Thursday, December 9, 2010

No Place To Run Is Double-Dipped Delicious

No Place to Run (A KGI Novel)To say that I devoured No Place To Run would be an understatement. Once I started reading, I could not stop. Maya Banks packs No Place to Run full of action, suspense, romance and sensuality with characters the reader genuinely comes to care for – absolutely everything I must have in a romantic suspense for it to rank high on my book list. And she punched out some of the weak areas I found in The Darkest Hour, making this second book of the KGI series even better than the first.

Sam Kelly is another of Maya’s perfect heroes; in fact, the entire clan of Kelly men makes my heart palpitate – big bad-ass military men with a sensitive side and good family values – yum, yum, delicious. Sam is the quiet, steady and intense older brother, the responsible one the others look to for leadership, and the gentle and kind-hearted man who cares for those in need. Maya unveils a truly multi-dimensional hero with Sam.

While running an undercover mission to take down an arms dealer in Mexico, Sam uncharacteristically falls for Sophie, a waitress from the local bar. The sensual sex scenes and Sam’s need to claim her made me melt (and re-read this section a few times). It is clear that their relationship is more than just a fling as Sam and Sophie share these incredibly hot and tender moments, illustrating their developing feelings. But when his mission takes him away from Sophie, he leaves behind a surprise from a night of unprotected sex. As his mother later tells him, this is absolutely dumb but don't judge him too harshly - he is an honorable man, I assure you.

The book resumes months later when Sophie shows up at Sam’s home after being on the run from the arms dealer. Sophie is not who she had appeared to be and this revelation leaves Sam skeptical. Sophie loves him even though he lied to her about his identity, but Sam isn’t as willing to forgive her for her lie. Still they are held together by Sam’s need to protect Sophie and their baby against the arms dealer who wants what she has and is willing to kill to get it.

The best complement to a strong hero is a strong heroine. Sophie is a remarkable heroine – strong and vulnerable at the same time. Her courage and unwavering determination are amazing even in the face of doubt, unwilling to be bullied by the Kelly brothers when at first they don’t believe her story. She is fiercely protective when it comes to her baby which I totally get as a mother. But what makes her most endearing is her need to belong, to be loved by someone, and to be part of a family. She is the perfect complement to Sam.

Hidden Away (A KGI Novel)The Kelly family dynamics is a big part of this story as well. The woven storylines, including being able to visit with Ethan and Rachel from the first book and to see the developing interaction of Rusty within the Kelly family, made the book complete. The action and suspense surrounding their family as Sam and his brothers work to eliminate the threat of the arms dealer is tense and had me chewing on my nails with unexpected twists along the way. Maya has developed the entire Kelly family so well that she has whet the reader’s appetite for stories on the other characters. (Next book is scheduled for release in March 2011.)

Much more equal parts romance and suspense than her first in this series, No Place To Run hits the mark for top rating in the Romantic Suspense genre.  Well done, Maya, the Kelly brothers and their family have a special place on my favorite books list, no doubt about it.

Do I even have to say it? No Place To Run gets 5 chocolate dipped strawberries… maybe even double-dip them, it’s that good.
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