Title: Darkest Before Dawn

Series: A KGI Novel

Author: Maya Banks 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: 27th October, 2015

Publisher: Berkley/NAL

DBD Cover




THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome” (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

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…

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.”








Reviewed by Rachel McEwan and Sharon Thérèse Nuttall

There’s no disputing the fact that author has done her homework regarding factions in the Middle East. The plot is an innovative and an original one; the setting taking place in a country torn to shreds by religious fanatics who have no compunction about killing their own kind. Saying that, it took us awhile to get into this read as we felt that the first third of this standalone was a tad protracted. From our way of thinking, the story would have had so much more flow and impact on the reader if certain details and words hadn’t been constantly repeated. One must take into consideration that finding the correct synonym can be a difficult task; especially when one is describing parts of the body. However, having been well-informed of the heroine’s plight from the beginning, made us wonder why it was necessary to be reminded of it so often.

Honor ~ ‘’No one is ever guaranteed a tomorrow.’’

Honor, the female protagonist’s character development was extremely well-done. In her early twenties, she has a mind of her own in the respect that she had always known what she wanted to do with her life. Save the unfortunate. She is beyond strong in spirit and fortunately for her, incredibly strong in health and used to taking risks. Tolerating the direst situations, surviving moments of utter anguish never dampened her will to live. Her name couldn’t be more fitting for this read. However, there were times we literally shouted at our kindles as she really did play the martyr to a tee and it became very frustrating at times. She is witness to the most awful tragedy and in the split of a second, loses everything. The horror of what happened is vividly illustrated. Will help come and if so, by whom?

Honor ~ ‘’I don’t expect you to understand, But I can’t turn my back on these people. They have no one to fight for them. No one to aid them. And if I let terrorists sway me from my objective, then they win, regardless of whether I escape or not, whether I live or die.’’

Hancock is the ultimate mucho macho but with a difference. Once a professional soldier and now a mercenary for reasons to be revealed in the story, he is cold, surly, calculating and only concerned about his team’s welfare and getting the job done with as little fuss as possible. His loyalty to his men that never fails him is admirable. Relentless in his quest to eradicate one of the most sort after terrorists is personal, he will stop at nothing and oh boy, do things get complicated. If this means using a pawn to achieve his vengeance, he will. Now then, we had a discrepancy in how he went about it. We let him off the first time he did it, but a second and third time was for us, outrageous. We realise that his wrongdoings and the bad decisions he made were of importance for the build-up of storyline and he’ll pay dearly for them. Yes, he does change but to do so, he will suffer like he has never suffered before. It would be a good idea to have a box of tissues handy as there are quite a few tearful scenes.

Honor ~ ‘’Thank you.’’
Hancock ~ ‘’How can you thank me for being the instrument of your death?’’

Contrasting personalities come together and not the way we expected. After all, their internal feeling for each other and the external conflicts seemed an impossible feat for their love to flourish. In spite of the fact that we had to wait patiently for ardently written scenes, to see the raw passion that Hancock had for Honor was for us, overwhelming. Here, we have a guy who has never loved, isn’t in the slightest bit romantic, and has no time for such frivolities. But…does he fall hard! He is in awe of her; his respect she earned by showing him trust and more besides is going to be put to the test though.

Hancock ~ ‘’ Fuck the goddamn greater good. Especially when it comes to an innocent woman, whose only crimes were giving aid to people nobody else in the world gives a fuck about and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, is punished.’’

In conclusion, both of us thought there could have been more banter between Honor and Hancock in this standalone. As we mentioned earlier, we did find it a little difficult to get into the book and this was mostly due to the lack of dialogue. We are both big fans of dialogue in our reads as we find it’s the best way to connect with the characters and to fully understand their thoughts and feelings. Also, confusion ruled with names and places when there were crucial incidents taking place. The last chapters had us sitting on the edge of our seats, the epilogue… a little unrealistic but beautiful. Like most readers, we love a happy ending. We would most definitely read more works by Ms Banks as we thought this was a very well written book, albeit too lengthy for the content written about in this story.





AMAZON Mass Market Paperback



BARNES & NOBLE Mass Market Paperback








Author Bio: Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 50 novels including the KGI series, Slow Burn series, and the Breathless and Surrender trilogies. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.




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