Letting Go by Maya Banks

Posted February 3, 2014 by Lucy D in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Letting Go (Surrender Trilogy, #1)

ORDER A COPY: Letting Go (The Surrender Trilogy)

Publisher: Berkley
Publishing Date: February 4, 2014
Paperback: 352 pages

Rating: 3 stars

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.

Josslyn Breckenridge woke up this morning—the morning of the third anniversary of the death of her husband, Carson—and realized that it was finally time to move on with her life. Her life has been in a holding pattern, almost like she was waiting for him to come back. She realizes now that Carson would never want her to live her life like this. He would be the first to tell her to live life and to find love again.

Well, maybe she’s not ready to find love again. She knows that she’ll never find a love like Carson again, but Joss is at least ready to take that first step. Carson always gave Joss anything she wanted. Except there is one thing he wouldn’t—couldn’t do. Joss has always wanted to be dominated. She wanted to see what that lifestyle was all about. But Carson and his sister, Kylie, were abused by their father. A man who believed an iron fist and a smack to the face would keep your children in line. Carson always feared being like his father and felt Joss’s request to be too close to that dark place he came from. Joss was okay with that because Carson’s love and devotion more than made up for that tiny part she lacked.

Now that she was ready to move on, it was time to see what she was missing. First, she has to say good-bye one last time to Carson and let him know of her decision to let him go and also to let go of Carson’s best friend and business partner, Dash. Joss couldn’t have stayed sane without Dash’s help during the last few years. So many times he came running over when Joss needed help or advise or just a shoulder to cry on. It was time to let Dash move on as well.

Her friends, Chessy and Tate, were members of a bondage club called The House and it worked wonders for their marriage. The first night Joss went to the club, she wasn’t sure what to expect, but she didn’t expect to see a very angry Dash coming charging across the room, nor did she expect to be dragged out of the club.

Dash has desired Joss for as long as he could remember. Everyone knew it, even Carson. Everyone except Josslyn. After Carson’s death, he helped her through her grief and has been waiting in the wings for her to be ready to move on, but today, not only did she pushed him away, but she shows up at The House dressed to seduce and he knew the men would flock to her. After waiting all these years to be with her, there is no way he will allow another man to touch his woman.

If Joss wants to indulge in her curiosity, Dash is more than willing to be the one to introduce her to a dominant/submissive lifestyle.

I am a fan of Maya Banks, but I have to admit that I did not like this story at all, and I have to tell you that I only read about three quarters of it. To be fair, I am only so-so on the erotica books. I would prefer a YA book with a sweet, romantic kiss to the tie me up and spank me erotica. Although I don’t get the hit me with a paddle until it becomes bliss, I can roll with it as part of the story if the overall story is good.

I did not like the character of Dash at all and I was only running warm with Joss. It started out good. Joss wants to move on with her life and she discusses her decision with her friends to give The House a try. She also frees Dash as her crutch because she has been leaning on her in lieu of a husband whenever she needed something, and it time to let him move on with his life as well. She realizes she didn’t even know if Dash could possibly have a girlfriend if he was always running to her when she called him.

Dash wasn’t happy with “being pushed aside” by Joss since he has been waiting for his turn. Now, I had originally interpreted Dash’s actions as being in love with Joss all these years, but it seemed that he just lusted after her. It seemed to me that Joss was discussing investigating dominance. Maybe she just wanted to be told what to do or wanted a little spanking to see if she had any interest. Dash moves her into his house where he tells her she will be naked at all times (unless they have company, of course) and whenever he came home, she would be on her knees waiting. At this point, I’m already turned off by his demands. He then declares he will be having sex with her each morning to wake her up. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to talk to anyone until I have at least one cup of coffee so you can imagine how I would feel to wake up to someone having sex with me while I slept. I am really not liking Dash by this point.

When he finally takes her back to The House, he doesn’t take her to a private room for a little kink. Dash takes her into the main room, ties her down to a bench in front of an audience, has her give him oral sex, whips her and has sex with her with audience participation, and then she is to go thank said helper for helping her get off when it’s over.

What, what, WHAT?? I think it is a huge jump between a woman who wanted to investigate dominance to being tonight’s entertainment. Joss went from being a pampered and adored housewife to being treated like a sex slave, told to get on her knees and when to bend over and take it. Obviously, the story is written so that Joss enjoys everything that they do, but I would have liked to see her be introduced more slowly into it instead of being thrown right into the deep end.

Yuck! I just couldn’t read any more. These characters were a turn off to me. I found Dash’s treatment to Joss to be more demeaning than erotic. I am more interested in reading the second book which involves Carson’s sister, Kylie and Dash’s new business partner. Kylie was against Joss going to The House. She, like her brother, feared the line between dominance and abuse. I am interested in how Jensen will be able to introduce Kylie to BDSM and keep it from feeling abusive to her. Hopefully, Jensen takes it slower than Dash did.

Personally, this one just didn’t do it for me.

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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