Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maya Banks -- Hidden Away

Maya Banks -- Hidden Away

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {3.85}
Action: ♠♠♠.♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠.♠
Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 3.0 / Romance: 5.0 / Sensuous: 2.5 / Suspense: 3.5  //  Laughter: 3 / Giggle: 4  //  Tears: 0 / Teary: 0

Setting:       Stewart County, Tennessee
                     Isle de Bijoux
Era:             Present Day (2011)
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Hidden Away, the third book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, was an entertaining, almost exciting read.   Banks did so much better when it came to the descriptions of the main characters and made an effort to further develop their personalities than she did in the first two books (The Darkest Hour and No Place To Turn).   But, again, Banks somehow failed to tell the story in such a way that created that strong emotional connection between the reader and the main characters that makes for a top notch read.   (It is impossible to put into words why this is so because I do not know what it is an author does to create this connection -- Banks just seems not to have done it!)

Banks opens the book excellently.   She grabbed the reader's immediate attention by introducing Marcus Lattimer, an obvious bad guy, walking into a high-rise building in Boston, going up to the twenty-first floor where Cross Enterprises was housed and calmly killing Allen Cross for victimizing his sister.   (The only bad thing about that scene was that Marcus did not tell Allen why he shot him.   There had to be a great line in there somewhere!   Something more clever than "This one's for Sarah!")   Sarah Daniels, Marcus's half sister, races into the same building too late to stop her brother from doing something that would land him in jail if the authorities caught him.   Banks tries to increase the aura of suspense by having Sarah encounter Allen's brother, Stanley Cross, in the lobby of the building as she flees.   There is obviously negative history between Stanley, Allen, and Sarah, but readers are left to wonder what that history was.

But not for long.   Sarah flees Boston because she doesn't want to be used as a material witness against her beloved brother.   But since Sarah has no training in covert operations, she pretty much leaves a trail that the CIA could follow.   Banks painted a picture of Sarah, living in fear and hiding on the little island of Isle de Bijoux.   Not only was Sarah afraid of having to testify against her brother, but she had been living like a hermit ever since Allen Cross had raped her a year ago, after she had been working as his administrative assistant for six months.

What is so baffling is why Banks failed to engender that feeling of deep compassion for this victimized heroine.   A sweet-natured woman who tried to see only the good in others and even took in the stray calico cat who came to her cabin.   Even though she had no skills at subterfuge, it was pretty clever of Sarah to arrange an escape route from Isle de Bijoux in case someone came looking for her.

That someone was Garrett Kelly, who had an ax to grind with Marcus Lattimer, the man responsible for the death of his Marine buddies when they were sent to Libya on a rescue mission and Lattimer betrayed them.   The KGI's CIA contact, Adam Resnick, came to Stewart County to hire Garrett to keep an eye on Lattimer's half-sister on the Isle of Bijoux so that when Lattimer showed up Garratt could snatch him up and turn him over to the CIA.   Garrett was the perfect candidate for the mission because {1} he hated Lattimer and {2} he was still not 100% after having been shot saving his sister-in-law, Sophie, back in book two, No Place To Run.   Garrett would look like he was at the beach to recuperate and could inveigle his way into Sarah's good graces.

Banks did an excellent job of setting the scene for Garrett and Sarah's romance to blossom, but, again, for some reason, the connection between reader and protagonists was missing.   Even though she was still fearful, Sarah was excited because she found herself interested in the hunk of man flesh that she watched from her cabin as he ran on the beach, fished, and just relaxed.
It relieved her that she felt the stirrings of interest -- feminine interest -- in this man.   That she could look and appreciate and even wonder about him made her want to do a fist pump in the air.   Up yours, Allen Cross.   You haven't won.   You didn't destroy me.   (Sarah, page 36)
Banks began painting a picture of Garrett's personality as he managed to bump into Sarah by saving her from a local thief during one of her trips into the little village near her cabin where she went to use the WiFi to e-mail Marcus.   Since Garrett was particularly close to Rachel (again mentioned in this book), his younger brother, Ethan's wife, who was still recovering from her year of captivity, he noticed the same haunted, fearful look in Sarah's eyes.   Banks does a wonderful job of detailing Garrett's frustration at not knowing how to cozy up to a woman with barriers, but decided to go with chocolate.
Vacation or not, he'd prefer to be knee-deep in a jungle viewing the world through his scope.   At least he knew what the hell to do in those kinds of situations.   Shoot first, no questions later.   That was easy.   Figuring out how to gain the trust of a woman scared shirtless? Yeah, he was f----d.
Chocolate.   Weren't women supposed to be rabid predators of chocolate?   He had waved a chocolate bar in front of Sophie's nose more than once and been forgiven for all manner of transgressions.   (Garrett, page 49)
So Garrett began spending time with Sarah, but Banks needed to send Garrett back to his home on Kentucky Lake so she could entertain readers with a humorous scene involving Garrett taking Sophie to the hospital when he got home and she was in labor.   To do that, Sarah put her escape plan into action leaving Garrett holding nothing but Patches, the stray cat.

