The Kelly Group International (KGI) is a family run business of élite, gun-toting ex-military men (and one woman). Loyal to the United States, they have all served in some part of the military, but now are home doing jobs to help protect their country. Made up of four out of six brothers (the youngest two, twins, are still in the army), every job is important
The first installment in the KGI series begins with the married couple, Ethan and Rachel Kelley. The book opens with the anniversary of Rachel’s death in a plane crash on a relief mission to South America. Riddled with grief over her lose, Ethan has retreated into himself. While still involved with his family, he wants more than anything to go back and prevent Rachel from going, but to also take back the last harsh words he said to her before her death.
Now a year later, Ethan receives a package in the mail with information on a kidnapped victim. A victim that looks exactly like Rachel. A spark of hope ignites in Ethan that cannot be tapped down. Engaging his brothers, Sam, Garret and Donovan into helping him rescue Rachel. Even if she is not Rachel, they can’t leave a woman down there in those conditions, so a rescue mission is launched and kept quiet.
Rachel has been a prisoner for a year. A year-long Hell on earth. So abused and forced to use drugs, she barely knows her own name and a vision of a man who she knows is her knight. She has no other memories, just an insane need for another hit to stop the withdraw symptoms. When two men show up at the hut she is in, she is instantly scared it means her death, but she glimpses the man of her dreams and tries to trust him to get her to safety.
Most of the book from this point on is about Rachel’s recovery. Regaining her memories, learning to live again. She is an incredibly strong character that you cheer for throughout the book. Her memories are recovered a little at a time as she falls in love with Ethan once again. The strength she exhibits throughout the book is phenomenal. When a threat is re-introduced into her life, everyone thinks she is crazy, but she keeps her head on her shoulders and uses everything inside of herself to survive.
Ethan was a little harder to pin down. He isn’t a bad guy, just a guy who lost himself and forgot what he had right in front of him. He says some bad things to Rachel before she is thought to be dead and really has a plan to redeem himself before she is reported dead. He spends the next year beating himself up over it for never really having a chance to redeem himself and tell how he truly feels. No one in the family knows their marriage was in trouble, so none of his brothers can understand his total devastation at her loss even though they loved her like a sister too. Ethan feels this is his second chance, but he is also scared she will remember what happened.
Please note this is a love story and not the erotica novel you have become familiar with from Maya Banks. There are some love scenes but they are tame and tender. Bittersweet love that you are cheering for over and over as the story progresses.
The supporting characters in this book make me want to continue this series! There are 6 hot hunky brothers in the Kelly family! Sam the oldest, Garrett, Donovan, Ethan, Nathan and Joe all make up the sons of Marlene and Frank Kelly. But Maya Banks didn’t stop there! Marlene likes to take in “strays” so there is Sean the local Sheriff’s Deputy and Rusty, a young teenage girl Marlene takes under her wing in this book. Then there is the KGI teams…Rio, Steele, PJ (lone female), Dolphin, Cole, and many more members of these teams. There seems to be and endless supply of characters for future books!
I had never really thought about this series until I won the latest book in the series (#4) and didn’t want to start in the middle of the series. So I back tracked to this book and bought it without even reading the synopsis. So when I started the story I had no idea what it was about or the series. In a way that was best, because I am not sure I would have read this book. I would have missed a really good book that I am happy to have read now.