Searing action and passion ignite the latest KGI novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Darkest Before Dawn.
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...
As the last unattached member of the Kelly clan, Joe is more than ready to risk life and limb on any mission he’s assigned to, but when it comes to love, he’ll keep his distance. He’s content to watch his brothers become thoroughly domesticated.
Zoe’s had nothing but heartbreak in her life, and she’s determined to start over with a completely new identity, thanks to her college friend, Rusty Kelly. But it’s the gorgeous smile and tender words of Joe Kelly that begin to weaken her resolve to never risk her heart again. And Joe will have to put everything on the line to save Zoe, when secrets of her past resurface—and threaten to tear them apart…
The stalker hero is toned down in the latest story from Maya Banks. While the hero falls instantly and hard, he doesn’t push the heroine into what he wants for the sake of pleasing himself. Zoe wasn’t the strong heroine I wanted, going inside of herself at one point because she felt not good enough. Go in warned.
OK, I have loved the KGI series since the beginning. A family of security experts that are brothers…be still my heart. Each one falling one by one then there was branching to other members of their team. Unfortunately there was a shift in Maya Banks writing that had me taking a break from her recent books. Several books in this series were part of the problem, especially the last few. You see she puts the heroine on a pedestal making her virginal, sweet and very much a doormat to love. Then the hero is over protective, but not necessarily aware they are in love. Almost to a stalkerish level. The one that mostly sticks out in my mind is when the hero was willing to sacrifice the heroine for the greater good and she was fine with it, even giving him her virginity beforehand. See why I needed to take a break?
So I went into Brighter Than the Sun with much caution, ready to close it up and DNF if it ever swerved to martyr status. While I didn’t see a total martyr scenario, I did see the obsessiveness of the hero with the heroine.
“What’s her damage?” he said, crossing his arms over his chest so Rusty would know just how serious he was and that he wasn’t in the mood for her to dodge his questions or pretend to misunderstand.
Joe is the last unattached Kelly. Within moments of meeting Zoe he is captivated by her, but knows right away she is hiding something. Being a Kelly, he can’t avoid searching for what her secrets. He doesn’t want to scare her off, so he goes the whole “let’s be friends.” Picnics, skipping rocks within a short time they are sleeping together with her secrets looming over them.
Zoe, and that’s not her real name, is on the run. A mob boss father has told her how to live her live down to the length of her hair. When she overhears her boyfriend talking about taking down her father through her, she goes on the run fearing for her life. Her only friend is Rusty, adopted daughter of the Kelly clan, and Rusty has learned a lot from her older brothers. Hiding out on Kelly property is the greatest plan.
But you can’t always run from your problems and they always find a way of finding you. Some of the details to the suspense plot were sketchy as you are told how much her life is controlled, but again how did she get involved with someone her father didn’t approve first? Or become friends with someone her father didn’t know about? And if she kept Rusty a secret, just how did the bad guys figure out where they were?
“Say you’ll put me out of my misery and agree to spend the day with me,” he coaxed.
Joe is also the only Kelly not living within the compound which is secured. Yeah, this family is paranoid for good reason and have a very secure compound that they moved the entire family and some team members within.
The romance moves quick and I am not really sure it was much more than lust. That seems to be a common theme these days. The suspense was fast and furious. Left me feeling kind of confused. Silly heroine also has the inner confidence problems and goes into depression hiding away at one point. It was kind of cliche by the end. Very formulaic of other novels in this series.
Other former characters make lots of appearances, especially Shea and Nathan (Nathan is Joe’s twin brother). Shea sees things and can take on the pain from others (yep, all of a sudden there were paranormal elements pushed into the series). Shea has a bond with Joe from when she was trying to save Nathan. She connects easily to Zoe, but also protects her privacy.
While you can read this book without the series, you won’t understand the side story with Rusty and Sean or the connections of Shea, Nathan, Grace and others to the story. And there is a lot of Rusty and Sean’s side story. Overall, this was a better story than the last few, but still I am not a fan of the all consuming lust/love story that seems to have become Bank’s ongoing style. At least there wasn’t a third of the book that was unnecessary, but there was also a lot of time spent in their heads. So if you are a fan of KGI, then it’s worth a read. If you aren’t reading the series, skip it.
I found Joe turning on a Light Switch for my Literary Pickers Challenge.
Need a song to go with the book? Might I suggest….Brighter Than the Sun by Colbie Caillet.
Other books by Maya Banks that you may want to check out!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: