by Maya Banks


Almost a 4 stars ( waivered a bit between 3.5 and 4 but quality of the writting swayed it for me in the end)
Right of the bat I have to say that finding a level at which to rate this book has not been an easy task because there are times when I could have quite honestly put it down and walked away completely but yet the story drew me back like a moth to a flame.
Was that because of the characters or was that just the fact that I hate to leave anything unfinished – not quite sure and now that I have finished I can hold my hands up and say I am glad I made it to the end but it was touch and go for a while.
Both Drake and Evangeline tugged sharply on my very last nerve for much of the time and really knew how to rub not only each other but me as the reader up the wrong way.
I got the feeling that sometimes they were just being unnecessarily irritating and their actions left me shaking my head at times but yet at other times they clicked and I understood what and why they were the way they were. Especially Drake.
So why the conflict, well Evangeline was a complicated character, not in that she was unsettling just that her outer shell belied the strength that she had the capacity to display. For some she may have come across as a bit of a walk over and at times that was very true but she was more than she appeared and I caught glimpses of a strong woman that I hope to see further establish herself in the books that will follow.
Drake wasn’t without his dichotomy either, he was a demanding man with a need to control but he showed in his own was a tenderness and sensitivity towards Evangeline that was very touching. Although all being said I do think that the next book will show him in an all too different light because he has a lot of ground to make up and getting what he ultimately wants and needs may take more out of him than it does anyone else.
He may have to re-write his own rule book in order to be the man that Evangeline needs because without change, his perfect woman may just slip through his fingers.
I would say that taking the book as a whole I enjoyed the story but it definitely wasn’t a hand down winner for me, it had problems that kept me on edge and I didn’t like waiting to see what they were going to do to annoy me next. Evangeline’s situation with her friends weirded me out a bit, they were there one minute and conspicuously absent the next, I wanted to know what happened to them, did Drake have something to do with them keeping their distance?
Evangeline herself needs to up her game, she needs to be more consistent in her behaviour and to find a demeanour that she is confident in and can own, to feel comfortable in her own skin so to speak.
I liked many of the secondary characters in the book and enjoyed the interaction between them and namely Evangeline. Silas and some of the other guys were engaging and I look forward to reading more of their story in the novels that are to follow.
I suppose the signs of a great author, is when they can give you characters that challenge, that cause you consternation but yet hold your attention. Maya Banks does just that and leaves you safe in the knowledge that she isn’t finished playing with your emotions just yet!

Topic: Mastered by Maya Banks

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