In this second entry of the Surrender trilogy, Banks straddles the divide between abuse and submission and she successfully crafts a romance that is both steamy and, ultimately, sweet. The layer of sadness that surrounds the heroine is gradually lifted by a man who doesn’t initially seem to have a soft side, as he brings love into Kylie’s life.
Kylie and Jensen may have to work together but she is not looking for a relationship. After losing her brother, Carson, Kylie is ready for a life alone with just a few close girlfriends. Jensen, however, has other plans as Kylie is in a space that brings out the protector in him. She has been so damaged by the abuse from her childhood that she wonders where her future lies. While Jensen is a Dom, he doesn’t have any problem handing over control to Kylie once he realizes that she is his life. Jensen’s own childhood gives him some insight into Kylie’s past, and he is more than ready to give her the life she deserves. (BERKLEY, May, 304 pp., $16.00)