Review: In His Keeping by Maya Banks

ARC: 432 pages
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Source of my copy: publisher/Sullivan & Partners
Series: Slow Burn #2
Abandoned as a baby to a young wealthy couple and raised in a world of privilege, Arial has no hint of her past or who she belonged to. Her only link lies in the one thing that sets her apart from everyone else—telekinetic powers. Protected by her adoptive parents and hidden from the public to keep her gift secret, Ari is raised in the lap of luxury, and isolation. That is, until someone begins threatening her life.

Beau Devereaux is no stranger to the strange. As the head of Deveraux Security, he’s more than familiar with the realities of physic powers. So when a family friend approaches him about protecting his daughter, he’s more than ready to jump on board. What Beau isn’t prepared for is the extent of his attraction to his beautiful and powerful client. What began as a simple assignment, just another job, quickly turns personal as Beau discovers he’ll do anything at all to protect Ari. Even if it costs him his life.

As with previous Maya Banks series I've read recently, I find I like the second book in the series significantly more than I did the first and that holds true here. I enjoyed In His Keeping a lot more than I did Keep Me Safe (my review).

I still do my issues with In His Keeping but first, here's what I liked.

1. I love that Ari had a great relationship with both of her parents. It was just so refreshing having that positive relationship and it stay positive throughout the novel too. So often lately in romance novels I read, one or both of the main characters grow up in broken homes and their problems stemmed from them having crappy parents or having no parents growing up.

2. Gavin and Ginger Rochester. I loved them! I wish they were my parents. The book opened up with Ari's parents, Gavin and Ginger Rochester, and how they ended up with Ari. I loved that we learned about Gavin and Ginger through Gavin's eyes and why they made the choices they did. It was great seeing the deep love they have for each other and then for Ari when she came along. 

3. Ari. I really liked her character. When the story began she was sheltered and inexperienced--because of the circumstances of how she came to Gavin and Ginger and their discovering her special ability, they kept her close and protected her, hardly letting her out when she was young. When things went to shit, she had to grow up fast. But it didn't happen overnight and it was great watching her character grow and become stronger. It was great seeing her embrace her power and kick some bad guy ass in the last hundred pages of the novel.

4. Ari taking center stage. In His Keeping was Ari's story and everyone else was secondary. Usually in romance the hero and heroine share the spotlight but here the spotlight was solely on Ari. Yes, Beau played a prominent role in keeping Ari safe but he answered to Ari. Even in the scenes where Ari was sleeping and Beau was talking to his team, they're talking about Ari so it was still Ari's show. This was all fine with me because I liked Ari's character a lot more than I did Beau's.

Which brings me to the things I didn't like so much...

1. Beau. He didn't leave much of an impression on me because I've read his character before in previous Maya Banks books. He's the typical cold fish but warms up to the heroine (but only to her!) and becomes an overprotective bear.

2. The romance and the sex scene. There was some mention that Ari and Beau were attracted to one another but there was hardly any build up to the first sex scene. To me, it came at an unnatural part point in the story and felt tacked on. After Beau and Ari slept together they're suddenly in love (even though they make a point not to say the words). The sex scene itself was written in a "paint by numbers" kind of way and it didn't come across as special.

I find that the things I liked in outweigh the things I didn't like so much. I enjoyed reading In His Keeping for the most part. I was able to read it fairly quickly once I got myself to sit still and read it. Yes, I have my issues with it but it's one of those books where you start reading it and you don't realize that you've read so many pages and it's 30 minutes later. I think that's the magic of Maya Banks. Her books are very entertaining and you want to know what will happen next so you keep turning the pages despite everything. I do want to read the last book in the series because it's about Zack and his character has intrigued me throughout the series. I thought he was going to be paired up with Tori Devereaux, but alas... I still want to read his book. 

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