Friday, October 4, 2013

Excerpt from Theirs to Keep by Maya Banks

As I have confessed before I have not read a Maya Banks book and I really want to. I see that this new book in trilogy that she is starting will be out on October 22nd, so I said okay, I'll start this series so that I can be in on the beginning of a new series. But then I read this book description on Amazon:

When Cade Walker and Merrick Sullivan find Elle hiding in the cabinet of a gun store, they know they can’t just walk away from the fragile woman with no memory of who she is or who tried to kill her. Merrick is training for the title shot in the heavyweight division as a mixed martial artist and can’t afford distractions, but neither can he turn his back on the woman who tugs at his heartstrings.

Elle feels safe with her two protectors, and the longer she spends with them, the more she realizes that she has no desire to remember her past. Not when it could compromise her future with Cade and Merrick.

Cade has his own set of issues when it comes to Elle, and it quickly becomes clear to the two men that for the first time in their friendship, a woman is coming between them. But what if they just kept her there? Between them. Where she belongs.

Ummm, is this a menage story?! I think that I have finally convinced myself that yes it is. Now the dilemma, do I want to go down the menage road in romance? I only read the first book in a trilogy a little while back because the second and third books were menages. Should I take the risk on a new series by an author who is obviously popular and talented despite my reservations about a menage story or do I play it safe and stay securely in my box of naughty but generally monogamous couples?  What do you think? Have you ventured in to this genre and if so, how did you find the stories? I would love to hear from you, if you aren't comfortable leaving a public comment send me an email to I would love to hear from you! I have given myself until the release date to make a decision so I still have a little time to come to a decision. In the mean time here's the excerpts that Banks has posted:

Excerpt 1:

 “Son of a bitch,” Cade Walker swore as he rolled out of bed. He yanked on his pants, threw on a t-shirt then made a grab for his shoulder harness that held his nine millimeter handgun.

He went to the computer monitor on his desk and punched in the codes to bring up the location of the alarm.

His bedroom door opened, letting in a flood of light. His friend and co owner in his security and surveillance business, Merrick Sullivan, stood there, dressed, his gun holstered at his side.

Merrick was one mean looking son of a bitch in daylight hours. Get him out in the middle of the night in some dark alley, and it was like looking at the grim reaper. But then he beat the shit out of people for a living as a mixed martial arts fighter and was even now training for a fight that would give him the title shot in the heavyweight division.

“You calling it in or we going to check it out?” Merrick asked.

“Fuck it, we’ll go. Last time the alarm went off there, it turned out to be a damn cat. No sense getting the boys in blue out on a night like this. They’ll be up to their ears in traffic accidents. People don’t know how to damn drive when the roads are wet.”

“Then let’s go,” Merrick said shortly. “I’ll call Hank and let him know we’re taking care of it.”

Hank Stevens was the owner of the gun store and a client of Cade’s and Merrick’s. Cade ran a successful security consulting business and Merrick helped out whenever he could. They installed systems and monitored them twenty-four hours a day. Which meant they could literally be called out any hour of the day, any day of the week.

The list of clients they provided personalized service to was small. Mostly they consulted, trouble shot and provided advice on a larger scale. But there were a few local businesses that they still felt loyal to. These were people that Cade and Merrick cared about and felt protective of. Hank had been a long time friend dating back before Merrick began his career as a fighter and before Cade opened his own business. The two men looked out for Hank. Owning a gun shop wasn’t always the safest business to run and they didn’t want anything to happen to the older man.

It was colder than a witch’s tit when Cade stepped from the front porch and hurried to the Hummer parked on the street. They had a garage, but it took too damn long to open and shut the garage door, and time was often valuable. Parking on the street gave them precious seconds that they weren’t backing out of the driveway.

Merrick threw open the door to the driver’s side and slid behind the wheel. Cade got in on the passenger side and not even two seconds later, Merrick roared off down the street, heading toward downtown where Hank’s shop was located.

They made it in record time even with the streets being sloppy and a damn drizzle that made it hard to see. Merrick doused the headlights when they were a block away and pulled to a stop several businesses down.

He and Cade both got out and pulled their guns.

“According to the alarm monitor, it was the alley window that was compromised,” Cade said in a low voice as the two men hurried down the sidewalk.

Merrick ducked down a sidestreet so they could access the alleyway. When they reached the end, Cade flatted himself against the wall and inched his way toward Hank’s store.

When he and Merrick were only a few feet away, Cade held up his hand and then put a finger to his lips. He concentrated intensely, straining to hear if any sounds were coming from inside.

He eased forward again when he heard nothing and then he frowned when he saw the shattered glass on the rough, cobblestone street. Glancing up, he saw where the window was busted but there was no light coming from within. No flashlights. Nothing. It was dark and silent as a ghost.

