Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My First Review - A Book by Maya Banks

I have been thinking for some time of what book I would like to do my first review for.  There are so many great authors out there that I have enjoyed reading.  One author's series has been holding me spellbound though.  The core characters are a glimpse at the family many would have loved to be born into.  Their close relationships and complete loyalty to each other just touches my heart.  Add into the mix that the men are uber alphas who are total badasses until their woman is around and you have the formula for some humor and fun. Let's face it.  I am a total sucker for a story with an extremely alpha man who only shows his gentler side to his woman.  And heaven help anyone who messes with her!  On the surface, the stories may seem as though alpha man fights for and protects his fragile woman.  Nothing could be further from the truth in this series!  Each woman, has gone through life experiences that have given her a spine of steel when needed.  You do see their vulnerable times, but it is then that you also see the tender side of the men.  It makes a great balance for me.  So, who am I talking about?  The Kelly family introduced to us in the KGI series by Maya Banks!

Recently I began rereading the KGI series.  There are currently 9 books in the series.  Tonight, I finished reading "Whispers in the Dark" which is book 4 in the series.  Of all the stories, this one is the first to bring into the mix a paranormal element in the series.

The story begins with the story's heroine, Shea Peterson, connecting with a stranger who is suffering great pain.  Shea is a telepath and connects with people randomly.  It is in such a way that she hears and connects with the suffering of a man.  When she can no longer silently bear his pain and despair, Shea risks her own life to fully connect with him through her psychic talent.

Nathan Kelly was a captured soldier in Afghanistan.  In a military operation gone wrong, Nathan and several members of his patrol are taken prisoner.  They are separated from each other, tortured methodically, and one by one are being executed.  Nathan has begun to lose hope of rescue or escape.  When he is hitting his lowest point, he hears her voice.  At first, Nathan battles with the thoughts of going insane.  Then, he comes to a level of acceptance of the strange connection.  Through the telepathic bond, Shea is able to absorb the pain of the torture and injuries from Nathan.  She gives him hope and the ability to be free of pain long enough to gather his strength for what is to come.

Shea knows that her time is limited.  Each connection she makes with Nathan weakens her at a time when she is running for her very life.  Her compassion won't allow her to close herself off to this wounded warrior.  So, she finds a way to help him and the last remaining member of his team to escape so that they might be rescued.

Months later, after his return home, Nathan is struggling to make a life at home with his family.  The Kelly family are determined to help but at a loss of how.  Nathan has closed himself off from them as he deals with the aftermath of his time in captivity.  He is also dealing with the loss of his bond to Shea and questions whether she was real or a figment of his imagination.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Nathan hears Shea calling out to him.  Her enemies have caught up to her and now she is the one being held captive and tortured.  Nathan risks everything to find Shea and bring her home.  Along the way, they discover that the bonds which began to be forged between them all those months ago, have built in them a connection that nothing can sever.  But, have they found each other only to be ripped apart from each other when enemies find them again?

The KGI series is first and foremost a story about the Kelly family.  The six Kelly brothers all served in various branches of the military.  After their service ended, the older brothers formed KGI, Kelly Group International.  Along with their teams, KGI goes on missions that others cannot do.  Everything from hostage rescue to going after a criminal.  Deep in the heart of each book though is the bond of the Kelly family.  Frank and Marlene Kelly, the parents, are truly the head of that family.  Their devotion to their family is deep and profound.  Frank is the steady rock that Marlene leans on.  Marlene is no shrinking violet however.  A former school teacher, she is tough as nails in the running of the family, but has a soft heart for her children.  I love her fierceness.  She can dress her grown sons down with a look, yet gently cares for each of her "chicks" as they are called.  Each stray person who she finds becomes an adopted member of the family, one of her chicks, whom she is devoted to.

I love the interaction between the brothers.  They tease and are snarky as all hell with each other, yet you are also shown the total loyalty they feel towards one another.  Each willing to protect and fight for the other.  When Nathan reaches out to his brothers to aid him and Shea, there is no hesitation.  Through her bond with Nathan, Shea has become a part of the Kelly clan.  Her enemies have become theirs and they are about to find out the meaning of the Kelly motto - "No one f**ks with the Kellys."

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