Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Maya Banks -- After The Storm

Maya Banks -- After The Storm

Rated: ♥ ♥ . ♥   {2.25}
Action: ♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣.♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠.♠
Action: 2.0 / Emotion: 3.5 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 1.5 / Suspense: 2.5  //  Laughter: 1 / Giggle: 1  //  Tears: 2 / Teary: 3

Setting:       Dover, Tennessee
Era:             Present Day (2014)
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The Rant:
I waded through the entire syrupy, sappy, repetitive, unbelievable thing!

There is no meat   There is no substance.   There is no personality.   There is no description of all these supposedly big, badass warriors.   They could all be cardboard poster stand-ins for each other -- with silly sappy, cheesy grins on their nondescript faces.

When a book is listed as a "Romantic Suspense" and has a hunky, military-looking guy on the front cover carrying a big gun, the inside of that book should have a story filled with plenty of exciting action featuring that big, bad macho man as he rushes to save his brave, strong, intelligent lady from the danger that has been increasing exponentially as each page is turned.   To round out the story, as the nail-biting suspenseful action takes place, the hero and heroine should be developing a relationship based on the strong, powerful awareness that sparks between them.

That has not been the case in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series of books.   Oh the publishers got the hunky military man on the front cover right, but the story inside isn't even close to what one expects!   Banks is so busy making these books about the great big (and growing) Kelly Family rather than the "super-elite, top secret, family-run business" listed on the back cover, that each book in this series should be listed as a Contemporary Romance and the back cover synopsis should be a sweet little blurb about close-knit small-town families.   Because, basically, the only reason readers know that each KGI operative is a badass is because they are told so, ad nauseam, throughout the story.   Heaven forbid, if any of these badass men actually did something bad-ass-ly in their books.

Oh, they stand around the war room and plan to do bad-ass-ly things, but they usually arrive on the scene after the villain has been taken out of commission (usually by the heroine).   Banks has reduced all her heros into mushy, emotional men who no longer even spout the male banter that was inserted in the first books in the series.   All the KGI and Kelly men seem to come out of the woodwork to spout feminine-sounding, emotionally supportive words to back each other up.   Take away the bullet proof vests and give these guys bibs on which to drool and wipe their tears!

Only someone who was in love with the whole Kelly Family Experience would be able to call this book a worthy read.   Oh yeah, the entire family took pride of place in this book.   Everyone was home from their missions and they all meet at Ma and Pa Kelly's home for Sunday dinner.   And, oh yeah, all the big, badass warriors that Banks goes on and on and on about failed to show their big, badass warrior faces.   Instead, Banks went on and on and on about how their eyes softened when they looked at their wives (those strong survivors, who endured extreme difficulties and came out the winners) and their children.   (Fans of the Kelly Family will be happy to know that {1} Sam and Sophie and {2} Garrett and Sarah are expecting.)

The Review:
As is typical, Maya Banks started out After The Storm, the eighth book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series, by grabbing her reader's immediate interest as she gave Rusty a point of view voice.   Rusty was home from college and was working at Frank Kelly's hardware store and counting her blessings that not only did Frank and Marlene Kelly take her into their home and family when she was a desperate, scared fifteen year old runaway, but they even hired a lawyer to legally change her last name from Barnes to Kelly.   She was family!   (~ The song We Are Family by Sister Sledge should be played here! ~)

Rusty had just hired fifteen year old Travis Breckenridge (who gave the false last name of Hanson) to help stock the shelves because she saw a mirror image of her own desperation, hunger, and fear when she was his age.   This scene was well-written, developed an emotional connection to Rusty and Travis, and had one wondering what kind of trouble Travis was in.   Since this is Donovan's story, he drove by and noticed Rusty's Jeep parked in front of the hardware store (that was not supposed to be open on Sunday).   Naturally, he had to investigate.

Rusty told Donovan all about Travis, how her heart went out to him, and convinced Donovan to follow him when he left work to find out what kind of trouble he and his sisters were in.   Everyone knew that Donovan had a soft spot for women and children in bad situations (and if they didn't they would be reminded of it often during the course of this book), so Donovan agreed.