One of the things that Banks does in this series of books is try to include all the members of the Kelly family in the story.   (This is a really great addition to the story, because it is nice to stay aware of what is happening to all the characters being featured in this series.)   Sometimes the side stories about secondary characters (to promote future books) are woven seamlessly into the story and at other times, the story just takes a jump that is jarring.   In this case, Garrett has to return home because he can't find Sarah and he needs Donovan's (his geeky younger brother) help to trace Sarah.

The reason Garrett has to take Sophie to the hospital is because Marlene Kelly (the mother of the Kelly boys) has sent all her sons out to find Rusty, the stray she adopted back in The Darkest Hour.   Apparently Rusty didn't return home from school.   Thus, it was that Banks was able to present the story of how Sean, the cop, found Rusty shortly after she had been attacked by the high school football star after he wrecked the car that Frank and Marlene had presented to her for her senior year.

Banks has been slowly, but surely building the personality of young Rusty as each book is written.   And in each book, Rusty is belligerent to Sean Cameron, the Stewart County Deputy, that is another regular character in the books.   One of the things that Banks does not do well is to repeat details about characters that have been introduced in previous books.   So readers of Hidden Away, who have not read either The Darkest Hour or No Place To Run, will have no idea why there is animosity between Rusty and Sean -- or understand their history of snipping at each other.   Nor would they even know who Sean is because the only description given to Sean in this book is that he is "a cop."

The same thing holds true for Banks's lack of description when it comes to the organization that the Kelly brothers own and operate.   The only way readers know that the name of the family organization, KGI, is The Kelly Group International is because it is on the back cover of the book.   It is certainly not included during the telling of the story.   Banks really should take into consideration that not every reader is going to have read each book of the series in succession and that such a reader is not going to understand all the nuances that go on between the Kelly brothers and the women in their lives.

Banks seems more interested in trying to detail how the Kelly brothers interact by slinging insults and shooting the finger at each other instead of delving into their respective personalities.   For instance, it is obvious that Sam Kelly, the oldest brother (as told to readers in previous books, not this one), is crazy about his wife and daughter because Garrett tells us it is so.   And even though Sam is given a brief point of view voice in the book, readers don't really "know" how Sam is feeling.   That sense of connection is fractured.

Again, the physical descriptions of the characters is so lacking in this book that readers have no idea what Sam, Donovan, and Ethan Kelly look like and they are featured regularly in the book.   (Unless, of course, readers could remember the brief descriptions of these characters that were given in the previous two books.)   The same holds true for Frank and Marlene Kelly, the parents of the Kelly brothers.   And what about Rusty.   What color is her hair in this book?   It is so difficult to "picture" the characters in a book when they are not defined.

To be quite honest, it would be nice if Banks had given physical descriptions so many other members of the cast.   Even the characters that are only going to be found in this book.   For instance, what do Stanley Cross and Allen Cross look like?   It would be easier to be engaged in the story, if we knew what these two brothers looked like and why they were so closely intertwined that they would reign terror upon an unsuspecting administrative assistant.   Paint us a picture of the characters!

In that same vein, what did Marcus Lattimer, Sarah's half-brother, look like?   How did he find Sarah after their father died?   How did such an evil-hearted man develop such a close, loving relationship with Sarah?   Maybe that is why it was so difficult to connect to Sarah on a deep emotional level.   The background information and detail is missing.   There was one incident that occurred between Marcus and Sarah that should have had me, a sympathetic crier, bawling and it just didn't happen.   The emotional connection was missing!

The same holds true for descriptions and characterizations of the KGI Team Leaders, Steele and Rio.   Banks has introduced these two secretive, macho, alpha characters to prompt one to read their books, but she fails to generate a connection to them.   The brief details given, just present readers with a shadowy picture of these two men.   How are we supposed to imagine them in our minds and develop a connection to them with a dearth of packaging and presence?   (Banks, has, however, generated more interest in Rio than Steele because of the few details she has presented about him.)

