Series: KGI #8
Published by berkley on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemp Romance, Contemporary RS, Rom-Suspense, Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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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?
Over the years, Donovan Kelly has fought relentlessly for justice, women and children always holding a special place in his heart. Working side by side with his brothers, Donovan has witnessed firsthand the toll it’s taken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—on his loved ones, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire. What he never expects is for his next mission to happen right on his home turf—or for it to take a very personal turn.
Picturesque Kentucky Lake is the perfect place for a soul in search of safe harbor. A beautiful stranger has arrived—desperate, breathless, and on the run from a dark past closing in on her and the younger siblings she has vowed to protect. Donovan must now draw on every resource at his disposal—if he wants to save a woman and the children who may prove to be his destiny.
I love insta-lust/love-at-first-sight plots, and we all know I love a good alpha hero, I even dig on those less-popular alphahole heroes. But this book’s hero rubbed me the wrong way. Actually a few things about this book bugged me. The first thing that bothered me is that the whole first few chapters are told from the perspective of Rusty, not the heroine. I know she’s a part of the Kelly family, and for KGI fans, this may not bother you the way it did me, but I was incredibly confused when I realized the hero was her brother (not by blood, but she was adopted into the family). It took me a few minutes to realize that she wasn’t his heroine (THANK GOODNESS!). Oh and the blurb doesn’t mention the heroine’s name, so it’s an easy mistake to make!
But it was confusing to say the least.
Moving on, because that really wasn’t a big deal, it just bugged me. The hero Donovan goes with his sister Rusty to check up on a kid who she hired at their dad’s store. They know he’s got a lot on his plate taking care of his 2 sisters, they can tell he’s in trouble and they know he won’t talk about what’s going on. When Donovan sees this kid’s broken down trailer and how they’re living, he’s furious. But when he looks into the eyes of Travis’ big sister Eve, he knows she’s the one. She’s it for him. And he’ll do anything he can to have her.
That’s actually not bad for me, as I said, I like love-at-first-sight plots. What I didn’t like was how he instantly was talking family. He was ready to move Eve and her little sister and brother in and adopt them. Every other word in the story was “his family.” I think if this had been any other author, Donovan would have been a hard sell for me. I mean he’s the nice guy, the good guy, and he was pushing Eve instantly.
A thunderstorm swept through their area and a tornado demolished the trailer they were staying in, so Donovan instantly brought them to live with him. Okay, I can handle that too, I’ve read and loved far less believable fated mate stories before. But…as a reader, I have a hard time believing she fell in love with him. She really just seemed super grateful, and sleeping with him so quickly, especially after everything she’d been through really ruined the book for me. I wanted love to have a chance to bloom, I wanted romance. This is why it was so easy to believe the worst when Eve overhears Donovan say something to his brothers and friends.
If I could have him be less pushy about moving her in and marking her as his (through sex of course), I really think this book could have been a favorite of mine. The actual plot was good, the ending was tense, and I like the whole concept. But there was very little suspense in this book, which is part of a well-known romantic suspense series, and Donovan just really pushed Eve, even knowing what she’d been through.
The good parts though, come in the form of the plot, the side characters, and Eve’s brother and sister. I like the KGI series (I haven’ tread all of them, just 1 or 2), and I know I will still read them, and many other books by Ms. Banks, but this book really just…confused me. I mean, I honestly can’t rate it a 2 star because I was glued to the pages, but I can’t rate it a 4 or 5 because of Donovan. But the writing was good, and the storyline was good. I think I’ll give it a 3 because I did like the plot and I refuse to let one character ruin an otherwise good book!
***ARC provided by Berkley