“Probably just some damn kids vandalizing,” Merrick muttered.

Cade switched on his flashlight and shone it downward, skimming the immediate area. He stopped the beam on a large shard of the glass and then knelt to pick it up.

He held it up to Merrick, shining the light on the blood smeared on the edge. “Looks like our perp didn’t get away unscathed.”

“Let’s check it out,” Merrick said. “Dumbass could still be in there for all we know.”

Walking into a gun store where a suspect may or may not be inside, wasn’t on Cade’s list of favorite things to do, but neither did he want an entire squadron of patrol cars to converge and shoot up Hank’s store.

Cade picked up his cell phone and punched the number and then the codes to deactivate the alarm system. Then he dug out the key to the back door and quietly inserted it into the lock.

He eased the door open, and went in, gun up, flashlight in his other hand. Merrick hurried in after him and the two flattened themselves against the wall and slid forward down the hall leading to the showroom.

When they got to the end, Merrick motioned toward the row of light switches above Cade’s shoulder. Then he held up three fingers to signal on the count of three.

Cade switched off his flashlight, stuck it back in his pocket and then reached up with his arm so he could flip all the switches at the same time.

He took a deep breath and then counted out to Merrick. “One…two…three!”

He pushed his arm up, and suddenly the entire building was awash in light. Merrick gripped his gun and made a wipe sweep of the showroom as Cade did the same, looking for any movement.

But there was none. Everything was quiet. No sudden sounds. No one startled by the light.

“Kids,” Merrick muttered. “Just a bunch of damn kids with nothing better to do on a Saturday night.”

Cade was about to agree when his gaze stopped on one of the large cabinets underneath the rifle display along the wall.

“Check it out,” he murmured, gesturing toward the smear of blood right by the handle.

Merrick frowned and then circled around, separating himself from Cade. He dipped his head to the side to signal Cade to come in from the right while he closed in from the left.

Cade crept forward until they were directly in front of the cabinet. Cade bent and touched the drop of blood on the floor. It was still warm and fresh.

Surely… Well, he wasn’t going to say surely anything, because he’d pretty much seen it all. If their intruder had heard Cade and Merrick, he very well could be hiding in the cabinet. It was large enough for a small person and if Merrick was right about it being a teenager, then it was certainly possible.

Merrick took position, pointing his gun at the door and Cade leaned away so he could open it and use the door as a shield. He hooked his fingers around the handle and then looked up at Merrick to make sure he was ready.

Merrick nodded and Cade yanked the door open.

Merrick’s face went from pissed off to what the fuck in two seconds flat. His gun wavered and then he slowly lowered it.

Cade lurched up and pushed around, wanting to know what the hell Merrick had seen.

To his utter shock, there was a small woman curled into a ball, cowering in the cabinet. She was staring at them both with wide, frightened eyes and she was a complete mess.

“Holy shit,” Merrick breathed. “Who are you, lady and what the hell are you doing in here?”

Her entire face crumbled and tears simmered in the wide, blue eyes.

“I don’t know,” she whispered.

Excerpt 2 Posted Today on Facebook:

When Cade pulled to a stop outside their house, Merrick gently took the woman in his arms and positioned his coat over her body to shield her from the cold rain. He ducked out of the backseat and made a dash for the front door. Cade had gone ahead and was holding it open.

“Take her into the living room,” Cade directed. “I’ll build a fire, turn up the heat and I’ll see about getting her something to eat. We have some soup somewhere.”

Merrick took his precious bundle into the living room and eased her onto the couch. The sight of her, barefooted, in the soaked hospital gown and the bandages covering parts of her body made his gut clench.

She was such a tiny, fragile looking thing and he couldn’t imagine what would possess a man to hurt such a woman. Any woman for that matter. It made him irrationally angry and he had to control his expression because he didn’t want to set her off again.

“I’m going to get you something to wear,” Merrick said gruffly. “I’m also going to get you some blankets so you’re warm. Are you hungry?”

She slowly nodded, the shadows deepening under her eyes.

“When was the last time you ate?” he asked in a more gentle tone.

Her eyes saddened. “I don’t know. It feels like forever.”

“Do you know how long ago you were…hurt? What’s the last thing you remember?”

She looked down, staring at her bandaged hands. “Two…three days maybe. I woke up on a riverbank. I was cold. At first I didn’t really hurt. I just felt numb. And everything was so blank. Can you possibly understand what it’s like to wake up face down in the mud and not remember who you are or how you got there?”

Merrick frowned, his gut tightening harder. “No, I can’t.”

“And fear. Most normal people would call for help. Go to the police. Try to do something. But all I knew is that I had to hide. It’s the only thing I know. I may not know my name or what happened to me, but I know that I can’t let anyone know about me.”

Her tone was pleading, like she was begging him to agree with her, like she didn’t want him exposing her to anyone else in any way.

