After The Storm by Maya Banks (KGI #8)

After The Storm by Maya BanksAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki 

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.

Sigh. I’m not entirely sure where to start this review. This book was odd. From start to finish this did NOT feel like the KGI books I know and love. Even when Banks jumped the shark and threw in those paranormal aspects out of the blue a few books back did I feel this disjointed from a book. I’m not sure what happened here but After The Storm did not live up to the standards the previous books had set.

The first 50% of this book went slowly but fine I suppose. We were introduced to the Eve and her brother (Travis) and sister (Cammie) and their plight of being on the run from their stepfather/father. He’s a horrible person who had beaten and killed their mother and then tried to put the moves on 4 yr old Cammie. Gross. So they ran. Obviously that made them extremely distrusting and when they settled in the little southern town they intended to make a few bucks and move on quickly. Little Cammie became sick so Travis took a job at the local hardware store that happened to by owned by Frank and was currently being run by Rusty who was home from college on leave. So yeah….Banks goes to great strides to set up the book. She sets it up so much that at 50% in not much had happened.

Donovan, who has been secretly wanting to settle down after seeing all his brothers (except Joe) do so, sees Eve and…that’s it. He’s in love. Um ok. Fine, I can get down with love at first sight I suppose. It works in a lot of other books. Eve isn’t really having it though. Until a tornado suddenly (no really, this was out of the blue) rips through their haggard trailer and they all get thrown around and she has no choice but to accept Donovan’s help. Banks describes Eve as being pretty severely banged up…and yet the next night her and Donovan have some pretty tame sex….but sex nonetheless.

Now, at this point Donovan just gets downright borderline creepy. He’s professing his love, telling the kids to call him Dad…it was….uggg not cool. If I was Eve I would have run screaming from him in the other direction because he was most definitely acting stalkerific. Yet she of course is totally in love with him too. The same woman who didn’t trust him at all like two days before. But she gives him her V-card and all of a sudden she can’t live without him. They are gonna get married, Donovan will fight her battles for her and BOOM, everything will be fixed.

For real people…Donovan says some pretty cheesy shit in the last half of this book. And it’s repeated over and over and over. Of course Eve overhears something out of context, takes it the wrong way and then ABANDONS HER SIBLINGS (the same siblings who she’s professed undying love for) and takes off….right into the waiting arms of her sick stepfather. Now I get that she thought her siblings would be better off with Donovan….but…yeah, abandons them and leaves. No. And while I enjoy a sensitive hero, Donovan just didn’t work for me. It was too over the top. The entire book felt incredibly forced.

The climax was pretty meh even for other books in this genre and not just this series. There was a ton of lead up but then it didn’t live up to the hype Banks had tried to convey the entire book. In fact it kinda felt a bit recycled from Nathan and Shea’s book. There just wasn’t enough action in this one. For it being the longest book to date for this series I just felt it was lacking in pretty much all departments.

I did enjoy Rusty and Sean…oooooooh boy I can’t wait for them to get a story. The sexual tension is definitely heating up as Rusty gets older and matures. Sean has always been so hard on her and now that Rusty is fighting back…wow. CAN’T WAIT. I also enjoyed catching up with the rest of the Kelly’s and seeing how each family is progressing with time.

No matter my thoughts on After This Storm, I will be back like the faithful reader of Maya Banks that I am. Swanny gets his book next and I have been eagerly anticipating his book since he first stepped on the page in book four. I can only hope that Banks brings it and didn’t feel rushed or pressured writing that one as she says she was while writing this one. Every long running series has that book that I wish the author hadn’t wrote….

I give After The Storm by Maya Banks 2.75 stars

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