Author: Maya Banks
It’s always interesting to pick up a new book, new series by an author I’ve read and love. Much like my #dayjob, it’s a new adventure every day. I never know what I’m going to get, and while I’ve adored stuff I’ve read in the past, sometimes I just can’t get out of there fast enough. Sometimes I think, “Oh, maybe things will turn around.” Sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that was the case for me, reading Mastered by Maya Banks.
What I liked was the world-building. The Enforcers is a new series by Ms. Banks, and I *like* the alpha male characters. I want to learn more about them, and I sincerely hope future titles in this series don’t annoy me. Yes, I will continue to read (unless I’m put-off by something in subsequent books). The secondary characters were engaging, and I found myself looking for more interactions between the major and minor characters. Drake, our alpha hero Dom was broody, and I like me a good broody alpha male. He was also broken, and I like to watch the journey a broken alpha takes through a book.
Then, there was the bad. Evangeline, our lead female, was too whiny and wishy-washy for me. She was inexperienced, and that didn’t bode well for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good virgin-hooking-up-with-a-Dom story. Evangeline, however, didn’t seem to do anything to educate herself. It seemed like she lived in a vacuum, and never got on the Internet or anything. Her interactions with Drake seemed forced, and while I did see her stand up for herself, it wasn’t in a positive, empowering way that was believable for me.
What made me DNF Mastered was the way the BDSM element was handled. Drake, as a Dom, knows better than to not use a safeword. He explained the lifestyle in a sketchy manner to Evangeline, and I didn’t like that. I get that Evangeline (his Angel…) was inexperienced and he didn’t want to scare her, but I think he should have been more forthright with regard to his preferences, expectations, and needs with her. I mean, Evangeline had ONE previous sexual experience and it sucked. I wasn’t surprised at all that Drake could be a giver in bed. Good Doms are. Drake and Evangeline had one sweet encounter in the title—I liked that part. Then, in the next breath it seemed, Drake was pulling out the rope and binding her to take her from behind. No safeword. No going over the scene. In his defense, he did gain consent for binding her hands, and he did say it wasn’t going to be sweet this time. At the time, I figured, “Oh, maybe it was an oversight and this’ll all be resolved before they go at it again.” Nope. The next time, things started off all D/s-y, and there were no parameters set, no hard limits, no explanation of the scene, and no safeword established. THIS is what got me. I felt like the BDSM police, and I shouldn’t have to. Authors that are going to use the lifestyle in their books need to make sure it’s done the right way. I don’t expect works of fiction to be ‘How to’ manuals, but we all know people don’t do their research and think, “Well, that sounds interesting…” This is how people get hurt, and how the BDSM community gets a bad name. You know, like that other series. I don’t claim to know everything about the lifestyle. I have, however, done my research and know what it takes to make things safe.
While there were a few things I liked a lot about Mastered, I reached my final limit at 74% and did not finish this title because the BDSM element wasn’t treated appropriately, in my opinion. I felt Evangeline was too whiny/wishy-washy for my taste. If you don’t mind stories that aren’t accurate in the areas I’ve mentioned, this title might be a good read for you. If someone finishes it and the things that tipped me over the edge get fixed, let me know. I do look forward to subsequent titles in The Enforcers series; the minor characters were engaging and I definitely want to know more about them.
What he wants, he takes with no remorse or guilt.
She stood out in his club like a gem, unspoiled and untouched. A lamb among wolves, she clearly didn’t belong. Drawn to her innocence he watched as she was surrounded by men who saw what he did—but no one but him could touch her. He summoned her to his private quarters. He sensed her fear. He also recognized the desire in her eyes. And he knew she wouldn’t leave before he possessed her. She had no need to know his secrets. Not until he had her under his complete and utter control.
What he wants, she isn’t sure she can give him.
The moment he told her want he wanted, she couldn’t resist. Instinct told her to run, but her heart said stay and walk the fine line between pleasure and pain. Though she wasn’t sure she could ever completely surrender, the primal part of her wanted to try, even knowing this man could break her in ways she never imagined. Because once he possessed her, he owned her and it would be too late to turn back. She can only pray that he doesn’t destroy her in the end.
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Series: Enforcers #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Format(s): paperback (368 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Mastered (The Enforcers #1)