He pushed himself upward, his gut tied in knots from all the clenching. Hell, he was ready to put his fist through a wall but he had to be careful to be ultra sensitive and non-threatening. She was maintaining control by the thinnest of threads and he didn’t want to do anything to send her plummeting over the edge.

The problem was, he wasn’t a sensitive guy. He used his fists and his body to make his living. How the hell was he going to know what to do with one tiny woman who needed care and understanding?

“I’ll be right back,” he muttered. “You need clothes and blankets. Cade’s going to get you something to eat.”

He went to Cade’s bedroom since Cade was smaller in build than Merrick. He confiscated a warm sweatshirt that was bulky enough it shouldn’t hurt her shoulder. He also snagged a pair of sweats with a drawstring waist so she could keep them on.

After rummaging in Cade’s drawers, he went to his own room to get a pair of thick, warm socks she could wear on her feet.

When he returned to the living room, Cade came out of the kitchen wearing a frown.

“We don’t have shit here that’s suitable for her to eat. I need to go out and get the prescriptions filled anyway. Dallas wrote them in my name so I’ll get them filled and pick up something hot for her to eat. I’ll only be gone half an hour provided the meds don’t take too long. I’d hope at this hour there isn’t a high demand.”

Merrick nodded. “I’ll get her changed and warmed up. But hurry. It’s likely been three days since she’s eaten.”

Cade glanced at the woman and swore. He snagged his coat from the chair and stalked out of the living room. A moment later, the kitchen door banged, leaving Merrick to stand in silence with the woman staring nervously up at him.

Merrick sighed. “Look, there’s no easy way to do this. I don’t want to frighten you but the chances of you being able to get into these clothes without my help is zero. I swear to you I won’t hurt you. I’ll try not to look. I’ll be as quick as possible so it’s over with and you can rest and be comfortable.”

She curved her arms over her stomach, her hands gripping her arms. He could see the distress radiating from her. Her pupils widened. Her pulse rate kicked up, as did her breathing, and sweat beaded her forehead.

Hell, she was on the verge of a full-scale panic attack, and he had no idea how to offer her more reassurance than he already had.

“You can turn your back. I can untie the hospital gown from the back and it will slip right over your arms, and then we’ll try to get this zip up sweat shirt on you without hurting you.”

She licked her lips and swallowed hard, almost as if she was battling her fear and anxiety. That she was making such an effort not to melt down made Merrick respect her resiliency all the more.

She may be fragile looking, seemingly helpless and in need of a lot of TLC, but a weaker woman would have likely already died. She certainly wouldn’t have broken into a gun shop to try to find a place to sleep and hide for the night. Nor would she be holding her ground against someone as big and scary looking as Merrick.

Slowly she sat up and then turned so her back was presented to Merrick. She let the blanket slide down and immediately began to shiver.

Cursing, he hurried forward and began to work the wet gown off her. But it was soaked through and sticking to her skin like glue. Hell, it was ruined anyway.

He pulled a pocketknife from his jeans, flipped it open and then cut through the tough knot at her neck. Once it loosened, he gently pushed the gown forward, baring her slender back.

The growl rumbled in his throat before he could call it back. There was a huge bruise covering her lower back and damn if it wasn’t in the shape of a shoe. A damn big shoe. Someone had kicked her.

Blanking his mind to his rage, he worked instead on getting the dry sweatshirt over her upper body. Then he got down on the floor at her feet and pulled the sweatpants up her legs, careful to keep his gaze averted.

When she was dressed, she immediately leaned back, pulling the blanket protectively over her body. She was still shivering and Merrick turned with a frown toward the fire.

Deciding she was too far away and not wanting her to move, he got up and simply started sliding the couch forward until she was close enough to feel the warmth of the flames.

“Better?” he asked.

Only the tiniest curve to her mouth hinted at a smile. “Better.”

He eased onto the couch beside her, careful not to touch her or get too close. Even though her expression didn’t change, her eyes cut over to him, her gaze never leaving him.

The silence was awkward. He felt like a moron. He had no idea what to do in a situation like this. Females in distress weren’t exactly something he came across a lot in his line of work. And frankly, if asked, he would have said they were something he would have avoided at all costs. They just seemed more trouble than they were worth.

But this one… There was something about her that had captured his entire attention from the moment he’d first laid eyes on her.

His protective instincts had been riled until they were a roar in his gut.

Nothing or no one was going to touch her. Not when she was with him. No one would ever hurt her again.

Sounds really good, right? Decisions, decisions...


  1. I have the same problem! I generally don't read books with love triangles, because the book is full of drama and not enough romance, until the end when the girl decides who she wants. I've stayed away from menage too, because I feel like it would almost be the same thing.

  2. Chrissy T-
    I'm glad that I'm not alone! Have your read any other Maya Banks?


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