Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Knot by M. Mabie

He knows everything.
She has all the damn answers. 

I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.
I crave control, but with her it’s far more. 

He’s a power hungry climber.
Her wealth could buy and sell me. 

It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.
She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her. 

When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.
Her crooked smile cripples me. 

He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.
She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong. 

A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.
She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name. 

I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.
My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back. 

Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.
I miss the days when she was just down the hall. 

He’s better off without me, and it hurts.
The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me. 

Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.
The lies we told ourselves killed it. 

Together, we found Nirvana.
We learned it was all a mirage. 

I ruined him.
I broke her heart. 

I keep coming back.
I can’t let her go. 

KNOT is a contemporary romance and a complete standalone. It is the first spin-off from the best-selling Wake Series. You do not need to read BAITSAIL, or ANCHOR to enjoy this book in its entirety, but if you love angst you'll enjoy them, too.

5 Stars
Review by Lisa Kane

Where do I start with this book? I adored the Wake series and Knot has the same vibe as Bait. Two people who you know are perfect for each other, but life just keeps them apart. Knot has multiple emails that fill in much of the action and provide telling information about what is going on in the background. 

Reggie Warren is 24 and he's Blake's brother, the heroine in the Wake series. Readers are familiar with him as he played a big role in that series. But now we see him as more than a supporting character. Reagan (he prefers to be called Reggie) is a dynamo at Price-McClelland, the fastest growing wealth management firm in the country and is on the fast track to make partner. He's gorgeous, suffers from anxiety (a thing he keeps quite personal) and is a bit of a control freak. But he will tell you that having control drives him. 

I was fueled by control. Power. Patience. It seduced me when a woman put such a precious thing in my hands on her own free will because she believed I'd take care of her that way. 

And always I did. 

His main focus is on his career, although he loves sex and women, he's not looking to settle down. That is until a fellow worker, Justin, tells him that the senior partners see marriage and stability as pluses for their employees. These things are perceived as stabilizers and make potential partners more attractive. So Reggie gives some thought and effort to finding a suitable wife, but that hasn't really panned out yet. 

According to Justin Beckham, the company was a very cleanly ran operation. Very straight laced. The board was seated with good men. From what I was told,, they liked a family image, and relied on their honorable reputations in societal circles to help grow their slate-clean presence in an ugly, and recently tarnished, view of the investment business nationwide. 

Readers briefly met Nora Koehl in the Wake series. She lived in the same complex as Reggie and in a conversation with Blake it was revealed that she lived a polyamorous life style. Nora has lived a privileged life, although her mother has had multiple husbands, ironically she became pregnant by Nora's father but never married. Their affair broke up her father's marriage and her two half brothers have never shown her any real affection. Her father has extensive holdings and lives in Switzerland. Nora shines as an event planner. She loves her work and has a few close friends. Most of those friends live the same lifestyle she does-she's never had a one on one relationship with a man. Love doesn't last, and monogamy is not something she wants. 

Call them swingers. Call them poly. Call them whatever you like. People with our preferences found other people who liked the same things. 

Knot is the story of how Nora and Reggie met, how different their philosophies regarding relationships are (Reggie needs to be the only man to pleasure his woman, this is an integral part of his control issues) and how in spite of each of them being so forceful and held together individually, they are so screwed up together. 

"When did we stop telling the truth?"

When two people are so integrally divided by their beliefs (her following a lifestyle that favors multiple sexual partners and he one that is monogamous) how can they find common ground without feeling like they are being forced to live a fake existence. Nora is wealthy beyond Reggie's wildest dreams, how can he come to terms with the fact that she doesn't need him to support her. There is virtually nothing he can give to her that she doesn't already have or can get for herself. 

I had no doubt, no matter how successful I became, I'd never be able to give her a bathroom like the one she already had. 

The whole house. 
She deserved to live like that. To never worry, or struggle. To have everything she ever dreamed at her disposal. Anything she desired. 

To complicate things even further, Nora's life will change because of her father and the physical distance between them will further alienate them. Nora fears breaking Reggie's heart. And she does-over and over again. Each time Reggie swears it will be the last time, and then the cycle starts again. 

"I can't be the only one fighting for us. It's like I've been fighting this, you and myself. You fight against me, not for me. For two damn years now. I'm tired. I'm weak, and, as much as I hate it, I'm giving up."

Knot is chock full of anguish and heartbreak and some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. The words bleed their emotions. It is impossible not to hate and love these characters, often at the same time. There are no bad guys in this story. Just two tormented souls desperately trying to hold together their relationship when both know that it is a fragile and fleeting as the wind. 

"Will you ever be satisfied with one man?"

Her face fell, and she replied, "I don't think so. Will you ever be satisfied with sharing your lover?"
God, no. 

Knot's timeline is parallel to the Wake series. There are multiple references to Blake and Casey and the events that fashioned their story overlap here. I couldn't help but wonder about Nora and how she fit in with Reggie from the few times she was mentioned in the previous books. When Reggie outed her lifestyle, my eyes got wide and her character stuck with me. I never imagined there was so much to their story. Bait gutted me and I expected no less from Knot. 

"I think if I let myself feel this much happiness, I'll die if it goes away. If I give you everything, and it's still not enough, you'll take all that I have when you leave."

Ms. Mabie did not disappoint. Up unt il the last few pages, my heart never quite beat at a normal pace. This is a superb story that is so well written. In spite of the angst I never doubted their love for each other. 

"I'll be hungry for you on my deathbed, baby. It'll make no difference whether you're there or not."

Sometimes love can be like a Rubik's cube. Once it's all dismantled and twisted apart, you may think it's almost impossible for it to go back to how it once was. But with patience and effort and it will fall back into place, each colored cube bright and vibrant and whole. 

"My half doesn't feel very valuable without yours."

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