Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks (KGI #10)

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya BanksAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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.”

I should start out be saying I recently came back to this series after quite a break. I haven’t skipped any of the books, but I waited a year to read the last one after it came out because I was so upset after book eight that I just walked away for a while. When I finally got around to reading book eight I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I would take what I could get.

Darkest Before Dawn is Hancock’s story. If you’ve been with this series for a while you’ll know Hancock seems to show up in the unlikeliest of places and he’s usually a huge asshole. You’re never sure what his goals are or what side he’s playing on. I wish I could say that while reading his story you know from the beginning that things are not what they seem. Yet. Sigh. For much of the book I wasn’t convinced he was anything other than how he’s been portrayed in prior books.

Hancock is the team leader of an elite mercenary group that was made by the US gov’t and then betrayed by their own makers and branded traitors. Now he and his team live in a gray area and work outside the system to take down the worst of the worst. In an effort to take down a lynchpin boss who is responsible for crimes against thousands of people Hancock searches for one lone American woman who survived a terrorist bombing to use as bait to draw out those who he seeks.

Honor is one of the best heroines I’ve ever read. She’s courageous, selfless and her strength of character is unrivaled. In the beginning she believes Hancock and his team are her saviors meant to bring her home, but when their betrayal is revealed she resigns herself to her fate with as much dignity as one could muster.

Yes, for much of the book Hancock is planning to turn Honor over to the man he seeks and seal her fate of certain death in the most torturous of ways. I mean, how does a reader get on board with a hero who is planning on letting a woman who had already been through so much, be tortured and killed all for the “greater good”? You can’t. Period. Then somewhere around the 70% mark in the book Honor asks Hancock to be her first (yup, virgin) before he hands her off to get raped repeatedly by the terrorist group. And he agrees……you know……because he’s such an awesome stand up guy.

In many ways I was completely torn while reading this one. I knew at some point things had to turn around as far as Hancock was concerned but it took too much time to get there. I disliked him for the majority of the book, then when he finally realizes what a douchey asshole he’s been his entire life, he’s over the top emotional (which I guess I understand because if I realized what a horrible human being I’d been my entire life I’d be emotional too) and intent on rectifying the damage he’s inflicted on Honor. On the flip side I enjoyed Honor immensely and was rooting for her the entire book. I shed a tear over her resignation and conviction to be more than her ending.  Her journey is definitely an emotional one.

Darkest Before Dawn left me conflicted but rooting for the heroine until the very end.

I give Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks 3.5 stars!


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