Promo, Interview, and Giveaway: Burn: Maya Banks

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Ash, Jace, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Ash, it’s the woman who changes everything he’s ever known about dominance and desire...

When it comes to sex, Ash McIntyre has always explored his wilder side—extreme and uncompromising. He demands control. And he prefers women who want it like that. Even the women he’s shared with his best friend, Jace.

But Jace is involved with a woman he has no intention of sharing. And now even Gabe has settled into a relationship with a woman who gives him everything he needs, leaving Ash feeling restless and unfulfilled.

Then Ash meets Josie, who seems immune to his charms and his wealth. Intrigued, he begins a relentless pursuit, determined she won’t be the one who got away. He never imagined the one woman to tell him no would be the only woman who’d ever drive him to the edge of desire.

Other books in the Breathless Trilogy:

RUSH (Book 1): Goodreads/Amazon/B&N

FEVER (Book 2): Goodreads /Amazon/B&N
See our reviews of FEVER and our previous interview with Maya Banks
Interview with Maya Banks:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
There’s not a whole lot to tell! Lol. I always say I lead a very boring existence! My favorite place in the world is at home with my family. It’s my comfort zone. We’re very close and we do everything together. My daughter plays select softball so we’re very involved with her softball tournaments and travel a lot during her spring and fall softball seasons. When I’m not writing—which isn’t often!—I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, hunting and fishing. I’m a complete homebody though and I often joke that I live in a cave! 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m currently finishing up AFTER THE STORM, the 8th book in the KGI series. After that I’ll start working on a new trilogy that will release in 2014, similarly to how the Breathless trilogy was published, so readers can look for all three books to be released in 2014. 

What books grace your book shelves/ereader?
Oh I couldn’t POSSIBLY list all the books both on my real shelves and virtual shelves of my Kindle. We’re talking THOUSANDS not a few hundred. I love to read and my only requirement is a yummy romance. I’ll forgive anything as long as you give me a great, emotional romance with a satisfying happily ever after! 

Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Most of my stories are purely made up or inspired by a variety of real life situations. Sometimes a news story will spark an idea. Or just seeing a couple in public. The littlest things can trigger a story idea for me. One time I was at a hotel and had taken my kids to swim in the pool and I saw a woman with two men who both seemed to be paying her a lot of attention and were “intimate” From just seeing them together sparked the idea for BRAZEN and Jasmine’s fear of water and the episode with the pool in that story. See? Totally random situations can spark a story idea for me :) 

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favorite scenes are always the really angsty, emotional scenes. And they aren’t always GOOD scenes, but they’re still my favorite to write because they lead to something much bigger. Or an epiphany for one of the characters. It sounds weird, but my favorite scenes are usually the black moments when everything seems to be lost because I can’t wait to write “the way back” and the subsequent hero grovel and the making up as the hero fights to win back his heroine.

In the end which hero turned out to be your favorite to write about in the Breathless Series?
Ash was my favorite from the beginning simply because I knew his real character and I knew that what others saw of him was misleading. He APPEARED to be laid back and very charming, but I knew that underneath it all he was a lot more intense than Gabe and Jace and so I knew his story would reveal a different side of him to readers. It was a lot of fun to write about the “real” Ash. 

Do any of your characters resemble you or some you know in real life?
None of resemble anything about me or my personality. None of my stories are even remotely autobiographical. Some of my secondary characters are based on people I know. I give them quirks and habits from people I know. 

What do you do when you are not writing?
I have to say there aren’t many times I’m NOT writing. I have a very full writing schedule with very tight deadlines so it’s rare that I take off a full day from writing. This year has been a little different for me because I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life and I haven’t been able to write as much as I need to or want to, but that’s not normal for me at all. But when I do take a break, even a short one, I like to spend time with my family. I love to travel and we love to hunt and fish together. 

How do Ash and Josie differ from your other characters in this series?
They’re definitely unique. Josie is more independent that Mia and Bethany. She’s older than the other two heroines and she’s had experience in a dominant/submissive lifestyle, unlike Mia and Bethany. I’d say she’s a lot more confident and knows who she is and what she wants. Ash is more intense than Gabe and Jace. He’s very passionate about everything. He’s also very loyal. Once you gain his love and friendship, he’ll go to the wall for you, no questions asked.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Hmm, not really, no. I’ve had to WAIT to publish a few stories that I was dying to tell. I had to wait for the right time and the right opportunity but eventually I’ve been able to publish what I’ve wanted to publish. 

Will you venture down the erotica genre again in the future, now that you have had two successful series?
Oh absolutely. I’ve been writing erotic romance for seven years and have multiple series and stand alones in the erotic romance genre. I have a new trilogy releasing in 2014 that will follow a similar publication path as the Breathless trilogy so readers can look for all three of those books to be out in the same year. I’ll be posting details as well as the covers and blurbs for those toward the end of August.

