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I’m a huge fan of Maya Banks’ work, and I have been ever since her first book. The Darkest Hour did nothing to buck that trend.

Here’s the blurb from Maya’s website:

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 US government can’t…

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

One of the reasons that I love Maya’s heroes so much is because as a reader, I’m never left in any doubt that they would be prepared to die for their heroine. You know that they would literally struggle to function if anything heinous happened to their women. And Ethan, the hero in Darkest Hour is no different.

From the first few pages, I could feel the pain that he was going through. It was the anniversary of his wife’s ‘death’, so the pain for Ethan was keener than usual. I could feel the utter despair of a broken man, and I couldn’t wait for him to learn that Rachel was indeed alive.

This is a quick review, so all the things that I want to say about this book can be condensed into just a few short sentences: Brilliantly written hero, terrific capture and rescue plot device, terrific characters that I’m looking forward to getting to know better in the upcoming books, good quick sharp dialogue, and a fantastic emotional buy-in.
The heroine was a little tame for me, but after her ordeal, it was totally understandable, and she eventually did manage to find some backbone towards the end of the book. Having read the follow-up to Darkest Hour, I know that Rachel wont be typical of the KGI heroines, so those who prefer a little kick-ass with their heroines need not worry.

Overall a fantastic read, and I’m impressed by how much better the author gets with each new book. Maya Banks, I salute you:)

You can buy The Darkest Hour HERE, and read an excerpt HERE.