Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Maya Banks -- The Darkest Hour

Maya Banks -- The Darkest Hour

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {3.65}
Action: ♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠
Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 4.0 / Romance: 5.0 / Sensuous: 3.5 / Suspense: 3.0  //  Laughter: 5 / Giggle: 3  //  Tears: 2 / Teary: 2

  2011 RITA® Finalist in Romantic Suspense Category
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Setting:       mainly:   Stewart County, Tennessee
                     briefly:   Colombia, South America
Era:             Present Day (2010)
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Being a big fan of Military Romantic Suspense authors like Suzanne Brockmann, Cindy Gerard, and Dee Davis, it was easy to collect the books Maya Banks wrote in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series and dive in for a read-fest.   The first book in the series, The Darkest Hour, however, was a bit of a disappointment.   While it was an entertaining, easy to read, easy to finish book, this story lacked that abundance of action and suspense that makes for a great read.

Ethan Kelly, has spent the last year mourning the loss of his wife, Rachel, who died in a fiery plane crash when she and a small group of relief workers were flying home from South America.   On the anniversary of her death, Ethan received a FedEx package with a picture of his wife being held captive in the jungles of Colombia with a note stating, Your wife is alive.   Ethan went to his brothers, who were owners of Kelly Group International, who rescued people from impossible situations, to rescue Rachel and bring her home.   And give him a second chance.

A book that has a hot, hunky, alpha male standing on the front cover with a big gun strapped across his bare muscled chest should feature more exciting actions scenes than one rescue at the beginning of the book.   Banks should had included more adventurous scenes revealing how alpha and macho the ex-Navy SEAL hero, Ethan Kelly was.   For Pete's Sake, the fragile heroine, Rachel Kelly, got more macho, 'escape from the bad guy' time than Ethan.   While it is nice to have a kickass heroine (and Rachel was not that heroine), when you have an ex-Navy SEAL hero, you want to read about him kicking some serious butt on behalf of his beloved.   Banks could have, at least, let them kick butt together.   But, no, it was a case of let's pull Ethan away from Rachel for a moment so she has to save herself.   Leaving big, bad, macho Ethan with nothing left to do but rush in, all worried, hug her and say, "Are you okay, Baby."

Ethan as a hero was a major disappointment.   He didn't get to play alpha hero, instead he was featured as a guilt-ridden husband who was willing to bend over backwards and to save the marriage he tried to throw away before he was given a second chance.   And rather than paint a definitive picture of what should have been a man who was strong enough to become an elite Navy SEAL, Banks instead repeatedly focused on Ethan in a constant state of self-belittlement for shirking his responsibilities when it came to marriage.

And what romance reader doesn't want to read about a macho alpha hero who is willing to show his beloved a few tears because he is so in love with her?   But, oh my word, Banks went overboard.   Rather than present a well-developed hero, who was multi-faceted, with strengths and weaknesses, Banks turned Ethan into a man who was constantly fighting tears (and not winning the battle), hugging his wife, and calling her Baby.

By the time the book ended, the reader was still left with a shadowy picture of what Ethan, the man, was like.   Sure he was painted as a handsome, hard-bodied, stubborn man, who was rough around the edges and butted heads with everyone, but what was he like?   What did he do the entire year that Rachel was presumed dead?   Just drink?   Anything at all?   How old was he?   Couldn't he have remembered how the romance developed between him and Rachel?   How long had Ethan been in the military before he married Rachel?   Was he a SEAL when he married Rachel?   Which leads to the question, why should Ethan quit the SEALs because he felt like he failed Rachel because he was on assignment when she had a miscarriage?   Rachel would have known when she married Ethan what kind of man Ethan was, how much he loved being a SEAL (because don't all SEALs love being a SEAL), and the price she would have to pay as the wife of a dedicated special ops military wife.

Because, after all, Banks painted Rachel as perfect.   The woman that everybody loved.   Again, Banks created a single-dimensional character.   Again, by the time the book ended, it seemed the only thing Rachel was able to do is draw people to her like bees to honey so they could cosset her and cater to her because she is so lovable.   But what made her lovable?   Where is the interaction with all these wonderful people to make her so loving?   Banks didn't even take her on a shopping trip with her mother-in-law so readers could witness the mother-daughter relationship which would have demonstrated why Rachel was so lovable.

