Monday, October 27, 2014

Unwrapping a Review of KEEP ME SAFE, a Slow Burn novel by Maya Banks

Being an Avon Addict has its amazing perks, and one of the best is that on occasion Avon Romance sends us print copies of new books. Most recently, we were sent a print copy of the newly released KEEP ME SAFE, book one in the Slow Burn series by Maya Banks. I’m always up for reading anything by Maya Banks and so was very excited to read the first book of a new series. Unfortunately, it was more disappointing than satisfying.

***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for KEEP ME SAFE:

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks

When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . . .

*                    *                    *                      *                      *

His sister is missing, and desperation forces Caleb Devereaux to seek out the one person he believes can help find her before it’s too late. Ramie St. Claire is on the run for her life and just when she thinks she’s hidden herself away, a man finds her hiding place, forces his sister’s scarf into her hands and she’s pulled back into the world she’s tried so hard to escape. He gets what he came for and leaves to rescue his sister with a promise to return after seeing what the event has done to her. Ramie isn’t going to wait for him or the evil hunting her. A year later, the evil does find her and after narrowly escaping him, she calls on Caleb Devereaux for help since he was responsible for forcing her out of hiding.

Now under Caleb’s protection he promises to keep her safe, but can he? Can he protect her from an evil, which has invaded her thoughts, her dreams, and knows her every move? Determined to fight back, she allows herself to be drawn into the hunt only to discover the evil may have abilities she can’t battle, at least not on her own.

KEEP ME SAFE by Maya Banks is an exciting, edge of the seat thriller but there were far too many things about it, which kept me from truly enjoying it. The premise of the story was excellent. I loved the idea of a psychic connection between the heroine and the demented serial killer hunting her, but the romance and the way the story played out, left me with less than a happy reading experience.

I had a major problem with Caleb building his affection for Ramie on guilt and a sense of obligation to keep her safe rather than on truly getting to know her, and care about her. He kept telling her that he owed her. Ramie never did give me a sense of falling in love with Caleb even though she tells him she does. It’s as if she felt she needed to give into whatever he wanted because she had nowhere to go, no one to help and protect her, and so felt her own sense of obligation toward him for what he was doing for her. Yes, there was attraction, but Caleb even admitted how frail, how skinny, and how sickly Ramie appeared yet he was lusting after her. I had a problem with that.

The continuity of the story was another matter. I felt there were holes in the story and at times it seemed as if what was happening in a scene was forgotten and when the action changed, the reader was left with a – huh?? A major huh moment happened in a particularly important scene when Ramie and Caleb were in bed together, sleeping and naked, an explosion rocks the house. His brother bursts into the room, and then the rest of the family comes through the bedroom to escape through the window – there is never any mention of Caleb getting dressed, much less dressing the poor, out cold Ramie. A huge HUH??

The suspense part of KEEP ME SAFE by Maya Banks was the best part of the book, although the descriptions of what Ramie, and later Caleb, actually experienced while their minds traveled across the psychic universe, so to speak, left a lot to be desired. Caleb was so shocked at what Ramie experiences, but the only thing the reader is really told about is a hand print on her face. The suspense was still enough to keep me going, turning the pages to find out what happens next, but the rest of it had me skimming to get to the action. This could have been an amazing story but I feel it was rushed and the characters weren’t allowed to grow within themselves and get to know each other, but rather the more important thing seemed to be to get to the end. As to the ending, it all happened so fast that I actually went back, and read the chapter again, because I thought I’d missed something.

I’d like to recommend KEEP ME SAFE by Maya Banks, but this is not necessarily one I’d call a must read. It's not Maya Banks at her best. I will say that if you’re interested in a thrilling, edge of the seat suspense with minimal shock factor, this is one for you. Many times the first book in a series is its weakest link, and so I will reserve judgment on the Slow Burn series until I have a chance to read the next ones. I’m hoping somewhere down the line to see Caleb’s sister, Tori, get pulled back into the world of the living by Dane. If you want to know what I’m referencing, you’ll have to read the book.

Happy Reading Everyone!

KEEP ME SAFE, a Slow Burn novel by Maya Banks, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.


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