Sunday, January 24, 2016

DNF Review: Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks

First Published: 2014
Kindle Edition
Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
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 Timesbestselling 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....
DNF at 25% 
By this point, I ought to learn my lesson and just stick to Maya Banks's historicals, because whereas her historicals are some of my top favorite, her contemporaries leave a lot to be desired. It's almost like she has a split writer personality disorder. 

I wonder if it's because contemporary romance nowadays seems to be (ridiculously) conditioned toward fast, quick, instantaneous relationships while in historicals it's acceptable to take your time--with the physical and emotional build up--because of the times, when you couldn't just hop into someone's bed without consequences (such as marriage). 

Regardless of the reason, I am just so damned disappointed. 

Keep Me Safe takes it's title quite seriously from what I could gather from the 25% (roughly 81 pages) I forced myself through, as this entire novel seems to center around Caleb keeping Ramie safe from a stalker and from her abilities.

Yes, stalker and abilities. Ramie can psychically link herself to kidnap victims in order to find them, but by doing so she experiences what they are going through (such as rape). But she's so goodhearted that despite this horrific ramifications, she would endure it to save others. Until a psychopath sets his eyes on her, and instead of reporting it she decides to disappear. And then he finds her, and she phones the one man she thinks can help her. Caleb. 

The premise of Keep Me Safe is somewhat unique, albeit uncomfortable, I'll admit. But it's executed very, very poorly.

Firstly, it feels like this novel haven't been edited. At all. Characters contradict themselves constantly - one minute Character A says one thing, then in another scene Character B says the same but Character A argues against it and then says she hasn't thought of it before. Or Character A would repeatedly mention something, then in another scene would "just figure out" exactly what she's been saying all along as if it never occurred to her before. And more weird things like this. 

And then, there's is the repetition. This book could be bearable, maybe even good, if the excessive repetition was taken out of it. Sure, it would be half the length it is now, but filling the pages with the same information hardly counts as plot. It just makes me want to scream WE GET IT

But actually, maybe it wouldn't be good even then. It might take more than just technical cleaning to make this something I could enjoy, because the plot was a complete mess as well. 

Because Ramie's abilities were just all over the place. Aside to the whole psychic link, she can sense "the worst" in people. But never any of the good (which we are told over and over and over and over and over and over again). Okay. But then... she feels nothing of Caleb because (even though he entertains violent thoughts), he is essentially good? 

So... you don't sense "the worst in people", as you've said, do you? You sense their inclination. A person who is bad inside can't hide it from you, but an absence of feeling means good, doesn't it? The book basically wants you to believe Ramie can do all that & have never encountered good people before to balance it out.

But okay, I guess I could stomach that improbability and inconsistency? after all, her abilities are really not important in the grand scheme of things. They are just a plot device to get the two together.... as is the rape. Yes, I just said it. The rape in this book feels like something broached for impact and nothing else. A far cry from the tasteful, careful handle of the same subject in Highlander Most Wanted, a book of hers I highly recommend. 

While Keep Me Safe takes it's title seriously, it laughs at the chosen series name as this is the farthest thing away from "slow burn". This is so insta love it hurts. 
"There's something between us, something beyond a passing acquaintance" 
This gem is told by Caleb to Ramie on their second meeting. The first time they never even properly talked and the second has been focusing on the imminent danger to Ramie. So, insta-love. Or insta something-beyond-a-passing-acquaintance. 

Luckily, I never really got past this ridiculous sentence to actually endure the insta-love. Who knows, maybe it would've surprised me. 

And finally... the writing. Maya Banks is a considerable writer, but you couldn't tell based on her contemporaries, where the writing seems to become more choppy, wooden and scripted with every new one that pops. Seriously what is going on?
"He and his brothers, Beau and Quinn, had always been extremely overprotective of their baby sister. With good reason. Caleb was the head of a veritable empire. Security was always top priority"
Am I the only one who thinks this barely flows?? 
Buy Now 
N/A as that would be slightly hypocritical lol 


  1. I read my first Maya Banks novel and it was a historical that I absolutely loved. I think I'm going to listen to you and stay away from her contemporaries. This sounds like it had so many problematic issues. The lack of editing and the characters changing what they say frequently would bother me incessantly. And rape as a plot device? HECK NOPE.
    Sorry this was so disappointing, Nitzan. But thanks for warning me!

    1. Her historicals are all brilliant! But her contemporaries are such a major disappointment. They either focus WAY too much on the physical aspect of the relationship, or they are like *this* :(
      But keep with her historicals! Each one of them is a gem! :)