Series: Slow Burn

JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya Banks

JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya BanksJust One Touch by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #5
Genres: Suspense
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Avon


Jenna risks her very life in taking her chance to escape the religious cult that has owned her for the majority of her life.  It doesn’t matter to her that she is in rags and has no shoes, Jenna just knows that if she doesn’t escape now then her life really will be in worse danger and maybe even over.  Strong determination is the only thing forcing Jenna’s run to freedom.  It appears that the fates or God is with her when she not only escapes, but finds a way into the city.  However, Jenna knows that she has to find a way to get even farther away from the cult before she can risk relaxing or feeling in any way safe, but fate steps in once again and all but steals her chance to safely escape.


Isaac Washington is one of the long-time agents with Devereaux Security.  On the fateful day he meets Jenna, he discovers her trying to figure out how to steal his company SUV.  However, before he can capture the kid trying to take his vehicle, bullets begin to fly, and Isaac is hit hard.  Isaac can feel his body shutting down and dying when to his surprise, the woman (Jenna) touches him and heals not only his bleeding wounds, but also lightens his very soul.  Isaac has no idea who this woman is, but he knows that she just saved his life and gave up her only chance at escaping the people who are firing bullets.  Isaac convinces Jenna to take his SUV and run; It might seem odd, but Isaac knows that he can find his “angel” once back-up has arrived.


Jenna is in shock when Isaac tells her that he is going to protect her no matter what and stop the danger she is running from. Jenna can’t remember the last time anyone was nice or, heck, even thoughtful to her.  Isaac has instantly fallen for the beauty that Jenna has both on the inside and the outside, and now he faces the tough challenge of not only destroying the danger trying to take her, but also convincing Jenna that she can believe in his love.  Isaac is prepared to go lone wolf to make Jenna safe, but all of Deveraux Security is determined to help Isaac and put all of their resources behind making Jenna safe and protected.  As the truth about Jenna’s past slowly comes out, Isaac and the members of the team deal with their rage and disgust of how Jenna has been raised and abused. Once the team learns just who is behind this last ditch attempt to kidnap Jenna, Isaac and the entire team know just how deadly the danger really is.  Jenna has a hard time trusting anyone or anything after so many years of barely surviving. It seems that the fates aren’t quite done messing with Jenna or Isaac quite yet, but just when the chips are down, both of them learn just how much support and backing they really have.  When the dust settles, will Jenna and Isaac have the chance to explore their love, or will fate have dealt them a final and bitter blow that will separate them forever?


A man on a coffee run meets a desperate woman on the run just as danger explodes around them in Just One Touch.  I have often wondered when Isaac would get his story and just what type of extraordinary woman he would be matched up with.  By the end of their story, I felt that Jenna was the perfect match for Isaac.  However, I will say that as Jenna’s story and reactions unraveled, there were several times that I wasn’t sure if she would be a good match to Isaac.  I really enjoyed watching as not only Isaac, but the entire team, worked hard to show Jenna just how the world should function and that abuse was not the norm. I also enjoyed watching as Jenna began to accept that she was worthy of love and friendship.  The ending of the final battle is just icing on the cupcake of Jenna and Isaac’s journey—and one that I felt was very fitting.  I also enjoyed the brief glimpse of their future.  Just One Touch is full of the dynamic suspense that I have come to expect with the Slow Burn series, full of spine tingling danger, friends that have your back—no matter what and lots of soft passion.



WITH EVERY BREATH by Maya BanksWith Every Breath by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #4
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Avon



Eliza Cummings loves her job with Devereaux Security Services (DSS) and the men she works with and, lately, she has even come to love the women some of those men have married.  But Eliza has been hiding a big secret that made her the woman that she is.  An unexpected phone call tells Eliza that her time with this secret is now over and, to keep those she loves safe, Eliza will have to say goodbye to all she knows and take actions that will either get her killed or jailed for life.


Wade Sterling is a man who knows all about secrets and walking the line.  While some of Wade’s business is above the board and very public, there is also certain areas that Wade keeps in the dark and very secret.  Just lately, Wade has had dealings with DSS and, while he generally likes all of those he has met, there is one agent who lives to drive him up the wall.  Wade knows what is causing the friction, but for now he hasn’t had a way to get Eliza to be in the same room with him long enough for them to clear the air and admit to the real reason.


Eliza hates lying to her bosses, partner, and co-workers, but she does so willingly to keep them safe and to get her away on her mission before they can figure out something is seriously wrong.  What she doesn’t know is that she hasn’t been as convincing as she believes, and now Wade is on her tail.  It’s only days until Eliza will be face-to-face with part of her past that destroyed so many and will need to enact her plans.  The last thing she expects is to find herself kidnapped by Wade and taken to a stronghold.  Wade is determined to find out just what is going on and whatever it is, is all but killing Eliza by the looks of her.  When Eliza finally breaks down and tells all, Wade is just as determined to keep her safe and will pull out any stops needed to do so—including pulling in the DSS team.  Eliza has tried to tell everyone about the monster about to be freed, and even with them all saying they understand, she knows that they don’t understand the full extent of it.  Just as the plans are put into action, Eliza realizes from another phone call that they have all underestimated the acts of a madman, and she has to put it on the line to save an innocent.  The question is, will Wade and the DSS team learn about what has happened before it’s too late to save Eliza?


