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In His Keeping: A Slow Burn Novel (Slow Burn Novels) Paperback – January 27, 2015
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“Move over Fifty Shades...Maya got a little somethin’ somethin’ for ya.” (Examiner.com)
“Maya Banks…really dragged me through the gamut of emotions. From…‘is it hot in here?’ to ‘oh my GOD’…I’m ready for the next ride now!” (USA Today)
“Hot enough to make even the coolest reader sweat!” (Fresh Fiction)
“Grabbed me from page one and refused to let go until I read the last word…When a book still affects me hours after reading it, I can’t help but Joyfully Recommend it!” (Joyfully Reviewed)
“Definitely a recommended read…filled with friendship, passion, and, most of all, a love that grows beyond just being friends.” (Fallen Angel Reviews)
Caleb and Ramie’s intense connection and fiercely passionate romance will keep readers hooked along with suspense and intrigue. Banks’ first novel in her new Slow Burn series will leave readers wishing for the next one. (Romantic Times BOOKclub, 4 1/2 stars)
“Maya Bank’s KEEP ME SAFE takes readers into the black depths of anguish, face-to-face with evil. Her characters are a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and to the power love has to heal even the deepest wounds.” (New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard)
“Crisp storytelling, steady pacing and a well-defined, strong, overly protective alpha male in Beau will appeal to readers.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub, 4 1/2 stars)
A well-paced read with non-stop action and buckets of family drama, but there are also some gorgeous romantic moments. (Heroesandheartbreakers.com)
From the Back Cover
Arial knows the rules that keep her safe. She's been following them since she was a little girl: Do not tell. Do not show. But in a moment of terror, facing an attacker intent on taking more than just her life, Ari has no choice but to unleash the psychic powers she's been hiding since childhood.
Now, with her abilities revealed, a bigger threat looms—something that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her parents and her secretive upbringing. But this isn't a fight she can face on her own.
As the head of Devereaux Security, Beau Devereaux is no stranger to the strange. But when he takes on a new client—a beautiful young woman with an extraordinary gift—Beau isn't prepared for the extent of his attraction to her. What began as a simple assignment, just another job, quickly turns personal as Beau discovers he'll do anything at all to protect Ari. No matter what it costs him personally. Even his heart and soul.
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I've never read any of the SLOW BURN books before. And I can truthfully say this is it for me. The weak plot begins nicely with good angst and suspense. But I kept asking myself WHY didn't Arials' parents...Gavin and Ginger Rochester...why didn't they use a surrogate? Ginger can't carry a child...she conceives ok, but cannot "hold" the child to term...so WHY not use a surrogate? It's common practice and with Gavins' billions...well, where's the problem?!? Or adopt?!? Ms. Banks laid out the foundation for this story, (why the Rochester's get Arial was simply lame) with very little thought it appears... But that's not all...that's only the beginning to this fast moving train wreck.
Arial Rochester (24) is not normal. People who are like her are said not to exist, yet she's living proof with no explanation why she's a freak of nature...and because of her telekinetic abilities, Arial craves normalcy. Raised by her parents in constant fear of discovery, she's kept isolated for most of her life; until she's old enough to understand not to ever use her powers and expose herself. Therefore she's quite timid, shy, and meek. Arial is petite with silvery blond hair and unusual mixed colored eyes that reflect the colors of the ocean and sun...like the brightest jewels. And now Arials' parents are missing, possibly abducted and it's up to meek, mild, isolated Arial to save them..
He's tall and muscular and his size makes him imposing and intimidating. There's a rough edge about him...unpolished and unrefined. Beau Devereaux is a man you don't cross...he's a hard, unnerving, arrogant jerk who doesn't mince his bluntness. He's not a lady's man although he can hold his own with women. Beau isn't a "pretty" man...but he's good looking in a rugged, edgy way. And he never allows himself to break protocol with clients...until Arial. Never ..before Arial.. did he lack for self control. He's outwardly gruff, but inside he's exquisitely tender.
Sounds fine so far, right? The story lays out its foundation nicely, weak though it may be, with lots of suspense and drama so I'm frantically reading and turning pages, waiting for it to get better. But once the foundation is spelled out and set, the suspense levels out (in the body of the plot) and the storyline is repeated and drawn out over and over, filling up space...muddling along with unanswered questions. So I've slowed down in my reading pace as the story has quickly become boring...and I'm reading along through many yawns...wading through this "whodunnit", waiting for something...anything, to happen... trying to just make it to the end, feeling let down and disappointed ½ of the way in. Actually rechecking a few times to make sure that this book is in fact, a Maya Banks book.