In No Place To Run, Banks gave readers an overview of what all the KGI operatives.
The living room was filled with strange men clad in black shirts and camo pants.   They looked hard, not just muscled, but hard in the sense that they'd seen and endured a lot.
They were military men.   Disciplined.   More than just money guided their motivation.   Their loyalty couldn't be bought . . . (No Place To Run, Sophie, page 134)
Here's what Banks has given readers on Rio and Steele so far:
The Darkest Hourhe 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)
No Place To Rungetting restless (32) tall, dark-haired man; looked fierce, but there was something soft in his eyes; white teeth flashed when he smiled (136) KGI Team Leader (137)
Hidden Awayteam leader (277) white teeth flashing when smiled; extraordinarily handsome when he smiled; transformed from dark warrior to man with oodles of charm (229) dark eyes; quiet man (242) a loner; no love lost between him and Steele (277) refined tastes; well-stocked library; a wine cellar that would make royalty jealous; spent a lifetime stocking the house with all the things he loved most (278)
The Darkest HourKGI operative; he and his team finishing up recon in South America (15) ice blue eyes (37) rock-hard assurance in his voice (41)
No Place To Rungetting restless (32) KGI Team Leader (137) he mostly stood and watched, his intense gaze taking in everything around him; he looked cold and intimidating (140)
Hidden AwayKGI team leader; ever silent (180) a machine (181) usually stoic expression (183) unruffled as ever; never interfered with team's private lives; when they were on a mission, their asses belonged to Steele, no questions asked, they followed his command without question (282)
But, let's get back to Garrett and Sarah's story.   In spite of the fact that, for some reason, Banks has failed to cajole readers into that special emotional connection to the hunky hero who is boldly marching through the pages of his book, it is easy to keep reading the story, even though it tends to take a pretty slow pace.

Donovan locates Sarah and Garrett heads out to Mexico to confront Sarah about her lack of safety and insists that she let him worry about her safety.   But . . . Garrett chooses to lie to Sarah about how he found her.   Garrett tells Sarah that he was employed by Marcus to keep her safe.   Even Donovan knows this is a bad thing to do and suggests that he take over the mission for Garrett.   But it was pretty obvious that Garrett already considers Sarah "his woman" by his reaction to Donovan's suggestion.
He'd do whatever necessary to keep her safe.   He wasn't being honest with her, and that was something he'd have to live with.   But she could damn well trust that he'd never let anyone hurt her.
Somehow he would separate what he had to do in order to bring down her brother and shield her in the process.   She would see it as a betrayal.   She was too loyal, too loving and giving to accept what he had to do.   But it was the right thing to do and somehow, someway, even if it took forever he'd make her understand that.   He didn't have a choice.   (Garrett, page 171)
Banks begins to concentrate on the aspect of the story with which she is the most comfortable -- the romance and sensuality.   Garrett asks Sarah to tell him what happened between her and the Cross brothers, to understand why Stanley Cross was looking for her.
"I need to know because I can't live every minute wanting to kiss you and touch you, all the while knowing that someone made you afraid.   Not just of me but all men."   (Garrett, page 172)

"I don't want you to be afraid of me, Sarah.   More than anything, I want you to trust me.   I want you to be able to feel my touch and know that I'm never going to hurt you.   I want you to touch me."   (Garrett, page 173)
And then Banks does another one of those unexpected jumps.   All the sudden readers are launched to Alaska where Cole Coltraine {spelled Coletrane in book one} is chatting with his fellow KGI operator, P.J. Rutherford about being given this mission.   For the first time, Banks hints at Cole's interest in P.J. as he, P.J. and Steele talk about making sure Afognak Island is safe and habitable for Garrett and Sarah.
P.J. pulled her pack over her shoulder as Cole did the same.   As they turned to head up the incline toward the lodge, Steele called out, "One more thing."
Both Cole and P.J. turned and Cole was surprised by the amused glint in Steele's usually stoic expression.
"Watch out for the bears."   (Cole, page 183)
Although she has not done so in this book, Banks has been giving readers a rich description of P.J. Rutherford, the only female member of the KGI team.   But, in typical Banks fashion, readers are left totally in the dark about Cole, who is going to be paired with P.J. in book six, Shades of Gray.   Also, Banks continues to mention three other KGI operatives on Steele's team, but readers never get to interact with them.   Dolphin, Renshaw, and Baker are mentioned in each book, but they are given no physical characteristics or personality attributes.   (Except Dophin, who swims like one.)

