Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spotlight Review:

THE DARKEST HOUR – Maya BanksThe KGI Series, Book 1Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-22794-7
September 2010
Romantic Suspense

United States and Columbia - Present Day

It has been a year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly’s wife was killed in a plane crash on the way home from a relief mission. He still feels guilty for not having been the husband Rachel deserved. They had a lot of problems in their marriage, mostly his fault. His brothers have been trying to get him to join KGI (Kelly Group International), an agency that is hired for top-secret operations, but Ethan is lost in his grief. He receives a Fed-Ex package with a note that says "Your wife is alive.” and some photos that look like Rachel; coordinates indicate it comes from a small village in Columbia. Could a drug cartel have her, or is this a terrible joke? The area of the coordinates is where she went on her relief mission. Ethan goes to his brothers, Sam, Donovan, and Garrett and asks for help, and they all get to work making rescue plans.

Rachel is in bad condition. She barely remembers her name, but she does remember a shadowy figure—someone who tried to help her. The team comes in with guns blazing and they rescue her. She has serious problems; the Columbians have been drugging her, and now she is addicted and in withdrawal. Ethan stays with her in Costa Rica until she can safely make it home. He prays that the drugs didn’t affect her mind. She has a lot of memory loss. What will she do when she remembers their marriage problems?

Meanwhile at home, parents Marlene and Frank Kelly find a teenager named Rusty raiding their refrigerator, hungry and exhausted. Marlene, who is always picking up strays, feeds her and invites her to stay.

Sam is determined to find out why the drug cartel imprisoned Rachel and who sent the information to Ethan. He decides to go back to the jungle, find out what is going on, and get revenge.

The Kelly family is very close, the kind of family that we would all like to have, warm and trusting. You can sense how much they all love each other, with a lot of teasing and horse play among the brothers, but there were a few words used throughout that made me flinch. Ethan is trying to be the most loving husband that he can be, but he is fearful about Rachel remembering their former relationship. She is very troubled and trying to cope with her addiction and what has happened to her. All of the brothers are wonderful secondary characters, especially Garrett; and Marlene is a special mother to them all. Readers will really like this terrific family.

THE DARKEST HOUR begins with Rachel and Ethan trying to get their marriage on track after her rescue. You can expect some scorching love scenes; the suspense plays second fiddle to the romance. The suspense comes in the latter part of the book and is very frightening as they finally solve the puzzle of why everything happened the way it did. You won’t want to miss THE DARKEST HOUR, the first book in the new KGI series, with more books to come: NO PLACE TO RUN in December 2010, and HIDDEN AWAY in March 2011.

Marilyn Heyman

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