Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10) by Maya Banks

"What is to be my fate, Hancock? You owe me that much." - Honor

Darkest Before Dawn
Series: KGI #10
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Source: publisher for review

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The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they've known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock's true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he's been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She's the only woman who's ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he's spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Before I jump into my review for Darkest Before Dawn, let me start things off by saying that I have not read any of the previous books in the KGI series. I've wanted to many times, but I have an irrational fear of series with more than 5 books. I finally gave into temptation and picked up the newest book in the wildly popular romantic suspense series from Maya Banks. With that said, this review will solely be for Darkest Before Dawn, from a fresh perspective, if you will. Since I do not have any experience with books 1 through 9, I can't comment on how this book fits in with the rest.

Now that I have all that out of my system, I can move onto the important things, especially how much I enjoyed Darkest Before Dawn. I am a lover of all things romantic suspense, but I have to say that it has been a long time since I've read one that was this dark in nature. I was both welcomed back to a genre that I have loved before and got my butt kicked for abandoning it for so long. I don't normally like picking up a book that is already so deep into the series, but I really wanted to give it a go. And honestly, I'm glad I did for two reasons... I enjoyed the hell out of it and I can now cross one book off my bucket list. Yeah! I will say this though... It took me a good couple of days to finish the book.

In Darkest Before Dawn, readers meet Hancock and Honor, two incredibly strong and determined characters. Hancock is the epitome of alpha-male. He would take down any and all enemies singled handed if need be. He's had to face the worse kinds of evil in this world and was forced to make dubious decisions that cost people their lives, both innocent and guilty. With all this blood on his hands, Hancock will tell anyone that his soul is damned and he is the furthest thing from a good man. It takes a strong and kind-hearted Honor to suddenly make him wish things could be different. His heart and his head is torn in half. His heart wants what Honor can offer him, but his head knows that in order to finally bring down evil, he has to go through with a plan that will rip out his heart for good.

Honor was one of the strongest and most courageous heroines that I've read in quite a while. After the initial bombing, Honor is determined to endure the pain inflicted on her and survive. However, she's also willing to risk her life for those in danger. When Hancock and his men swoop in to rescue her, she's a little confused at first. It takes awhile she her to give into their help. In her darkest moments, she reaches out to Hancock for support and warmth. When she learns the truth and all that she has to rely on crumbles around her, it is her strength and courageousness that forces her to face her fear while she secretly wishes for a better outcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed Darkest Before Dawn. This book is mostly descriptive/inner dialog. There is very little dialog between the characters and, to me, that can be both good and bad. There were points where I loved the description of the scene. It felt real and, if I'm honest, a little off-putting. It is "in your face" real. At some points, it made me connect with the characters on a deeper level. There were also points where I fast forwarded a little because, like I said, this one took me a couple days to read. As for the characters, I loved all of them. Except, of course, for the baddies. Honor and Hancock were fabulous. I loved their strength as well as their weaknesses. Mojo and Conrad were just as fantastic as background characters. I would totally pick up the next book if it is Conrad.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darkest Before Dawn and I'm glad I gave it a go. Will I pick up the previous books in the series? I don't know. I may pick one up here and there, but as I said, I have an irrational fear of series larger than 5 books and the sheer number in the KGI series intimidates the hell out of me. I would like to meet some of the people that Hancock talks about so maybe that'll get me reading them. We'll see...

If you've read the KGI series, comment below and let me know what you think. Did you like Darkest Before Dawn? What was your favorite book out of all of the 10 books?

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...

If you want to read the KGI series in order, check out the links below!

The KGI Series in order:

Book #1 - The Darkest Hour
Book #2 - No Place to Run
Book #3 - Hidden Away
Book #5 - Echoes at Dawn
Book #5.5 - Softly at Sunrise
Book #6 - Shades of Gray
Book #7 - Forged in Steele
Book #8 - After the Storm
Book #9 - When Day Breaks
Book #10 - Darkest Before Daw

Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

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