Maybe it's because Banks rarely lets the readers see the KGI agents in action.   Whenever the big finale takes place, usually all the shooting and fighting takes place in the background.   The action in these Military Romantic Suspense books is definitely not the exciting, adventurous kind that features the current Kelly hero showing off his prowess for his lady.   In this case, the action is basically, moving the characters around the map so Sarah can't be found and can be used as bait to draw her brother out in the open.

Banks finds a clever way to get Sarah to quickly overcome her fears and throw herself into Garrett's arms.   As they are heading out of Mexico, some bad guys kidnap Garrett and Sarah to hold them for ransom.   While Sarah languishes in a dark room, she must listen to the men who are questioning Garrett none too politely.   Sarah is all about comforting and touching Garrett when he is thrown into the dark room with Sarah before another bout of questioning will resume.   Naturally, Garrett expects his brothers and teams to come save them because he activated his tracking device when they ran into the road block.   In the meantime, he continues to woo Sarah by telling her how much he wants her.
"Because baby, when we get out of here, I'm going to spend two days doing nothing but make love to you.   And it won't have a damn thing to do with anything but the fact that I want to be inside of you more than I want to breathe."   (Garrett, page 215)
After Garrett and Sarah are rescued by members of KGI, Rio takes Garrett to a clinic for medical care and then to his high-security, first-class home in Mexico.   (For some reason, it seemed inappropriate for Garrett and Sarah to just take over Rio's home while he was outside providing security.)   And, finally, Banks enthralls readers with some hot, spicy, serious bouts of graphic lovemaking between Garrett and Sarah.

Again, Banks has not presented a book with a strong element of suspense.   Readers are not sitting on the edge of their seats, anxious about what is going to occur next and how the KGI team is going to take down the bad guy because Banks features the romantic interactions between Garrett and Sarah instead of building tension in the story.

Two other characters, who were introduced in the previous books of the series show up for the big finale, Adam Resnick and Terrence, one of Rio's men.   Again, readers have no idea what either of these men look like.   Besides the lack of physical attributes, it is so frustrating to be unable to find some kind of connection with these characters, no matter how minor, that show up as insubstantial shadows just to further the plot.   It would be so much nicer if the people in the book felt real.

The big finale in this book was quick and not extremely exciting.   And then Sarah was hauled off by Resnick to be questioned about her brother.   All the loose ends seemed to be tied up off stage (except for the way the Kelly brothers showed up at Rusty's high school to, basically, welcome her into the family fold).   The ending felt rushed even though Garrett had a beautiful speech to present to Sarah when he found her on the porch of her cabin on the Isle de Bijoux.

In closing, Hidden Away, the third book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, by Maya Banks is an enjoyable, entertaining, but, nevertheless, disappointing read.   The book featured: {1} the hero, Garrett Kelly, the second son, another handsome, hunky, gruff, military man who didn't feel real; {2} the tender-hearted heroine, Sarah Daniels, who failed to solicit sympathy in spite of overcoming fears after suffering from a rape; {3} not enough exciting, military-style action to keep the story moving at a quick pace; {4} a failure to connect to the characters on a deep emotional level to bring forth tears although they did make us laugh; {5} a strong flavor of romance permeated the entire story line as Garrett and Sarah were very attracted to the other; {6} the storyline was too slow moving to create any edgy suspense; {7} plenty of sensual, hot, spicy, graphically-detailed lovemaking; {8} the inclusion of minimally developed regularly-appearing secondary characters, {a} Sam Kelly, {b} Sophie Kelly, {c} Donovan Kelly, {d} Marlene Kelly, {e} Frank Kelly, {f} Ethan Kelly, {g} Rachel Kelly, {h} Sean Cameron, {i} Rusty, {j} Rio, {k} Steele, {l} P.J. Rutherford, {m} Cole Coletraine, {n} Terrence, and {o} Adam Resnick; and {9} the introduction of barely-developed secondary characters, {a} Marcus Lattimer, {b} Stanley Cross, {c} Allen Cross, and {d} Matt Winfree.   Because this book is not emotionally engaging, adventurous, or edgy it will not find it's way onto my "To Be Re-Read" list.   It is, however, an easy, quick, light read.
--Vonda M. Reid (Tuesday, January 13, 2015 : 1:35 a.m.)     [358]

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" [Breckenridge]: On The Run From Step-Father
09.06-2014When Day BreaksDaryl "Swanny" Swanson: scarred from battleEden: supermodel
10.06-2015Darkest Before DawnHancock:: leader of Titan. . .