And, yes, Rachel should have been cosseted after being held as a prisoner by a drug cartel in Colombia for the past year, but, come on, shouldn't there be something more than being coddled to define a heroine?   Especially, when it seemed that every male in the book had a soft spot for Rachel and was touching her, and hugging her, and calling her pet names, and promising to protect her.   Even the emotionless Steele had a soft moment with the perfect, fragile Rachel after she was rescued.
"You don't know me, Rachel," he said in an even voice.   "You have no reason to believe me.   But there's one thing I can guarantee you. I won't allow those bastards to take you back.   I'm going to get you and Ethan back home where you belong.   Do you understand?"   (Steele, page 41)
By the end of the book, with all the men touching, holding and babying Rachel, it was no wonder that Ethan had been jealous and believed Rachel had been unfaithful with Garrett.   Garrett Kelly, Ethan's ex-marine older brother, had apparently been good friends with Rachel before she'd been presumed dead.   The closeness between Garrett and Rachel was obvious because Garrett was more soothing to Rachel than Ethan and he, too, was guilty of constantly holding her, touching her and calling her "sweat pea."   Which brings about the question: when Rachel miscarried when Ethan was on a mission, shouldn't she should have moved in with Frank and Marlene and let Marlene mother her to death, instead of letting Garrett stay with her at Ethan and Rachel's house?

The one thing that Banks did a great job with when it came to Rachel's character was paint a realistic picture of what it must have been like for a captive who had been drugged for a year to suddenly be rescued by mean-looking, gun toting men.   It was also admirable that even though Rachel felt like she was losing her mind, she was still fighting to survive.   Rachel was definitely portrayed as a no-holes-barred fighter to the end.

So Banks created a hero and hero that the reader was unable to identify with because they were under-developed and put them together so they could reacquaint themselves and fall in love all over again.   Rachel wasn't sure about her relationship with Ethan because her captors had addicted her to heroine and/or cocaine and she had lost most of her memory.   Instead of confessing to Rachel that their marriage was on a rocky road when she left for her charitable mission last year, Ethan was constantly trying to prove to Rachel how much he loved her by staying close to her and offering her the solace of his presence.

Rachel, however, had flashbacks of her fights with Ethan and thought she was hallucinating because that angry Ethan was nothing like the current lovey-dovey Ethan.   And while the book was all about the romance and the love between Ethan and Rachel, Banks failed to develop that "awareness" that should have existed between Ethan and Rachel.   You know -- that special little tingling feeling that the hero or heroine of a romance novel gets when they see or are near the other.   Banks was too busy saying over and over and over how fragile Rachel was and how guilty Ethan was that she didn't rebuild that special emotional and sensual awareness between them.

Banks did present her readers with some very emotional and sensual love scenes between Ethan and Rachel.   The lovemaking scenes were pretty graphic (but not erotica graphic), hot, intense and well-written.

Surprisingly enough, even though Banks failed to develop Ethan and Rachel into multi-dimensional, real-feeling characters, she managed to so engage the readers' emotions that she bought forth laughter and tears during the telling of their story.   Thus, proving that Banks did, indeed, create an emotional connection between the reader and her characters.

One aspect of the book that Banks did with great success was paint a picture of the male conversations and camaraderie that existed between brothers and military men.   In fact, this was one of the most entertaining aspects to the book.   For instance, take the relationship between the two team leaders of KGI, Rio and Steele.   There was no love lost between these two men and it was impossible not to laugh when Rio held a discussion with one of the members of his team, Terrence.
"Do we tell him now so he doesn't make the trip, or do we let him get over here before we let him know the mission is an abort?"
Rio grinned as he and Terrence exchanged sly looks.   Pissing Steele off was about the most amusement they got these days.
. . .
Nothing had been decided about Steele, but they both knew they'd let him come in hot and then take the wind out of his sails.
They took their fun where they could get it.   (Rio and Terrence, page 227)
Because this is the first book in a series, Banks began introducing a number of characters that are going to appear in future books of the series.   Because there were so many of them, many of the secondary characters were barely developed.   Banks gave readers just enough information about these characters to garner one's interest and hope that she will continue to develop their personalities in future books and, in some cases, hope that some of these characters are featured in their own books.

