Flashback Friday #6: Shades of Gray (KGI #6)

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Flashback Friday is a meme run by  Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare.

What Counts?

  • Any book  AT LEAST two years old. (We would like them to still be in print somewhere!)
  • Books you’ve read or books that you haven’t had time to read yet!

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Shades of Gray (KGI #6)
by Maya Banks

Publication: December 31st 2012
Publisher:Penguin Group (USA)
Genre:Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military, Paranormal Romance
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Synopsis
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 U.S. government can’t…
P.J. and Cole were sharpshooting rivals on the same KGI team and enjoyed a spirited, uncomplicated camaraderie. Until the night they gave in to their desires and suddenly took their relationship one step further. In the aftermath of their one-night stand, they’re called out on a mission that goes terribly wrong, and P.J. walks away from KGI, resolved not to drag her teammates into the murky shadows she’s poised to delve into.
Six months later, Cole hasn’t given up his search for P.J., and he’s determined to bring her back home where she belongs. Bent on vengeance, P.J. has plunged into a serpentine game of payback that will make her question everything she’s ever believed in. But Cole-and the rest of their team-refuse to let her go it alone. Even if it means sacrificing their loyalty to KGI, and their lives…

Why?


I love suspense books and I really loved the first few books of this series. I would absolutely love to read more of this series!

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Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5) – Review

Book: Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5)

by Maya Banks

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA

Published:July 3rd 2012

Synopsis:

5The 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 U.S. government can’t…

They live by night.

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline—an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister—has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is fast running out…

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He’s unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he’s fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time…hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it’s pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.


My Thoughs

6 star rating

This book deserves a 5+ star review. I loved this book. It was one hell of a roller coaster ride. This book was action packed and full of paranormal romance. This story is totally different to Whispers of Dawn but somehow it’s the same as well. Echoes of Dawn is the first book that does not have one of the Kelly brothers and lead but instead has Rio one of the KGI team leaders as lead. We don’t know a lot about Rio when we start this book but we soon learn more from him. I loved how he did everything in his power to find Grace and he made sure she is safe as best he could.

“Bad things happen to good people all the time. It sucks. It’s not fair but then much of life isn’t fair. It’s how you live that matters. It’s how you deal with the bumps in the road.”

Now when Rio found her in the forest, she was barley alive and she was ready to give up but somehow Rio gave her a little hope.He and his team got her out of the mountains but she had to walk all on her own for a while and she was so strong and fierce trying to get down the mountain. She was hurt and struggling to stay alive but she used all the strength she had to get down. This book is also the first book that gave as a glimpse of Hancock who was someone from Rio’s past. You all will read about him if you read the book.

“I understand that to be strong, your mind has to be strong and focused. It has to heal just like your body had to heal. The mind is a very peculiar thing. Your brain has a way of protecting itself and you from devastation”

What Grace struggled the most with is that she couldn’t get in contact with Shea through telepathy. She felt so empty without it but she also did not want her sister to know what she went through to survive. Rio and his men saw how strong she was and they helped her get her will back to live. Grace meant everything to Rio the moment he saw her; and that is before he met her. Somehow these two people were meant for each other. I love a big, bad-ass guy, who will do anything in his power to protect an innocent…and when he has a heart of gold and a super soft side it’s just all that more appealing. Grace had been through so much horrible stuff and my heart just broke for her so many times throughout the book. And after you get a little more of Rio’s back story you heart breaks just a little bit for him too. And you KNOW that they can’t loose each other!

“A woman who’s survived all you’ve survived doesn’t cry. She holds her head up and dares the world around her to fuck with her.”

This book had a lot of suspense. We went back to Rio’s home in Belize for a while. This book had a HEA which I loved so much and it was so sweet. I loved what Rio did for little Elizabeth. It broke my heart when I read about her but everything worked out for her. Everything worked out for Grace as well, she is now officially with the man she loves and she can see her sister when ever she wants to and she healed in the end. This book is a must read. It can be read as a stand alone but I recommend you read the first books of the series because you will understand the Kelly family more!

“You have five minutes or I decorate the tarmac with my brains.”