When Eve, Travis's older half-sister, cracked open the door of the dilapidated trailer that the Breckenridge family was renting, it was all over for Donovan.
he'd never felt . . . this.   Whatever the hell this was.   His emotions had always been involved.   His brothers well knew that.   They knew women and children was his Kryptonite.   No secret there.   But this?   This was something else entirely that had nothing to do with Eve being a woman on the run.   This was something deeper and he suddenly knew he was in some deep shit.   (Donovan, 34)
And for readers as well.   From this point on, Donovan spent the rest of the book thinking or talking with his brothers and sisters-in-law about how much he wanted a family of his own and that Eve was "it" for him and he loved Travis and little four year old Cammie as his own.   And, basically, all it took, was one look into Eve's "startling golden-colored eyes."

Oh, there was a little bit of excitement when a tornado blew through Dover as Eve, Travis and Cammie left the hovel they were living in to escape the notice that the well-meaning Donovan Kelly was raining down upon their heads, but that was just a plotting device to injure Eve and Travis, making it extremely convenient for Donovan to move them into his newly completed home at the Kelly Compound.   And by page 64, Donovan has already claimed the Breckenridge Family as his.
"No one is doing this but me," Donovan said, his voice more fierce than he intended.   "She's mine.   They're mine.   And I'll protect what's mine."   (Donovan, page 64)

He'd never wanted to put his personal stamp of possession on another woman.   . . .   And it wasn't just Eve.   He already looked at her siblings as . . . his.   Just as he already viewed Eve as his.   (Donovan, page 127)
Then it was time to begin thickly spreading the ooey-gooey romantic syrup about Donovan being in love with Eve and his newly made family.   And Banks was the master of repetition.   For instance, by page 44, Banks had repeated four times that Donovan considered himself a man of action.   But, did she bother to attribute physical features to Donovan?

In typical Banks fashion, Banks refused to paint a picture of what Donovan looked like.   Oh, there were a few descriptors like his intense green eyes, his massive chest, his arms bulging with muscles, his thick legs, that he was not as tall as his brothers, and his short hair.   So would anyone walking up to him on the streets of Dover, Tennessee know Van from this description?   Banks didn't even tell readers how tall the Kelly brothers were so a guestimate could be made about Donovan's height.   He may have had short hair, but apparently it was colorless.   Did his face have any definition.   Was it ruggedly handsome (because he was described as handsome)?   Did he have a cleft in his chin?   Did he have strong cheekbones?   Did he sport a five o'clock shadow?   Why must Banks leave her readers wondering what the hero and heroine look like?

Because Eve was given as little physical definition as Donovan.   Oh we get that she has those magic golden eyes that knocked Donovan for a loop, and that she is beautiful, has a petite, delicate frame, long lashes and silky hair.   But would you know her if she walked up and said, "hi"?   What color is her hair?   What shape is her face?   Does she have high cheekbones?   Does she have any distinguishing features?   Is there anything notable about her?   Lord only knows, because the reader sure doesn't!

The same can be said for Banks's lack of unique character development for Donovan and Eve.   Yes, Banks managed to insert one little revealing sentence which begins to paint the fun, laid-back personality that she attributes to Donovan, but, beyond that, Banks failed to assign to Donovan any special personality attributes to distinguish him from his brothers.
"I'm the geek in the Kelly family, thank you very much.   The really hot, intelligent geek women are powerless to resist."   (Donovan, page 19)
Banks gives Eve a sad, heart-breaking background (which should have induced tears when she was telling it), but she failed to develop Eve's personality in such a manner that would explain why Eve was so strong and determined to stand up for her mother, brother and sister against her stepfather.   Eve needed to come across as a strong heroine who was willing to fight for her brother and sister, no matter the cost -- so she was!   Apparently no one needs to know how she came to be that way!

Banks spent the next one hundred and sixty-four (or so) yawning pages trotting the Kelly brothers, Steele and Maren (who was treating Eve, Travis, and Cammie), Swanny, and the Kelly brothers' wives through Donovan's home so they could put their stamp of approval on Eve, Travis, and Cammie as the newest members of the Kelly Family.   Donovan continued to rhapsodize about finding his soul mate.   Again, a lot of repetition was necessary to get all those gushy words spouted to make sure there was no doubt that Donovan had found "the one" (just like his brothers had).

And while Eve, Travis, and Cammie are getting hope in their eyes because they have been saved from the clutches of their wealthy, powerful, evil-hearted, totally controlling, pedophile of a father (or stepfather in Eve's case), Walt Breckenridge, Donovan is determined to put Eve in his bed.   It wasn't enough for Banks to take Donovan, the formerly fascinating big, bad, intelligent geeky member of the trio of Kelly brothers who ran KGI, and turn him into an unbelievably mushy man in love after one glance, but now he can't even wait for Eve to come to grips with her situation before hustling her into bed.

