Review: Mastered by Maya Banks

masteredReviewed by Jaimie

After the last book I read from Maya Banks let me down, I was looking forward to reading her next one to erase that memory. Mastered is the first book in her Enforcers series and is book one of two for the hero Drake and heroine Evangeline. I’m not sure this has ever happened to me, but I really liked the book and hated the heroine. It’s a confusing, I know, but I will try to make sense of it here.

Evangeline Hawthorn is a 23-year-old small town country girl who recently lost her virginity to a douchebag who humiliated her and destroyed her self-confidence. At the beginning I liked her. She was smart but had to leave school because her father was injured at work. She moved to New York to be able to make enough money to not only survive, but send as much as possible back home. Her friends want to help her get her mojo back, so they secure a pass to Impulse – an exclusive upscale club that her ex frequents. They give her a makeover, making her as hot as possible and off she goes to show Eddie what he lost.

Drake Donovan is the owner of Impulse and he is a dominant, less than honorable man. Some of his other businesses involve dealing with shady people, but what is important to him is that he has escaped his childhood of poverty and abuse. He doesn’t do relationships and does not keep his female companions longer than two days at most. The women all know where they stand and are still happy to jump into bed with him.

Evangeline has second thoughts when she gets to the club, feeling completely out of place, but just as she is about to split, asshat Eddie spots her and comes over with his new tramp. He immediately starts insulting and embarrassing her, and at the same time Drake spots her on the security video. He is immediately attracted to her, but also senses that trouble is about to irrupt when he sees Eddie roughly grab her arm. He radios his men to intervene immediately and they arrive just as Eddie is about to punch Evangeline in the face.

Completely shaken by the encounter, Evangeline just wants to go home to her girls and cry on their shoulders. Drake has other plans for her, however, and his associate Maddox “insists” that she go up to the owner’s office and speak to him. This is where my opinion of Evangeline went downhill at epic speed. It’s not the fact that within minutes of meeting Drake he was going down on her, bringing her to an epic orgasm. It was the inner talk that made me want to reach through the pages and smack her. I get not having self-confidence and questioning why a disgustingly rich man would want someone like you, but she took it to a whole new level.

Evangeline, Angel, as Drake calls her, has moments where I really like her. When she’s interacting with Drake’s men or standing up for someone, she’s a different person. I’m not judging her because she’s submissive – I’ve read plenty of books where the woman was submissive and I loved her. It comes back again to the inner dialogue.

That being said, the rest of the book was great. I loved Drake, although he has some serious asshole moments, and I really loved Drake’s men and cannot wait for their stories. We have the conclusion of Drake and Evangeline’s story next, but after that is Silas and the set up for his story has me dying to get to read it.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, Evangeline aside. It has a great story and really great secondary characters and I am looking forward to reading how the story ends for these two.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Maya Banks
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Publisher: Berkley

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