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Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4)

Book:Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4)

by Maya Banks

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:

4She came to him when he needed her the most

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She’s the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he’ll never return to his family. With her help, he’s able to escape. But he isn’t truly free, because now she’s disappeared and he’s left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he’d once needed hers?

Now he rushes to save her before it’s too late

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who’d already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn’t have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He’ll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.


My Thoughts

5-Star-RatingThis book was one hell off a ride! I love every moment of the book. This book had some paranormal in but some would say there was to little and some would say to much. For me it was perfect because this series isn’t a paranormal series, so it was strange to start this book when suddenly there was this girl with paranormal powers. Maya Banks made it work though.  This book was action packed from the start and the whole book was a roller coaster of twist and turns!

You aren’t alone. I’m here.

You mustn’t give up. I’m with you. I won’t leave you.

Loved the whole idea of the mental telepathy connecting Nathan and the brave, running-for-her-life heroine of this book, Shea. [Even though Shea was terrified to let people know what she can do, she still went and connected with Nathan.] The book started off with Nathan being held captive and he was so close to giving up hope and praying for death when suddenly Shea was there telepathically. What she did there for Nathan cemented my feeling for her and I instantly loved her.  She took his pain away and gave him hope and when the men tortured him she took his pain. That means she felt everything they did to him and he felt nothing. Off course taking away the pain was only temporary but it gave him enough strength to fight and get away with one of his team mates [the only one who was still alive] Even though Shea was on the run she still made sure she could help Nathan get back to his family (she didn’t care that it weakened her, she needed to help him.)

 “He inhaled her scent, uncaring of the blood and dirt and grime that permeated her hair and clothing. He was holding her. Finally holding her.
“You’re real. You’re real.”
She pulled away, looked up at him, the same answering emotion shining in her blue eyes. With a groan, he lowered his mouth to hers. He couldn’t hold back. Nothing in the world would have kept him from kissing her in that moment.
He was overcome.”

She broke the connection when she new he was safe but they were soul mates in a way and she knew she needed him. When she was in danger and could not run anymore; she got opened that connection again and he dropped everything to come and help her. She was HIS before they met face to face. I enjoyed the instant connection that Shea and Nathan had. The opening chapters where Nathan was held prisoner while Shea tried to help him were a little difficult to read (broke my heart a little with what they both went through) but hard to break away from. You’ll want to see Shea and Nathan meet in person, you’ll want to see if there will be the same connection when they physically meet, and you’ll root, root, root for them to have a future together. I loved that Nathan’s brother came together to help them and protect them from what ever harm they where in. I really love the connection Shea had with Nathan’s twin brother Joe and Swanny [the teammate held captive with Nathan] I also enjoyed how the book came full circle, with the highly suspenseful final chapters dealing with Nathan (and his family) helping Shea past some stuff very similar to what Nathan went through. Very gripping and hard to read.

“Oh hell. A warm, lush, naked woman coming on to him? Nothing in the military had prepared him for an onslaught like this. The never-surrender thing went right out the window, and he started waving the white flag like a dog wagging his tail.”

The sex scenes was HOT, very sensuous and loving! You knew instantly that the connection between them was not Lust but actually L-O-V-E! I loved that the brothers promised Shea that they will get Grace back to her; because she is worried for her sister. Rio ultimately vowed to Shea that he will get Grace back.  Any complaints? Well, Maya Banks is still rather stingy on her descriptions, outside of the basics. We know Nathan has dark hair and dark eyes, and is rather lean (after his captivity). I don’t have a real fix on his age or any other physical characteristics. Same with Shea. We know she’s blonde, petite, and blue-eyed. Not sure.:(  I love all the Kelly brothers and I cannot wait to read Donovan’s book, love reading about them and the whole family dynamic, and I’m getting interested in the supporting characters too (P.J., Cole, Rio, Steele and now Swanny–hope he gets a book!) Maya Banks did not disappoint with this one!

“It’s the same as if I just handed you a knife and offered you my balls, for God’s sake. And I don’t even give a fuck. Because I have no pride when it comes to you. There is nothing I wouldn’t do or say to make you understand that I love you. I fucking love you. There, I said it. Do you believe me now?” He sounded so pissed off and angry that the admission had been torn from him that she had to battle the smile forming on her lips.”


