Review: Giving In by Maya Banks + Excerpt

Format: ARC
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320 pages
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Surrender Trilogy #2
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.

I quite enjoyed the first book in Maya Banks' Surrender trilogy, Letting Go (you can read my review here). But I liked Giving In a whole LOT more.

I felt that Letting Go grew repetitive because Dash and Joss were having the same conversation and inner dialogue over and over so I was worried I'd find the same in Giving In. But not at all.

Because Kylie had an awful, traumatic childhood because she was sexually abused by her father so had deep-seated issues, especially when it came to relationships. Right from the moment she met Jensen, she knew to be wary of him. Jensen wanted Kylie but he saw a beautiful and smart but very vulnerable woman and he knew must tread carefully to have any chance with her.

If you read Letting Go, you may remember Kylie as a prickly, wary person (especially when it came to men) but she really blossomed in this book. It was great watching her grow, become strong and finally start living. Jensen was patient with her and so sweet. I really enjoyed the two of them together.

With Kylie's issues, they didn't immediately have sex (they didn't actually, you know, "went all the way" until about 3/4 of the novel) so it's not as spicy and steamy as Maya's other novels. However, the chemistry between the two main characters are still there. I actually loved the slow burn between Kylie and Jensen. I loved that the focus wasn't on the sex but on building trust between the two of them and Kylie's growth. Jensen too had abuse in his past and they were able to lean and support each other. I liked the whole running theme of "dominance does not always mean bondage and pain." I'm not a fan of BDSM in my reads anyway so Giving In was just my cup of tea.

I liked that the ending was not tied up in a neat little bow--it would've been unrealistic if it was because with Kylie and Jensen's issues do not disappear overnight. Instead, it was open-ended enough without sacrificing that happily ever after we as readers want in our romances.

This scene happened early on in the story.**

**The excerpt is from an ARC edition of Giving In and may be subject to change in the final edition.


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  2. With Kylie's issues, they didn't immediately have sex (they didn't
    actually, you know, "went all the way" until about 3/4 of the novel) so
    it's not as spicy and steamy as Maya's other novels

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