REVIEW: Letting Go by Maya Banks

letting go review

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
First Book in Surrender Trilogy – Can Be Read As Stand Alone

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Rating: 3 stars

This story will tug at your heart strings. It will make you insert yourself into each character’s position and question what you would do if you were them. And the crazy thing is at times you will have no idea what you would do. I liked the story – a widow wants to try a dominant/submissive lifestyle only to find that her deceased husband’s best friend is the one that can give her what she needs – but I didn’t love this book as much as I’ve enjoyed Maya’s other books.

Joss had the fairy tale marriage. She actually got the happily ever after that everyone dreams on having.  She loved Carson, her husband, with ever bone in her body but there was something missing…something she couldn’t ask of him despite how much she craved it. So she told herself she didn’t need it and was content with that. But then, Carson died suddenly and her world was shattered. So for three years she has gone through the grieving process with her husband’s best friend, Dash, by her side for support.

“But this need for dominance went deeper than just belonging. She wanted to be…owned. Cherished. Utterly adored. All the things her husband had given her but…more.”

But she’s done enough grieving and has decided to go after what she has always felt she’s wanted…someone to dominate her, own her, fulfill her need. She never expected to find that the person she was looking for was right in front of her, Dash, her husband’s best friend. Dash has been in love with Joss since the moment he met her. But, he valued his friendship with his best friend and never acted on his feelings. Even after Carson died, he never once made a move…until he saw her at his exclusive sex club.

“That’s it, Joss. See me,” he breathed out. “Finally. See me. Who I am. What I am. And that I want you with my every breath.”

The one thing about this book that you will get is emotion. The author nailed the emotions of these characters. They were so realistic and honest. They were the kind of emotions I would expect someone to have if they were in the characters’ shoes. I felt every single thing Joss felt and it made me 100% understand her, despite what my opinion may have been of her decisions. This book was so much more than erotica – the heart of it is a romance. It’s about finding love again after the love of your life is taken from you. It will make you feel!

There were so many “hmm” moments in this book. Hmm..how do I feel about the best friend hitting on his best friend’s wife? Hmm…is it really a big deal since he’s been dead for three years? Hmm…is it weird that Dash has been in love with Joss for all these years?  Hmm… is it me or is Kylie, Joss’s sister-in-law, over reacting about the decisions Joss is making in her life? Hmm…if Dash is a dominant, why does he only act like one a little bit of the time?

I formed some issues with the story while pondering these “hmm” moments. I felt like the book was slow moving in the beginning. Once Joss found out about Dash’s feelings for her and his sexual needs, their conversations became repetitive. Pages upon pages were spent on Dash telling Joss how much he’s worshiped her and loved her. And then pages were spent on Joss going back and forth on whether she should be with Dash. 200 pages later and they finally decide to give it a try.

Another part of the story I had a challenging time with was believing that Dash was actually a dominant. The one thing I can always count on and expect from a Maya Banks book is steamy sex and dominant Alpha men. I got the steamy sex for sure, but I didn’t necessarily believe Dash was a dominant. Yes, he had demands of Joss and he said the right things, but they were really small in relation to the amount of coddling he did of her. I am no expert in dominant men, but I feel like there needs to be a certain presence about them – something they exuded. And I never felt that from Dash. I believe that a dominant Alpha can love his woman, but still be dominant. I did not get that from Dash – he loved her too much to really be that way with her, which is great, but doesn’t make him a dom.

I really liked Joss and completely sympathized with her. I can only imagine the position she was in. I loved how the author balanced Joss’s grief and guilt with her desire to move on in life and be happy. I loved how strong, loyal and compassionate of a character she was. She was a great female lead and was the biggest reason why I liked this book. In fact sometimes I think she was too caring and too sensitive to her friends’ feelings.

“No, they were just friends. He had been her husband’s best friend. How would it look to others? How would her friends, his family, Kylie take the shift from them being friends to becoming lovers? More than lovers. Much more.

For example, Joss cared too much about Kylie’s feelings. Kylie is Carson’s sister and has a troubled, horrible past. However, she is an adult and behaves like child. And everyone else plays into that. I couldn’t understand why Joss sometimes made Kylie’s feelings that much more important than her own. But, I think that was a sign of how great of a person Joss was.

This book wasn’t really for me – I liked it, but I didn’t love it. After reading Maya’s other books, I was hoping for a bit more. This author does a great job writing stories about dominant/submissive relationships while at the same time making the romance story engaging. I just think this one fell a little bit short for me personally; however, I 100% believe that if you are looking for a book about finding love again, you will absolutely enjoy it.

THE SURRENDER TRILOGY

LETTING GO (#1)
(February 4, 2014)

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GIVING IN (#2)
(May 6, 2014)

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TAKING IT ALL (#3)
(August 5, 2014)

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✭ About Maya Banks ✭

Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today and bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy.  Her other chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance.  She lives in the South with her husband, three children and a variety of pets.

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