A woman with a dark secret in her past ends up teaming up with a man well accustomed to working with the dark and the secret.  Eliza and Wade have to come to terms with not only the threat to Eliza, but also their attraction and the passion that arises from it in With Every Breath.  I have wondered about Eliza’s background since the series started and what I discovered as I read had me even more impressed with the woman she is.  I knew that something was up with Wade from the moment he first appeared, because he had shadows all over him, and I loved how easily he promised to put it all aside for Eliza’s love.  Being the strong man that he is, I have no doubt that he will take care of the darkness around him so nothing affects Eliza and their life together.


I absolutely loved how fast the DSS team came once they understood what was wrong with Eliza and how they fought to keep her safe from the nightmare come true that threatened her.  I found the suspense kept me flipping the pages to see what would happen next, and the passion between Eliza and Wade was hot enough for steam to rise off the pages when let free.  There are many types of love, and I believe that most of them are seen in Eliza and Wade’s journey from friend-enemies to lovers in With Every Breath.  There was little question in my mind as I closed the last page that I would be Joyfully Recommending Wade and Eliza’s story.  While I would recommend you read the series in order, I believe that you could easily read this book out of order.

SAFE AT LAST by Maya Banks

SAFE AT LAST by Maya Banks

SAFE AT LAST by Maya BanksSafe at Last by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #3
Genres: Contemporary
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Avon


Zack Covington was briefly an NFL player when an accident had him walking away from the game. It wasn’t that he couldn’t play; it just wasn’t in his heart to continue. Now he is an employee for Deveraux Security, and he spends his time protecting people.  Part of his dedication to his job is because he enjoys keeping people safe from those that would harm them, which is something he didn’t do to the love if his life twelve years ago.  For the last twelve years, besides his job, Zack has been on a quest to find out just what happened to his “Gracie.”


Anna-Grace Hill is no longer a young and innocent girl and has survived an experience that no girl should ever have to deal with.  If that was not bad enough, that same experience showed her a betrayal of a man that Anna-Grace loved and expected to spend the rest of her life with.  Now Anna-Grace has become the artist that she always wanted to be and is about to have her first large show in a gallery.  It is time for Anna-Grace to put the past behind her and finally move forward.


Zack and Anna-Grace come face-to-face unexpectedly, and the outcome puts fear in her and rage in him.  Zack is trying to figure out just why his Gracie is beyond scared of him, and Anna-Grace is wondering if she can survive meeting Zack again after his last betrayal of her.  Before Zack can get Anna-Grace to tell him just what happened so long ago, she is attacked by an old enemy of the owners of Devereaux Security and the women they love.  Now, it’s beyond personal for Zack and with Devereaux Security to both help protect Anna-Grace and bring down those that hurt her.  As Anna-Grace slowly recovers she finally confronts Zack about just what happened twelve years ago, and she receives a very different reaction—one of horror and disbelief.  Anna-Grace begins to wonder if she has been correct in exactly what she has believed for so long.  Zack has always loved his Gracie and will do whatever he needs to do to try and gain her trust and love again.  Anna-Grace lost so much twelve years ago and now it appears that she might gain most of it back if she can just find the way back to Zack again.  It’s an explosive few days when all those who hurt Anna-Grace get just what they deserve, and the how and by whom might be the bridge that bring Zack and Anna-Grace needs to find forever together.


When young love is destroyed and years later they meet up again, can a lost love find a way to blossom again?  Zack and Anna-Grace have just this second chance in Safe at Last.  I could almost feel the agony from both Zack and Anna-Grace when they met back up and again later as they traveled the pothole-filled path back to each other.  My heart hurt several times for both Zack and Anna-Grace as I discovered just what happened to tear them apart, and I have to admit that I cheered as Zack took care of those who hurt his love.  Then I cheered again as Anna-Grace proved just how strong she was when she put herself in danger to help save a woman who tried to protect her, and she was also Zack’s friend.


Safe at Last is full of emotions that will both tear your heart out and make you want to hug Zack and Anna-Grace.  Their journey back together was not easy at all and yet it had me captivated to see what would happen next.  While I will say there were several spots that were not comfortable to read, I found the entire book unforgettable and a definite keeper.  In other words, Safe at Last is a Joyfully Recommended Read and a book you won’t want to miss even if you haven’t read the previous two books in the series.

