4 star

The Darkest Hour

KGI, Book #1

By Maya Banks

ISBN# 9780425227947

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

the-darkest-hour-kgi-maya-banksEthan Kelly quit living a year ago when his wife died in a tragic accident in South America.  He’s spent the year morning her death and his family is worried about him as he’s closed himself off from everyone.  But he just can’t stand the guilt he feels over the way he treated Rachel before she left on her mission trip.  He had plans to beg for her forgiveness and make things right when she returned, but she died before he had a chance.

It’s the day that Ethan has dreaded all year, June 16th, the anniversary of the day his life came crashing down around him.  The day his Rachel died.  But then a package arrives that changes his life forever.  A package claiming that Rachel is alive and that she’s been held hostage for the past year by a drug cartel in Columbia.  The package included everything he’d need to find her including map coordinates, schedules from everything from guard change to drug drops, and pictures of his Rachel.  Ethan doesn’t know if it’s real or someone’s sick joke, but he has to find out.  He goes to his brothers that run KGI that deals in just these sorts of missions.

Ethan’s brothers are skeptical that this is really Rachel and that she’s alive, but they can’t ignore the girl in the photos resemblance to Rachel.  They quickly mount a rescue mission, going in sooner than they’d like when things get unusually quiet at the camp where Rachel is being held.  They go in and discover the woman is in fact Rachel, but they barely get out of there alive.  But they do get out and Ethan has a second chance to make things right, he won’t squander it!  Rachel can’t remember their past and Ethan can’t bring himself to tell her the trouble their marriage had been in when she left.  When the memories return, will he lose her forever?

But Ethan has even more to worry about when whoever wanted Rachel dead realizes she’s alive and wants to rectify the situation.

I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical about this book after reading the synopsis … military men and a race through the jungle for a rescue mission … it’s not exactly my usual cup of tea.  But I have to admit that I really enjoyed the book and I’m glad I was able to read it.  I didn’t expect the emotions that bled through the pages that had me tearing up on several occasions.  I love emotional reads.

I really liked Ethan, our tortured hero.  Plagued by the guilt of how he treated his wife in the past, and I have to say he deserved to feel that guilt and in his shoes, I don’t know if I would have been able to bring up how he treated Rachel in the past, when she didn’t remember it either.

And, of course I adored Ethan’s family!  His parents were so sweet and loving.  His brothers were the teasing jokesters you’d expect, but with a fierce loyalty and protective streak a mile wide.

“If I interrupted violence, by all means I’ll step back. Always nice to see bloodshed first thing in the a.m.”

I was a bit surprised that it was always Ethan’s brothers or even Sean that seemed to rescue Rachel though (when she’s not rescuing herself that is) and that Banks didn’t give Ethan a more active role in that regard.  I can’t wait to get to know his brothers more in the subsequent novels in the series.