Giving in by Maya Banks

Posted April 29, 2014 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, Romance / 0 Comments

Giving In (Surrender Trilogy, #2)

ORDER A COPY: Giving In (The Surrender Trilogy)

Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publishing Date: May 6, 2014
Paperback: 320 pages

Rating: 5 stars

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.

Since Jensen Tucker became Dash’s new partner, he has been enjoying all the perks of his new job, including the view. He has had his eye on the office manager, Kylie Breckenridge, since he walked in the door, but he has to be very careful if he wants Kylie in his life. First of all, as the new partner, he has taken her deceased brother’s position in the company, which already doesn’t make Jensen her favorite person. Secondly, Kylie and her brother Carson were abused by their father as children. Jensen’s nature is to be aggressive and dominant in his relationships. He knows without question that if he wants to be with Kylie, he is going to have to surrender control to Kylie until she understands that not every man will hurt her.

But having a plan is one thing, convincing Kylie to give him a chance is another. He almost thwarts his own plans when he sees that Kylie is working herself into a state of exhaustion and his dominant nature takes over. He forces Kylie to go home and stays with her to make sure she gets into bed for the rest of the afternoon.

Jensen also has plans for Kylie out of the bedroom. He believes Kylie’s brain and her degree are being wasted as an office manager. She knows the business as well as he and Dash, and he wants her to come in as a third partner.  Now his plans include building her confidence in the office as well as the bedroom.

I was not a fan of Book #1 of the trilogy. I thought Dash was an ass and was very degrading in his treatment of Josslyn. I couldn’t even finish it.

But I couldn’t wait to get to Book #2 since I was intrigued by how Maya Bank was going to write a bondage book that included a woman who was abused as a child. Kylie was very fearful when her sister-in-law Josslyn wanted to explore bondage and want getting into a relationship with Dash that included spankings and tying up.  Like her brother, Carson, Kylie feared the line between dominance and abuse.   I am not 100 percent certain, but I believe Kylie was a virgin in this story because I can’t imagine after what Jensen goes through to have a sexual relationship with Kylie, that she would have ever reached that level of trust before in a relationship.

Jensen is also a member of the sex club that Dash and Josslyn and Chessy and Tate belong to, so we knew he has an interest in bondage and dominance.  So how to you play tie-me-up-and-spank-me with a woman who deep down is afraid of a man one again harming her?

I loved that the twist she gives this story in that Jensen doesn’t teach Kylie to accept his dominance over her, he allows her to tie him up and dominate him until she learns to trust him and trust that he won’t hurt her like her father did. I enjoyed watching how Jensen helps Kylie through her fears and helps build her confidence so she can blossom at work as well and show she is more valuable as a partner than as an office manager.

The story line becomes a bit contrived at the end so that we have a break up and this allows Kylie to show her new found confidence to assert herself over their relationship to bring them back together. It wasn’t so awful and eye-rolling that it took away from the overall enjoyment of the story but I did have that moment of “really?”

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Scene:

He could tell she was caught in an epic battle with herself. She did not want to have dinner with him or even meet him outside of work, nor did she want to ride with him to their meeting, but neither did she want to pass up the opportunity he’d presented her with.

She bit her lip in consternation, and he’d never wanted something so badly as to reach across the desk, thumb her lip free and then kiss away the damage she was doing to the tender flesh. His dick reacted to that image, and he was glad he was seated behind his desk where she couldn’t see his physical reaction to her. She’d tuck tail and run for the hills, and she’d very likely tender her resignation within the hour.

He sighed, silently commanding his dick to behave. Not that it did a bit of good because the woman just did it for him and he couldn’t even explain why. Challenge. She was a challenge. Even as he reasoned away his inexplicable attraction to a woman who in no way returned it, he knew he was a goddamn liar.

She riled every single one of his protective instincts. She made him want to treat her gently, cherish her and protect her from anything that could ever hurt her, physically or emotionally.

Damn it, he wanted to show her that not all men were assholes. That not all dominant men were focused so solidly on the more physical aspects of dominance. Emotional surrender was what he was after with Kylie. He’d never mark her, never tie her up. Never take a flogger to her tender flesh. He’d never do anything to frighten her or make her feel as vulnerable as she’d felt in the past in the hands of a monster. He’d never do anything to remind her of her past abuse. He’d die before allowing that to happen. He too had demons he fought, and it would have made him physically ill to ever do anything to a woman that could be construed as abuse.

He just wanted…her.

“All right,” she finally said in a husky voice that made him go even harder. Because there was capitulation in her voice. Not quite submission, but it was close and it fired his blood, and made it sing through his veins, because just this once, he’d won.

“I’ll meet you at the restaurant at seven,” she said.

She lifted her gaze challengingly to his, as if to dare him to argue with her statement. He merely smiled back. He’d allow her this small victory because the bigger one was already his. Dinner. Just the two of them. Yeah, they’d talk business, but he also planned to delve deeper into this intriguing woman. Figure out what made her tick. And he’d pick her up the next day and drive her to their meeting. Which meant she was dependent on him the entire day.

He liked that idea. Like it too damn much. Her dependent on him. The hell he’d ever let her down or make her regret her grudging trust. Oh, he knew she didn’t trust him yet. That would be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Baby steps. Take it one small victory at a time.

“Seven it is,” he agreed.

She was surprised. It showed on her face. She had already been bracing herself for an argument, her shoulders squared and chin thrust upward in defiance. Even that aroused him, almost violently.

He might like submissive women, but submissive didn’t mean being a doormat. He loved an independent woman perfectly capable of making her own choices. Submissive women, or at least the ones he’d been with, chose to submit. Chose to offer their surrender into his keeping. And that was a very powerful thing indeed.

He wanted a strong woman. Someone who didn’t need him and what he offered but wanted it. That made all the difference to him. He wanted someone who could stand up for herself and not back down. Who would go toe-to-toe with him and meet him halfway.

In return? He’d lay the world at her feet. She’d never want for anything he could give her. He’d pamper her, utterly adore her, worship her and cherish her.

He ached to do that for Kylie.

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