Theirs to Keep by Maya Banks
Come meet Maya Banks and we find our more about her writing, her love for the outdoors and if she ever has time to sleep.
Publisher: Maya Banks
Publishing Date: October 22, 2013
Paperback: 242 pages
Rating: 4 stars
When Cade Winslow 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 concerns 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.
Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan expected many things when they answered a late night alarm for their client who owned a gun shop. The window had been smashed open and whether they would be facing teenage delinquents or serious criminals arming themselves with guns like kids in a candy store, had them on alert. What they never expected to find was a woman hiding in a cabinet, bleeding and obviously terrified. So terrified in fact that she gets frantic just talking about going to a hospital or calling the police.
Cade and Merrick can’t just let her leave and they take her to the clinic of a friend. There they find out that not only has she been beaten and raped several days before, but she was shot and obviously left for dead. She can’t remember anything about what happened to her and it is still to soon to determine if that is due to brain trauma or her mind simply protecting her from the horror she endured. Knowing that someone brutalized and tried to kill this harmless woman, they do the only thing possible can, they take her home to care for her.
As the days pass to weeks and then to months, Cade and Merrick both start to fall in love with Elle. When they realize that they both feel that Elle is The One for them, the know that making her choose between them will destroy their friendship. The only solution they can come up with is to share Elle. They don’t know what is more surprising that they believe that could actually work this out or the fact that Elle feels the same way for both of them, and will happily stay with both of them.
But trouble isn’t done with Elle, and she is once again attacked. The question is who’s past is responsible this time? Is someone from Cade and Merrick’s business responsible or has the man that attacked Elle finally tracked her down to finish the job he obviously failed.
Cade and Merrick haven’t wanted to push Elle to remember the night of her attack, but after her attack, they might no longer have a choice.
This story isn’t finished yet, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This is my first menage story and although I thought it was going to be just a sex story, it was way more. In fact, there wasn’t an overabundance of sexual scenes since Elle was found beaten and raped and Cade and Merrick live with her many months, protecting her, taking care of her and letting her heal. Even after they discuss sharing Elle, they give her time so she is not pressured or feeling overwhelmed after being raped.
Merrick is a bruiser, being a contender for the mixed martial arts championship, but with Elle he is absolutely the gentle giant. In fact, although both men claim feelings for Elle, I felt the connection with Merrick was much greater than Cade.
Elle is very fragile and frightened after what happened to her, but has a strong desire to reclaim her independence. She wants to help out in Cade and Merrick’s business and help with Merrick’s training. She also wants to be able to go out by herself. Normally I would be annoyed or frustrated by such a helpless heroine, but she has such a fire inside her that you can understand her panic attacks when she is away from Cade or Merrick simply because of her memory loss, she doesn’t even know what she should be afraid of.
I enjoyed this story and the characters written and I am looking forward to book 2 to find out more of what happened to Elle.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
When she entered through the kitchen, both men turned around from where they were sitting at the table. Their gazes found her instantly, and then they both frowned.
“What’s wrong?” Merrick ask sharply.
“Where are the groceries?” Cade asked. “Do you need us to bring them in?”
She shook her head mutely, and the crush of her stupidity hit her full on. She was embarrassed over her panic attack. Now that she was back in her sanctuary, all the fear faded, and calm descended.
Merrick rose and walked toward her, concern burning in his eyes.
“Elle, baby, what happened?”
She pulled out his card and thrust it in his direction.
“I’m an idiot. I was fine. I picked out all these goodies and meats and had plans to make certain meals. It was something I wanted to do for the both of you. And then when I got to the checkout, I realized that I had no right to spend all that money. Money that isn’t mine. I don’t even know who I am. I have no ID. and I’m there using your card like I have the right, and I just felt so ashamed.”
A curse blew past Merrick’s lips. He closed his hand over hers but didn’t take the card. In the background, Cade rose and walked over to where Elle and Merrick stood. His expression wasn’t any happier than Merrick’s.
“You have every right,” Merrick bit out. “Elle, you belong to us. It’s our job to take care of you and your needs. We took that on willingly. We don’t regret that for a minute. Part of seeing to your needs is providing you the means to buy whatever it is you need. Like clothing. Food. Whatever makes you happy.“
“You were happy when you left here,” Cad interjected quietly. “You were excited and looking forward to going out on your own. What happened?”
She threw up her hands in frustration. “I freaked out. I just started thinking that none of this is mine. I have no money. No identity. I’m a complete burden to both of you. And then when I was driving home I saw a cop, and I had a panic attack right then and there. I mean, when does it end? I can’t go on like this. How can you even stand to be around me? I’m a hot mess. A complete head case.”
Merrick reached out, put his arm around her neck and pulled her against his chest until her face rested over his heartbeat. He kissed the top of her had, but then what he did next completely shocked her.
As he pulled her away, he leaned down, palmed the back of her head and pressed his lips to hers in a hot, hungry kiss. He didn’t try to overpower her. In fact, he was extremely gentle. But she was overpowered from the first moment their lips met.
Her knees went weak, and heat pooled in her belly, rushing rapidly through her veins.
This time when he pulled away, his eyes were flush with desire, and he stared at her like…like she was something special. Someone he cherished. She stared back, mystified, and then her gaze skirted to Cade because she found herself suddenly dreading his reaction. She didn’t like the feeling that she had just in some way betrayed Cade. It was a stupid thought because they were nothing to her, and she was nothing to them. Was she? But then why had Merrick kissed her? Why had he looked at her with warm possessiveness that made her shiver with delight?
What came next was even more baffling because Cade stepped forward, circled her wrist with gentle fingers, and then he pulled her to him. he cupped one cheek in his palm, gently caressing her as he lowered his mouth to hers in a sensual, passionate kiss.
She was too stunned to react. She went rigid, wondering what kind of mess she’d gotten herself into. They’d both kissed her. One after the other.
She pulled abruptly away from Cade and glanced nervously back at Merrick to gauge his reaction. But there was no anger in his expression. There was nothing at all to denote he wasn’t happy with Cade kissing her.
When she looked back at Cade, she saw the same calmness in her eyes, and her head started to spin.
This was crazy. the pieces just wouldn’t come together.
They’d made it clear she belonged to them, but she’d never really given it any deep thought. She just considered them two knights in shining armor who’d gone above and beyond for a woman they didn’t know.
That was it. Eventually she was sure they’d want to move her out or that they were just waiting for her memory to return so they could push her on her merry way back to whatever life she’d lived before.
But then there were all the comments about them being with her for the long term. About being there to help her even once her memory returned.
What did it all mean?