Characters Found In "Maya Banks -- Hidden Away"
Character Description
Garrett Kelly[Hero] took bullet in shoulder for his sister-in-law (7) uptight (12) hair needed trim; brothers had nursed him back to health when mission went bad 6-y-a (14) looks like shit, needs shave and haircut; needs to recover from injury (18) if not for family, would be a hermit (20) needed to pour ketchup over all his food (31) Marine Corps (33) a big man; beautiful; solidly built, lean and muscled with no amount of spare flesh anywhere; black hair was mussed on top as if he'd outgrown a more severe military cut (35) moved with grace (37) mesmerizing deep blue eyes (43) big; intense; easy-going; casual (55) a Marine (58) brothers believed him to be most uptight man they ever met (58) second oldest; 5 brothers (65) had a special place for Rachel (76) rugged; paler on his belly and chest than he was on his arms and face; he was hairy, not in a gross, man-wolf way, there was a smattering over his upper chest enough to give him a rougher edge, and it tapered downward to a dark line to his naval (81) fresh scar on shoulder; other scars, much older, some more faded than others (82) solid wall of muscle (85) blue eyes held a devilish glint (166) self-assured, steady exterior (170) fun; a huge flirt (190) good man; loyal; protective (201) the loner; self-sufficient; steadfast; the one to be counted on when the chips were down (209) built like a brick house, all hard lines, lean at the waist and hips, broad at the shoulders and a muscle back (243) muscular, lean body (283) thickly corded legs; a large, ugly scar on his upper leg that looked like it hadn't been stitched well, there was a mass of scar tissue, still angry looking, white at the edges and dull pink in the center (284)
Sarah Daniels[Heroine] had worked for Cross Enterprises for 6 months a year ago (3) sister to Marcus Lattimer (6) Lattimer's half sister (17) beautiful; a quiet beauty that didn't jump off the page at you but rather settled in nice and comfortably; long chestnut hair, a light dusting of freckles over her nose and deep green eyes; an administrative assistant (19) taken a job as Allen Cross's executive assistant 18-mo-a; quit after 6 months; hasn't worked since; lived in Boston; born and raised in Alabama; no parents; records indicated she had been raised in foster care for most of her childhood; had an apartment in the modest area of Boston; lived alone; a loner (20) made lists and notes of everything (22) haunted, frightened eyes rimmed with shadows; looked infinitely fragile, scared out of her mind; a fighter, not a timid mouse (34) a people person; liked being around people even if she didn't interact with them much, loved the big city with all the flashes of color and culture (38) had barriers around her like most people wore clothes; had a don't touch me air that enveloped her and reflected in her frightened gaze (45) light green eyes (46) full, throaty laugh (51) neat freak (52) liked classical music, not opera; liked white wine; a 'burger and fry' kind of girl (60) shame; anxiety attacks; sleepless nights (61) small, dainty, feminine hands (67) soft heart (139) something infinitely fragile and angelic about her; delicate eyelashes (158) loyal and good-hearted to the bone (164) called: Miss Goody Two-shoes and Miss See The Best In Everyone (175) mother died when she was 8-y-o (272)
. . . . . .
Alton[One Appearance] KGI; one of Rio's men (228)
Baker[No Appearance] KGI operative (180)
Browning[One Appearance] KGI; one of Rio's men (228)
Sean Cameron[POV] [Rare Appearances] cop (131)
[David] "Cole" Coletraine[POV] [Secondary Character] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] {spelled Coletrane in previous books}: KGI operative (180) competitive (181) Navy SEAL (182)
Allen Cross[One Appearance] an arrogant, coattail-riding asshole (1) a creature of habit; came into his offices every Saturday after seven and remained until nine, when his car service collected him and drove him to the same restaurant 10 blocks away; victimized a helpless woman; office on 21st floor (2) raped Sarah (24)
Stanley Cross[One Appearance] Allen's brother; evil (5) ruthless (90)
Douglas Culpepper[No Appearance] CIA; had infiltrated Marcus Lattimer's organization (138) tortured to death (276)
Decker[One Appearance] KGI; one of Rio's men (228)
Didier[One Appearance] man who attacked Sarah in alley; tried to steal her laptop; grubby looking; early 20s; unwashed; unshaven; body odor (40)
Dolphin[No Appearance] KGI operative (180)
Fiona[One Appearance] caretaker of Marcus's house in Mexico (141)
Frederick[One Appearance] man Sarah paid to take her off Isle de Bijoux (107)
Rob Garner[One Appearance] shopkeeper on Isle de Bijoux; sold fishing supplies; read people (32) retired Army; opened shop 5-y-a (33)
Guy[No Appearance] works at Pedro Air (162)
Charlotte Kelly[Rare Appearances] Sam and Sophie's baby girl (159)
Donovan "Van" Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 8 / After The Storm] Garrett's brother (11) installed security system for war room (12) Geek (48) had a strong protective urge when it came to women and children, could not turn down an assignment if a woman or child was in jeopardy; putty in women's hands; he adored women, they adored him; extremely intelligent; good down to his toes; quieter than his brothers; wasn't as big and broad shouldered as the rest; was the most comfortable taking a backseat to everyone else; stood on the fringes and watched, as a result, had more dirt people than Garrett could imagine (70) most organized, almost obsessive-compulsive (160) good instincts (183) Marine (187)
Ethan Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] Rachel's husband (69)
Frank Kelly[Secondary Character] Garrett's father; big; burly; worked in hardware store; heart attack months before (77)
Joe Kelly[One Appearance] [Book x / Title] Garrett's youngest brother; active military; not re-upping, wanted to know if could join KGI; bugging out in a week (77) bullet shattered fibula in combat (309)
Marlene Kelly[POV] [Secondary Character] mother to Kelly boys; famous for taking in strays (13) former teacher (65) ruthless when she put her mind to something; kept husband and 6 sons in a straight line (77) easy-going, loving woman, but God help the fool who messed with one of her chicks (133)
Nathan Kelly[No Appearance] [Book 4 / Whispers In The Dark] Garrett's youngest brother; active military; not re-upping, wanted to know if could join KGI; bugging out in a week (77)
Rachel Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] a classical, elegant beauty (19) former teacher (65) spent a year as a prisoner in South America, family thought she was dead; she'd come home missing memories of her life and of her difficulties in marriage to Ethan; miscarriage had been a catalyst for a chain of events that had led to the complete unraveling of Ethan and Rachel's marriage (185) dark brown eyes (308) a beautiful woman; when she smiled, the sun shone a little brighter (308)
Sam Kelly[POV] [Secondary Character] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Garrett's brother (11) deeply and madly in love with new daughter (184)
Sophie [Lundgren] Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Garrett's sister-in-law; married Sam; pregnant; nesting furiously in the last week; expected everyone to eat at table together as a family (11) cute and sweet looking (19) little woman (117)
Marcus Lattimer[POV] [Secondary Character] amassed a fortune and countless connections during his lifetime, most of which were steeped in murky shades of gray; demanded absolute loyalty of his employees; never allowed himself to fully trust anyone; had no honor; bound by a fiercely loyal code; Armani suit (1) Sarah's brother; loved Sarah (6) traitor; set up Garrett's team when they were called in to save him 6-y-a (15) killed own father; took over family business (17) one of the most feared men in the world (139) doesn't make threats; doesn't posture; he acts (172) hated his father (271)
Marie[Rare Appearances] waitress in coffee shop on Isle de Bijoux; French accent; served Sarah (24)
Martine[Rare Appearances] bookstore owner on Isle de Bijoux; older lady with a warm smile (38) took in Patches (111)
Patches[Animal] name Sarah gave to the calico cat who showed up at her house (36)
Adam Resnick[Secondary Character] CIA; uptight; always sounded agitated (12) had one hand in his hair and the other piddling with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth; he took quick, short steps and his gaze constantly moved from side to side; nervous; high strung (14) smoked like a chimney (16) meticulous (69)
Renshaw[No Appearance] KGI operative (26)
Rio[Secondary Character] [Book 5 / Echoes At Dawn] KGI team leader (277) white teeth flashing when smiled; extraordinarily handsome when he smiled; transformed from dark warrior to man with oodles of charm (229) dark eyes; quiet man (242) a loner; no love lost between him and Steele (277) refined tastes; well-stocked library; a wine cellar that would make royalty jealous; spent a lifetime stocking the house with all the things he loved most (278)
Rusty[POV] [Secondary Character] stray Marlene Kelly had taken in; starting senior year in school; piss-poor attitude and a mouth to match (13) surly-assed teenaged girl (65) 17-y-o kid who had a hard life (128) obstinate; obnoxious; rebellious; beyond her tough-girl exterior lay a very frightened, insecure girl who just wanted with other teenagers took for granted, someone to love her and give a damn (131)
P.J. Rutherford[Secondary Character] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] KGI operative (180) an enigma; part of Cole's team for a few years now, and he'd yet to figure her out; knew next to nothing about her past; she came from S.W.A.T. and was a better shot than him; competitive; steady; team could count on her (181) memory like a steel trap; first female in her S.W.A.T. unit; brown eyes; could joke and give hell with the best of the guys, but for the most part, she kept to herself, and when she wasn't teasing, she kept her mouth shut and followed orders (182) carried her own weight and never asked for help (183) a good-looking, very in-shape woman; smart; sharp as a tack; could look after herself (282)
[Dr.] Marin [Scofield][No Appearance] [Book 7 / Forged in Steele] {spelled Maren in previous books}: just mentioned (227)
Steele[Secondary Character] [Book 7 / Forged In Steele] KGI team leader; ever silent (180) a machine (181) usually stoic expression (183) unruffled as ever; never interfered with team's private lives; when they were on a mission, their asses belonged to Steele, no questions asked, they followed his command without question (282)
Terrence[Secondary Character] one of Rio's men (222) real protective when it comes to women (224)
Matt Winfree[Rare Appearances] Rusty left with him after school (125) cute; popular (128) possible UT football scholarship (132)
Tom Winfree[One Appearance] Matt's father (131) a good man; a long time school board member and a huge supporter of the high school (133)