"Never said it would be easy. Nothing good ever is."

Out of their trio of friends, Ash is the last single man standing. Gabe and Jace have found their mates in Mia and Bethany. He is happy for his best friends and pseudo family, but he is also feeling lost and and like the fifth wheel.

And then he sees her...Josie. Their first meeting is electric and intense and Ash soon becomes as obsessed about Josie as Jace was about Bethany(and that is saying a lot).  And like all the men in this series, once their mind is made up...the women do not have much of a chance of resisting their charms or their invasion into their lives. Ash likes to be in control and is not afraid to go after what he wants. When he finds out something he can use to his advantage, he does not hesitate to use it in order to convince her to go on a date with him. 

Something about her brought his caveman instincts roaring to the surface. he was lucky he could form coherent sentences without growling, beating his chest and dragging her back into his cave by her hair.

Josie is smart, sweet, artistic and has an independent streak. She is intrigued by Ash and his dominant personality. She has not been treated well by her last relationship and is a gun shy.

When Ash shared women with Jace, he was happy to be the more easy going one. but now that he is alone and set on Josie, he is not afraid to let his more intense, controlling, dominant personality come out. And he loves that Josie responds well to it. 

Looking at the three of them, Gabe, Jace, and Ash, people assumed Ash as the easy gong one. The "I don't give a fuck" kind. Laid-back. Maybe even a pushover. They were all wrong. Of any of them, he was the most intense, and he knew that about himself. He'd held back when he and Jace were with the same woman, because he knew he'd take it a hell of a lot further than Jace ever would. So he played it Jace's way and held that part of himself in check. The part that would take over completely. And, well, there hadn't ever been a woman that tempted him to let that part of himself go. Until now. 

They have hot chemistry, need,  and passion. Ash wastes no time pushing Josie hard and fast. And their connection happens fast but runs deep. And they are actually a  really sweet and supportive couple. And fortunately, Josie fits in well with their tight knit group. Ash seems to be getting everything he ever wanted.

But Ash has a secret and there is danger lurking about. Just when it seems that everything is finally going right, will it all go horribly wrong?

I really have come to love the characters in this trilogy. I will admit that Gabe from Rush had to grow on me, but I realized as I read this book that he along with Ash, Jace, Mia and Bethany have been implanted into my heart. I liked the addition of Ash's sister, Brittany as well. And Kai was a nice new hot diversion. 

This series is about men who are definitely dominant in and out of the bedroom. And once they see what they want, they will pursue it and will not give up until they succeed. But the couples share deep passion, feelings, protectiveness, and loyalty. And the friends are really a family that has grown each book. I am a little sad to say goodbye to them but glad that Maya Banks could create women characters worthy of the powerful, charismatic, controlling trio of Gabe, Jace, and Ash. 

Thanks to Maya Banks, Sullivan and Partners, and Netgalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are based on advanced reading copy and are subject to change in final draft. 

"He'd always known that people misunderstood his personality. Looking at the three of them, Gabe, Jace, and Ash, people assumed Ash was the easygoing one. The "I don't give a f**k kind. Laid-back. Maybe even a pushover. They were all wrong. Of any of them, he was the most intense, and he knew that about himself."

The quote above made me pause and reflect on a few occasions throughout the book. Ash knew his way around words, he was truly engaging, and that man had one hell of a charismatic personality (some swoon worthy panting melting moments) that set your heart a flutter. His need to control knew no bounds, and sometimes the intensity of it caused some bold unexpected reactions. I would describe him as an enigma, but as much as I adore Ash, I'm not sure I quite agree with the quoted description of him. Yes, his character offered a slightly different version of himself than we saw in Rush and Fever, but I didn't find his character to be darker or more intense than Jace or Gabe, if I am to be honest. I think if I was asked to pick which of these men held the gold for intensity I would have to choose Gabe.

"I can't explain it. This thing, whatever it is between us. But yeah, I need you. I'm not even sure need is the right word because it's such an inadequate word for the insane urge I have to be with you. To have you. To have your submission. If I don't have it, I'm going to lose my f**king mind. So yeah, I need you, Josie. And that's putting it mildly."

At times, Burn felt a little déjà vu. Ash resembled Jace, a lot. His attraction to Josie was fast, powerful and instantaneous. From the first moment Ash sets his eyes on her, he knew without a doubt that she would be his; every rational thought or action he would normally possess paled in comparison to the uncontrollable need he felt when it came to owning her. The pace of their relationship moved crazy fast; there was nothing slow about these two. Their love and lust developed at a speed fast enough to give you whip lash. I'll be the first to admit I am one of those readers who doesn't understand the whole insta thing. I generally prefer my character relationships to grow and develop at a steady pace, but if I am to be honest with myself, there is definitely something enticing about the idea and premise of meeting that one person who just knocks you flat on your ass with just a glance. Maya definitely provides this in spades. Her domineering alpha heroes know exactly what they want the minute they find it, and they waste absolutely no time in making her theirs, no matter the cost.