I kept wondering about this DSS corporation. Keep in mind this is my first SLOW BURN novel so the DSS is new for me. But I was amazed at how incompetent they were...the whole team. I mean, we're told at how well they do their job and get results, but it never happens. They're slow to action or simply even putting a plan into place! They sit around with their thumbs up their... you know what.. TALKING, ARGUING, and talking some more about a plan of action....deciding what to do but doing nothing. And these "professionals" underestimate their enemies over and over again. They act like amateurs...inactive, unenthusiastic and passive. They need to take a lesson from Liam Neeson (TAKEN). Boy... now HE'D show 'em how it's done!
And then Ari and Beau's romance blossoms so quickly I actually wondered if I'd missed a chapter or two. Their intimacy happens off page...it's just BAM! I'M IN LOVE!...(and that's no kidding). And out of the blue while riding in the back seat of a car, Beau spiels out some nasty stuff to Arial...stuff he wants to do to her. Now, I like erotic stuff, but him saying what he'd like to do to her?!?.....HER!! ...a young woman who was a virgin...innocent and naive'...kept isolated her whole life...for him to talk this way especially when they basically have only known each other for 48 hours and they're not alone in this moving car...well, it was just beyond absurd. It was as if Ms. Banks decided she needed to put some erotic speech into her book and this seemed like the best place to flop it in.
And when all hell finally breaks loose and the bad guys have infiltrated the DSS fortress and are closing in, these special DSS guys??...this small army who's suppose to be so bad, hard, aggressive and violent and capable???....well, they all stop for a group huddle when they trip over a dying man. Yeah, I'm SO not kidding! They all stop and huddle for a short gab-fest about what kind of monsters they're up against!?! lol...it was almost comical. These hard men are sickened to the point of losing their lunch by the brutality of this dying man they find. It's supposed to be serious and I'm sittin' here crackin' up at the cheesy dialogue. Eliza, the only woman on the team, pauses (in the midst of explosions and guns blazing mind
you), and gives Beau and his brother Caleb, A PEP TALK??? <shakin' my head> For cripes sake...they're in the middle of a fight...Arial's life is threatened with tortuous acts...grenades are flyin', explosions shaking the earth, uzi's rat-a-tatting away ...and they huddle for a talk?????
And in the end, when Arial finally lets loose with her powers and brings the house down (think "CARRIE" x's 10 to the 10th power)...she stops and says to Beau and Zack.. "...the last thing I want is for anyone to die because of my hatred and thirst for revenge". lol....she's just killed about 50 people. (Sorry for spoilers, but you're not missing anything here). And that's just "a tip of the ice-berg" of sappy dialogue and recycled, cheesy, repeated over again, cliches'. Just terrible.
Twenty-four year-old Ariel ('Ari') Rochester is telekinetic. Her birth parents abandoned her when she was an infant. One frigid Christmas Eve they left her in a basket on the doorstep of Gavin and Ginger Rochester. After several miscarriages, the couple had given up hope of carrying a baby to full term. They wanted so much to have a child, so the arrival of the mysterious Christmas package caused them great joy.
Gavin, a very wealthy businessman with a shady background was fearful that Ari's parents would come looking for her and so he, Ginger, and Ari left the country for several months. He created a false paper trail documenting the birth of the baby as if she were born to them. After some time they returned to the US, Gavin sold his home and all his numerous and questionable holdings, and the family moved across country to Texas to begin life anew with false identities.
Ari is raised with much love in a world of privilege but she is very sheltered and thus naive to the ways of the world outside the lovely cocoon her parents created for her. In spite of her wealth she is unspoiled, a caring, giving person. Gavin and Ginger discovered that their daughter was "gifted" with unusual powers while she was still an infant. At a very early age she was able to make her toys move through the air to her crib. They were careful to teach her never to use her powers and risk discovery. "Never tell. Never let anyone know. Never use your powers."
Meanwhile Ari has no idea that she is adopted.
Years later their world shatters when Ari, now an English teacher, is assaulted by one of her students. "Though her powers had long lain dormant, though she had made a practice of suppressing them at all costs, they came roaring back, self-preservation overtaking all else."
And that's when trouble begins - BIGTIME! Her parents are kidnapped and Ari had been told by her father that if and when she is in danger to contact Beau Devereaux, head of Devereaux Security Services. His brother, Caleb, is co-owner of the business which is staffed by alpha males and a few women, both wives and warriors. It seems that the thugs who took her parents are using the Rochesters to get Ari. They are part of an organization that wants to explore her special powers and Gavin and Ginger are held hostages until Ari gives herself up...or NOT.
Predictably Beau and Ari are attracted. Sparks fly. But the romance begins too quickly. Ari goes from being an innocent, artless young woman to a rather steamy gal. The characters are not fleshed out enough when the relationship begins. However, Ari soon loses her fear of strangers and begins to gain confidence in herself - her inner strength and her unusual powers.
The suspenseful finale makes up for the weaker parts of the novel.