Series: KGI #1
Published by Berkley on September 7, 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: Self Purchased
The Kelly Group International (KGI): a super elite, top secret, family-run business that handles jobs the US government can't. Qualifications: Military background, high intelligence, and a rock hard body...
It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.
His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he's built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond...until he receives an anonymous phone call claiming Rachel is alive.
To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
The Darkest Hour is the first book in the KGI series and I will be honest I have been putting off this series, and not even sure why. But I have been wanting to explore all of Banks’ works, even though I am still “miffed” over the other issues involving this author, I just love her writing style and she can always draw me into a story when I need a page-turning experience and I didn’t expect to read this before bed and stay up late (thank goodness it was the weekend) reading it because I was so drawn into the story and just wanted more of the experience. And the setup of the story is one of my catnips so I was all for it.
The Darkest Hour features:
- Ethan Kelly-Navy SEAL, Military Trained, Husband and a member of the Kelly Clan
- Rachel Kelly-Orphan, Wife and daughter of the Kelly Clan, held captive for a year and battling drug addiction
The Darkest Hour gets us going with our hero Ethan Kelly. Who has believed for a year that his wife, Rachel, was killed on a rescue aid mission and still is broken over her loss. But when he receives a package containing contents that show proof that she is alive and held captive by a cartel in South America, he is determined to save her no matter what it costs. So with the full force of his KGI brothers, and with all the resources at their fingertips, they implement a rescue mission to rescue Rachel. Rachel, after witnessing a deal, is taken captive and drugged for over a year. And she only has one memory of her husband, of the one man that will come for her no matter what and she never loses that hope. When Ethan and his brothers go in and rescue Rachel, her condition is tormenting for him, but he is determined to see her through. She has lost much of her memory and while back recovering in the states, they begin to regain their marriage and connection. But there are unresolved issues that Ethan and Rachel will need to resolve before they can find their HEA
The Darkest Hour was such a different story than what I actually expected to find. It definitely is a story that will instantly draw you in so quickly and I do “tip the hat” to Maya Banks for being able to do that with each book that I have picked up from her so far. But I will say that another aspect of the story I was really drawn to was that our pairing start out married. There aren’t enough romances that showcase a couple that has already reached that point and see the challenges couples face after reaching their HEA. I loved both of these characters and what compelling love they hold for each other. And as a plus there are NO flashbacks, man I am so grateful for that. Anyone that knows my preferences knows how much I struggle with flashbacks. You don’t really need them in this one, to be honest. Most of the book is focused on them reconnecting and relearning each other.
“Trying to drown me woman?”
‘You can’t drown a SEAL,’ she said. ‘How embarrassing would that be?’
‘God yes. Shoot me, hang me, let me die of infection from a hangnail, but don’t let me die in the water. They’d send me to hell on principle.”
We are also introduced to the Kelly family and now I understand why so many readers are so obsessed over these books and this family. They are such a hoot and so afraid of their mama bear haha so entertaining. I truly admire seeing the mother hen of the family be the heart of it and how everything that happens resolves around her deep love for her family, and she is so fierce. There is such connection and brotherly affections between the brothers and it is quite entertaining to see the way that they come together in this one here. I love the bantering and playful way that they have with each other. And all that alpha testosterone just blends in so well in this one.
“Never be afraid to tell me anything,” he whispered against her hair. “No matter how ashamed you might feel. I’ll never judge you, Rachel. I love you.”
The romance that is the heart of this book was pure gold. I loved seeing these two find their way back to each other. And seeing the unresolved issues come to light and seeing them work through them. I know there is a novella ahead featuring Ethan and Rachel so I am curious to see if they have fully resolved those issues in the future. It really breaks the heart to see what they go through here but what perseverance they have to forge ahead in their relationship and stand for each other no matter what comes their way. The only downside was the ending of the book. At the climax of the story, I would have wanted Ethan to be more involved in defeating the villain than what is shown in the story. But it was still satisfying to see Rachel fight against the villains and seeing the mystery involved fully in why she was taken captive.
Overall I found The Darkest Hour to be such an interesting read that held my attention all the way through, its elements of suspense and humor and riveting emotion that engage your senses in ways you don’t quite expect. This author will take you on a ride of adventure, healing, solid family values, and a humbling romance to get you geared up and yearning for more.