After the Storm by Maya Banks is the eighth installment in the KGI series and once again I was disappointed with a book in a series I have adored. Donovan Kelly has been one of the Kelly brothers I have so looked forward to seeing find his woman. He’s known as the one who adores women and children, but especially children. He’s the geeky alpha that make me want to jump into the book for. I really blamed him for a mission gone poorly in Shades of Gray as there were big parts of that mission that could have prevented what happened. I wanted to put that all behind me and give him a strong woman who would compliment him. This wasn’t the story I expected.
Eve is a woman on the run from her stepfather while she tries to protect her two younger siblings. When their car breaks down and they are low on cash, they make residence in a trailer that should be condemned. Throw in her four year old sister has a fever.
Travis ventures into town to find a job that pays cash and runs into Rusty Kelly who knows right away something is wrong. When she goes to investigate, Donovan goes with her and immediately falls for Eve. Not wanting to run her off, he tries to go slow by taking them groceries, but Eve knows they have drawn too much attention and makes a run for it.
Making a run goes really bad and Eve and her siblings end up in Donovan’s house recuperating from their injuries while the stepfather gets closer to finding them. Now here is where the story really goes down hill for me. Van is so happy to have a ready made family. He considers Eve his woman and her siblings his kids almost right off the bat. He wants to brand her as his and the two make love to each other in less than 4 days of meeting each other. Wow! Eve is so distrusting of him from the onset and then she is sleeping with him and falling in love.
I just lost all respect for Donovan. I felt he pressured her way to early into having sex. Then expecting her to trust him when he takes over dealing with her stepdad. It all goes to Hell. And really, I didn’t have any sympathy for Van. I just wanted Eve out of there and in fact I wanted her away from Van. While he worshipped her, it was like he handed in his man card over and over in this story.
While the author wanted to portray Eve as strong, I just didn’t buy it totally. I figured a woman who takes her siblings and runs has to be strong. But damn it, there is a scene where she should have stood up to Donovan and asked for an explanation. Find a back bone, not run when the first sign of trouble exists between the two. I am sure if she had though, there might not have been much of a story left to write. So while she was strong, she also was pretty weak in facing her fears of being used.
Now the Kelly Group has made a lot of enemies. The compound they have built is starting to feel creepy instead of a necessity. I dislike how the Kelly family has forced the matriarch and patriarch to basically give up the home they built to move onto the compound because their sons all took on a very dangerous career.
The action was non-existent for the most part. The one mission they weren’t even involved in. So no adrenaline rush.
The one redeeming quality is Rusty and Sean. I have seen this one coming for books upon books even if they weren’t in them. I want these two to get together…enemies … nah … lovers … not yet. These two have some brawls coming and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
So now I have to decide if I want to go back and read Steele’s story to stay up to date. Also I need to decide if I want to stick around for Swanny’s story. These are all characters I am invested in and want to see happy. I am just not sure after some disappointing story lines, what I really want to do.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book, nor the characters. Disappointment doesn’t begin to express how I feel. I wanted so much more for Donovan.
What do you do when the hero you have wanted a story for just falls flat of your expectations?
Do you forgive him and move on?