Monday, 10 January 2011

Review – KGI Bk 1-2: The Darkest Hour, No Place To Run © Maya Banks

The Darkest Hour

A KGI Novel – Bk 1

Author: Maya Banks

Publisher: Berkley Press

Genre: Contemporary Suspense

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It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he's built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

My thoughts

Oh how I love a good Navy Seal book, well ex-Navy Seals actually and it looks like Ms Banks is onto a winner with this new KGI series of books. With these military type stories there tends to be a whole lot of predictables but I was really pleased that right out of the blocks the rescue angle the author took with this first story was working for me.

THE DARKEST HOUR is the first in the KGI series that looks like it will follow the romance and adventures of the six Kelly boys and this first book is Ethan’s story.  A good egg all things considered but he’s in a bit of a slump, as the blurb states he had a lot on his mind and he was certainly no joy to be around.

When he gets a tip that things might not be all that it seems he is willing to move heaven and earth to get to the bottom of it and hopefully get a second change to make a whole of mistakes right with the love of his life.

With all the brothers working towards one goal the search and rescue does not just end in the jungle of South America – Ethan has miles to cover and that all depends on what and who he finds at the end of his journey.

I Love, love this first book. Right from the moment I met Ethan I liked him. A pain in the ass, language of a gutter sniper and loyal to a fault – what’s not to like.

The first half of the book did a good job of drawing me into the Kelly’s world. It was not info dump overload but by the time the more emotional aspect of the book rolled around I knew the Kelly family and how far they would go for the people they love.

There’s not only Ethan’s and Rachel’s story here but all the brothers made an appearance and they came with enough bits and piece and attitude for me to be really eager for Ms. Banks to get to their stories.

The pace of the book was fast, and I will admit  I read the book in one go as I really wanted to see where all the delicious tension building up over the course of reading was going.

As a first book I was loving it alot, the characters were likable, the emotional scenes were not over the top and I thought the issues that Ethan and Rachel had to deal with were realistic and dealt with in a timely manner. I especially liked the interaction between the brothers and I am looking forward to seeing more of this as the series develops.

THE DARKEST HOUR - Definately worth the read.

No Place To Run

A KGI Novel – Bk 2

Author: Maya Banks

Publisher: Berkley Press

Genre: Contemporary Suspense

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Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

Now he's her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

My thoughts

It is nice when you don't have to wait on the next book in a series and it was good that I had NO PLACE TO RUN the seconds in the KGI series of book close to hand after I had finished THE DARKEST HOUR.

The books starts off with another Kelly boy – Sam, deep in the thick of things on the job but with his mind on the girl. The job – take down a really bad guy and his minions and Sam aims to follow through despite the way he feels about the girl – Sophie, a sexy waitress that he is having a steamy affair with.

The life Sam leads does not give allowances for romantic moments on the job and despite how he feels when I initially meet him – the job had to be done and when the girl disappears on him,  life has to go on and that was that.

He is slowly accepting that his time with Sophie was just that a wonderful moment, and so a little over five months later it is a total surprise when the object of his every waking thought since the job washes up near the docks of his home.

One look at Sophie ad Sam knows she is in danger but she is not telling him more than she needs to. With his brothers more than suspicious about her and obviously the danger that she presents to family they close rank and start on a mission to save their love ones while keeping her close to hand.

Sam is the one in the middle but he knows he is up to the challenge but with Sophie not talking and pressure coming from all angles he does the only thing he can do – grab those he love and run. 

I didn’t like this book at all, even after a re-read as I thought my smut mojo was on the blink – I still didn’t like it. Something's work for me of course

Like the relationship between the Kelly family. I really like how they interacted and the whole hierarchical set-up that goes on when they all have to deal with their mother - funny.

I like that the book was a stand alone, while it’s nice to read the first book to meet Ethan and Rachel – this can be read alone.

I also really liked the attitude that they had in regards to what they do, death was just apart of the life they lead and they had no hang ups about keeping their own safe at whatever cost.

While I didn’t like Sophie – I respect Sam’s support of her as the mother of his child and how he went to bat against his brother bad mouthing her.

More of the KGI team was introduced in this second book and I was pleased to see what they all had to offer to keep the KGI operation running smoothly .. I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Niggles

Sophie, I didn’t get her, didn’t understand her and not sure if she was just a brave chick or just went with what she knew and  made the best of things. I will admit she was clearly in protective mode when it comes to her child and I respected her for this – I just never connected with her and her relationship with Sam.

There was a sort of “ I knew that was coming” through the book for me – so not alot of it was a surprise and by the end I really was just wanting the book to end.

I was hoping to get a bit more on Sam’s adopted sister storyline – but what I got was more sarcasm rather than seeing her  grow within her new family. 

The bad guys were rubbish – This is a picky area for me. If there are bad guys in a book make them bad and show them playing their part and contributing to the tension. Other than making life stressful for the Kelly’s – I thought the bad guys were rubbish.

Bottom line.

As I am a fan of Ms. Banks work there was never any question about me reading this one – and in the big scheme of things it is a book that must be read to carry on with the series.

While I was not left on a WOW high after reading this one – I am hoping Sophie grows on me with future books added to the series.

 

6 Speak To Me:

Eyre on 11 January 2011 at 14:09 said...

Great review! I haven't read Banks in a while. This one is going on my list.

Blodeuedd on 11 January 2011 at 15:25 said...

Too bad you didn't like that 2nd as much :( I just like it cos it was so different from what I have been reading lately. But now when I look back I do get The whole not getting Sophie bit

Brandy W on 11 January 2011 at 18:45 said...

I still have No Place To Run to read. I loved The Darkest Hour but had to wait for the second to come out. Now I'm just not sure what I want to read at the moment. You know me and my HUGE TBR.

I'll get to it soon, I hope. I figure as long as I read it before book 3 comes out I'm good.

Erotic Horizon on 11 January 2011 at 22:13 said...

@Eyre.

Thanks hon..

Whenever I need a book to sooth the savage beast I generally fall back on one of Banks books...

:)

Erotic Horizon on 11 January 2011 at 22:15 said...

@Bloduedd

I just like it cos it was so different from what I have been reading lately

I get you on that - I think the opposite is the same for me - I read so much of these type of book that it would have to be something with a bit of an edge or something unique to really make me say WOW...

Hopefully I 'll like Sophie in the other books to come..

:)

Erotic Horizon on 11 January 2011 at 22:17 said...

Hey Brandy ..

I really love The Darkest Hour - Ethan and Rachel were perfect for each other..

Hopefully the third book will be here before you know it - so crack open that book...

:)