Taking it All (The Surrender Trilogy)

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9780425272985: Taking it All (The Surrender Trilogy)

“MAYA BANKS...I’M READY FOR THE NEXT RIDE NOW!” SAID USA TODAY. AND NOW, MAYA BANKS IS READY TO DELIVER. FROM THE “MUST-READ AUTHOR” (ROMANCE JUNKIES) OF LETTING GO AND GIVING IN—THE NEW NOVEL IN HER SURRENDER TRILOGY.

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects...

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all.

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband—a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love.

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About the Author:

Maya Banks is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, and the Sweet series. Her chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance and Scottish historical romance.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as in her Yahoo! Group and on her webiste.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ONE

CHESSY Morgan pulled into a parking spot at the Lux Café in Houston, her eyes widening in surprise when she saw both Kylie’s and Joss’s cars parked short distances away.

Kylie being there didn’t shock her. Kylie was always punctual. But Joss? Joss was perpetually running late. Chessy and Kylie almost always had to wait on Joss, who’d dash laughingly inside the restaurant where Chessy and Kylie waited, an unnecessary apology always on her lips for her tardiness.

And, well, who could ever get mad at Joss? Especially for something so insignificant as being habitually late. Joss was just someone who lit up a room with her warmth and sweetness. She’d come a long way from grieving widow after losing Carson to where she was now. Happy. In love. Married to Dash, her former husband’s best friend. Chessy was genuinely thrilled for both her friends. Joss and Kylie had both found love. For Kylie, this was huge. She’d made monumental steps in her life, being able to finally overcome the demons from her past that had ruled her present for so very long.

Kylie had more than met her match in Jensen and they made a wonderful couple. Chessy didn’t doubt for a single moment that Jensen was absolutely perfect for Kylie.

If only Chessy could say her own love life—her marriage—was as perfect as her friends’.

She let out a sigh and climbed out of her Mercedes SUV, glancing ruefully back at the seven-passenger vehicle. When Tate had surprised her with it, she’d wondered why on earth he’d gotten her something so big, but he’d looked at her with that charming, devilish twinkle in his eyes and told her that it was the perfect car to hold their children. The children they used to talk about having—it had been a frequent topic early in their marriage. They’d spoken of their dreams of a large family and a house full of children, love and laughter. But more recently, Tate had been unwilling to broach the subject of having children.

He was still building his business after going out on his own and having his partner bail on him. He wanted to wait until things were more stable and he was established before having children. But Chessy wondered quietly if that day would ever come. She hadn’t had the courage to broach the subject in the last year.

She felt as though Tate was slipping further and further away from her, his career taking over, and she was second or even third or God only knew how far down his priority list she currently was.

“For God’s sake, Chessy. Quit being a drama queen. It’s not that bad. Tate loves you. You love him. You just have to be patient and see this through. Everything will work out,” she scolded herself aloud.

She braced herself to greet her friends as she entered the restaurant and made certain her expression contained none of her dour thoughts. The last thing she wanted was to worry them more than they already were. They’d known for months that things weren’t as they should be. She saw the looks passed between them when they thought she wasn’t aware. But she missed nothing. Not the worried looks. Not the doubt in her friends’ eyes. She knew they were deeply concerned about hers and Tate’s relationship. But both women were happy. Deliriously so. And Chessy didn’t want to drag them down into the mire of her own unhappiness.

She was the “bubbly” one of the group. The one everyone always counted on for good cheer, the happy spark. Except she was absolutely horrible at concealing her emotions. Good or bad, she was utterly transparent. When she was happy, she was really happy. Exuberant. Bubbly. Sparkling even, as her friends often told her. The problem with that was when she wasn’t happy, she was an open book for her friends to see right through any sort of façade, and no amount of acting ever fooled them for a second.

Still, she gathered herself and pasted on her brightest smile, which made her cheeks ache with effort as she walked up to the booth Kylie and Joss already occupied.

“Thank God you’re here!” Kylie exclaimed, immediately grabbing Chessy’s hand and dragging her into the curved booth beside her. “Joss is practically glowing and she has that ‘I’ve got a secret’ look in her eyes, but she refused to spill until you arrived.”

Chessy plopped down, having been yanked into the seat by Kylie, and grinned at Kylie’s outrage that Joss would hold out on her until Chessy arrived. Some of her earlier ache dissolved, because how could it not when she was with her two best friends in the world? Just being in their presence lifted some of the sadness that seemed to have become a permanent fixture in her life lately.

“Ah okay, I see what Kylie’s talking about now, Joss,” Chessy said, studying her friend. “You’ve got a definite ‘cat who got the cream’ smug look on your face and you are positively glowing. So spill. The sisterhood is together and accounted for. Don’t make me hurt you, because I can guarantee Kylie will be with me on this. Poor girl has already had to wait for me to get here. We’ll sit on you if we have to, so spill already!”

Kylie nodded fervently and all eyes were glued to Joss’s radiant smile that spread over her face, lighting up every delicate feature. It was a sucker punch to Chessy’s stomach. Joss did look radiant. And so happy that it almost hurt Chessy to look at her. But there was no freaking way she’d ruin her friend’s moment in the sun by allowing even a hint of her own unhappiness to cloud the gathering of best friends.

