Aug 3, 2014

Taking It All by Maya Banks *Review*

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 already lost 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. 

                                                             Amazon US | Amazon UK

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this story for an honest review.

Sometimes in a series there is one secondary character that just stands out begging for their own story. In The Surrender Trilogy that character for me has been Chessy. In Letting Go Chessy grabbed my attention and I wanted to know more. In Giving In my heart broke for Chessy and I wanted to see her get her happy ending. I have been chomping at the bit for Taking It All. Now for the story...

To the outsider Chessy and Tate appear to be the perfect married couple. Tate has worked hard to build a successful business and give Chessy her heart’s desire. But what Chessy wants can’t be bought with money. Tate is Chessy’s Dom but he’s stopped acting like it. Chessy fully embraced giving her submission in exchange for having her physical and emotional needs met but now she barely ranks fourth or fifth in Tate’s list of priorities. When Chessy is pushed to the brink she has to decide if she has more to give or if Tate has taken it all. 

What I Loved: One of the main reasons I love The Surrender Trilogy is the strong friendship of heroines Joss (Letting Go), Kylie (Giving In), and Chessy (Taking It All). Banks creates such honest, frank, and caring conversation and interactions between the three, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them and secretly wish I was part of their group. While Taking It All is Chessy and Tate’s story, I was happy that Banks included updates in the lives of Joss and Kylie. Also, the loves scenes in Taking It All are ridiculously hot.

What I Didn’t Love: I love Maya Banks and have been a staunch advocate of The Surrender Trilogy. That said, I have to confess that I struggled a bit with Taking It All and the center of that struggle is Tate. Where Dash and Jensen (the heroes of The Surrender Trilogy 1 & 2) both had flaws, it only humanized them. I just could not connect with Tate. There is a scene where Chessy suggests that she shoulders some of the blame for an epic screw-up on Tate’s part. It made me think less of his character. I know it takes two to tango but sometimes when someone makes a mistake, its ok that they own full responsibility when asking for forgiveness. 

Favorite Quotes:

“Their relationship defied convention and neither of them gave one damn. They made the rules. No one else.”

“There is no Tate without Chessy and I hope to hell there’s never a Chessy without Tate.”

“Shame crawled up his neck and spread over his chest, tightening until he could barely draw breath. No wife, regardless of whether she was in a position of submissiveness or not should be faced with a failure of a husband.”

“I can’t force you to make me your priority and furthermore I wouldn’t want to try to make someone feel something for me they don’t. The truth always wins out in the end.”

Maya Banks is a guru at balancing heartfelt romance, hot kink, and emotional journeys. The Surrender Trilogy took me on such a journey, I can’t help but recommend checking out all of the books. Taking It All is not a standalone. Please check out Letting Go and Giving In first.

Happy reading.

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