Locations, Organizations Found In "Maya Banks -- Hidden Away"
Location / Organization Description
Afognak Islandoff the coast of Alaska; a logging camp and an out of commission Lodge are all that's there and no one's on the island right now; shutdown operations last year; where Donovan arranged for Garrett to take Sarah (162)
Belize Cityfirst planned stop on Garrett and Sarah's trip to Afognak Island (162)
Bostonwhere Cross Enterprises was located (16) where Sarah Daniels lived (20)
Corazolacross the Mexican border; where Garrett could get medical aid (227)
Cross Enterpriseshoused in highrise; [Allen Cross's business] (1)
Fort Campbellwhere Joe was taken after injured in combat (307)
HossKGI computer system; Donovan's baby (12)
Isle de Bijouxwhere Sarah is holed up in a cottage on a remote section of the beach (18) the island was a fascinating mix of cultures, and people from all over the globe seem to have traveled to this place for a new beginning; tourists hadn't yet found the island; it was inhabited largely by year-rounders, corporate people who had left the rat race, artists seeking inspiration and loners who sought refuge in a sparsely populated island where everyone pretty much kept to themselves (22)
Jamaicasecond planned stop on Garrett and Sarah's trip to Afognak Island (162)
Kentucky LakeSam, Garrett, and Donovan's log cabin located next to Kentucky Lake (12)
KGIThe Kelly Group International: A super-elite, top secret, family-run business (back cover) handled their fair share of dangerous assignments (77)
Kodiak Islandlast planned stop on Garrett and Sarah's trip to Afognak Island (162)
Libyawhere Garrett's teammates lost their lives on Lattimer rescue mission (292)
Miamifirst location Sarah traveled to when leaving Boston; used real name (23)
Pedro Aira private charter service, fly-by-night operation; to take Garrett and Sarah to Jamaica (162)
Stewart Countywhere Kelly family lived (133)
Tennesseewhere Garrett grew up with his big family (65)
war roomKGI building; next to Kentucky Lake; had a stark look; square and imposing looking with gray cement-steel reinforced walls, no windows and a security system which the CIA couldn't get into (12)

