*If you're planning to read this book you had best get used to all the flying bird references now. So I'll do my best to break you in ;)*
Growing up in*If you're planning to read this book you had best get used to all the flying bird references now. So I'll do my best to break you in ;)*
Growing up in Montana with a strict conservative father was difficult for Emmy, especially when all she wanted to do was spread her wings and sing her heart out. Emmy used to escape to the Donovan Mountain Pass Ranch whenever she was able to sneak past her disapproving father and within the protective bubble of the Donovan brothers, Emmy nurtured her childlike adoration into a woman's love for Taggert, Greer and Sean. Once her ticket to singing stardom was assured, Emmy hoped to fulfill all her childhood dreams by going to her home away from home and asking the brothers to love her, as she's always loved them. Unfortunately, her dream is not only left unfulfilled, they are shattered by Taggert and Greer's shocked and cutting rejection of her. She runs away, only to be met by Sean who agrees to leave with her, and the two of them indulge in a wonderful yet shortlived romance. For someone is disgusted by Emmy and her dreams of loving three brothers. And when that disgust ends in the murder of Sean, this songbird cages herself away for a year, slowly losing the will to live. It's only when Taggert and Greer come for her that she emerges from her self imposed isolation and dares to dream again.
Taggert and Greer can never forgive themselves for rejecting Emmy when she came to them, nor will they forget that only Sean had the courage to admit that he always loved Emmy. And when that courage ended in his death, they will never be able to forgive that they left their youngest brother to die in what should have been their place. So a year after Sean's death, they come for Emmy, determined to bring her home. They coax their wounded songbird back to life, urging her to live, to laugh and to love once more. Once unnerved by their joined passion for Emmy, Taggert and Greer learn to revel in it instead. And it's this very passion that once again brings out someone angered by their love. Determined to bring this songbird plummeting to earth, someone close reveals themself as a killer, and it's only with the love of all three brothers that Emmy finds her wings again and and learns to soar higher than she's ever gone.
Songbird opens up right after the death of Sean and our first look at our heroine is pretty depressing. She's pretty much a closed off emotional wreck and a year after her husband's death she's still hiding. But instead of rolling my eyes and making hurry-up-get-over-it motions (as I've been known to heartlessly do) I was too busy wiping tears away. Maya Banks has created a sad, wounded little bird in Emmy Donovan and she ruthlessly tugs on the heartstrings. This one is going to hurt a bit. If you've ever suffered a devastating loss before this book will definitely strike a chord within you.
As far as the menage went, I liked how the brothers were uncertain of how the relationship was supposed to work. These were men who never dreamed they would one day find themselves naked together and loving the same woman. But since fumbling men doesn't make for a very erotic romance, once we get our heroes and heroine naked in bed, they all move together like clockwork.
At times Emmy was a little doll-like. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more personality from her, but at the end when confronted by the person who tried to destroy her life, she let out a few choice comments that definitely had me cheering. So all in all this was a nice little story and I'm glad I read it. There's nothing particularly earth shattering about this book, but if you're looking for something sweet, sexy and a little emotional, then Songbird by Maya Banks definitely delivers. 4 stars....more
I'm confused. Did Micah do these things with Hannah? Because if he didn't I think Maya Banks missed a good opportunity to write about Micah giving inI'm confused. Did Micah do these things with Hannah? Because if he didn't I think Maya Banks missed a good opportunity to write about Micah giving in to his inner demons. Now that would have been HOT. Instead I was subjected to this gangbang of a book. Nothing wrong with a good gangbang but sheesh. ...more
Serena James is in the business of fulfilling fantasies. Whether it's a night as a high roller, or the childhood**spoiler alert** ** spoiler alert **
Serena James is in the business of fulfilling fantasies. Whether it's a night as a high roller, or the childhood dream to act the princess aboard a cruise ship, Serena happily and wistfully fulfills whatever her clients desire. Happily, because she enjoys whenever a fantasy lives up to it's expectations and wistfully, because she wishes she too could just walk into a room and have her deepest darkest fantasy come to life. Though her fantasy is a little more complicated than setting up a dream night as the head chef in a restaurant. She wants a real life master she could kneel before and lay her head on. Who will take her, own her, and cherish her. Lucky for this lady she happens to know a friend who has the private number of the man who lives in a world where finding such a master is commonplace. When Serena's friend points her in the direction of Damon Roche, it's like serving up the lamb to the lion. To steal a line, "What a stupid lamb, and what a sick, masochistic lion." (I think that line sums up this story pretty nicely)
Damon Roche is a man who has given up on his own personal fantasy. He loves the feel of a woman kneeling at his feet. He loves the feel of a bound woman, submissively offering herself up to his control. Finding such a woman is easy. Keeping one is a different story. What he wants as a lifestyle scares off most women and so when his friend points him in the direction of Serena, he sets after her with predatory anticipation. He's willing to live the fantasy with Serena for one month, going a week at a time. Barely the first five days have past before the lines of this carefully delineated fantasy begin to blur and neither Damon or Serena know what is truth or illusion. Are they living out the fantasy of Master and slave? Or are they simply creating their own relationship in a world with no guidelines or rules?