The most notable secondary characters are Ethan's five brothers.   {1} Sam Kelly, the eldest brother, was ex-Army and seemed to be the controlling or number one leader of the three-brother command team of KGI.   {2} Garrett Kelly, Ethan's older brother, an ex-Marine, didn't like being left out of the decision-making process as Sam tended to do.   {3} Donovan "Van" Kelly, another of Ethan's older brothers, an ex-Marine, was the calm, non-judgmental, laid-back member of the team.   However, if the mission involved a kid, Donovan was a goner.   {4} Nathan Kelly, Ethan's youngest brother and twin to Joe, was still in the Army and was able to came home from his deployment in Afghanistan.   Nathan's personality as a wise, peace-making brother was presented nicely as he interacted with Rusty.   {5}   Joe Kelly, Ethan's younger brother and twin to Nathan, was likewise still in the Army and was also able to came home from his deployment in Afghanistan.   Joe seemed to be the fun-loving, wise-cracking brother.

Two other secondary characters that were of notable interest and really tied all the characters of the book together in a neat, tidy package was Ethan's Father, Frank Kelly, and his mother, Marlene Kelly.   Banks gave Marlene a point of view voice in the book and revealed she was the glue that held her family together.   Marlene possessed a tendency to take in strays, be they human or animal, and had an unlimited supply of love and strength of character.
"But somehow she manages to make every one of us feel special, like we're the only person in the world who matters to her.   Don't get me wrong.   She's not a pushover, and when she sets her mind to something, she's like an alligator with fresh meat."   (Nathan, page 109)
Frank was no less amazing than Marlene.   Even though he seemed to stay in the background of the story, his actions and wisdom showed he was no less vital to raising six such incredible sons than his wife.   Banks did a really impressive job on the character development of Frank and Marlene, painting them as the kind of parents every child should have.

One other secondary character was, surprisingly, thrown into the mix.   Even though Frank glared at her, Marlene's kind, compassionate nature would not let her send the stick thin kitchen intruder back out into the streets.   Again, Banks did a great job of developing the personality of Rusty, a belligerent runaway, who had never been shown any kindnesses in her life.   Banks began weaving Rusty into the web of the Kelly family as she painted a realistic picture of a sullen, defiant teen.
"You were never a replacement for Rachel.   Marlene, bless her heart, has decreed that you're part of the Kelly clan.   God help you.   That means for better or worse you're family.   Now, not everyone has to like it.   I can't shield you from that.   You have to earn your stripes in this family.   You don't automatically get respect or privilege.   You earn it."   (Frank, page 188)
One thing that didn't make sense was Rusty's ability to get past the Kelly's security system, even if she was good at electronics.   The Kelly boys were so good at their jobs that they formed a sophisticated group like KGI.   A teen should not have been able to get past their security.   But since Rusty did, then are there possibilities of Rusty becoming a hacker for KGI in the future?   And why weren't the Kelly boys worried about this apparently easy invasion?

Banks included just enough information about Rio and Steele, the two KGI team leaders, to inspire interest in them and hope that they would play leading roles in future books.   They were not, however, the only interesting additions to the secondary cast of characters.   Sean, the deputy sheriff of Stewart County, Tennessee also showed up often in the story.   Sean is somehow another of Marlene's stray's and, thus, a member of the Kelly family.   You can't help but wonder if Sean is going to be given his own book in this series or if he is just going to play a secondary role like Frank and Marlene.

One other secondary character showed up briefly in the book to tend to the warriors injured during the mission to rescue Rachel.   Dr. Maren Scofield was working in a clinic in a poor, rural area of Costa Rica after being rescued by KGI during an intense hostage crisis in Africa.   Sadly, Banks did not develop the personality of Maren beyond her role of being a medical practitioner to create enough of an interest in her to hope she gets her own story.