Banks, who usually excels when it comes to writing the lovemaking scenes blew it here too.   Rather than stress the sensuality and sexuality of the act, Banks stressed the loving emotional connection between Donovan and Eve (because, heaven forbid, that she deviate from the saccharine sweetness running through the story).   So these scenes were not that hot or spicy.   And in several instances Banks had Eve spouting words that were so totally out of character (for a woman of her inexperience) that it was impossible not to wonder if Banks was having a serious battle with writer's block.
"Donovan, please!" she begged.   "I'm about to crawl out of my skin!   I need you inside me or I'm going to come now."   (Eve, page 269)
"Maya, please!" I begged.   "I'm about to throw up at the ridiculousness of a virginal, over-protected heroine spouting these words on her second sexual experience."

Since Banks has apparently put little effort into making this a suspenseful, action-packed book, it should come as no surprise that she used a well-worn trope to ensure that Eve did something stupid so that she ended up in the hands of her conniving stepfather, so all the big, bad-ass KGI warriors could go to the war room to plan her rescue.   Banks sent Eve into Donovan's home while he was meeting with his brothers and fellow KGI operatives to plan how they were going to save Eve, Travis and Cassie from Walt Breckenridge at just the right moment so she would hear part of the conversation and assume Donovan was throwing her under the bus.   Yep!   You got it!   The big misunderstanding!   That's what Banks came up with to move Eve around the chessboard so she could be taken by Walt.   Yes, it was a roll your eyes, 'I can't believe she did that' moment!

Also, rather than develop excellent, entertaining dialogue between Eve and the Kelly wives (Sophie, Sarah, Shea, and Rachel) which would reveal to readers the personalities that these women possess, Banks barely has time to put all the women in the same room together and give brief details about each of their stories.   Banks concentrates, again, on the Kelly family unity as the wives reiterate to Eve that she has become a member of the best, most honorable and loyal family ever placed on God's green earth.

If there was one really great thing about this book it was the furtherance of the relationship between Sean and Rusty.   There were several entertaining scenes between Sean Cameron, the cop that had been adopted into the Kelly family fold.   In previous books, Banks had made it a point to share the animosity that Rusty had towards Sean, but in this book, Sean disabused Rusty of her belief that he didn't like her by planting a toe-curling kiss on her.   Even in spite of tanking this series, Banks has, nonetheless, created an interest in reading Sean and Rusty's story.   (However, to play the same broken record,   Banks did not tell readers what Sean and Rusty looked like.)

Another thing that Banks did worthwhile in this book was to inspire (even to disgruntled readers) an interest in reading the next books in the series -- simply because we want to know more about the fascinating secondary characters that Banks continues to introduce and how they get to their happily ever after.   Banks inserts just enough detail to inspire interest   as she introduces such totally fascinating secondary characters like {1} [Daryl] "Swanny" Swanson, {2} Skylar "Sky" Watkins, {3} Zane "Edge" Edgerton, and finally, {4} the unknown woman that Sam wants to introduce to Rio because he is short two members on his team.   (We know what happened to Mitch Browning (in Echoes At Dawn), but who is the other member that left Rio's team?   One can only hope that the second man missing from Rio's team is neither Terrence nor Diego.)

But if one has to wade through one more book that takes a big, badass KGI warrior (because, oh yeah, Banks loves to use the word badass to describe all her KGI operatives) and turns him into another messy, sappy puddle of romance-spouting goo, it would be like re-reading this same story.   Banks will just change the names of the characters and insert them into a poorly written, supposedly suspenseful plot line that she borrowed from another source.   (For instance, the next book in the series sounds so much like a duplicate of Cindy Gerard's With No Remorse, that it was impossible not to notice the plotting similarities just from reading the back cover synopsis.   Only Banks is apparently going to include some Beauty and The Beast fairy tale scenery into the mix as well -- because she is featuring our wonderful, but scarred, Swanny with a supermodel.)

Even when Banks was entertaining readers, who want more of that Kelly family time, with appearances of Frank and Marlene Kelly, she failed to feature Marlene in her 'I want everyone to feel loved and wanted' personality.   What happened to Marlene's petting and patting and hugging when Donovan brought Travis and Cammie to his parents house where everyone was gathering?   It feels like Banks is trying to slip too many characters into the story and doesn't take the time to reveal their personalities any more.