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Hidden Away (KGI #3) – Review

Book:Hidden Away (KGI #3)

by Maya Banks

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military

Synopsis:

3A man who shoots first and asks questions later…

Most people would take an all-expenses-paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who’s in hiding after witnessing a murder by Marcus Lattimer, her half-brother—and a personal enemy of KGI. This gig may be beneath a disciplined soldier like Garrett, but if he gets a shot at Lattimer, it will all be worth it…

…and the ultimate moving target.

But Garrett hadn’t counted on falling for Sarah. He’d considered seduction as a tactical maneuver, but when he glimpses Sarah’s dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe—even after she disappears on him. Garrett doesn’t know exactly who, or what, Sarah’s running from, but whatever it is, she’s running for her life…

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.


My Thoughts

3 star review

This book was enjoyable, that’s all I can say. I mean I wish I loved this book but again this book was missing the magic. This book did not have a lot of suspense. This book was more about Garret and Sarah’ s relationship and how he got to her to trust him. The fact that he had to use her to get to her brother, I didn’t like that at all. Yeah I know the brother was one of the most wanted in the CIA but really using family against each other is the worst possible way to go.

“I’m getting the impression that women, in any form, scare you.”
He shrugged. “They’re the more violent species. And unpredictable. I’d rather take on a wild boar. You can’t shoot women.”

I loved Garrett though. This book showed us that he isn’t always so uptight. This book also showed us how sweet Garrett can be. Now the sex only came later in this book but obviously that is understandable with Sara’s past and all. I mean this girl had a very big traumatic event happen to her and she needed to learn to trust again.   I loved Garrett. I loved the part on the paradise island. Big swoon when he brought her a basket with books (!), chocolate and whine. The ending was beautiful although a bit naive. I didn’t feel a lifelong love at that point.

“Now wasn’t the time for emotional outbursts, but when they were safe–and they would be because she believed him without reservation–then she’d tell him what she thought about the man he was. The man she wanted.

And if he walked away, she’d never have any regrets. Love was a gift, but it was up to the recipient to accept and cherish or to reject the offering. All she could do was give unreservedly. And for the first time since her assault, she realized that she could give something she’d never thought to give again. Her trust and her love.”

There are two facts about this book that I din’t like:

  1. The fact that Garrett lied to Sarah for almost the whole book. We have a heroine with serious trust issues, and then he lies to her? Fine, I get that he can’t say “Oh, I’ve been sent from the CIA to arrest your brother, who you love very much.” But still, I think he could have handled it a lot better. [And I would have liked some more grovelling, now she basically forgives him in a second.]
  2. There was basically bailey any suspense, I needed more action!

“When would he learn that women never stayed where you put them?”

The best thing about this book was the Rusty subplot. Big yay for everyone standing up for her! And finally the brothers acknowledged her. I also have a soft spot for Rio ❤ and we got to see a lot of him. This wasn’t the best in this series, but it wasn’t bad enough to put me off it either

“He drew away and stared down at her, stroking her cheek. “I hope to hell this isn’t one of those situations where you go a little crazy because we’re in a bad situation and you don’t think we’re going to get out so you do stuff you’d never dream of otherwise. 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.”


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No Place to Run (KGI #2) Review

Book: No Place to Run (KGI #2)

by Maya Banks

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military

Synopsis:

2Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercoverand then she vanished. She’s spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam’s child. Now she’s resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he’s the one in danger.

Now he’s her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.


My Thoughts 

5-Star-Rating

Firstly I can is that I absolutely loved this book! This book had more raw emotion and suspense and the sex scenes was HOT. The book started off good with hot sex. This book was a great read with a lot more action than the first book. This book held my attention better than the first one. Normally when I start a series I love the first book of the series and find the rest of the series less to my liking but looks like this series does the total opposite for me.

“I know this woman.”
“Who the hell is she?”
He stared both his brothers down. “She’s mine.”