Maya Banks can certainly write some sexy scenes. Some parts of this book had me squirming in lust. While others had my mind wandering in boredom. Plus there were others that had me going, "Ewwwww." Still, there was one scene that had me going, "Awww." Since all I heard before reading this book was about specific scenes - I'm going to spoil them and give my thoughts: Spoilers ahead!!!!!! ******************************************************
Maya Banks loves having her men feed and bathe their ladies. While I could do without the feeding part (but thank God she didnt have the women kneeling at the mens feet, being fed scraps from the table * waves to Jaid Black*) I certainly enjoyed the bathing parts and whenever someone takes a brush to Serena's hair. I looooooooooooove having my hair brushed so whenever I read about it in a book it instantly gets a thumbs up from me.
Damon likes to keep her naked and he enjoys having her naked in front of other people as well. But only in front of servants who never bat an eyelash over it or only in front of people who either live or know the lifestyle. He repeatedly tells her his aim is not to embarrass her and indeed, no one bats an eyelash over it.
One man prepares Serena for a night of fun and games at The House. He toys with her nipples before applying nipple clamps and then hands her off to Damon. Other then that, the closest we got to multiple partners was the first anal scene. Damon had two men hold Serena down while he was having rough anal sex with her. Later, while he was coming inside her, the two men come on top of her. I could have done without the mention that some of the stuff landed on her face, but other then that, I found that scene to be damn hot. Damn. Hot.
Damon has a comfy cozy pallet made up for Serena that he places at the foot of his super masculine chair before a roaring fire. (I ain't gonna mention the absurdity of having both the fire and the air conditioning on. Nope. Ain't gonna mention it - though it was this type of pretension that rubbed me the wrong way with Damon) It's the infamous dog reposing before it's master scene. Truthfully? I kinda found it cute. Damon is working and he occasionally rubs his toes along her back. I couldn't help myself and had to let out a big, "Awwww."
The first whipping scene at The House was very hot. She hit subspace with a bang and I thought it was very erotic.
The second whipping scene was not as erotic as Maya Banks could have written - which was appropriate since it was created to be a scene of endurance and atonement, and ultimately about submitting with grace. Damon stands there before her and demands her eyes never leave his face. Micah is actually the one who administers this corporeal punishment. What happens to bring about this scene is that Serena does not call Damon when she knows she's going to be late. She's actually avoiding him and does this on purpose, knowing he will be worried. He's understandably pissed off. He's going to get her back later for it but in the meantime they have guests so he wants her to get dressed and come back to him. She's playing games and unsure of whether or not she wants this to be real. She decides she doesn't want this to be real and instead of changing her clothes, she comes down naked as a jaybird. As a slave. Since the party is full of men and women who live the lifestyle, they all know exactly what she is doing, and what message she is conveying. A big F U to all of them. So Damon punishes her publicly for her defiance of him and her shaming him in front of them.
End spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!! ************************************************
Damon was very sweet in Maya Banks' first book in the Sweet series, Sweet Surrender, and I had problems imagining him as the type of man who would want Serena as he did in Sweet Persuasion. After finishing this book I still felt no closer in knowing what made him tick and while I can now envision him as the implacable master who desired instant obedience and devotion, it didn't mean I particularly enjoyed it. He was too GQ for my tastes. I like a man with a harder edge. A rougher refinement. Truthfully, he reminded me of Phury from J.R. Ward's BDB series. Try imagining that wet dishrag as a powerful dom and see if you can keep a straight face. It's kind of a drastic comparison and not a particularly fair one, but it's an image that kept popping in my head regardless. Neither Serena or Damon were personable enough to keep me centered in this story and neither were the BDSM scenes hardcore enough to keep my interest alive either. (ETA: For a mass market produced book this a very hardcore book. So read at your own risk.)
Julia, a character that Maya Banks is sequel baiting with irritated the holy crap out of me. I wanted to take a pair of scissors and cut her out of this book. Her idea of catching a man consisted of batting her eyelashes and showing off her cleavage. Since she was constantly saying that she was not a submissive woman, I was pretty disgusted by her "roll over play dead" attitude whenever the object of her lust walked by. And speaking of sequel baiting - I'm still waiting impatiently for Micah's book. If Miz Banks sets up MY object of lust with that twit Julia I will shoot something.
I also did not like the way Maya Banks brought about the end of this book. Serena's reasons for leaving Damon seemed pretty pathetic. She was hurting and it appeared to me as if she wanted to prolong the bleeding. But that being said, the rather abrupt ending worked FOR me rather than AGAINST me. This type of relationship needed to be worked through on the daily and having them ride off into the sunset would not have been honest. Every relationship has problems that need to be worked through but their problems would not be about him leaving his socks on the floor in front of the laundry basket. So theirs was a relationship that needed to be lived through one day at a time. So while the abrupt ending and ambiguous HEA didn't bother me, I wish there could have been more of them talking. The initial buildup of their relationship started off with a lot of communication and I wish it could have ended that way too. All in all I would rate this book as a 3.75. 4 stars was too much because while I enjoyed several parts, I don't see myself rereading this book. 3 stars seems too low. 3.50 is a cop out I use when I don't want to go as low as 3 stars so I'm bumping it up to 3.75. Does that make sense? ...more