To be quite honest, Banks did a much better job of character development on the two important secondary characters featured in this book.   Banks included enough scenes detailing the interaction between members of the Kelly family and Travis Breckenridge and Cammie Breckenridge, that their personalities began to come through the pages of the book.   And even though Banks did not paint a vivid picture of what they looked like, it was easier to imagine what Travis and Cammie might look like, more so than so many other vague characters in this book.

In closing, After The Storm, the eighth book in The Kelly Group International "KGI" Series is an extremely disappointing read.   This book featured: {1} Donovan "Van" Kelly, who should have been featured as a strong, intelligent, skilled warrior, but was reduced to spouting redundant words of mush; {2} Eve [Breckenridge] (for lack of a better last name), a supposedly strong, determined woman who was out to save her half brother and sister from an evil stepfather, was constantly featured with tear-filled eyes; {3} a minimal emotional connection to Donovan and Eve, even though the story did manage to bring forth tears several times; {4} two almost exciting action scenes in this 393-page book; {5} very little suspenseful build-up was included to keep the pages turning; {6} lots of thick syrupy romance between, basically, strangers; {7} a couple of almost spicy love scenes; {8} regular appearances by the entire Kelly family: {a} Sam, {b} Sophie, {c} Charlotte, {d} Garrett, {e} Sarah, {f} Ethan, {g} Rachel, {h} Nathan, {i} Shea, {j} Joe, {k} Rusty, {l} Frank, and {m} Marlene; {9} regular appearances by several KGI operatives: {a} [Jackson] Steele, {b} Dr. Maren [Scofield] Steele, {c} [Daryl] "Swanny" Swanson, {d} Skylar "Sky" Watkins, and {e} Zane "Edge" Edgerton; and {10} the inclusion of several more secondary characters important to the story: {1} Travis Breckenridge, {3} Cammie Breckenridge, {3} Sean Cameron and {4} Walt Breckenridge.   This is it for me.   Maya Banks cannot tempt me into reading 'just one more' book of this series.   There are just too many things wrong with these books.
--Vonda M. Reid (Sunday, February 1, 2015 : 8:45 p.m.)     [364]

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Quotes Taken From Reviews Found On Good Reads That Describe Certain Aspects of This Book

there's no KGI mission, no feel of the teams and the suspense element surrounding whatever they're planning to do.

If you are a fan of KGI, you won't be able to imagine what the author has done to Donovan.   He is a total sap . . .
To hear him go on and on about how he feels and what he wants and their future is creepy.
the way the author portrays the entire family is just very one dimensional in this book.   No family is that perfect.
But for Gods sake, let them keep their balls intact.   She's made all the men seem like total pushovers and the women seem like total angels.

I am blown away at the how fast and intense Donovan fell for a helpless family, and his claim to them was just so far fetched . . . immediate love, "i love you's", and talk of family in just 48 hours . . . just not Kelly brother behavior.   I wanted duress, I wanted a struggle, I wanted danger, I wanted my KGI book to be phenomenal!
--Kelli C for "Cross".

too many cheesy lines after lines of cheesy words between the characters.
the author is sacrificing quality to quantity of book[s] she is writing

the plot [is] boring and the suspense nonexistent.   Every time a woman or kid is in the vicinity, all the hard-ass KGI men's gazes turn soft and they constantly have tears in their eyes.   I like a man who is a softie with his woman but this is overdoing it.

I wanted love to have a chance to bloom, I wanted romance.
--Laura the Highland Hussy.

The writing failed to draw my emotions.   It didn't pull me in to feel what the main characters were feeling or be invested in them.
Hero's obsession with heroine felt flat.   And, most of all, strange.

It didn't really have anything happen and it wasn't very deep.
This was a lame attempt at what used to be a great series

Although it seemed like she was pretty fierce before going on the run, it seemed like life really beat the spunk out of her before we get the chance to spend some time with her character.
Banks continues to write secondary characters that absolutely blow me away.

I have loved Donovan from the very beginning and have been highly anticipating his story . . .   But sadly his story was a huge disappointment.
There wasn't anything special about Eve.   Nothing.

There was a lot of talk and introspection . . .   It seemed like all they did was talk about their feelings.   Even sex scenes were interrupted with in-depth discussions which were repeated afterward.   I guess to make sure no one missed anything while they were in the heat of passion.