While undercover with the KGI group in Mexico, Sam has a fling with a blond,  beautiful waitress Sophie Lundgren. Circumstances makes them reluctantly depart but little did Sam know that he will be finding her floating in a lake near his house. Five months late and the kicker to that is that she is pregnant with his child. She went there for his safety, she needed it, because her family was going after her and her baby’s life.  Instinctively Sam wants to protect her, but he needs to know what he’s up against. Will Sophie trust him enough to reveal all about her troubled past? Can the spark that’s still there between them develop into something long lasting? And will Sophie’s connection to some very dangerous men bring trouble to not only Sam, but his extended family?

“Oh no. Hell no. I’m not asking Ma for one of her bras. That’s just…wrong.”… “Your woman. You do it.”…” You go. We’ll pay for your therapy later.”

Sam’s family was in danger because of what Sophie did, but Sophie did the unthinkable to protect Sam’s mother. (YOU NEED TO READ THE BOOK TO UNDERSTAND!) I myself love Marlene. She one amazing mother and Sophie need’s a mother like Marlene in her life. Sophie had one of the worst farther’s in history and if I had a farther like Sophie then I would have needed years full of therapy!  Good thing she’s got Mama bear Marlene Kelly to offer her some mothering… This series is getting better with each book and I cannot wait to read about grumpy old Garrett. Does this story have a HEA? Hell yes! I was smiling at the end of the book.

“I love you, Sophie. I can’t tell you at what moment I fell in love with you. Maybe it was the first time I looked across the bar in Mexico and there you were. Maybe it was the first time we made love. Or maybe it was watching you fight for our child. And then for my mother. It doesn’t matter. I love you . That’s it. That’s all. I hope to hell it’s enough.” Her heart squeezed. She’d always tried to imagine what it would be like to here those words. To know that she was loved. Nothing had come close. There was so much joy. It hurt. It shouldn’t hurt, but she felt too small for her skin, like she’d burst right out of it.


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The Darkest Hour (KGI #1) Review

Book: The Darkest Hour (KGI #1)

by Maya Banks

Genre:Romantic Suspense, Contempary Romance, Adult Fiction, Military

Synopisis:

  • The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.
    1
    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.

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

MY THOUGHTS:

4 star review

This book was a really enjoyable read. It was angsty and suspenceful. There was times that I was sitting on the edge of my seat. This book is about a guy named Ethan who lost his wife a year ago but on the annivesary of her death he got a envelope full of information. In that evelope was pictures of Rachel his wife. She was alive and he wanted her back so he went to his brothers who owns a company called KGI. His brothers wanted him to work at KGI for a while but he was never up for it. Ethan became a shell of a man after her thought that Rachel was dead, but the moment he saw that it might not be true, he started having hope and started fighting for her safety again.

“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.”

Later on he found out that even though he has her back, her life is still in danger. She cant remember a lot about her life but she is slowly getting her memories back. I really liked this book but for me the book was missing something. The susoence in this book was alright but I would have liked a little more suspence. What I do know is that something like that can happen to anyone in real life and the way they made it stop was the right way to go. One thing I can complain about is how the book ended. The ending just did not feel like an ending for me, the ending needed something more. The author is a good writer becaeuse I loved that this book kept my attention most of the time. I never thought this book to be boring but it would have been nice of there was more suspence. I liked the emotion in this book and that you dont get your ,memories back with a wave of a wand.

“Is there something wrong?” he asked.
She gave a short negative motion with her head. And then words, so sweet, like a cool northern breeze blowing off the lake. “You could hold me now.”
It was almost his undoing.
“Ah baby.”

I would say that you should read this book because I know I’m goin to read the rest of the series. Maybe in the rest of the series I will find the books more suspenceful. I especially want to read more about Rusty.


“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.”

Books that I’m Currently Reading

Book:The Darkest Hour (KGI #1)

by Maya Banks

SYNOPSIS:

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.
1
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.

Maya BanksAbout the author : Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

“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.”

Book: Rule (Marked Men #1)

by Jay Crownover

Synopsis:

2Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight–A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want–and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

About the author:

Jay Crownover I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….
Jay Crownover

“Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it. I don’t know enough about love to know for sure that’s what this between us is, but I know that for me it’s you and only you from here on out and I can only promise to be careful and not push you away again. Life without you in it is doable, but if I have a choice I want to do it with you by my side and I’m telling you I’m not running away from the work it takes to make that happen. Shaw I’m not scared of us anymore.”