Forged in Steele: Maya Banks

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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…

Steele, a KGI team leader, is an enigma not even his team mates understand. His emotions are tightly locked down and nothing can break that icy exterior. Nothing except Maren Scofield, a doctor on a mission, a woman who has gotten under Steele’s skin and threatens to crack that unflappable cool he’s legendary for.

Steele is determined not to allow Maren past his carefully guarded defenses, but when she’s in danger, there’s no way he’ll allow anyone else to protect her. She’s hiding something. He’s sure of it. But he isn’t prepared for the shocking discovery her secrets reveal. Or how they will forever alter the course of his destiny. He has a decision to make. Hold tight and shut her out. Or take a chance on something more powerful than he’s ever faced. Love.

When I first heard Rio and Steele were getting books before Donovan Kelly, I was disappointed. But I am not disappointed any more. Wow, I fell hard for Steele!

Steele is the tough team leader, the Ice Man, not known to show emotion or care for anyone other than his team. He is normally a closed mouth, stoic alpha, but gets even more tongue tied around Maren. She is the Doctor working in Costa Rica who often patches up KGI members. He can't seem to get her off his mind and she gets under his skin and sets him off balance. She also has had the hots for Steele for a long time, but thought his behavior meant he did not like her and never knew how to act around him. 

His blue eyes cut into her, piercing deep, making her feel suddenly bare and vulnerable. Almost like he could see right inside her. It was a stupid thought and it was even dumber to attribute superhuman powers to this man. He was only human, Fallible. But damn if he didn't make a strong argument for invincible. Regardless of what he was or wasn't, he absolutely sold it with every look, every nonword. Every action.

Steele wants to enjoy one night of passion with Maren to get her out of his system. He thinks that will take care f it. It is scorching hot and humorous at the same time. Maren has a fun sense of humor and is was good to see the sexy playful Steele. 

They are absolutely sweet, passionate, and steamy together. So different when they are together than how we have seen them in previous books. Sure Steele is still manly and bossy, but he is showing more of his softer side. A smiling, laughing, thoughtful Steele is a beautiful thing. And Maren is feisty, but becomes more  flirty and knows how to push all of his buttons. She is still a bit insecure, but is also intelligent and  shows strength and determination when needed. 

"I like that you give as good as you get...Love that saucy tongue of yours, and I love that you give me shit. No one else does that."

"Yeah, I'm into you, Maren. I'm in deep and I don't see any way out for a very long time. I hope to hell you're in this with me because if not, things are going to get way messy."
"If I was any more into you, I'd never find my way out."

But just as things are getting interesting,  Maren finds herself is a whole lot of danger. It is up to Steele and KGI to find her and  protect her and he takes it very seriously. Suddenly he risks losing her just as they are getting started. It is a long, scary, and difficult process and it takes it toll on everyone involved. 

Will Steele and KGI be able to keep her safe? And once Maren reveals what she has been hiding, will Steele still be willing to be her protector?

This was a sweet, emotional, love story set in a romantic suspense backdrop. Steele and Maren became one of my fave KGI couples. I loved that she melted the Ice Man.

I can't remember what it was like before you. Only that until you, my life was cold, lifeless and mechanical No color. No Vibrancy. I didn't live. I existed. You changed all that. 
This couple did not have it easy. But atleast they had the support of all of the KGI teams. I loved being back with all of them and their wives. One of my favorite parts about this series is  how it focuses on the bonds between the teams and their families. I am looking forward to Donovan's story FINALLY in After the Storm. She kept alluding to it in this book as Donovan kept teasing the others about their women. It will be great to see him finally get his wake up call. And she gave us glimpses of Rusty and Sean too. Those two definitely have a story to tell. And the mysterious Hancock that we met in Rio's book is back. I think he needs his own story too. He is full of surprises. And new team members Skylar and Edge are intriguing too. So many possibilities for this series!

This was probably my fave KGI novel to date. I could not put it down...literally.  Before the Last book Shades of Gray, Steele did not really appeal to me much. But Steele totally won me over. He showed such a different side of him in the last book and this one. We got to see the softer, human man under the tough unemotional alpha facade. And he was amazing....strong, caring, protective, loving and willing to do whatever he had to for Maren. I loved how he adapted to the changes swirling around in his previously controlled life. He took the challenges head on without hesitation or trepidation. I laughed, held my breath, tensed up, and teared up. It was suspenseful, action-packed, romantic, and hot. Maya has done it again and this is another fantastic addition to this series. 

My name is Maya Banks and I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets. I’m more of a cat person, but my daughter became convinced she NEEDED a dog. So convinced in fact that it became her mission to convince her father and me. She prepared a two page handwritten proposal that detailed WHY she needed a dog, and well, after I sent her to her father (I knew he wouldn’t tell her no) we embarked on the search for the perfect dog. The journey that was two hours away and that I got pulled over for speeding while I was on the phone with my agent who had an offer from a publisher for one of my books… The officer wasn’t impressed. He wrote me a ticket anyway. Thus, I now tell my daughter that her dog turned into one very expensive concession! But isn’t he cute?

When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel. One of our more recent trips was to Scotland, which was every bit as comical as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. You know the part about “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” as they went round and round the roundabouts? Yeah, that was us, only we couldn’t even get out of the airport in Glasgow without hitting three of those suckers.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.


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