This title isn’t available with your membership

We’re working with the publisher to make it available as soon as possible. If you’d like to read it immediately, you can purchase this title individually.

Request Title
Intelligence: high. Body: hard. Mission: what no one else can do.

It's been a year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly saw his wife Rachel alive. Now he's received an anonymous phone call claiming Rachel is alive. To find her, Ethan will have to doge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise.
Published: Penguin Group on Sep 7, 2010
ISBN: 9781101443170
List price: $7.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Darkest Hour
Available as a separate purchase
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

The Darkest Hour
3 Stars

Synopsis
On the first anniversary of his wife's death, Ethan Kelly receives proof of life and enlists his brothers' aid in mounting a rescue mission. Ethan and Rachel must deal with the trauma of her experiences and rediscover their relationship and marriage. However, just as their lives are getting back on track, an insidious threat emerges; one that will stop at nothing to remove Rachel from the equation.

Review
Great premise, poor execution.

The plot involving former military men establishing their own private mercenary service has potential as does the specific story of drug cartels and hostage rescues. Unfortunately, the romance fails miserably. Ethan and Rachel have little to no chemistry, and at times it seems as if she is closer to his brother Garrett. This, together with the fact that she was basically raised in his parents' house as a sister, lends an almost incestuous quality to their relationship.

Moreover, Rachel is not my preferred type of heroine i.e., intelligent, strong willed and self-sufficient. She comes across instead as a whiny and wimpy damsel in distress and it is only toward the end that she develops a backbone, even though this too is short lived. In addition, the men in the story use too many childish and condescending endearments for her, such as "baby" or "sweet pea". As such, it is virtually impossible to take her seriously or identify with her as a heroine.

While I appreciate a hero who is in touch with his feelings, and doesn't fear shedding a tear or two, Ethan is excessively emotional and cries at the drop of a hat – come on man, you are a Navy SEAL, suck it up! He spends most of the book either coddling his wife or worrying that she will find out about their marital problems prior to her kidnapping – the fact that someone wants her dead is almost forgotten amongst the romantic concerns.

The secondary characters are the real highlight of the book. The Kelly family dynamic is hilarious and engaging, and each brother has a distinct personality. Rusty's side story is also entertaining and I found myself identifying with the smart-mouthed teen more than the heroine.

The writing is solid and well paced with excellent descriptions of Rachel's rescue and the after effects of her kidnapping, including her drug addiction and amnesia.

Overall, the series has promise and I will give the next one a chance.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was a different experience compared to other Maya Banks books I've read but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will be working my way through the rest of the KGI series now.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I picked this up because I'd heard good things about the writer and the plot sounded interesting. The execution could have been tighter, but it's a perfectly adequate romance novel, and there is plenty of action. I don't read a whole lot in this genre, generally for the same reasons I have issues with the writing here (clunky dialogue, uneven plotting) but this held my interest enough that I may read other books in the series as they're released.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

The Darkest Hour
3 Stars

Synopsis
On the first anniversary of his wife's death, Ethan Kelly receives proof of life and enlists his brothers' aid in mounting a rescue mission. Ethan and Rachel must deal with the trauma of her experiences and rediscover their relationship and marriage. However, just as their lives are getting back on track, an insidious threat emerges; one that will stop at nothing to remove Rachel from the equation.

Review
Great premise, poor execution.

The plot involving former military men establishing their own private mercenary service has potential as does the specific story of drug cartels and hostage rescues. Unfortunately, the romance fails miserably. Ethan and Rachel have little to no chemistry, and at times it seems as if she is closer to his brother Garrett. This, together with the fact that she was basically raised in his parents' house as a sister, lends an almost incestuous quality to their relationship.

Moreover, Rachel is not my preferred type of heroine i.e., intelligent, strong willed and self-sufficient. She comes across instead as a whiny and wimpy damsel in distress and it is only toward the end that she develops a backbone, even though this too is short lived. In addition, the men in the story use too many childish and condescending endearments for her, such as "baby" or "sweet pea". As such, it is virtually impossible to take her seriously or identify with her as a heroine.

While I appreciate a hero who is in touch with his feelings, and doesn't fear shedding a tear or two, Ethan is excessively emotional and cries at the drop of a hat – come on man, you are a Navy SEAL, suck it up! He spends most of the book either coddling his wife or worrying that she will find out about their marital problems prior to her kidnapping – the fact that someone wants her dead is almost forgotten amongst the romantic concerns.