"One thing you need to realize. I'm not more than you, Josie. I get that there is an inequality in power in the relationship. The scales are tipped in my direction. But that doesn't mean I'm more. Never more. You are everything in this equation. You don't lower your gaze. You don't ever feel like you’re less, because that's going to piss me off.  You don't kneel unless that's what I want when you're sucking my d**k. I make the decisions. You submit to me. But that doesn't make me more and you less. It makes you everything. And your power over me is far greater than any perceived power I have over you."

I am a sucker for dark and erotic. In Rush and Fever I couldn't resist the authors tantalizing suggestions of Ash having a much darker personality compared to Gabe and Jace mix this with Josie already having an understanding of the lifestyle, I was chomping at the bit to get my greedy hands on this book. Not to mention from previous reading experience, I knew Maya was brilliant at writing the darker possessive relationships laced with romance and love, so to say I anxiously started Burn with high expectations is an understatement. Sadly, those expectations felt let down. I think this was due more to a personal preference than the author's writing. I wanted and expected darker. I liked Ash as a Dom; I just needed more from him. I needed him to offer me something Jace and Gabe hadn't already given me.

Ash and Josie...I liked these two together, with that said, I didn't think their chemistry felt as intense as some of  Maya's other couples. As individuals, they were intriguing. Ash is a force to be reckoned with. In the first two books, he seems to be so easy going however, I learned in this book that looks can be oh so deceiving. Our bad boy is arrogant, bossy, and the term all-consuming doesn't quite come close enough to describing his control issues. Josie, on the other hand, is free spirited, vibrant, and often leads with her heart. The differences in their personalities should have sparked some intense excitement between these two however when they were together I felt like their chemistry just fell short of its potential. 

"Another thing you need to know, I don't deal in fantasies, Josie. I deal with reality. And maybe your fantasy is my reality and that's OK as long as you realize at the end of the day the fantasy becomes reality. What we do is real. It's here. Solid. It's not going away tomorrow or the next day. Mo made-up shit you only dream about in your head."

The Breathless trilogy has been a fun quick series to read, but I am not sure if I will be revisiting it as much as I have her other erotic series. Here's the thing and even though I know I shouldn't I keep finding myself coming back to this after each book I finish in this trilogy, I know that the Breathless series is supposed to be completely different than the Sweet Series, but in my mind I can't help comparing the two. I first fell in love with Maya's writing when I met Damon, and then again, when I met Micah, they were my first real foray into this genre (well if you don't count Christian Grey). When put up against my two favorite doms, I find this trio falls somewhat flat. Damon and Micah set the bar high. Gabe, Jace, and Ash never seemed to find a way to measure up. I don't know what my issue is maybe I am just no longer feeling the whole bad ass domineering millionaire who has this powerful need to possess the damsel in distress story line.

Maya is an all-time favorite of mine, and I don't want you to think I didn't enjoy this series. I did like it, just not as much as I did her Sweet Series. I really wanted this set of characters to wow me; I wanted them to knock me off my feet leaving me in a book hangover. I can't honestly say they did that, but I don't regret getting to meet them and I would definitely recommend them to others. I love Maya's dominating males and I really look forward to the new series she has hinted at. 

**P.S. Some of the quotes have nothing to do with my review. As I said earlier, I thought Maya wrote Ash some amazing lines and these were a few of my favorites. He always seemed to know the perfect things to say to make mine and Josie's panties melt. 

Thank you, Maya Banks & Sullivan and Partners, for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My name is Maya Banks and I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets. I’m more of a cat person, but my daughter became convinced she NEEDED a dog. So convinced in fact that it became her mission to convince her father and me. She prepared a two page handwritten proposal that detailed WHY she needed a dog, and well, after I sent her to her father (I knew he wouldn’t tell her no) we embarked on the search for the perfect dog. The journey that was two hours away and that I got pulled over for speeding while I was on the phone with my agent who had an offer from a publisher for one of my books… The officer wasn’t impressed. He wrote me a ticket anyway. Thus, I now tell my daughter that her dog turned into one very expensive concession! But isn’t he cute?
When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel. One of our more recent trips was to Scotland, which was every bit as comical as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. You know the part about “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” as they went round and round the roundabouts? Yeah, that was us, only we couldn’t even get out of the airport in Glasgow without hitting three of those suckers.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.
Giveaway:Giveaway of one paperback copy of Burn. US and Canada Only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ugh why doe it has to be for US and Canada only. I want it too :3

    1. and great review as always :D Sorry for your disappointment, good luck with your next pick :)

  2. I love Maya Banks and I am looking forward to reading Burn. Thanks for sharing. evamillien at gmail dot com


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