One female secondary character that Banks did succeed in developing to a degree that inspired one to want to read her story is P.J. Rutherford, the KGI's best sniper.
She was an interesting character.   When Sam had told Ethan about her, he'd assumed   she'd be a doggish-looking woman, stocky in build with a manly haircut and tattoos.   Instead she was delicate looking and utterly feminine.   That she was a highly skilled assassin was incongruous with the image she projected.   (Ethan, page 21)

"Thanks for the cover," he said .
She looked startled by the thank-you.   Her ponytail swung as she glanced sideways at him.   "No problem.   It's my job."
"It's a job you're good at," he said sincerely.
"For a woman you mean."
"I didn't say that."
He looked over to see a smile nudging the corners of her mouth.
"You're doing that on purpose to make me feel like a slime bucket," he accused.
She shrugged.   "You're a SEAL.   You're not used to going into combat with women.   It stands to reason you'd be impressed.   I doubt you're impressed by Cole, and his job is the same as mine."
She had him there.
"Okay, busted.   You're right.   I'm impressed because you're a woman.   A really small woman."   (Ethan and P.J., page 47)
What happened to the suspense in the book?   Like detailing the search for the men responsible for faking Rachel's death and keeping her alive?   Like finding out why Rachel was targeted as a victim?   The suspenseful aspect in the story was not all that strong and wilted under the umbrella of the romantic aspect of the story.

So, okay, The Darkest Hour, the first book in Maya Banks' The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, is not one of the best Military Romantic Suspense books out there, it is still a good start to what is, hopefully, going to be a great series.   She included in this book: {1} Ethan Kelly, an underdeveloped alpha hero who is constantly reduced to tears; {2} Rachel Kelly, an single-dimensional heroine who is, above all, loveable; {3} a bit of action, but not enough to carry a Military Romantic Suspense novel; {4} a lack of intense suspense to go along with Rachel's kidnapping; {5} enough of an emotional connection to the characters to bring forth laughter and tears; {6} a strong undercurrent of romance as Ethan profusely professes his love to Rachel; {7} hot, sensual, passionate, detailed, lovemaking scenes; and {8} many interesting secondary characters that added to the enjoyment of the story: {a} Sam Kelly, {b} Garrett Kelly, {c} Donovan Kelly, {d} Nathan Kelly, {e} Joe Kelly, {f} Frank Kelly, {g} Marlene Kelly, {h} Rusty, {i} Sean, {j} Dr. Maren Scofield, {k} Rio, {l} Steele, and {m} P.J. Rutherford.   This book is definitely an enjoyable read, but will not be added to my "To Be Re-Read" List.
--Vonda M. Reid (Tuesday, January 6, 2015 : 2:34 a.m.)     [356]

Books In The Series: "The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.09-2010The Darkest HourEthan Kelly: ex-Navy SEAL, Fourth SonRachel Kelly: his wife, captive
02.12-2010No Place To RunSam Kelly: KGI co-Owner, First SonSophie Lundgren: daughter to arms dealer
03.03-2011Hidden AwayGarrett Kelly: KGI co-Owner, Second SonSarah Daniels: half sister of Garrett's nemesis
04.01-2012Whispers In The DarkNathan Kelly: prisoner of warShea Peterson: telepathic connection
05.07-2012Echoes At DawnRio (Eduardo Bezerra): KGI Team LeaderGrace Peterson: telepathic and healer
5.508-2012Softly At SunriseEthan Kelly: KGI Operative, Fourth SonRachel Kelly: his wife
06.01-2013Shades of GrayDavid "Cole" Coletrane: KGI Sniper, Steele's TeamP.J. (Penelope Jane) Rutherford: KGI's best sniper
07.06-2013Forged In SteeleJackson "Ice Man" Steele: KGI Team LeaderDr. Maren Scofield: Doctor in Costa Rica
08.01-2014After The StormDonovan Kelly: KGI co-Owner, Third SonEve "Evie" : on the run
09.06-2014When Day BreaksDaryl "Swanny" Swanson: scarred from battleEden: supermodel
10.06-2015Darkest Before DawnHancock:: leader of Titan. . .

