Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Cherished

Reviewed by Allison
I really wanted to read Lauren Dane's Tart that recently released, but you know me - I had to read the first one first! It's compulsive, I swear. The first Delicious tale is part of a BDSM "duology" by Maya Banks & Lauren Dane.

Exiled by Maya Banks

A true piece of fantasy, Ms. Banks takes us to a hidden island where we find Prince Alexander exiled and lying in wait to take back his country from the militant rebels who stole his kingdom. We discover that while he's been in exile, he's been helping a woman named Talia, whom he met when she served at the Palace. He's been keeping a rather proprietary eye on her, sending her money to pay for her mother's cancer treatments, her schooling, and her apartment. The only thing he asks in return is that she come without questions when he finally calls upon her.

The long awaited day has finally come, Talia gets her summons and though she feels ashamed for making such a bargain, Talia can't regret her choices since they guaranteed her mother a second chance at life. So, anxiously, she goes with the guard sent to bring her to her Prince. Full disclosure, she knows exactly what he expects, even more so after she arrives and he sits her down to spell it out. The terms: 6 months, full obedience, he --and only he-- will take her innocence, but she is to serve he and his four trusted guards. In exchange, she will live in Heaven on Earth - she will be pampered, cosseted, and cared for. Like I said...a true fantasy!

She has issues with complying to his demands at first, but after she learns to trust each man, a bond forms between the five of them. They make her first time meaningful, and anytime after that is just as tender, even with the underlying commands. What I love about the way Maya Banks does BDSM is that it isn't about the whips or chains or even commands, it's about what each person needs and the give and take you can find in any relationship. It's more about trust than anything else.

Xander does eventually get the chance to take back his throne, but in attempting to protect Talia from the rebels, goes about their separation the worst way. However, their time apart and misconceptions just makes the reunion that much sweeter and you can't help but fall in love with all four men.

I think that if Ms. Banks had set this story in any other setting it would have been ridiculous and unbelievable, but since it was a fairy tale from the start, for some reason it was easier to just go with it, no matter how fantastical it got. I loved the writing, it was HOTT as hell, and I highly recommend it!

Grade: A

Sway by Lauren Dane

This book was the reason I read the duology and honestly I was kind of disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was hot. But I really liked Daisy and the story seemed kind of stilted. I feel like I should go back and read the Brown siblings books to know the other characters better since the Delicious series is a spinoff.

Daisy is a 20-something free spirited dance instructor and artiste while Levi is a 40-something lawyer with a reputation to protect. Even though he wants to stay away, he is drawn to Daisy like a moth to a flame and can't keep his hands off her. She is subservient without thinking about it and he can't stop thinking of her. The question he ends up asking himself, is she worth it?

Again, it was hot - but I didn't feel the connection. I read it, but I couldn't feel it, I wasn't convinced. I'm all for dirty words, but sometimes it felt over the top, crude even, and it didn't fit the scene right. I want to read Tart anyway because I like the characters, but I will definitely go in with lower expectations.

Grade: C

Click to purchase: Amazon
by Maya Banks and Lauren Dane
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Berkley

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