Travis was the highlight of the story
--Tammy (Reviews by Tammy & Kim).

the same corny things were repeated over, and over, and over again.   The theme being "the Kelly family can defeat anything if they stand together"

As for the Kelly clan, why has the family turned into a simpering pile of goo?   Yes, the men are besotted with their wives but is it really necessary to go on and on about it ad nauseam.

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 "After The Storm"
Character Description
Donovan "Van" Kelly[Hero] had huge soft spot for women and kids (17) geek in the family (19) pet charities were all about helping disadvantaged children, homeless and hungry children, and the majority of his financial support went to shelters for abused women; co-founded a foundation to give support and financial help to women getting out of abusive relationships; his family didn't know about it (20) a man of action (30) 2 older, 3 younger brothers (31) perfected the laid-back, easy going, laissez-faire attitude (33) well into his 30s (33) when he set his focus on a goal, he never backed down (35) take-charge guy; man of action (43) not a passive guy to any wrongdoing; had brains and brawn; his best talent was his intelligence and his problem solving ability; magic with computers and technology (44) intense green eyes (95) handsome; built solid from the feet up; wasn't overly tall; massive chest; arms bulged with muscles (96) team medic (123) former Marine (124) not as tall as his brothers (151) get-to-the-point, blunt kind of guy (230) short hair (237) thick legs (267) straightforward guy (291)
Eve "Evie" [Breckenridge][Heroine] startling golden-colored eyes (23) early 20s (24) beautiful; scared; haunted; stunning; too thin (29) husky voice (34) beautiful, expressive golden eyes (43) ageless look (63) petite frame; not overly bold, but neither was she too shy to speak her mind (96) long lashes (164) 24-y-o (167) mother married Walt when she was young, didn't have custody; 9-y-o when Travis was born; father left mother when young; lived with mother's sister (170) silky hair (182) delicate features (231) small woman; dainty; her features and bone structure delicate (237)
. . .. . .
[Elizabeth] [Farnsworth] [Bezerra][No Appearance] Rio's 13-y-o daughter (21)
[Eduardo] "Rio" [Bezerra][No Appearance] [Book 5 / Echoes At Dawn] KGI team leader; married; thoroughly domesticated; enjoying fatherhood; taken fewer missions (15) had fallen fast and hard for wife (21)
Cammie [Breckenridge][Major Secondary Character] Eve's younger sister (9) sweet, darling 4-y-o (10) deathly afraid of being separated from Eve and Travis (12) blond curls (38) affectionate; adorable (196)
Travis "Trav" Hanson [Breckenridge][POV] [Major Secondary Character] Eve's brother // Rusty hired him to help in hardware shop because of quiet desperation in his eyes (1) had sadness, hunger, and fear in his eyes; absolutely inept at keeping his emotions from being broadcast all over his face (2) 15-y-o, but looked a lifetime older; taller than most 15-y-o boys; muscled; filled out, not as gangly as so many other boys his age; he'd aged fast; grown-up; was old beyond his years (3) a younger and older sister (4) slight bristle of the first growth of beard on his jaw; far too young to be saddled with so much responsibility (10) had excelled in school; made good grades; was a natural-born athlete; could easily get an academic or athletic scholarship (11) scared shitless; in trouble (19) big kid; tall and muscular, but thin (21) malnourished; thin face; somber expression (22) a good kid; quiet; hard worker (54) earnest (63) nearly 6' (90) brown eyes (118)
Walt Breckenridge[POV] [Secondary Character] Travis and Cammie's father; put the moves on Eve when her mother died; turned his attention on Cammie; filed kidnapping charges and had painted Eve as an emotionally unstable person who needed constant supervision and psychiatric care (10) wealthy; wielded a lot of power and influence; had far-reaching connections that ensured he could get away with murder; he had gotten away with murder (11) a monster (36) Eve's stepfather; the picture of normal, wholesome; wealthy; well-connected; a philanthropist; involved in local politics; nothing to hint at what lay underneath his smooth, polished exterior (37) sadistic, abusive father; not the doting, worried, grieving man he presented to the public (66) had killed Eve's mother (66) what he said went (172) controlling (173) everything he did was carefully orchestrated (174) maniacal control freak; manipulated everyone around him (175) dressed in designer digs; expensive shades; not a hair out of place; looked styled, salon styled; had enough product to take a few layers off the ozone (206) too arrogant; too self-assured (321)
Sean Cameron[Secondary Character] always rubbed Rusty the wrong way; cop (5) had known Rusty 5 years (6) short hair (8) adopted into the Kelly family fold (49) wore Stetson (210) a damn good cop with a caring heart; level head; loyal to his bones (307)
Doc Campbell[No Appearance] let Maren join his practice; makes house calls (62)
[David] "Cole" [Coletrane][No Appearance] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] member of Steele's team; being assigned to watch over wives in Kelly Compound (325)
P.J. [Penelope Jane] [Rutherford] [Coletrane][No Appearance] [Book 6 / Shades of Gray] member of Steele's team; being assigned to watch over wives in Kelly Compound (325)
Zane "Edge" [Edgerton][Secondary Character] formerly an MMA fighter; member of new KGI team (14) a mountain of a man, muscled, tattooed, quiet; when he spoke, others paid attention (323)
Jimmy[No Appearance] works at the pharmacy; nosey (150)
Charlotte "Cece" Kelly[Secondary Character] Donovan's 4-y-o niece (32) Sam and Sophie's daughter (46) happy, normal child without a care in the world (62) confident little girl, secure in the knowledge that she was adored and spoiled beyond reason and that her family would never allow anything bad to happen to her (254)