“Dash and I are pregnant,” Joss said with unconcealed joy. “I’m pregnant,” she amended, her face softening, eyes glowing with love and happiness. “We’re having a baby!”

Kylie squealed and immediately threw her arms around Joss, hugging her tightly, ignoring startled looks from other restaurant patrons seated in close proximity to the women’s booth.

Chessy immediately rose, though her stomach had plummeted, and rushed around since Kylie separated Joss and Chessy. She slid in on the other side of Joss and tugged her away from Kylie’s fierce grasp.

“I’m so happy for you,” Chessy whispered so she didn’t have to choke the words out around the lump forming in her throat.

Joss hugged her back and then pulled away, her gaze piercing as she studied Chessy.

“Thank you,” Joss said quietly. “Now perhaps you can tell us what’s going on with you and why you look so unhappy. Is it Tate? Have things gotten worse?”

Chessy’s heart sank. She should have known of all people she couldn’t fool her best friends. And now that Joss was basking in the glow of her news—glorious news—and the realization of a long-time wish come true, the very last thing Chessy wanted to do was dampen the celebration.

She reached down, grasping Joss’s hand and squeezing. “This is your moment to shine, girlfriend. We can talk about my woes another time. Right now we need to be toasting the mother-to-be and planning all the fun stuff like baby clothes and possible names! Oh my gosh, Kylie, you and I have to plan a kick-ass baby shower for Joss. The likes of which no one has ever seen. And we’re so making the guys get involved. No wimping out because it’s a girly activity.”

Kylie and Joss exchanged looks, as they often did when they didn’t think Chessy could see, and Chessy inwardly winced that she was evidently the cause of so much worry for her friends.

“Do you honestly think for one moment that I would be so wrapped up in the wonderful news of my pregnancy that it would override everything else?” Joss asked, clear reprimand in her tone, though it was the gentlest of reprimands.

Joss was hardly the kind of woman who ever came across bitchy or mean-spirited. She simply didn’t have it in her. She was kindness personified and had the biggest, most forgiving heart of anyone Chessy had ever known in her life.

Chessy held up her hands. “I know, hon. I know. Believe me, I do. I’d just rather not rehash it all on a day we should be celebrating. It’s not like anything has changed. It’s just the same old story and I’m just being a whiny, needy baby. Things will get better.”

Joss lowered her voice, her eyes filling with love, so much love, for her best friend that it nearly brought tears to Chessy’s eyes.

“I know it had to be hard to hear that I’m pregnant,” Joss said gently. “I know you’ve wanted children. That it was once what you and Tate both wanted and that you still do but he’s the one wanting to hold off now. And now you’ve even questioned the motives for wanting a child now. We’ve had that discussion recently and agreed that until you and Tate get beyond this current rough patch that a baby would only complicate matters.”

Chessy wasn’t going to lie to the women she loved most in the world. Her best friends. Her sisters. Her rocks.

“I won’t say it doesn’t sting a little. Okay, a lot,” she amended when she caught sight of the look Kylie shot her. One that said you aren’t fooling anyone, girlfriend. “It’s no secret that I’ve wanted children. A big family. I want what I was never given as a child. I want a brood of little ones that are secure in the fact that they are loved and wanted with every single part of my heart and soul.”

“You want for them what your parents never gave you,” Kylie said softly.

Chessy shot her a look of understanding. Chessy and Kylie had one thing in common as far as childhoods went. They were both unwanted, but the similarities ended there. Kylie had suffered a horrific, abusive childhood at the hands of the monster that was her father.

Chessy could never say she was abused, physically or verbally. She simply didn’t . . . exist. Not to her parents. Chessy had been a very unplanned child to parents who’d never intended to have children. And as such, they didn’t change their lives to adjust to having a child. They simply went on as before, Chessy being an unwanted nuisance. Her childhood had been one of neglect, not abuse, but then some would argue that neglect was indeed a form of abuse. Chessy hadn’t been physically harmed, but emotionally? Definitely.

Tate knew of Chessy’s childhood, her memories of being lonely and overlooked. It had infuriated him and he’d vowed she’d never feel that way with him. Until . . . now. He’d always made it his priority to put her first. Her wants, her needs, her desires, some of which she expressed, but mostly Tate intuitively understood and satisfied them for her without prompting. He often fulfilled needs she hadn’t even realized she had at the time. He’d always gone above and beyond to give her all the things she’d lacked as a child.

God, she wanted that back. She wanted her husband back. Wanted for things to be the way they had been before he’d branched out on his own, forming his own financial planning company with a partner who’d then bailed, leaving him to meet the needs of all their clients.