"Maya Banks -- Hidden Away" Quotations
42She wanted to lean on someone else, just for a few minutes.   She wanted it more than anything.   (Sarah)
48This was a prime opportunity to go over and be sensitive or whatever it was women liked for men to be.   (Garrett)
50"Crying women scare me," he admitted.   (Garrett)
51"They're the more violent species.   And unpredictable.   I'd rather take on a wild boar.   You can't shoot women."   (Garrett)
66"I mean, they're terrorists disguised as cute little people."   (Garrett)
84For the first time in a year, she felt a connection to another person.   A man.   It helped heal a little part of her soul.   (Sarah)
171Life was a study in shades of gray.   (Garrett)
173"I don't want you to be afraid of me, Sarah.   More than anything, I want you to trust me.   I want you to be able to feel my touch and know that I'm never going to hurt you.   I want you to touch me."   (Garrett)
173"she flipped every one of his switches, and some he hadn't even known he had.   (Garrett)
270She felt alive.   She felt hope for her future.   (Sarah)
271"And life . . . it's precious, you know?   Even when it's bad, it's still good."   (Sarah)
315"What I see is a strong, resilient woman who knocks me on my ass every time she looks at me.   I see someone who's been hurt so badly she's afraid to trust again.   I see someone who has such a loving spirit, who strives to see the best in people despite being shown the worst.   What do I see for us?   I see you with me, making me happy until I draw my last breath.   I see us living in laughing together, having children eventually.   Enjoying sunsets and growing old together."   (Garrett)

