To continue my recent binge on romance novels, I picked up The Breathless Trilogy by Maya Banks. The trilogy centers on three successful hoteliers: Gabe, Jace and Ash. They are best friends as well as business partners. In following the common thread of the romance novel, they are all impossibly handsome, ridiculously wealthy and, of course, deliciously dominant. In short, they’re the bee’s knees. :) The gist of the three-part storyline is that they leave behind their womanizing ways when they each find “the one”. The title of each book is pretty synonymous with the personality of each man and how it propels their suddenly consuming relationships.
Rush, the first installment, focuses on Gabe, who inconveniently falls for Jace’s sister, Mia. While I wouldn’t label Gabe as piercing as the other two men, the storyline got me hooked, pretty much right away. Gabe frequently questions his involvement with Mia and that uncertainty made him believable. Still, it becomes clear that he’s completely smitten by the woman, and that makes for plenty of steamy (and kinky) scenes! Tie in a few lovey-dovey moments and you have your quintessential romance novel. Because of that, I had high expectations for the other two books.
Fever followed the same pattern as it’s predecessor. Jace, like Gabe, is used to getting whatever he wants. What he wants is an unassuming Bethany. This was my favorite of the three works. Jace is your typical dark and brooding alpha male. His intensity often made me giggle and blush like a disobedient schoolgirl. The pages were smoldering in my hands! The more intimate moments are truly unforgettable and, for me at least, jaw-dropping. Another great element of this book is Bethany’s interesting and unexpected back-story. There’s no cliché rich-boy-meets-rich-girl-and-they-live-happily-ever-after. There’s grit to this book. This was the highlight of The Breathless Trilogy.
Burn is the final installment in the series. For me, it fell short. Ash is basically a carbon copy of Jace, or at least attempts to be. I feel like Banks just wanted to duplicate Jace and Bethany’s relationship with different characters. Ash and Josie were just forgettable in the midst of such better, more unique characters. I do like that Ash’s family was a presence in the novel; it took away from the disappointing love story. I can’t accurately express the cheesiness of the third book. I hate to use the word “corny” but that’s exactly how it read. I won’t lie, it still had some hot moments, but they seemed forced into a story that couldn’t hold my focus.
Overall, the trilogy was still a good read. I enjoyed the first two books too much to be dismayed by the third. You’ll definitely get your sexy romance fix with these characters. There’s also no shortage of “awwww” moments.