Characters Found In "The Darkest Hour"
Character Description
Ethan Kelly[Hero] a rough-around-the-edges slob (2) often been gone for weeks on end, the assignments always out of the blue and classified; failed Rachel a lot during their 2 years of marriage; made a practice of shirking his responsibility (3) big; strong; a warrior (22) loved to scowl when put out (31) looked like Garrett; big; black hair; hard body; hard face (41) decisive, blunt, quick to make decisions (64) sleek black hair worn military short; startling blue eyes, serious and brooding (67) chest and arms rippled with muscles; the body of a warrior; not a spare inch of flesh on him (116) blue eyes darker than Sam's (120) stubborn son of a bitch; butted heads with everyone; tendency to get all worked up over things (130) hard and tough; protective (138) ex-SEAL (142) white teeth flashed in a broad grin (144) narrow hips; hard, broad chest (165)
Rachel Kelly[Heroine] Ethan's laughing, smiling, beautiful wife; dead; living room reflected her personality: classy, elegant, uncluttered (2) landscaped their back yard with Marlene's help; suffered miscarriage (3) Ethan's whole family had adored her (6) died in plane crash with small group of relief workers flying home from South America (5) an only child; parents died in car accident several years ago (70) Marlene taught her in school, adopted her into the Kelly family when parents died (84) quiet and shy around new people, but not timid; didn't take any crap off anyone (85) wide brown eyes (87) daughter of Marlene's heart (95) the most lovey, demonstrative woman Sam knew (102) cheeks were thin and hollow, her bones more pronounced; shoulders angular, not soft and rounded (115) perfect for Ethan; calm (130) a teacher (228)
. . . . . .
Baker[Brief Appearances] KGI operative (27)
Doc Campbell[One Appearance] Kelly family doctor (277) nice face, older, lined with age (278)
Carl[One Appearance] lived in dilapidated trailer, overgrown with weeds (52) belligerent; tattered jeans; had shacked up with Sheila (53)
Geron Castle[One Appearance] had an array of local newspapers from across the state of Tennessee delivered to his office every morning; ever the politician, he looked for any angle to exploit; Senator (179) connected to drug trafficking (181)
David "Cole" Coletrane[Brief Appearances] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] KGI sniper (20)
Dolphin[Brief Appearances] KGI operative (26)
Aunt Edna[No Appearance] talked Garrett's ear off at Thanksgiving (158)
Donovan "Van" Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 8 / After The Storm] KGI operative (10) Ethan's older brother (12) ex-Marine (19) loved to scowl when put out (31) smallest of the Kelly brothers (93) green eyes (120) calm; non-judgmental (133) quiet one (137) if a kid was involved, he was a goner (175) a study in being laid back; determined as a pit bull (202)
Frank Kelly[Secondary Character] Ethan's father (1) calloused fingers (29) loved to scowl when put out (31) ran the only hardware store in their small town; up early every day (43) bark worse than his bite; deep down had a heart softer than Marlene's (54) blue eyes (121) big man; wrinkled cheeks; cried easily; old spice aftershave (135) good with his hands; loved tools (154)
Garrett Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 3 / Hidden Away] KGI operative (10) Ethan's older brother (12) overprotective bear when it came to family; close to Rachel (13) ex-Marine (19) loved to scowl when put out (31) bigger and meaner looking than Sam (37) looked like Ethan; big; black hair; hard body; hard face (41) broad chest (42) grouchy; always smiled for Rachel (85) blue eyes (120) unhappy unless he was in on the plans from the start (176)
Joe Kelly[Secondary Character] Ethan's younger brother; Nathan's twin; still in the military; deployed in Afghanistan (17) Army (19) loved to scowl when put out (31) brown eyes (120) not identical (136)
Marlene Kelly[Secondary Character] Ethan's mother (28) wrinkles at her temples (29) took in too many strays; teacher (30) wouldn't tolerate poor table manners (33) up early every day (43) not one to mince words (45) softest heart of anyone Nathan knew; once she decided something, nothing and noone could change her mind (107) limitless capacity for caring; "she manages to make everyone of us feel special, like we're the only person in the world who matters to her" (109) brown eyes; father had blue eyes (121)
Nathan Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 4 / Whispers In The Dark] Ethan's younger brother; Joe's twin; still in the military; deployed in Afghanistan (17) Army (19) loved to scowl when put out (31) youngest (89) brown eyes (120) not identical (136) eyes that saw too much (185)
Sam Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] KGI operative (10) Ethan's older brother (12) eldest brother (13) ex-Army (19) loved to scowl when put out (31) big and mean (36) didn't look like Ethan; leaner, but no less muscled; light brown hair; jaw was square and had a determined set; cold blue eyes, like impenetrable ice; like magic hard eyes softened and became warm (41) control freak (77) blue eyes, lighter than Ethan's (120)
Renshaw[Brief Appearances] KGI operative (26)
Rio[Secondary Character] [Book 5 / Echoes At Dawn] he and his team were in Asia; headed to South America to act as backup (19) he and his team were a cagey, antisocial bunch to the core (60) Brazilian; Sam didn't know his real name, had always been called Rio, short for his home city (75)
Rusty[Secondary Character] stick thin; pink hair sticking out in 40 directions; enough shadows under her eyes to reveal she hadn't slept in days; clothes hung on her; full of sullen defiance; bravado (30) knows her way around electronics (31) body language screamed, back off, don't touch (54) spent time in juvie for solicitation (55) smile made sullen, defeated look turn into vibrant young girl who was actually pretty (110) envied Rachel so much it was like poison in her blood (187) a scared, strung-out kid who's never had anyone give a damn about her (195)
P.J. Rutherford[Brief Appearances] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] KGI's best sniper (20) delicate looking; utterly feminine; a highly skilled assassin incongruous with the image she projected (21)
Dr. Maren Scofield[Brief Appearance] [Book 7 / Forged in Steele] KGI had rescued her during an intense hostage crisis; only survivor; left Africa and set her clinic in a poor, rural area of Costa Rica (58) glasses; shoulder-length blond hair (62) no-nonsense air about her that was appealing; honest (64) lived in cottage half mile from clinic (71)
Sean[Secondary Character] police (29) soft drawl more pronounced than the Kellys'; mid-20s; sheriff's deputy the Kellys were fond of; kindness in his eyes; muddy blond hair cut short; goatee framed his mouth; unofficial adopted by Marlene, who managed his life (155) born and raised in Louisiana (156)
Sheila[No Appearance] Rusty's mother; ran away, leaving Rusty behind (54)
Steele[Secondary Character] [Book 7 / Forged In Steele] KGI operative; he and his team finishing up recon in South America (15) ice blue eyes (37) rock-hard assurance in his voice (41)
Terrence[One Appearance] one of Rio's men (225)
Tony[Brief Appearance] man in car with Rachel's killer (247) tall (249)
Kate Waldruff[One Appearance] therapist Rachel went to see (189)