Ethan Kelly[Rare Appearances] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] [Novella 5.5 / Softly At Sunrise] Donovan's younger brother; had twin sons (21) Rachel's husband (47)
Frank Kelly[Rare Appearances] owned hardware shop; had heart attach few years earlier (1) hired a lawyer so Rusty could legally change her name (2) stubborn as a Missouri mule (5) Donovan's father (14) commanded absolute respect in the family; still the patriarch; his children listened to him, respected him; gravelly voice (48)
Garrett Kelly[Minor Secondary Character] [Book 3 / Hidden Away] Donovan's brother; can be a pain in the ass (18) big man; married to Sarah (46) could read Donovan like a book (60) Donovan's older brother (63) taken on more a managerial role in KGI over the last year (84) could be very intimidating (219) grumpiest and growliest of Kelly boys; a complete softy with those he loved (220)
Ian Kelly[Rare Appearances] one of Ethan and Rachel's twin sons; nearly a year old (48)
Joe Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book x / Title] member of new KGI team (14) gave Rusty self-defense lessons (42) Nathan's twin; early 30s; no interest in settling down (46) lived in Sam, Garrett, Donovan's old house by the lake with Swanny (50) Donovan's youngest brother (83) used to be in the Army (124) had been a cocky kid; took a bullet that had shattered his leg while in the Army (325)
Marlene Kelly[Rare Appearances] took Rusty in (1) a saint; hired a lawyer so Rusty could legally change her name (2)
Mason Kelly[Rare Appearances] one of Ethan and Rachel's twin sons; nearly a year old (48)
Nathan Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 4 / Whispers In The Dark] member of new KGI team (14) closest to Rusty; he'd been more accepting of her from the very start (15) gave Rusty self-defense lessons (42) Joe's twin; early 30s; married Shea when he was 30-y-o (46) horrific imprisonment in Middle East (58) Donovan's youngest brother (83) commanded his voice; matured faster then he should have had to; had been a cocky kid; had been captured and listed as MIA (325)
Rachel Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 1 / The Darkest Hour] [Novella 5.5 / Softly At Sunrise] Ethan's wife; mother of twins; shadows gone from her eyes; happy again (47) a schoolteacher; went on mercy mission in South America; everyone thought she'd died in plane crash; held by drug cartel for a year, hooked on drugs (201) rescued by KGI; lost most of her memory from drugs (202)
Rusty Barnes Kelly[Secondary Character] helped out at Frank's hardware store when home from school (1) will graduate from university in a year; legally changed last name to Kelly; loved and accepted by all the Kellys; big-assed surly, overprotective brothers; swore never to cry again; had broken into the Kelly home looking for something to eat (2) drove jeep (14) responsible young lady; doing well in college; extremely loyal to Frank and Marlene (15) quick mind; tech geek (19) ferocious when set her mind to something (26) turned into a beautiful young lady (41) good head on her shoulders; good heart (42)
Sam Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Donovan's brother; can be a pain in the ass (18) 40-y-o (33) could read Donovan like a book (60) Donovan's older brother (63) taken on more a managerial role in KGI over the last year (84) Donovan's oldest brother (137)
Sarah [Daniels] Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 3 / Hidden Away] Garrett's wife (46) pregnant (51)
Shea [Peterson] Kelly[Secondary Character] [Book 4 / Whispers In The Dark] Nathan's wife; had extraordinary abilities; saved Nathan's life by taking this torture and his pain, making it her own (46) telepathic; shared a mental pathway between Nathan and Joe (47) petite (255) telepath empathy (262)
Sophie [Lundgren] Kelly[Rare Appearances] [Book 2 / No Place To Run] Sam's wife; Charlotte's mother (46) pregnant (50)
__ Mouton[No Appearance] no description of who this was (159)
Kyle Phillips[One Appearance] leading the op to rescue Eve (361) Marine; badass (362) a robot; programmed to do the mission (363)
[Adam] Resnick[One Appearance] Kelly asking him for information on Walt (342) cigarette dangling from his mouth (359) didn't get worked up about much (360)
Dr. Maren Scofield Steele[Secondary Character] [Book 7 / Forged In Steele] Donovan wants her to check on Cammie; took over Doc Campbell's practice; makes house calls; Steele's wife; mother to Olivia (62) blond hair; glasses; hair pulled back in neat ponytail; warm voice (133) brisk, no-nonsense attitude; intelligent; blue eyes; gentle manner (134) used to have a rural practice in Costa Rica (136)
[Jackson] Steele[Secondary Character] [Book 7 / Forged In Steele] KGI team leader; married; thoroughly domesticated; enjoying fatherhood; taken fewer missions (15) had fallen fast and hard for wife; proud new father of a daughter (21) Maren's husband; Olivia's father; "Ice Man" (62) plays by his own rules; very protective of Maren and Olivia (63) control freak (64) tall; fierce looking; screamed badass from head to toe (133)
Olivia [Steele][Rare Appearances] Steele and Maren's daughter (62)
[Daryl] "Swanny" [Swanson][Secondary Character] [Book 9 / When Day Breaks] member of new KGI team (14) adopted into the Kelly family fold (49) lived in Sam, Garrett, Donovan's old house by the lake with Joe (50) jagged scar covered half his face (111) jagged scar puckered entire side of one cheek (116) soft, friendly eyes (120) used to be in the Army (124) quiet man; blended into the background even though he looked like a total bad ass, the scar only added to that appearance (132) good cook (153) when he spoke, others paid attention (323)
Skylar "Sky" [Watkins][Secondary Character] member of new KGI team (14) psychology major (322) bright; cheerful; had a sunny personality; could kick a man's ass even if he were twice her size (323)
{No Name}[No Appearance] someone Sam wanted to recommend to join Rio's team; reclusive; doesn't say a whole lot; can kick ass with the best of them; a crack shot; could take down Garrett in hand-to-hand combat; an expert in explosives; worked bomb squad for NYPD; former Army (362)