The secondary characters are the real highlight of the book. The Kelly family dynamic is hilarious and engaging, and each brother has a distinct personality. Rusty's side story is also entertaining and I found myself identifying with the smart-mouthed teen more than the heroine.

The writing is solid and well paced with excellent descriptions of Rachel's rescue and the after effects of her kidnapping, including her drug addiction and amnesia.

Overall, the series has promise and I will give the next one a chance.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was a different experience compared to other Maya Banks books I've read but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will be working my way through the rest of the KGI series now.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I picked this up because I'd heard good things about the writer and the plot sounded interesting. The execution could have been tighter, but it's a perfectly adequate romance novel, and there is plenty of action. I don't read a whole lot in this genre, generally for the same reasons I have issues with the writing here (clunky dialogue, uneven plotting) but this held my interest enough that I may read other books in the series as they're released.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I liked this book, became annoyed in some places, and then really liked it by the end. It may not be a five star read, but it’s a VERY good read, and by the end I was having trouble remembering what I didn’t like about it! The best thing? The great balance between emotion and suspense. It’s so hard to find romantic suspense that gets the balance right; Maya Banks knew what she was doing. The Darkest Hour does, however bear striking resemblance to two other romantic suspense novels – Cindy Gerard’s To the Brink and Lora Leigh’s Wild Card. That was one of the annoying things. There were times when it seemed more that Maya Banks was borrowing heavily from those books rather than writing something in a similar spirit. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy many aspects of this book. I did. The author's men often err on the side of ‘far too perfect, caring and worshipping to ever actually exist’, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing when you’re in the right mood. On top of that I do love the author’s writing. Some people have the natural ability to create very readable prose. Maya Banks is one of those people. She writes astoundingly well – her books are always page-turners. I don’t even like most of her regular plotlines (ménage and BDSM aren’t for me, but don’t worry, they’re not in this one!), and yet she makes me want to keep reading. Even when this book went way off course I wanted to keep reading. My main grumble is this. Take a look at To the Brink, and compare it to The Darkest Hour. To the Brink is one of my favourite books. Here is what happens in it: Ethan Garrett – black hair, blue eyes, former Special Forces – works for a security agency named after the family, which he runs with his former Special Forces brothers. He left the military after his marriage started to crumble. He’d given up on his wife emotionally due to career-related issues. Now he’s received a message that his ex-wife is being held hostage in the jungle. Ethan gathers his family together and – using their military experience – they head off to rescue her and smuggle her back to the United States. Ethan gets shot while yelling at his ex-wife to run. Compare this to The Darkest Hour and see if you can spot why I had a problem with it: Ethan – black hair, blue eyes, former Special Forces, just like his brother Garrett – works for a security agency named after the family, which he runs with his former Special Forces brothers. He left the military after his marriage started to crumble. He’d given up on his wife emotionally due to career-related issues. Now he’s received a message that his estranged wife is being held hostage in the jungle. Ethan gathers his family together and – using their military experience – they head off to rescue her and smuggle her back to the United States. Ethan gets shot while yelling at his wife to run. Throw in a blue cover with a too-pretty waxed chest Navy SEAL guy standing to the right – a la Wild Card, and a ‘kept in captivity in South America by drug lords, forced to become addicted to drugs and now have a screwed-up mind' storyline – also a la Wild Card – and you get The Darkest Hour. That said, there was a lot to like in this story. The heroine – Rachel – really comes into her own despite how badly beaten-up and messed-up she is. She does a lot of smart things. No Too Stupid To Live moments here. I really thought she was going to be a weak little idiot (as many of Maya Banks’ heroines are), but nope; by the end I had so much respect for her. I liked most of the characters (but not Rusty – I really don’t want to read a book she stars in!). I enjoyed reading about everyone – all ten thousand of them – which I suppose is a very good thing as this is the first book in a series. It was good that the brothers (SIX brothers!!) and all of the other men hanging around (boy is this series ever going to go on for a long time!!) had their own personalities. I liked that they could be distinguished from each other physically. I’m not sure I was expecting such well-rounded people to appear in this book. The action and suspense was dealt out well during the story. The pacing was excellent (apart from one issue I mention below). We had the big rescue at the beginning, some time for everyone to deal with their issues, and then some pretty exciting stuff towards the end. It worked for me. There were a few points where the story could have done with a bit of tightening. We don’t even meet the heroine until a number of chapters in because the author is so busy setting up her gigantic cast of characters. It would have been better to drop us into the action earlier