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Sandy M’s review of Taking It All (Surrender Trilogy, Book 3) by Maya Banks
Contemporary Erotic Romance published by Berkley 5 Aug 14

We’ve been teased with the problems between Tate and Chessy throughout this trilogy, and I have to say that I was mightily intrigued what would really make a Dom leave behind the lifestyle along with his sub. I’ve been thinking all kinds of things along the way, intrigued with what Ms. Banks would finally give us in this last book of the series. Of all the things that it could have been, what’s actually happened between these two characters is not quite what I expected.

The first part of this book is mostly misunderstandings between Tate and Chessy. She finally gets the gumption to confront him about her ongoing unhappiness at how their life has gotten off track while he’s built his business. Chessy never wanted to hold Tate back when he decided to open his own firm and she enjoyed the times he asked her accompany him when schmoozing with clients. But then he stopped asking. He spent more and more time away from home. Away from the bedroom. And it never dawned on the man his was pulling his wife apart.

Then there’s more of what we read in the first two books – Joss and Kylie, even Dash and Jensen, advising Chessy to have a talk with Tate. So this first part is rather slow and repetitve. The story doesn’t really start for me, even as much as Tate tries to do his best after realizing what he’s done, when Chessy decides she’s not taking anymore of the man’s bullshit and walks out. Her trust has been broken one too many times, it doesn’t matter what Tate says any longer.

During this part of the book, it’s like the old Maya Banks has re-emerged. No repetition and characters who are down to their last straw, trying to figure out what to do. When we do get dialogue, there’s a bit along in here that doesn’t quite work, but I enjoyed this section. Tate has a lot of soul searching to do, no more just saying things are going to change. Even his actions are suspect after a disastrous night he’s planned to get them back into their Dom/sub relationship.

I wanted something more dire for Tate and Chessy after all the build-up we’d received in the previous two books. That doesn’t happen until much too late for me. I do like Tate’s persistence and final resolution in trying to win Chessy back. This isn’t my favorite of the trilogy, and it only partly works coming after Joss’ and Kylie’s stories. I’m not sure what’s happened that’s led to such a problem in Ms. Banks’ last couple of books, and I’m even more baffled the excessive repetition gets past editors and anyone else who has a read-through before release.

I’ve still graded those last couple of books high just because it’s Maya Banks, but this time the grade goes down a bit because the issue persists. I’m hopeful it will be taken care of, because I miss all that wonderful storytelling from one of my favorite authors.

sandym-iconGrade: B


Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has alreadylost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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