Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Giveaway & Review: Letting Go (Surrender Trilogy #1) by Maya Banks

I am very happy to be participating in the Letting Go Blog Tour today! Letting Go is the first in the Surrender Trilogy from New York Times and USA Today #1 best selling author, Maya Banks. This was my first novel from Banks and I'm excited to share this giveaway and my thoughts on the book with you.

Letting Go (Surrender Trilogy #1) by Maya Banks
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
352 Pages

Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.

Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.

When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.

Thanks to the publisher, Berkeley Trade, I'm able to offer a paperback copy of Letting Go to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment below with your e-mail address and the answer to the following question:

How do you choose a new book series to start? Do you often find that you venture out of your comfort zone, or do you tend to stick to what you know you like?
This giveaway is open to US residents only. This giveaway will close February 6, 2014 at 11:59pm (PST). Winner will be notified by e-mail on February 7, 2014.

I had actually heard of Maya Banks before I picked up Letting Go, but I had never read any of her previous work. This review is going to be a little tough for me to write because while I liked the writing style and the characters ok, it was the overall theme of the book that didn't sit well with me.

Letting Go is the story of Josslyn who lost her husband, Carson, in an accident. Three years after his death, she decides it's time to stop mourning and get on with her life, more importantly, to explore her own sexuality and outlets that her husband couldn't give her. She decides to go to an exclusive club which caters to the dominant lifestyle, but while there she runs into her late husbands best friend and business partner, Dash. It seems Dash has been keeping secrets from Joss and not just his lifestyle, but also the fact that he's been in love with her since he met her.

I'm sure you can already tell where this is going. Dash convinces Joss to let him dominant her and introduce her to the world she craves, but in return, she will belong to him and only him. After thinking it over, Joss agrees and their whirlwind affair takes flight.

On one hand, this book is a good starting point for people who have never read any type of BDSM, D/s type books. Banks explains the lifestyle and the rules that go with it in an easy way, since Dash is explaining it to Joss it doesn't feel like information overload but more like you're learning with her. Also, the chemistry between Dash and Joss is obvious from the start. I liked them together and ultimately rooted for them, which is what I was supposed to do so that was well done.

But, on the other hand, there were things that bugged me. Joss' sister-in-law, Kylie, drove me absolutely up the wall. When Joss tells her that she wants to start moving on, Kylie freaks out like it's the worst idea in the world. Then when Dash states that he's bringing in a new partner to the firm to help him out, she throws a fit and starts screaming. Everyone coddled her and I found her to be extremely childish and selfish. 

Other things that rubbed me the wrong way were things like this book taking place three years after Carson's death and Joss states over and over that she's ready to move on, yet at every turn she's bringing up Carson and comparing Dash to him which I felt wasn't fair. Then there was Dash's pet name for Joss - honey. Everything was 'honey this' and 'honey that'. How many times can you possibly say honey in the same conversation? At some point, it becomes condescending and not sweet at all. Banks also felt the need to repeat the same information over and over and over and over again...sometimes only half a page apart. Please trust that your audience can remember important information. 

Unfortunately, after reading this (and a few other) erotica type book, I've realized that this genre is not my cup of tea. While I understand that some people are enticed and interested in this type of lifestyle, I'm not and that hindered my enjoyment of the material. So just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean that someone else won't. Basically, it just wasn't for me. 
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.
Big thanks to Berkeley Trade for allowing me partake in this tour.


  1. Thank you for the honest review, Jen! I really feel like I got a good idea of what to expect from this book and I appreciate your honesty about what didn't work for you. This is probably a book that is outside of my comfort zone. I don't generally reach for erotica, and I don't think I ever read anything.. um.. spicier? As in, domination etc... I can see it being a good book, though, just maybe not for me, or at least not at the moment :)

    I'm not entering the giveaway, but thank you for posting about this book! Happy reading! :)

    Evie @Bookish

  2. Thanks for the post and the review, I ejoyed reading your thoughts. There are a few authors that are automatic reads for me, others I choose from respected reviewers/bloggers and also I might investigate a book if I love the cover. :) I have ventured out of my comfort zone and been rewarded with a great read that really moved me.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    kgagnon [at] donofrio [dot] cc

  3. I like your writing style and also the characters that you include in the story. I want to say thanks to you because you share these are great reviews by all readers. Your blog is just like a book that is outside of any zone. Each part of your story is enormous.


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