KEEP ME SAFE by Maya Banks

KEEP ME SAFE by Maya BanksKeep Me Safe by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #1
Genres: Paranormal
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Avon


Caleb Devereaux will do anything for his family.  When his sister is taken, he searches out Ramie St. Claire to find her.  However, Caleb never realized what toll Ramie’s gift takes on her when she helps others.  Caleb believes Ramie is hiding, because she is being selfish and no longer wants to help people in desperate need.  When he realizes exactly what Ramie is up against, she soon falls under the category of ‘do anything for,’ and Caleb is caught up in more than just protecting this special woman.

Ramie St. Claire has a gift that doesn’t come for free.  She uses it to help the authorities locate missing people.  However, she touches on something darker and more sinister.  When this darkness feels her, it soon turns on her as the ultimate prize to achieve and will stop at nothing to possess her.  Forced into helping sexy Caleb Devereaux, Ramie soon finds herself on the run, brushing through another close call she reaches out to the deeply remorseful Caleb for help, but is it too late?

Keep Me Safe is a mind-bending, action-packed thriller that begins as it means to go on.  The chemistry between Caleb and Ramie keeps the story moving, however the love developed way too quickly for me.

The secondary characters filled out Keep Me Safe, but they seemed to be unable to stick with a feeling through the course of the tale.  I often questioned why they had flipped so quickly, but chalked it up to secondary roles that weren’t meant to be completely explained in Keep Me Safe.

There was a pivotal point that should have hiked the angst up in Keep Me Safe, yet it seemed to bring about questions that weren’t thoroughly answered for me.  It was more a very convenient element that felt out of place for me, because things like that could have occurred before, but didn’t.  Also at times, I felt that some vital characters weren’t completely fleshed out or explained, and they came across as cardboard individuals instead.  It was as though I jumped into the middle of a series that is not meant to be read as a stand-alone.  I would definitely not write Ms. Banks off, though, because her stories are usually very good!  This one just didn’t work for me.

IN HIS KEEPING by Maya Banks

IN HIS KEEPING by Maya Banks

IN HIS KEEPING by Maya BanksIn His Keeping by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #2
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Suspense
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Avon


Arial Rochester has known she was different since she was a small child and has tried her entire life to keep her differences a closely-held secret.  Arial is one of the people who was born with extremely strong psychic abilities.  As the only child of a very wealthy couple, Arial knows that she has a bigger chance than normal of being a target if her abilities come out.  Now grown up and at her first job and living on her own for the first time, Arial is loving her first experiences of freedom.  However, after an attack which made Arial use her abilities to save herself goes viral online, Arial turns to her rocks—her parents.  That viral video will turn Arial’s life inside out and upside down before it’s all over.


Beau Devereaux is one of the Devereaux children and one of the heads of Devereaux Security.  Beau and his siblings have done everything they can to put their parents’ reputation and business associates behind them and have a thriving and well regarded business now.  Beau was unusually drawn to a video showing an attack on a young woman, and he can’t figure out why exactly. With so many demands on his time with a new and busy business, Beau puts the video behind him until he discovers the same young woman in his lobby requesting a meeting with him or his brother.  Intrigued, Beau invites the woman into his office.


Arial promised her father a while ago that if she ever needed help and he wasn’t available, that she had to go to the Devereaux. Arial has no idea why her father made her promise or how he knows them.  But after a major security breach in her family’s protection, Arial is on the run and scared. Beau isn’t sure if he should accept Arial as a client, but something about her story and her body language has him agreeing to her requests. When the danger hits them immediately, Beau knows that someone is after Arial, and it seems that they have excellent sources. This is the first of many attempts to get Arial and to get rid of Beau. Beau and his team work with Arial to find out who got to her family and who wants Arial so badly. On the run, Arial is about to learn about her abilities and everyone within her scope will be affected by them, for good or bad, because Arial is ready to make people pay for what has happened in the last week or so.


Take one strong and protective man and one shy but powerful and determined woman and stir, not shake for goodness shake, and you have a story that will keep you reading until way too late into the night.  Arial and Beau not only find the answers to what is going on immediately, while dodging the danger directed at them all while finding a love that no abilities will be able to harm in In His Keeping. I will state right off that do not start this book if you have to get up early in the morning, because you won’t want to put it down, even to sleep.  I fell in love with Arial and Beau immediately, even with the footsy work going on as they first meet.  I loved watching as Arial and Beau discovered that their attraction was so much more than a minute thing and how fast they clicked. I also enjoyed watching as Arial found that she could stand up to anything, including murderous hitmen and Beau’s obnoxious older brother. The suspense kept me turning the pages as fast as could to see what was going to happen next. Actually, there was very little I didn’t enjoy as I went along with Beau and Arial on their journey.


In His Keeping has the perfect combo of suspense and passion with so many more elements thrown in to keep you enthralled.  If you haven’t guessed yet, I absolutely had to Joyfully Recommend this book as not only a must-read but a keeper that you will read over and over again. You do not have to read this series in order, I admit I didn’t, however I am going straight to my favorite book seller to buy book one because I just have to see what happened there.  I really cannot wait until the next book comes out, because I’m truly loving this series so far.

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