and each works completely as a standalone. Thanks Lily 🙂

  6. Michele-A Belle's Tales

    I’m not a big fan of the “telling” instead of “showing” — but I admit you have me curious, and I do like the sound of everything you mention here. I think it’s great you gave this one a chance after struggling with Letting Go — that speaks volumes about Kylie. A really wonderful and honest review, my friend!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Michele, I was curious about her story, and glad I tried it:)

  7. Andrea

    I liked Letting Go well enough, but probably wouldn’t have continued the series, but I was very curious a out Kylie and Jensen. I’m glad you liked this well enough.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      aaand that is exactly the same reason I read on Andrea, I was very curious about Kylie.

  8. Julie

    I adored Maya’s Sweet series but I am just unable to connect with her latest erotica. I don’t get the characters…so I stopped reading it 🙁 Sounds like, where this book was better than the first book in the series, it still was not incredibly strong. Thanks for the review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I will have to check out her Sweet series, thanks Julie 🙂

  9. Diana Leigh

    Hmm, don’t know. I don’t care as much for the vanilla-ish BDSM romance. I know Banks has a huge following though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am just beginning to explore outside of vanilla anything..LOL

  10. Jeann

    Isn’t it great to find a couple that we can root for, Kimba? I’m glad you found that here and enjoyed this book.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Absolutely Jeann! Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

  11. Zoe

    Sadly, I’m not much of a romance / erotica reader, but I’m really glad you enjoyed this one Kimba! Sometimes characters with damaged pasts are especially interesting to read about because they have so much complexity and backstory, and this definitely sounds like one of the cases! Thanks so much for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These are different in that they look at the more emotional aspects of D/s and while I didn’t love it, this was a good read. Thanks Zoe 🙂

  12. Mary

    I like but don’t love Banks’s books. They’re well-written but they just don’t sweet me off my feet. I don’t mind vanilla, just as I don’t mind BDSM but, whatever it is, it has to feel right for the characters.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Have you tried her romantic suspense? I want to. I do like some of her historical romances.

  13. brandileigh2003

    Kylie and the cast of characters def sound like ones that I could totally invest in as well but sorry to hear that at times just couldn’t completely immerse into story

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Brandi, I enjoyed Kylie’s story 🙂

  14. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Well, I loved her historical romance, and want to try her KGI series. Not into this kind of genre, but good to know that it was okay for the most part. I can also see that I would like Kylie… but I have a feeling I would feel the same as you with this series and so I think I’ll stick to her other books for now. Still, brilly review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am planning to try her romantic suspense, and do enjoy her historical. I had to read Kylie’s story and I am glad that I did. 🙂

  15. Heidi

    I am surprised you continued this series, I remember you weren’t the biggest fan of the first one. I don’t think this series is for me. Thanks for the honest review! Have a terrific weekend.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You probably don’t remember but in the first review I stated I was very curious about Kylie and wanted her story. I won’t continue this series, and plan to try one of Banks romantic suspense novels before giving up. Enjoy your weekend Heidi!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You are welcome Angela..have a wonderful weekend!

  16. Lauren

    I tried reading a Maya Banks book once but couldn’t get into it. I also struggled to connect with the characters, so if this one worked better for you than Letting Go, maybe I should give it a try. Though I know what you mean about her writing style, it might not be for me. Still you have me curious to try this one – great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I want to try one of her romantic suspense, but it worries me that you didn’t connect. I do like her historical fiction

  17. Lenore

    I’ve been meaning to give this one a shot. We shall see when I get through the ARC Sweep!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I look forward to your thoughts Lenore 🙂

  18. Braine Talk Supe

    Oh man, I’m hoping this would be better than Giving In. Though I love that the series is more emotional and less sexual, I want depth too.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do like that aspect and this one is sweet and tender.

  19. Candace

    Low angst is a definite plus! I never would have picked this up, but you made it sound pretty appealing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Candace, I am glad I read Kylie’s story 🙂

  20. Kimberly

    I’ve only read one of her books, and that was one of the Colter books and I just didn’t like it but this one sounds like a good read. I’ve still got the first one on hold (put it on hold when you reviewed it) but I’m waiting until summer to start the series. So glad you enjoyed it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like her historical romances, but want to try her romantic suspense.