Locations, Organizations Found In "The Darkest Hour"
Location / Organization Description
Kelly Group International: KGIrun by Ethan's brothers; they kicked asses for living. There wasn't a military operation they couldn't mount. They found people who didn't want to be found. They rescued people from impossible situations. They freed hostages. They blew shit up. (10) special ops group (11) employed some of the brightest military minds in the world (16) the best at what they did (19) "We work as a team. We live as a team. The team is everything." (76)
. . . . . .
June 16date that Rachel died (1)
Africawhere Dr. Maren Scofield used to have a clinic (58)
Clarksvillewhere Frank told Marlene to take Rusty shopping for clothes (54)
Colombiawhere Rachel was being held; remote area about 50 miles from Venezuelan border (8)
Costa Ricawhere Dr. Maren Scofield had a clinic (58)
Fort Campbellwhere Joe and Nathan were stationed (91)
Henry County airportwhere Ethan, Rachel, Garrett landed; 40 minutes from home (99) a tiny airstrip in the middle of acres of farm ground; only 2 tin hangars, one small, one large (101)
HossKGI computer system (12) Donovan's baby (16)
Jamaicawhere Ethan and Rachel went on their honeymoon (111)
Kentucky Lakeran behind Sam's rustic log cabin (10)
Leatherwood Creekwhere Nathan found Rusty walking beside the road (108)
Stewart County, Tennesseewhere KGI was located (12)
war roomadjacent to Sam's log cabin (10) state-of-the-art; completely decked out, 2,000 square foot building housed the offices of Kelly Group International; impenetrable facility thanks to high-tech security system; location was benign and seemingly innocent (12)

"The Darkest Hour" Quotations
55"You can wallow in that misery and remain a victim, or you can take charge of your destiny and turn it all around.   The choice is up to you.   I can't make you do it, and I won't.   Frank and I will provide you with the opportunity, but you have to want better."   (Marlene)
109"Maybe you ought to just tell me.   Guys can be slow."   (Nathan)
109somehow she manages to make every one of us feel special, like we're the only person in the world who matters to her.   (Nathan)
110"You're capable of making your own decisions and taking responsibility for them."   (Nathan)
110gave thanks that he had never had to feel unwanted in his life.   (Nathan)
187"I just wanted to be . . . one of you," she choked out.   (Rusty)
200He wanted a new beginning for them both.   But in order to have that new beginning, they were going to have to face the past.   (Ethan)

