Review: The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks

The Darkest HourTitleThe Darkest Hour (KGI #1)
Author: Maya Banks
Series: KGI #1
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkely
Pages: 290
Read: March 5-6, 2014

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t…

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 anonymous information 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.

My Thoughts:

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a “Romantic Suspense”. After over a year of gorging myself on hot man on man loving, and only occasionally dipping my toes back into the M/F pool, I didn’t really know how I was going to like this one. I wanted to like it. Everyone seems to really enjoy this series, and after having bought the first two books in the series in hardcopy, I really hoped it wasn’t going to end up being a bust.

Thankfully, it didn’t.

Instead, it reminded me that though I definitely prefer M/M romance, M/F romance is still really good . . . if you find the right story. Even before I ever started reading M/M, I found myself becoming very frustrated with the normal “het” romance. Why? Well, the book would usually fall into two categories:

1. Category numero uno is what I like to call: I’m needy, helpless, whiny, and no one loves me . . . Please love me female protagonist.

  • *Sighs* I’m sorry. I really don’t understand how this even works. Page after page of whiny female, wondering how anyone, how any man, could ever love her even when there’s a man standing right in front of her that does love her is so far from what I want to read for more than 200 pages, especially when, in the long run, they hardly go through any change; I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the woman, having the life that she wants and with the man she wants, doesn’t know how all her dreams came true but she’s just so very thankful that they did. You don’t know how you got your HEA? If you don’t know how you got it, what was the point of me reading it?
2. Category numero dos is what I like to call: I’m a he-man, hear me roar male protagonist.
  • *Rolls eyes* Don’t get me wrong. I like Alpha males as much as any woman (or man) does. The kind of male protagonist that I’m talking about, however, is much more than that . . . And a hell of a lot worst. This kind of guy is the one that acts as though the woman can’t do anything, is far too obsessed with her, and more than just a little jealous. Seriously. Take a chill pill. Just because your girl smiles, and talks, and is genuinely nice to another man doesn’t mean that she’s cheating on you. Or is even thinking about it.

So, as one may imagine, I was really happy when neither Ethan or Rachel fell into those two categories. It gave me hope for M/F.

Ethan and Rachel are by no means perfect, they have their problems, problems that Ethan tries to run away from, but in the end, while they’re not entirely worked out (which I loved because not all problems can be solved by the end of a book), they’re definitely stepping in the right direction that will lead to everything being okay; and you know they will be.

And guys, if you haven’t discovered the Kelly family yet, you need to jump on that ASAP. They’re freaking amazing. Large, loud, and loving, the Kelly’s are an example of one of the things that I love in books: Family. I read a lot of books where the main characters are estranged from their family for whatever reason, or they’re the only one left, or they’ve never had a family. Those books are good. They get to me in a way others books don’t, but books with a good, loving, and supporting family are amongst my favorite kind of books. And the Kelly’s? They’re (badass) good people, as we here in the South like to say.

So, as of right now, it’s safe to say that I didn’t waste my time (or money) reading this book, and I’m looking forward to when I can pick up the second book in the story, which tells Ethan’s older brother’s, Sam, story.

Quotable Quotes:

She laid her head against his collarbone, and he kissed her temple. To her shock, she felt a shudder roll through his body about the same time she registered wetness against her skin. Tears. His tears.
She started to turn around, but he tightened his grip.
“Stay,” he said in a choked voice. “Just let me hold you, baby. Just let me hold you.”

“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.”

“Bastard had the bad manners to die before we were through talking to him.”

My Rating:

1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch

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