October 10, 2014

REVIEW: Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1)

Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1), by Maya Banks
Published October 7, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: paperback, provided by the author
Genre: adult erotic romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks

When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . . .

I love the steamy, sexy books with a little... extra. Either a paranormal aspect or a good mystery or something else to provide a different backdrop for the hot story of two people falling in love. So, the premise of KEEP ME SAFE intrigued me. It's not quite paranormal, but it's almost there. There's definitely a good mystery, a healthy dose of suspense, and even a little of the awesome military action that I love Maya Banks for (have you read her KGI series??).

Ramie St. Claire is trying to escape. Her psychic abilities have been used countless times by law enforcement to find missing persons, but each time, she loses a bit of herself because she actually slips into the victim's mind and experiences all the pain, torture and fear. After the last guy got away and fixed his sights on taking Ramie down, she fled to the wilderness of Colorado. Which is where Caleb Devereaux found her. His sister was missing, and he needed Ramie's help. Ramie endures the pain one last time to help Caleb, then drops off the radar. A year later, Ramie seeks him out again, knowing he's the only one who can protect her from the mad man who's getting ever closer to finding her. 

One thing that was awesome about Keep Me Safe - there is no easing you into the action. No foreplay or stage setting. In chapter one, we see the extent of Ramie's abilities and the forceful, commanding presence that Caleb has. It's a powerful combination, and it sucks you into the story immediately. There's no opportunity to get bored or lost. You're thrust into the action while being introduced to the characters all within the first 10 pages or so. 

Ramie was an interesting character. I waffled between thinking she was so incredibly strong to wishing she would man up a bit. I know, I know - that's quite a dichotomy. Ramie goes through a lot of physical, emotional and mental torture when she slips into the minds of victims she's trying to find. It takes guts for her to do it, and during the course of Keep Me Safe, we see her voluntarily do it several times. It takes a toll on her, and she willingly puts herself through that to help others. And, yet, during her more quiet moments and her alone time with Caleb, all she seems to do is cry. Funny thing is, even Ramie beats herself up about this, by saying she's not usually so weepy, and it irritates her that she is now. It lessened the irritation that I felt too. 

Caleb is the perfect alpha hero. He's a commanding force. The head of his family. Smart, loyal, a protector. And, of course, hunky and gorgeous too. The great thing about him is that he absolutely has a soft side too. It comes out immediately with Ramie in chapter 1. He feels so guilty about what he's put her through in order to find his sister that he resolves to come back for her later and make it up to her somehow. Of course, Ramie is long gone by the time Caleb gets back to her house, but it doesn't stop him from trying to find her for an entire year. When he does find her, he helps her with no questions asked. He brings her into his home and does everything he can to save her. 

The connection between Ramie and Caleb is immediate and intense (crap, Maya - now I'M using that word too!). Ramie says she's never been with a guy before because a side effect of her psychic abilities is her ability to tell whether someone is inherently good or bad. Her tragic childhood, coupled with her abilities, haven't made her very willing to be with any man, and understandably so. It seems a little off to me that she would have absolutely no problems with sex. I would think she'd be traumatized, maybe just a little bit, from all the rapes she's had to relive. And, it's implied (though not expressed specifically) that she's a virgin. Because of these things, I expected, and even wanted, her to balk at Caleb's romantic advances, and especially at having sex with him. I do like for a man to have to work for it. :) But, she capitulates relatively easily, so I had to scratch my head at that. 

I got over it pretty quickly, though, because Caleb is Caleb and Caleb is a hottie. All the psychicness in the story was pretty awesome too. It was a different take on that particular characteristic, and really interesting. It caused some nail biter scenes in the book where I was yelling at the characters. I love yelling at my books. It means I'm into the story enough to care. That's always a good thing. 

You need to go check out this new series. It didn't disappoint. 


Unknown said...

Pretty good review I've never read any Maya banks books before. TBR LIST

Unknown said...

I've read a few of Maya Banks' books before and enjoyed them. I look forward to reading this and like the idea that it doesn't take awhile to get into the story. I prefer a story that gets going right away. Thanks for your thoughts!