Author: Maya Banks
I’m not sure what it is, but Dominated felt really slow to me until about the 70% mark. I was a bit meh about the characters, and annoyed by the characterization. I think I’m going to chalk it up, however, to the fact that I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book.
Evangeline started of as a pretty whiny character. She irritated my soul when she was with or around Drake, to be honest. The glimpses of her with Maddox and Silas balanced it out for me, a little though. I’ve never been a fan of the sweet and innocent turning submissive when they’re super inexperienced, either. I think D/s relationships are something to be explored after there’s trust in a relationship.
Which brings me to another issue I had with the book. Evangeline went back to Drake after an incident from the previous title in the Enforcers series. To be honest, I cannot identify with Evangeline at all. As a person, I am larger-than-life and in-your-face about things—once I get to know and trust you. I’m about empowerment, not oppression. That’s exactly how I felt the relationship between Drake and Evangeline was. I’m willing, however, to note that it’s probably due to my own past. Maybe I saw too much of my former self in Evangeline, and too much of my ex in Drake. Again, it’s a really personal thing. I’m not going to recommend this title to someone with a history of emotional abuse. It’s triggering.
Drake is a typical self-made billionaire with a dash of The Godfather tossed in. I don’t mean the Marlon Brando character specifically—just the whole mafia vibe. Until he was whiny for a while. Alpha males that get whiny when they’re broken annoy me. This could TOTALLY be my perception, though. Seriously.
And the sex. OMG. I think from the 20% to the 70% mark, this title was All. The. Sex. In LOTS of ways. Menage involved, folks—if that’s not your reading kink, pass on this one. Actually, it got to be too much and I caught myself skimming until the ménage scene for a bit.
Seriously, I think my favorite parts of Dominated involved Silas. I’d be all-in if he were to get a book and get a HEA. Maddox too. And all the rest of Drake’s brothers.
And, at about the 70% mark, it got exciting. I was actually drawn in to the story and ditched helping my son on homework until I finished. Which saved this title from a significantly lower rating. If you’re thinking mafia stuff, you’re on the right track. It’s also got some of my favorite tropes, too. All.The.Tropes. The way things went down were a bit unexpected, but foreshadowed in the story. I’d forgotten because I was so annoyed with the characters early on.
I’m not sure about the plans for more titles in this series; I’d be interested in seeing what happens with Drake and Evangeline, but not enough to read another book entirely devoted to them. As a subplot to a book about Maddox or Silas? I’m in.
To save her, he had to betray her…
In Drake’s shadowy world, his enemies would exploit any weakness he had in order to bring him to his knees, and so he’s never allowed himself to care about anyone…never exhibited any vulnerability, and it made him a force to be reckoned with. Until Evangeline—his angel. A woman who slipped past his defenses like no one had ever managed. She was his to protect and ultimately, to do that, he had to do the unthinkable and drive the only good thing in his world away.
But he will stop at nothing to get her back…
Devastated and destroyed, Evangeline doesn’t know what made Drake turn on her in such a shocking manner. She only knows she’ll never be the same. He once freed her from all her inhibitions, only now she is a prisoner to never-ending pain. But when Drake finds her again, she realizes there is more to his world than she ever imagined, and she must decide if she can once more trust—and submit—to the man who holds her wounded heart in his hands. And he must convince her of just how far he’ll go to regain her love and forgiveness.
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Series: Enforcers #2
Genre: Erotic Romance with suspense elements
Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley
Reviews in the Series:
Mastered by Maya Banks (Enforcers #1)
Berkley Publishing is offering a copy of MASTERED, book 1 in the Enforcers series, to one (1) lucky commenter. To enter, leave a comment below and be sure to leave an email or twitter name so that I may contact the winner. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher. Giveaway open until Sunday May 15, 2016 at 12:00 midnight EDT. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only and participants who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Prize will be delivered by the contest sponsor. This blog, its reviewers, and the owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms.
“Find her,” Drake said harshly, the nights without sleep evident in his haggard appearance. “This is your only priority, your only job. Find her and bring her back to me.”
He’d gathered his sentinels. The only men in his inner circle, a tight band of men—brothers—his partners in business and the only men he trusted with his life—and Evangeline’s.
The only men he’d allow to see him at his lowest, unguarded. Vulnerable. Nothing mattered to him. Not exposing his weakness. Not allowing his iron control that had maintained him through most of his life to slip. They all knew that Evangeline was . . . special. All important. And they, like him, liked her. Respected her.
And they were all pissed. At him.
“Goddamn it, Drake,” Maddox hissed out. “How could you do it? There had to be another way.”
“There was no other goddamn way and you know it!” Drake barked, fury and helplessness eating him alive, gutting him until there was nothing left but a soulless shell of a man standing helplessly in front of his brothers begging for their help.
Looks were exchanged. Some of sympathy, some of resignation as they realized Drake was right, and still others of quiet fury that Evangeline had been treated—betrayed—in such a despicable manner.
Goddamn useless woman. Can’t even give good head. Your only use is in my bedroom.
His cruel words sliced through his mind, a jagged cut making him bleed all over again, a vicious reminder of the unforgivable things he’d said to her. All in the effort to convince the fucking Luconis she meant nothing to him.
When in fact, she was his goddamn world. And she was gone.
He couldn’t blame her. He’d devastated her. Had ripped her to shreds until she was bleeding from the verbal wounds he’d inflicted. And Jesus, his physical treatment of her. No, the only person at fault was himself.
Silas had remained silent, his features carved in stone, but his eyes were a dead giveaway in a man who usually gave away nothing at all.
“She didn’t deserve this,” Silas said in his quiet voice. But then he never had to raise his voice to make his point. When he spoke, others instinctively ceased talking and listened to him. He was a man who commanded authority and respect.
“No, she didn’t,” Drake said hoarsely. “Don’t you think I know that? Do you think a single night goes by that I don’t replay the image of her broken, in utter despair, her tears—goddamn it, her tears—and worse, her fear. Of me. Of her humiliation. Her absolute belief in every insult, every word I hurled her way in an effort to make sure the goddamn Luconis never suspected what she meant to me. I’ll never forget. As long as I live, I’ll never forget that night.”
His tone grew savage, fury radiating from him like a beacon.
“She could be anywhere out there. Alone. Afraid. Her parents haven’t heard from her. And those bitches she called her best friends . . .” He broke off and had to visibly compose himself.
He and Maddox had gone there first only to discover that they hadn’t heard from her either. Except . . . Lana had admitted that Evangeline had called that day, the day she’d planned to visit them. To reconcile. And that she’d told her not to come. Guilt had been reflected in the eyes of all her “friends.”
It was then that Drake had understood that she’d never planned to execute her surprise to him, hadn’t lied to him in order to set up her playing hostess for him. She’d been hurt by her friends’ rejection, and so she’d turned to the one true thing in her life, seeking his approval, needing it, because she had no one else.
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Maya Banks, 2016.