  21. Kim { Book Swoon }

    I haven’t read any of Maya’s contemporary romances, but I just picked up her historical book In Bed with a Highlander that I’m excited to read. Have you tried any? I’m wondering how she does with her historical series. Great review, Kimba 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like her historical romances Kim and want to try her romantic suspense. 🙂

  22. PurpleBook

    I know what you mean. I read one of her books some time ago, can’t remember the name and felt exactly about it like you did about this one, but the blurb does sound good and emotional and I like that it was a light Bdsm relationship. Will have to think about this one, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a sweeter, softer, more emotional approach and I like that.. but I am glad to see I am not alone. Although I do not find this issue in her historical romances.

  23. Carmel

    I keep meaning to give Maya Banks a try; I hear her erotica is quite good. The awkward dialogue, and your connection issues with the characters make me hesitant to give this one a go. Maybe one of her other series would be better suited for me. Thanks for the honest review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoy her HR books and want to try her romantic suspense. This series is a softer more emotional one and I am wondering if I would like her straight up erotica fiction better. Hmm, food for thought 🙂 Happy Weekend Carmel.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You know me Debbie, I try a little of everything. In the early 80’s I tried them and found them to have zero plot and all sex..not true of today’s books. There is an actual plot..:)

  24. Franny

    I’ve heard of Maya Banks because it’s published by one of the UK companies here, and I admit I was kinda curious about her works. However, I have a feeling that I wouldn’t enjoy this.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ah, I love her HR and I am glad I read Kylie’s story 🙂 Thanks Franny!

  25. kindlemom1

    I love good damaged characters as well but I think I missed that this was a BDsM read some how, how did I miss that?
    At any rate, I am glad you liked this better than the first one, I remember you struggling with it when you were reading it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is light on the BDSM, and more on the emotional spectrum of the D/s. Thanks Ali!

  26. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    I am not a fan of the troupe (even though it is super popular right now) but I do love that these are out there. I love all of Maya’s historicals and KGI books though 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I plan to try her suspense and have enjoyed some of her historical novels. TGIF Flea!

  27. Melanie Simmons

    Maya Banks is one of those authors that I’ve always looked at, but never tried. I have no idea why. Great review, though I think I might have to try a different one before this one. Have you tried many of her other books besides this series? Any recs?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have enjoyed her historical romances and I am told her Colter series is good. I want to try her romantic suspense. She writes very well, and her characters are is just some weird awkward conversations that feel like they are moving the plot it a tell not show way. Thanks Melanie!

  28. finley jayne

    Great review! I enjoyed Bank’s Colter’s Legacy series, but I haven’t cared for anything else she’s written. I agree with you-there’s something about her writing style that I just don’t connect with.

  29. Jenea

    I’m glad that you ended up connecting a little more with the characters in this one compared to the first book. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Jenea and I did so that was good 🙂

  30. Jessica

    Yeah, I’ve had the same problem with Banks. I read one of her KGI books that I picked up at the supermarket (I’m such an impulse buyer, LOL), and it was better than the HR or the few books like this that I’ve read, but even with it I still had a bit of a disconnect . . .

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Bummer, cause I was hoping her suspense would click with me.

  31. Melliane

    I confess I’m not really attracted bu the series. I would be ok to try her book but maybe not these ones. I’m sorry some points bothered you again, but wellas you say sometimes it’s just the writing style.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly Melliane, and I am glad I read Kylie’s story since I wanted to get to know her. 🙂

  32. Silvia

    I’ve never read Maya Banks’ books, for some reason I couldn’t quite bring myself to pick them up. Now I may know why…Uhm, perhaps I’ll pass this time.
    Thanks for always sharing your honest thoughts, Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I enjoy her Historical romances, and want to try her suspense. These appealed to me because they explore the emotional side of D/s

  33. Dre

    Damaged characters do make up a good recipe for a wonderful story, but I am not much of an erotica reader, but I do have her Breathless series that I haven’t touched yet. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These are the only books I have read by her,..but I do want to try a romantic suspense.

  34. Jennifer Bielman

    I love the sound of this. Damaged characters are my fav, but forced dialogue is so annoying. I don’t know if I could get over that.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, it was awkward at times but when it was good…it was very good!