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ARC Reviews: When Day Breaks: Maya Banks

When Day Breaks (KGI #9)
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Expected release June 24, 2014


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…


Eden is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her face has graced countless magazines and her body has sold millions of dollars of clothing. But her fame and beauty has earned her more than she ever imagined. Evil is stalking her, determined to extinguish the ethereal beauty forever.


Swanson or “Swanny” as his teammates call him is always up for the next mission. He came back from Afghanistan wounded and scarred. Hardly the kind of man who even belongs in the same room with Eden. And yet there’s something about the quiet beauty that stirs his blood and makes him dream of the impossible. Because Beauty loving the beast only happens in fairy tales and KGI doesn’t deal in fairy tales. Ever.


Read an excerpt

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(Covers linked to GR)

Eden is a twenty-four year old model with a sweet, sparkling personality, beauty, and a loving fathers and older brothers. But due to her father's past, she is now in danger.

Darryl "Swanny" Swanson is an ex soldier and POW turned KGI operator. He still has nightmares and scars both outside and inside from his ordeal. He is usually a quiet loner and has no expectations that he will ever find a woman that will truly want him.
When their KGI team is called in to help Eden, Swanny comes face to face with the most beautiful girl he has ever seen....both inside and out. And she is drawn to him and makes no secret of it. But Swanny has fears and insecurities all tied up in his past and appearance. He has trouble believing someone so perfect would really be interested in a flawed guy like him. I never got a real feel for Swanny in the previous books, but I totally fell for this caring, damaged, lonely man who found a family in the Kellys, but did not think he deserved true love.

I really liked both of their characters. I liked the fact that Eden was forthright and willing to put herself out there when Swanny was the insecure one. She was not a stuck up pampered Princess or spoiled model. She was real, caring, had heart, and was somewhat innocent despite the fast world she lived in. Swanny was protective, loyal, loving, and would die to protect those he cared about. But even though they shared chemistry, I liked that it was not insta-love....but more insta-attraction. But they actually talked, shared, and thought it over before taking it further. I just tried to ignore the fact that it still happened in a matter of days. They had a connection that might not seem likely, but at the same time seemed just right as they balanced each other out. 

This was a softer side of KGI. A lot of the story was actually Eden and Swanny developing and connecting. And some of the beginning was catching up with some of the other guys in KGI and how their families are progressing. There was a little bit of action in the beginning and the remainder of the action did not hit til after the seventy percent mark. But there were some twists along the way especially later, and it did gain some suspense, intrigue, and danger towards the last part. This was mostly about Joe and Nathan's team on this mission guarding a model against an elusive threat. There was some danger, shooting, explosions, and trauma, but it was not as involved and action-packed as some of the other darker KGI books.  At the heart of this one was the Beauty and the Beast aspect to Eden and Swanny's relationship.

I enjoyed getting to see a lot more of this newer team: Edge, Skylar, Joe and Nathan Kelly. I really am intrigued by the newest KGI female Sky and the brawny, quiet Edge and their seemingly close bond. The elusive Hancock makes an appearance. We also met a couple of new hunky guys, Eden's brothers Raid and Ryker. Raid is a cop and Ryker served in the military with the guys on this team. Hopefully we will see more of them in the future. I am also looking forward to Joe Kelly finally getting his story (he's the only make Kelly still single) and also Rusty and Sean's story since we have been waiting for them for a while. 

This series are comfy reads for me and just always suck me in. They feel like old friends and I am always happy to visit them. They are funny, flirty, suspenseful, dangerous, and romantic. The Kelly clan have such a tight bond and adopt so many of these lost souls and have made them a huge, strong, protective family. I love watching the alpha males fall for these strong women that can hold their own. 

I was gifted a copy for an honest review. 

As the ninth book in the KGI series, When Day Breaks continues this firmly established series. 

Daryl “Swanny” Swanson returned from being held hostage in Afghanistan with the scars that will never let him forget the horrors of that time. Eden Sinclair was named the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, and uses her beauty to her advantage as a model. When a threat against Eden requires her to tighten security, Swanny and his (ok, Joe and Nathan’s) KGI team step in to keep her safe. 

For being such a recognizable figure, Eden was a down to earth, sweet woman. She didn’t pull out a diva attitude to get her way, though once she and Swanny began exploring their relationship, she wasn’t above shooting him puppy dog eyes to get what she wanted.

Swanny’s self consciousness about his scars causes him to second guess and nearly ruin a chance at anything with Eden before it even began. But as self-conscious as he was in the beginning? He forgot the scars bothered him quickly while around Eden. 

So much of their relationship moved at lightning speed. They went from complete strangers, to making out, to hitting the sheets in a matter of days, all while an unknown threat looms over Eden. Not that Eden knew it was a real threat, because her dad refused to fill her in on what was going down. 

I missed the interactions with the extended Kelly family. The story took Swanny and his team out of Tennessee early in the story and they never returned. Even Swanny’s team seemed to be present only as security showpieces rather than actual players in the plot. We did get to see more of Edge and Skylar, but I would have liked to see more. I missed Marlene’s mothering, and the meddling that happens from the number of Kelly wives that have been amassed on and around the Kelly compound. 

These are great books for relaxing and shutting my reality off for a time. They are not over the top emotional reads. There is a decent amount of action (thrill type action...not the bedroom kind) that gives an extra dimension to the romantic storyline, and yes, there is plenty of bedroom action too. I know I will pick up the next book as soon as I can, because I love the series, but as I read more and more of them, they are no longer the drop-everything-and-read books they were when I first discovered the series (then again, that’s kind of my MO the longer a single series continues, from any author).

I was gifted a copy for an honest review.
Maya Banks 
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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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