Locations, Organizations Found In "After The Storm"
Location / Organization Description
KGIThe Kelly Group International: a super-elite, top secret, family-run business. Qualifications: High intelligent, rock-hard bodied, military background. Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. Government can't. (back cover) kickass organization devoted to helping those in danger (56)
choke-and-puke burgerwhat the Kelly brothers called a really good hamburger with lots of grease and cheese (4)
CamdenWalt left Camden in his Lear jet (341)
Costa Ricawhere Maren used to have a rural practice (136)
Dover, Tennessee{Book Setting} a small, quiet town nestled close to Kentucky Lake (11)
Clarksvillecloser to Dover than Jackson (97) a military base town (98)
Henry CountyTravis hijacked a plane from Henry County, flight plan to Oregon (341)
HossDonovan's baby; the KGI computer (19) mainframe that ran KGI (344)
Jacksonwhere Eve was thinking of going to next (86)
Kelly Compoundhigh security where the Kelly brothers built their homes (32) looked like a combat zone or at the very least a high security military base; a landing strip and a anger house to Jets; helicopter parked on the pad; a firing range; large building with no windows; five houses spread out, all lining the cliffs that overlooked the lake (119)
Memphiswhere Eve planned to pawn mother's jewelry (88)
Mississippiwhere Eve planned for them to go (88)
Portland, Oregonnot far from Wasco, Oregon (341) city with maximum security private holding; where Eve was being held (359)
war roombuilding with no windows; resembled a hulking concrete block; where missions were planned; housed communications, computers, all the technology that plays a part in the business (138)
Wasco, Oregonwhere Walt and Travis were headed; not far from Portland (341)

