Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Kelly Group International, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Ethan Kelly
Date of Publication: September 7, 2010
Started On: September 10, 2010
Finished On: September 11, 2010
First of all, let me just say WOW! This novel grabbed me and turned me inside out from page 1. I was kind of wary at first to pick up this book because the only time I had read a book by Maya Banks which was Seducing Simon, it kind of fell flat for me. But I am so very glad that I put my reservations aside and went ahead and read the book, because this story is so very very good!
This story promises the start of a great new series by the author. This series centers around the Kelly family, 6 sons of local hardware store owner Frank Kelly and his wife of more than 30 years Marlene Kelly who was now a retired teacher. Sam, Garret, Donovan, Ethan and Nathan and Joe who are twins makes up the Kelly family. One would have thought that with 6 rambunctious sons to raise, Marlene would have enough on her hands. But with her kindhearted nature, Marlene tended to take in strays as her sons affectionately liked to tease her, and mothered them as well, showering them with as much love as if she had born them.
The Kelly Group International is a covert super-elite family run business that takes on missions such as hostage/kidnap victim recovery, intelligence gathering and sometimes gets hired by the US government to handle tough jobs that they cannot handle. Since all 6 of the Kelly men had served in different branches of the military at some point, Nathan and Joe still serving in Afghanistan, Sam, Donovan and Garret were the ones who owned and handled the KGI business.
Ethan Kelly, is ex-Navy SEAL, and drinks himself to oblivion every day and night to escape his memories and pain. Since that fateful day on June 16 a year ago, when he had received word that Rachel had been killed in a crash that had taken the lives of a small group of relief workers flying in from South America, Ethan and his family had been devastated. Rachel had not been just Ethan’s wife. Rather, Rachel had been taken under Marlene’s love and care when her own parents had been killed in a car crash. Rachel who had always been a favorite student of Marlene’s had been like the daughter she never had and her death had affected the Kelly family in more ways than one.
On the 1 year anniversary of his wife’s death, Ethan receives a package that contains evidence that Rachel is very much alive being held captive in a drug cartel camp deep in the jungles of South America. Ethan who had been praying for a second chance and can’t believe it when it does happen, convinces his brothers to help him rescue the woman who bears a remarkable resemblance to his dead wife.
The Kelly’s storm the camp to find Rachel hooked high on drugs and scared out of her mind. The only thing that Rachel does remember and dream about is a man whom she craves to be her knight in shining armor and who she knows will keep her undoubtedly safe. When Ethan rushes into the small hut in which Rachel is kept captive, she knows that the man who she keeps dreaming about has finally come for her.
With all her memories of her past life gone, Rachel is more than scared out of her wits when she is rescued. The only men she seems to remember are Garret and Ethan. On top of that the craving she has for a fix by the needle exhausts her more than anything. Recovery is a slow agonizing process and her return back home is made as stress free as possible by the family that awaits her eagerly.
But as Rachel’s memories slowly return, so does a dream that frightens her beyond anything she had endured. An angry Ethan who looks as if he loathes her and hates her keeps Rachel in constant agitation. Ethan knows that he is living on borrowed time with his wife until her memory fully returns. Ethan had done Rachel wrong in so many ways in their marriage and unless he can get his wife to give him a second chance so that he could prove to her just how much she is worth to him, Ethan knows that life would have no meaning for him if otherwise.
Meanwhile, the threat on Rachel’s life is not completely obliterated. Attempts on her life more than once leave all of the Kelly’s reeling. And the story of greed, corruption and murder of a power hungry politician emerges as the story unfolds which kept the pages turning.
This story has so many facets to it that made it so interesting. I know that all 6 Kelly’s would make delicious heroes if the way Ethan treats Rachel is any standard to uphold. Rusty, the newest stray that Marlene takes in also promises to be an interesting addition to the Kelly brood.
The Darkest Hour has all the essential ingredients in the right amounts that make up a great romantic suspense novel. Mouth watering hot men in combat gear is enough to shoot up any girls temperature right up. Added to the mix more emotion than my heart could handle at times with enough danger to keep the edge on the story made this book an instant winner.
Two more books of this series have already been announced on the author’s website. No Place to Run which would feature Sam’s story to be released this December and Hidden Away which is Garret’s story to be released in 2011 has me on tenterhooks already!
If you want to read romantic suspense that grabs your emotions right from the very start and delivers on all counts, this is a must-read!