I debated long and hard on continuing this series after not finishing the latter half of Rush, the first book in this trilogy. Being a Maya Banks fan though, I just couldn’t give up on her like that so I took the plunge to read the second book, hoping she wouldn’t write the same scenes that turned me off in the first book.
The trilogy is about three friends who have built up a business together, billionaires, who can buy anything and anyone they want. Gabe, Jace and Ash are players in the world of love and never expect to settle down, but they all are dominant men who know what they want and what they want to do with women.
Gabe found his love with Jace’s little sister in book one and this book opens up at their engagement party. Jace and Ash have always shared women, so you get that they are looking for someone for the evening. They never do forever. When Jace takes an interest in one of the servers at the party, Ash approves and makes the move for them to share her for the night. Jace is immediately uncomfortable sharing the woman who has caught his eye and throws up his walls instead of telling Ash to back off.
Bethany is a young woman who doesn’t have much in life. She lives meal to meal, homeless shelter to homeless shelter. When Ash makes her an offer for a night, a hamburger and fries is about all she asks for…oh and orange juice.
The evening runs its course with Bethany getting the food she needs, but also two men making love to her with their code of dominance, which was mild for the one night. The next morning she disappears and leaves Jace in a frantic search to find her. Ash is un-approving and the two come to some words over it all. Eventually Jace does find Beth, but he insinuates himself in her life so tightly that he tries to give he semblance that she is independent when in realty he never intends to let her go and monitors her every move.
After this point it is a weaving of the two learning about each other, the misunderstandings of a hot temper, dominance overriding everything, and Bethany finding confidence in who she is in life. Jace’s sister, Gabe, Ash and some other characters come in and out of the story as Jace and Beth grow into a tumultuous relationship.
Throughout the story, I was put off with Jace’s control of Beth and how anything he said should be forgiven no matter how hurtful. He told her over and over he was a fly off the handle guy and she was just going to have to forgive him and fight for their love. Ah, nope, that isn’t how it works with me, and for the most part Beth agrees. Jace is extremely jealous of Ash having known Beth for the one night and I wanted to punch Jace! He should have spoken up if he didn’t want to do that.
The BDSM isn’t so much a big part of what I didn’t like. It was kind of light for the most part, but he does dominate her outside of the bedroom as well. In the beginning he sets her up in his sister’s old apartment to give her a sense of false independence. He has every intention of her never leaving him.
Overall, I just think Jace wanted to control in every way the person he supposedly loves. It was painful to watch how he tried to build her up, but at the same time tore her down.
To say a little about Beth. She was a mix of innocence and hard street smarts. I did love how she was addicted to a drug at one point in her life, but she made strides to never be an addict again. She is tested in the book and we learn just how strong she really is in the face of her old addiction, that really will never go away for her. At some points she was strong and stood up to Jace and other times, I wanted her to walk away for good when she didn’t.
While this story was better than the first book, I still didn’t feel love in this relationship but and stalker like addiction to each other. It felt unhealthy at best, destructive at worse. Will I read the next book? Probably since it will end the trilogy. If it went any further, I would probably have to call it quits with this book. Normally I am a huge Maya Banks fan, but several of her last books have fallen flat with me. I am hoping that trend isn’t going to continue.
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