Review: Taking It All by Maya Banks

taking it allReviewed by Jaimie

Taking It All is the final book in the Surrender trilogy by Maya Banks and revolves around Chessy and Tate Morgan.  Based on the blurb that was released I knew this was going to be very emotional and Maya did not disappoint.  In addition to a powerful story about the main characters, there were some minor side stories about the other two couples, and the epilogue wrapped the series up in a way that we weren’t left with questions.  We also got to see some Damon Roche from the Sweet series which was great because he was one of my favorites.

Chessy has always been bubbly and happy and she is married to the love of her life.  When her husband becomes wrapped up in his business and starts to neglect her, Chessy just bites her tongue and suffers in silence.  The duo live a dom/sub relationship and used to frequent The House, an elite sex club owned by Damon.  Lately they rarely even see each other let alone have sex, and Tate has been neglecting his duties as her dom.  Joss and Kylie are insanely happy with their lives and that makes Chessy long to have her husband back even more.  With their anniversary coming up, she decides to discuss her concerns with Tate so that they can go back to being happy.

When Tate’s business partner up and left him, he went on a mission to prove that he didn’t need anyone else to make his company a success.  He buries himself in the business and doesn’t notice how miserable Chessy has been.  On the night of their anniversary dinner, Tate arranges a business meeting in the bar of the restaurant the couple are supposed to be celebrating. Time gets away from him and Chessy is stuck sitting in the restaurant, cold food in front of her, and completely devastated.  She gets up to leave and on the way out sees Tate at the bar with his potential client, who happens to be a very attractive woman.

The anniversary fiasco is the catalyst that Chessy needs to confront Tate with the way he has been neglecting her.  Her husband is completely shocked as he was oblivious to the pain she was in and he vows to do better.  Chessy is thrilled that she seems to have her loving husband back and things seem to be back on track.  Tate arranges a night at The House for the couple and makes plans to bring some of the steaminess back to their sex lives.  While they are there he takes a phone call from a very wealthy potential client and that decision puts Chessy’s safety and their marriage in jeopardy.

There were some very powerful and emotional scenes in this book and those scenes were written perfectly.  Chessy is absolutely devastated by her husband’s decision to place business before her, but Tate is equally devastated that he let his wife down.  I loved seeing Joss, Dash, Kylie and Jensen rally around her.  Chessy was there to kick their butts when they were screwing up their relationships so it was their turn to pay it forward.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and the entire series was fantastic.  My only complaint about Taking It All is the number of times the words dominant and submissive were used.  It felt like overkill and at times it distracted me from the storyline.  In actuality the “dom/sub” situation played a fairly small role in the overall arc of the story, which made all those references even more conspicuous.

The story was fast paced and I was invested in Chessy and Tate as a couple.  They clearly had a deep love for each other and even though Tate screwed up large, I was rooting for them to work it out.  I was happy to see that Maya didn’t resolve the situation quickly because it would not have been believable and I would have lost all respect for Chessy as a woman.  There weren’t a ton of sex scenes but when there was one, it was hot hot hot.

This was a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that I really enjoyed.  All three couples were loveable and worked through some pretty big issues to get where they were.  We got three very emotional stories that draw you in and each of the books I could not put down.  The epilogue tied the series up nicely and I am sad that we won’t be seeing more of these characters.  Another awesome series for Maya!

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Berkley

Click to purchase: Amazon

Taking It All
by Maya Banks
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Berkley

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