"Maya Banks -- Hidden Away" 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
. . . . . . . . .. . .
----Fantastic FictionList of Maya Banks' Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series
----Fiction DBList of Maya Banks' Books
. . . . . . . . .. . .
D+ / Warm03-30-2011All About Romance--Dabney Grinnan // excellently written (lol)
3.15 average{217 reviews}Amazonas of: January 14, 2015
4.50 average{381 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: January 14, 2015
2.0003-09-2011Book Obsessed--Tasha // brief, not many details
9.00 Hearts02-27-2011Books à la mode--Stephanie // excellent review, great details
4.5003-14-2011Books, According To Nicole--Nicole // great review, {see: fourth paragraph}
--06-09-2011Boutique Bookstorenot a review // back cover synopsis
4.5001-30-2012Delighted Reader--Shari // okay, liked detail about Garrett
4.0003-xx-2011Fairy Tale Fluzzies--Boozy Floozy // interesting review
3.0003-03-2011Fiction Vixen--Amy // well-written, good review, detailed synopsis
positive02-17-2011Fresh Fiction--Felicia Sparks // PR review // [qv] Rusty = Rickie
3.7502-15-2011Geeky Bloggers Book Blog, The--Felicia // brief, listed likes
4.0003-03-2012Gone With The Words--Jess // brief, gushy review
4.27 average{10,745 ratings}Good Readsas of: January 13, 2015
4.0003-08-2011Good Reads // Aunteegood review
1.0003-08-2011Good Reads // Mojcatend to agree, even though a bit harsh
4.0005-15-2014Judy Serrano Writer's Blog--Judy // PR review [qv]
3.0011-05-2011KD Did It - Takes On Books--KD // excellent review / liked format
4.16 average{72 ratings}Library Thingas of: January 14, 2015 // see: Lauren2013
2.0003-02-2011Library Thing--Zosia Canberra: great review, some excellent points
2.0012-11-2011Lost In Light--Lilly Slaton // pretty good, enjoyed quotes
3.5003-02-2011Maldivian Book Reviewer's Realm of Romanceexcellent review, lots of story detail and justification
Article03-10-2012Marilyn's Romance ReviewsMeet Maya // interesting details
not sure03-30-2014Melissa Blanchard Book Corner--Melissa // not so good, a few quotes
59--Mrs. Gigglesokay // not the snarky writer
5.00 / Top Pick01-xx-2011Night Owl Reviewsokay // slightly PR-ish feel
4.2503-06-2013Novels on the Run--Michelle // really like this "quote" driven review
4.1 average{172 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: January 14, 2015
8.0 out of 1006-01-2011Pearl's World of Romance--Pearl // loved this excellent review
4.5010-31-2014On My Shelves--Ezinwanyi // [qv] okay, nothing special
4.17 average{30 ratings}Shelfarias of: January 14, 2015 // --Paige included heavy spoilers
B+07-12-2012Smart Bitches, Trashy Books--Holly // pretty good review and justification
B12-07-2010Smexy Books--Julie // good review
3.0003-24-2011Swept Away Again--Ally T // good points, but writing style ran on and on
A-03-02-1011The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Ash // excellent review, liked the points she made
A+04-29-2011The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Sandy M // gushy, excellent review, good details
positive03-02-2011The Reading Frenzy--Debbie Haupt // [qv] too pat, no book detail
3.00 // Hot06-29-2011The Romanceaholicexcellent review // liked the itemized format
4.00 // Heat: 3.005-03-2011Under The Covers--Francesca // brief, not much detail
--03-20-2011USA TodayWeeks on List: 1 // Best Week: #43
3.8501-13-2015Wolf 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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