"After The Storm" Quotations
4her heart ached for him. She knew what it was like to be afraid. To go hungry. To have far too much responsibility for someone so young.   (Rusty)
19"I'm the geek in the Kelly family, thank you very much.   The really hot, intelligent geek women are powerless to resist."   (Donovan)
202"A woman's trust is the most priceless gift she can give to a man.   Her belief in his ability to keep her safe and protect her from all harm."   (Donovan)
203"I'm going to take it slow with you.   But my idea of slow and someone else's is probably very different.   So consider yourself warned.   When I want something, I go after it. And I play to win.   I waited a long time for this -- for you -- and I'm not going to waste a single minute in seeing where this takes us.   I fully intend to have you in my bed -- permanently.   And soon."   (Donovan)
369"you know damn well how the Kellys are a stubborn, tenacious, overbearing lot and once we set our minds to something, come hell or high water, were going to make it happen.   She's family.   She's one of us.   There's no way in hell any of us are giving up on her."   (Joe / The Summation of the Entire Set of Books)
372Love was a multifaceted, painful, joyful, fulfilling and frightening as hell thing.   (Donovan)

"Maya Banks -- After The Storm" 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
----Order of BooksList of Maya Banks' Books
. . . . . . . . .. . .
3.49 average{595 reviews}Amazonas of: February 9, 2015
1.0001-11-2014Amazon // T-Pacexcellent review // spot on about problems with book
3.00 average{232 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: February 9, 2015
Not The Best01-23-2014Book Obsessed--Tasha // brief, valid points
C-01-08-2014Book Pushers--MinnChinn // great review, good take on Eve {gr11}
3.0003-31-2014Christine's Blog--Christine // arc, brief, not much detail review
4.0001-07-2014eBook Obsessed--Lucy Dosch // good review
4.0001-18-2014Fab Fantasy Fiction--Emsy Van Wyck // good review (even though don't agree)
3.82 average{5,477 ratings}Good Readsas of: February 9, 2015
1.0001-08-2014Good Reads // Victoriaspot on review // ball-less KGI men {gr2}
1.0001-19-2015Good Reads // Laurenexcellent points {gr21}
3.0012-15-2013Got Fiction?--Highland Hussy // good review {gr8}
--01-06-2014Heroes and Heartbreakers--Lucy Dosch // brief synopsis, good quotes
2.0010-21-2014KD Did It - Takes On Books--Kathy Davie // excellent points and character summary {gr31}
3.50 average{28 ratings}Library Thingas of: February 10, 2015
3.00 / Heat: 301-22-2014Lit 4 Ladies--Kitty Bennet // nice, simple list
4 / 4 / 301-07-2014Living In A Fictional World3 reviews // --Kim {gr17} / --Rachel {gr18} / --Tammy {gr16}
Article03-10-2012Marilyn's Romance ReviewsMeet Maya // interesting details
5.00 Top Pick--Night Owl Romance--Terri // [qv] gushy, PR sounding // everything is 5.0
--03-08-2014Novels on the Run--Michelle // different review, trying hard not to be negative
3.4 average{49 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: February 9, 2015
--11-25-2013Paranormal Book Club--Lizzie // question validity, too pat, too PR-ish
5.0012-12-2013Reading In Pajamas--Donna // [qv] brief, too pat, PR sounding
A01-08-2014Red Hot Books--Jaimie // ARC, okay review
[3.00]01-13-2014Romance Fan Girl--Chinky Gimenez // great review
1.0001-06-2014Romance Book Reviews & Treats--RomReader // different, discussed impressions on plot {gr9}
3.0001-13-2014Sexy Book Reviews--Micaela // too brief, valid points
3.38 average{16 ratings}Shelfarias of: February 10, 2015
B01-14-2014The Book Reading Gals--Heather // okay, agree about Eve
B+01-20-2014The Good, The Bad and The Unread--Sandy M // well written synopsis, okay review, great closing {gr28}
3.0008-09-2014The Irish Banana--Hannah / brief, but really good review
positive01-05-2014The Reading Café--Vickie M // excellent synopsis, good review
1.0002-04-2014The Window Seat on A Rainy Day--Kelly // great review, valid points
3.0001-10-2014Tracy's Place--Tracy // great, succinct review
--01-02-2014Wicked Little Pixie--Lynda // arc, okay review, good point about Rusty
3.0001-17-2014Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks--Julie // excellent review, great points
2.2502-10-2015Wolf 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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