And in her heart, she knew that Tate was still acting on his desire to see to her every need. He never wanted her to lack for anything he could provide. Financially. She knew his heart was in the right place, but money wasn’t what Chessy wanted most. Financial security was all well and fine, but at the expense of her marriage? She just wanted her husband back. The one who saw to her emotional needs above all else. Not her financial needs. Because money was no substitute for love, no substitute for the man she adored beyond reason. How could she get him to understand that without causing a rift between them? One that may not be able to be repaired. And she simply couldn’t countenance that. Nothing was worth losing Tate over. Certainly not her ridiculous insecurities and needy, clingy demands that seemed insignificant in the larger picture. Most women would be grateful for a husband who busted his ass every single day to provide for his wife. How to explain that material things meant nothing to her if they came at the expense of her marriage and the broadening gap forming between them?

“Sweetie, what is going on with you and Tate?” Joss asked, concern creasing her forehead. “We’ve discussed this so many times and yet I keep getting the feeling that you aren’t telling us the whole truth. That you’re holding back at least a part of what you’re feeling and experiencing. Are you still worried he’s cheating on you?”

Chessy sucked in her breath. The very thought, however fleeting it may be, that Tate would ever cheat on her filled her with such agony that she couldn’t dwell on it for the pain it caused her. She truly regretted that moment of weakness when she’d shared that fear with her best friends, no matter how little she truly believed it.

“I know he loves me,” Chessy said firmly. “I know he wouldn’t cheat. He has too much honor. If he wanted another woman, I know he’d be forthright with me and just ask for a divorce.”

God, the word divorce sent waves of agony through her heart and soul even though she knew it wouldn’t come to that. But panic quaked through her at the very idea of her marriage truly ending. It wasn’t a thought she could even linger over because of the devastation it caused her.

“But love isn’t about causing pain for the person you care about,” Kylie quietly inserted.

Lord knew Kylie recently had become very acquainted with pain and love and her own brush with the end of a relationship. If she hadn’t kicked Jensen’s ass for ending things with Kylie “for her own good” they’d probably still be apart and absolutely miserable without one another.

“He doesn’t know he’s hurting me because I haven’t told him,” Chessy said softly. “That’s on me. He can’t be expected to fix something if he doesn’t know the problem or the solution. I admit I’m being a coward. A part of me wants to just beg him to stop focusing on business, tell him that I don’t care about having a lot of money in the bank, while the other part of me thinks that if I just suck it up and ride it out a little longer things will resolve themselves and I’ll have my husband back and everything will go back to the way it used to be.”

Joss and Kylie both sighed in resignation. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t discussed this subject a half a dozen times already. Chessy knew that neither agreed with her thinking or approach to the problem but they loved her and supported her unconditionally. And for that she loved them beyond reason.

Part of her recognized that they had a right to be frustrated with her. They listened to her whine about a problem she herself wasn’t willing to address, much less try to fix. Chessy knew she had her head firmly in the sand and was in denial over the state of her marriage, but to even contemplate any other alternative meant she had to admit that her marriage was in trouble. And she wasn’t prepared to do that. Yet.

“Our anniversary is this Friday,” Chessy said, purposely brightening her tone in an effort to relieve the somber turn of the conversation. “Tate has promised me an intimate dinner at the restaurant where we always have our anniversary dinner. No cell phones. No business. He plans to take off early and he said the entire weekend is ours. And,” she said, drawing out the word, “he says he has very distinct plans for after dinner, so I can hardly wait. I think having this, one weekend where it’s just us, will do wonders for my insecurities and silliness. I never should have let it get to this point. I recognize tha...

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Book Description Berkley Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. MAYA BANKS.I M READY FOR THE NEXT RIDE NOW! SAID USA TODAY. AND NOW, MAYA BANKS IS READY TO DELIVER. FROM THE MUST-READ AUTHOR (ROMANCE JUNKIES) OF LETTING GO AND GIVING IN--THE NEW NOVEL IN HER SURRENDER TRILOGY. In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects. Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all. Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she s seemed unhappy, and he s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them. But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy s safety, his concentration, his wife s faith in him as her husband--a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he s going to lose her--has already lost her--he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he ll take it all. Everything. But he ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780425272985

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Book Description Berkley Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. MAYA BANKS.I M READY FOR THE NEXT RIDE NOW! SAID USA TODAY. AND NOW, MAYA BANKS IS READY TO DELIVER. FROM THE MUST-READ AUTHOR (ROMANCE JUNKIES) OF LETTING GO AND GIVING IN--THE NEW NOVEL IN HER SURRENDER TRILOGY. In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects. Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all. Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she s seemed unhappy, and he s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them. But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy s safety, his concentration, his wife s faith in him as her husband--a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he s going to lose her--has already lost her--he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he ll take it all. Everything. But he ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780425272985

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Book Description Berkley Trade. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 320 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 1.0in.MAYA BANKSIM READY FOR THE NEXT RIDE NOW! SAID USA TODAY. AND NOW, MAYA BANKS IS READY TO DELIVER. FROM THE MUST-READ AUTHOR (ROMANCE JUNKIES) OF LETTING GO AND GIVING INTHE NEW NOVEL IN HER SURRENDER TRILOGY. In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, theres only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all. Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately shes seemed unhappy, and hes worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them. But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessys safety, his concentration, his wifes faith in him as her husbanda man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that hes going to lose herhas already lost herhe readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, hell get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if shell allow him to prove himself one more time, hell take it all. Everything. But hell give back far more: Himself. His undying love. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780425272985

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