"Maya Banks -- The Darkest Hour" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Maya Banks' WebsiteAuthor
----Maya Banks' FacebookAuthor
----Maya Banks' TwitterAuthor
--12-19-2013Maya Banks' Blog--Maya Banks / very interesting article about readers' reviews
. . . . . . . . .. . .
C / Hot09-18-2010All About Romance--Maggie Boyd // excellent review, salient points
3.0010-07-2010Alpha Reader--Danielle // excellent review
4.44 average{276 reviews}Amazonas of: January 6, 2015
4.50 average{472 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: January 6, 2015
4.0012-04-2010Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama--Pam K // brief, but good
5.00 / heat: 510-11-2010Book Obsessed--Tasha // too PR-ish, no qualifying details
4.35 average{20 reviews}Bookidxas of: January 6, 2015
must read01-20-2011Booksharp--Julia // not good
positive10-30-2014Chelsea's Paperback Blog--Chelsea // very basic, Plain Jane
B08-18-2010Dear Author--Jane // well written / some good points
4.0001-26-2012Delighted Reader--Shari // good review
----Fantastic FictionList of Maya Banks' Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series
----Fiction DBList of Maya Banks' Books
4.5009-07-2010Fiction Vixen--Amy // good story synopsis / good review / also on gr
3.5 out of 411-21-2011For What It's Worth--Karen Alderman // good review
4.0001-26-2012Gone With The Words--Jess // simplistic, not detailed
4.18 average{15,033 ratings}Good Readsas of: January 6, 2015
4.0011-03-2014Good Reads // Blacky *Romance Addict*excellent review / laugh out loud funny / salient points
4.0008-29-2010Good Reads // Anteegreat story synopsis / review spot on
3.0006-26-2012Good Reads // Laurengreat review // agree wholeheartedly
3.0001-16-2012Good Reads // Aly Is So Frigging Boredliked // brief, but good points
Interview10-07-2010Guilty IndulgenceMaya talks about The Darkest Hour and how it came to be
5.0009-08-2010Happily Ever After Reads--Kristin // good explanations for rating
4.2510-29-2014Hiding From My Kids Books--Heidi // okay, no detailed data
positive12-18-2010Karen Knows Best--Karen // okay, brief
4.0010-14-2011KD Did It Takes On Books--Kathy Davie // liked format / good details / brief review
3.92 average{105 ratings}Library Thingas of: January 6, 2015 // Zosia Canberra's review is great
2.0012-08-2011Lost In Light--Tilly Slaton // brief
5.0009-11-2010Maldivian Book Reviewers--MBR // more story synopsis than review
positive03-29-2014Melissa Blanchard Book Corner--Melissa // not so good / details about the audio reader
69--Mrs. Gigglessnarky, as usual, but shockingly valid points
positive09-07-2010Nalini Singh--Nalini // brief blurb
5.00 Top Pick08-xx-2010Night Owl Romance--Terri // doesn't ring true
4.20 average{211 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: January 6, 2015
8.5 Awesome09-06-2010Pearl's World of Romance--Pearl // great review / great quotes
----Publishers WeeklyPR Review
positive09-13-2010Romance Novel TV--Marisa // gushy, very brief
positive11-23-2011RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk--Lillie // positive blurb, more giveaway than review
4.17 average{42 reviews}Shelfarias of: January 6, 2015
B+06-25-2011Smart Bitches, Trashy Books--SB Sarah // liked itemized list
5.0009-07-2010Smexy Books--Julie / love the quote / like paragraph about family
B+09-17-2010Tabz Blog--Tabitha // good review, a few salient points
not sure07-06-2011Teena In Toronto--Teena // okay, not detailed
5.0008-29-2010The Book Pushers--Minn Chica // too gushy / too PR sounding / well-written
B+09-07-2010The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Ash // excellent review
A+09-09-2010The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Sandy M // great review
positive06-24-2011The Lioness's Bookshelf--K // okay, not detailed
3.6501-06-2015Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating

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