Posted by: Jennifer | June 3, 2009

Sweet Persuasion – Maya Banks

Banks, Maya. Sweet Persuasion. (New York: Berkley, 2009). ISBN – 9780425227701.

Main Characters: Damon Roche and Serena James

Related Works: Sweet Series

Sweet Persuasion

Sweet Persuasion

  • Sweet Surrender – the story of Faith Malone and Gray Montgomery
  • Sweet Persuasion – the story of Serena James and Damon Roche
  • Sweet Seduction – the story of Julie Stanford and Nathan Tucker (to be published October 2009)
  • Sweet Temptation – the story of Micah Hudson and Angelina (to be published April 2010)

Description from Book:

The man of her dreams would give the orders. For him, she had two words that satisfied the both . . .   “Take Me.”

For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients’ fantasies – never her own. Until now.

Her most secret desire is to give ownership of her body to a man. Someone who will command her, pleasure her and have complete authority over her. So she seeks out Damon Roche, owner of an exclusive sex club and a man strong enough to make her do anything he wants. Anything.

Together they’ll journey into a world she’s only dreamed of. She will be given the opportunity to immerse herself in a different life while her normal one waits for her to return whenever she wishes. Damon has no desire to let her go, however. Serena is the woman he’s long searched for, and it’s up to him to convince her to stay when the game is over. He wants their fantasy to become reality, and wants Serena to remain his pampered, cherished submissive.

My Thoughts:

Serena James has a fantasy – one to give up total control to a man. The fantasy scares her, I think, and she is unable to (and/or unwilling) to think of submission as a permanent facet of her character. After all, she is a strong, confident woman who runs her own business and is in control of her life. Her solution? Find someone who will agree to let her experience her fantasies within a specific time restraint.

She turns to her best friends Faith and Julie. Fortunately, Faith has some hidden depths and actually knows someone that might be able to help. She gives Serena the phone number of Damon Roche, a businessman and proprietor of a local sex-type club. Damon is immediately attracted to Serena and cannot resist the opportunity to make Serena’s fantasies come true. After all, those fantasies are incredibly close to his own needs and desires.

The two sign a contract in which Serena agrees to allow Damon to take care of her, to control her for a month. The month will begin with an elaborate slave auction that is straight out of Serena’s fantasies. From the get go, the bond between the two is apparent. Their attraction to each other is palpable. Serena definitely finds her submissive side and learns to enjoy and bask in Damon’s control. Of course, there are issues.

Damon asks a great deal of his new lover. he isn’t one who plays at dominance. He is looking for someone willing to wholeheartedly embrace their submissiveness and willing to live under his control – not just in sexual situations. He told Faith once “that if he had his way, he’d have a woman collared and tied to his bed” (p88). (By the way, he wasn’t kidding about the woman-tied-to-his-bed thing). He certainly pushes Serena – and while she submits to each challenge, I think she has difficulty accepting the parts of herself that not only accept Damon’s demands, but also relish them.

Serena desperately clings to her belief that she is living out a fantasy, trying to sublimate her growing feelings for Damon. It is pretty clear that while Damon understands that their agreement has an end date, his interactions with Serena are based in reality. Damon has found a woman who is exactly what he wants.

Eventually, Serena cuts short her time with Damon. Her doubts and confusion about the blurring line between fantasy and reality combined with a professional setback throw her into a tailspin. With the help of her two friends, Damon goes to talk to Serena and help to soothe some of her fears about their relationship and its overwhelming intensity. Serena is understandably concerned about her ability to commit to the level of submissive that Damon wants. Damon needs to reassure her that this is something they can work through together.

Okay, I have to say that I loved this book. It now tops the list of my favorite Maya Banks books (out of Reckless, Be With Me, Stay With Me, Sweet Surrender, For Her Pleasure, Brazen, Undenied, Overheard, Understood, Colters’ Woman and Seducing Simon). I was deeply engrossed in the evolution of Serena and Damon’s relationship. I sympathized with Serena’s confusion, her uncertainty and her reluctance. Damon makes some pretty heavy demands: he expects Serena to be naked at all times in his home – even in front of his housekeeping staff; he chains her to the bed while she sleeps; he expects her to eat from his hand; and he loves having her at his feet.

Yet, he isn’t at all afraid to show her how much he cares for her. He wants to cherish her, protect her, and take care of her. He even brought her to meet her mother whom had hadn’t seen in several years. I actually got the impression that he is only able to make the journey to his childhood home because of Serena’s presence in his life. I found Damon to be a fascinating character, and I was definitely routing for him to win over Serena (even though I was pretty sure that would be the case).

The other aspect that really resonated with me was Serena’s journey to self acceptance. I thought that Maya Banks did an excellent job of giving us a view into Serena’s mental thought processes as she learned to accept and start to embrace all of the facets of her personality. This wasn’t all wrapped up neatly at the end. I got the sense that Damon was able to talk Serena into giving their relationship a chance, into working on their issues – which is good because by the end of the book they had only known each other for two weeks or so.

There is some set up for the next book in the series, Sweet Seduction – a storyline about Julie and the seemingly oblivious Nathan. While I’m a bit iffy about Julie and Nathan from this book, I am looking forward reading about how they get together. However, I am MOST excited about Micah’s book, Sweet Temptation. The blurb for the book on Maya Bank’s website gives some excellent information about the past event in Micah’s life that Damon alluded to. This story intrigues me mightily!

Read first June 3, 2009

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Responses

  1. […] More on Sweet Persuasion – Maya Banks I often find that when I sit down to write about a book that I have read, I forget all sorts of reactions that I had while actually reading the book. Sometimes, I remember to take notes, but often I don’t have any paper with me when I am reading. Today, when reading Jane’s review over of Sweet Persuasion over at Dear Author, I realized that she brought up a very important point. While I did love Sweet Persuasion, it was definitely an uncomfortable read – and that was something I should have put in my original post. […]

  2. […] Sweet Persuasion – Maya Banks […]

  3. […] Sweet Persuasion – Maya Banks […]


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