on. Ethan and Rachel don’t really even have a conversation until chapter ten – another result of far too much time spent on other characters. In fact, throughout Rachel’s rescue we spend as much time visiting Ethan’s parents back in the USA, watching them take in a homeless girl, as we do finding out what happens in the rescue. At a time like that I don’t give a damn what the hero’s mother is cooking for breakfast! Every time the action in South America just started to get going we were yanked back to the States to catch up with some boring suburban stuff. I’m willing to bet this homeless girl is a future heroine in the series, but perhaps we should have the page time devoted to her in her own book! This meant there were times when Ethan and Rachel felt like nothing more than one of many side stories. I needed some time with them simply showing us why they love each other. This was improved as the book went on though, as things pulled together. I almost forgot that gripe by the time I reached the end. There wasn’t much information given about anybody either. We hear twice about Rachel’s brown eyes, but that’s all we get about her. What colour is her hair? How old is she? How much older is Ethan? We know Ethan’s somewhere in his thirties, but one of his twenty-something brothers once asked Rachel out, so presumably she's a number of years younger? I really want to be able to picture the heroine when I read. I hate too much description, but please, at least give us the basics! It was the same with Rusty, the homeless girl. There’s a big deal made about her changing her appearance, but we’re not told how it was changed. Maya Banks is famous for writing erotica. So she seemed to struggle a little with toning down the sex. In the second such scene she gave up completely and we were treated to endless pages of oral sex where she raided the thesaurus for dirty words. It jarred with the rest of the book. It was especially annoying as apart from that I was really invested in the relationship. I thought the slow-burning, tender moments were so appropriate for the story. Yes, I had issues with this book. Quite a few according to my review. But I really enjoyed reading this. I was entertained and I liked the characters. Maybe as the series progresses some of the issues will be smoothed out –though I’m a little worried about how HUGE the cast is! This was a good, solid, well-balanced romantic suspense story, and I’m always willing to read more of those! Maya Banks did a good job with this one. ****************************** On a side note, I had a few minor issues with the writing a la Lora Leigh: “What the hell happened?” Sam demanded in a whisper. It took Ethan a few minutes to process that Sam was looking at Rachel’s blood-spattered clothes. A few sentences later we have: Ethan nodded, though he doubted Sam could see him in the darkness. A few sentences after that, we have: Again Sam’s gaze drifted over Ethan’s clothing. “What the hell happened?” So is it too dark to see or not? Then there’s: “How long did we live here?” she whispered. “Three years,” Ethan replied. “We moved in right after our honeymoon.” But earlier we were told they’d been there for two years and then Rachel was abducted. Then there’s something I have a personal issue with: Ethan’s mother saying: I want to see her so bad I hurt. Ethan’s mother was a schoolteacher. I have issues with schoolteachers not being able to use adverbs. It drives me insane.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Now the people who know me are aware of my reservations on doing book reviews.First I feel that I suck at them. Two, I fear giving up spoilers and ruining it for another.Now there are books that simply prompt me to try my hand at reviews. I feel they "deserve" them because they are that good. The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks is one of those books. The Darkest Hour was my second foray with Maya's works. This was not as erotic as For Her Pleasure, my first Maya book I read.Was I disappointed? Heck fire no!The scenes were not only hot but major tear-jerkers. This book will invoke your emotions, I should give that fair warning out for my heart pained for the hero and heroine.Will I pick up further KGI books? You betcha! I found that I really liked the Kelly brothers, their interaction with each other and what they perceive as family. And, I really latched and connected with the character Rusty. I should warn all that I do have a penchant on liking side characters usually more than the main ones.Little kernal of hope sprung that eventually she'll get a book, and well that she'd end up with the youngest of the Kelly family due to their interactions in the book. Yush that is a major hint hint to the author. LOL..So yeah, this druid definitely gives The Darkest Hour two thumbs up and her Dev Bear's two claws up in approval.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm struggling with my feelings on this one. Banks is an amazing writer and had me tearing up at spots - especially when Ethan gave his one speech to Rachel. The story had a lot of action, some great minor characters, and a huge family you just wanted to be a part of. Unfortunately, if I needed protection, I'm not sure I would go to KGI. They made some very rookie mistakes in protecting this woman to the point I was yelling at the book. First, who in their right mind lets some poor woman who had been held hostage for a year go to the psychologist by herself!! She's going to need a ride home! Idiots. Second, she gets run off the road, and you don't think that maybe you need to keep a closer eye on her? Like how about just putting a GPS tracker on her phone? Then at the hospital, they leave her alone in the room? So they can grab coffee!! Just too many issues with plot holes that make it hard for me to say I loved it, but enjoyable enough characters that I will read the next one.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd