Review: No Place to Run by Maya Banks

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Kelly Group International, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Sam Kelly
Heroine: Sophie Lundgren
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: December 7, 2010
Started On: December 7, 2010
Finished On: December 7, 2010

I have been waiting for this book like forever (okay that was a tad wee bit dramatic), but it does feel like I have waited forever after reading and reviewing the 1st book in the Kelly Group International Series entitled The Darkest Hour, a story that just captivated me right from the very beginning and totally blew me away. So it would not be an exaggeration to say that I had very high expectations for the 2nd book in the series, each one of which was met with and some even exceeded by this delightful romantic suspense novel by Ms. Banks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI) is a family based business which takes care of situations such as hostage recovery missions, kidnap cases and the likes and also hire out their services to the numerous government agencies in the US for covert missions requiring highly skilled operatives in delicate situations. 36 year old Sam Kelly, the eldest of the 6 boys in the Kelly bunch acts as the leader and shares responsibility of running this covert group with his brothers Garrett (even saying his name makes me go just a tad bit weak in the knees ^_^), Donovan (Van) and Ethan who is yet to officially join the group. Each having specialized military background, Sam had served in the army before forming the KGI group with his brothers.

Sophie Lundgren on the other hand comes from a family right out of your worst nightmares. Alex Mouton,  her father is at the top of the most wanted lists in the US running his empire in everything illegal ranging from running prostitution rings to arms dealing. Sophie had witnessed the horrors of her father’s rigid control over his emotions and his ruthlessness at the tender age of 10 years, a man who always puts his business first and never tolerates any sign of weakness from those are close to him.

When a KGI mission takes Sam and his brothers to parts of Mexico on a mission to take down Alex Mouton, it is at a seedy bar in Mexico that Sam first encounters the blond, delicate and beautiful Sophie, making all his primal instincts come out to play right at the very first sight of her. Their affair though short, runs hot until his mission takes him away leaving Sophie behind, Sophie who calmly plans and executes a plot to murder her own father.

Five months on, a pregnant Sophie is at the very end of her wits trying to elude those hellbent on killing her to exact revenge for the murder of her father. Sophie holds the key to her father’s vast empire and its the only thing that’s keeping her alive and prevents her from being shot pointblank. Exhausted, with no place to run to except to the arms of the father of her child and the man who rocked her world for a brief period of time, it is a barely alive Sophie that Sam comes across, the woman who has haunted his dreams ever since he had walked out on her to complete KGI’s mission.

With more questions than answers running through Sam, trust is the hardest commodity to come by when Sam finds out just how truly deceived he had been by Sophie, the woman who now carried his child, who still manages to touch something deep inside of his heart, something no other woman had ever being able to do. Scared as Sophie is, the last thing she wants to do is to put the Kelly family in harms way, which is exactly what happens as things spiral out of control until at the very end when Sam has to decide whether he would be able to trade the life of the woman he loves more than anything for the life of his own mother, a decision no man should ever have to make.

My likes:

1- Boy, where do I start? This book packs everything and I don’t mean that lightly, EVERYTHING that I look for when I pick up a novel of the romantic suspense genre. Action packed, highly sensual and emotional with enough character development that keeps the pages turning, I resented the time I had to spend away from the story after I started reading. Yes, Maya Banks has done a splendid job with this one and I can’t literally wait for Garrett’s (*sigh* there goes the knee shaky thing again!) story to come out in March 2011.

2- Sam Kelly. Oh boy! He is one yummy alpha hero, in fact I don’t know how Ms. Banks does it with the Kelly men, but the entire bunch just makes me salivate, sigh, drool and palpitate as the story unfolds. Even with the 1st chapter itself, Sam managed to knock my socks off, with his smoldering sensuality, the simmering need deep within him to claim the woman who is obviously meant for him which touched me in a deep, deep way. And as the story continues, I got to see so many sides of Sam, the responsible tough oldest sibling role he has to play, the gentle, kindhearted soul that comes out to play when he is around those who are weaker than him and the way he lays claim on his woman sealed the deal for me with this hero.

3- Sophie! She is one hell of a heroine. Vulnerable, beautiful and fiercely protective as a mother lioness with her cubs when it comes to her baby and Sam, she totally won me over because she is exactly what Sam needs in his life to make it complete. I loved her because she doesn’t take crap from anyone, not Sam, not Garrett and not even her formidably frightening father and still managed to touch something deep inside of my heart with her need to belong, to be loved and cossetted by someone who would love her unconditionally.

4- The family dynamics in the story. What pulled me in even from the very 1st book in the series is how well the whole Kelly family as well as other side roles within the series have been created, whetting the reader’s appetite for more from them. Apart from the obvious Kelly brothers whose stories every reader of this series must covet, I would love to read Rusty, Sean as well as P.J. and Steele’s story. It is a testament to how well the character development has been handled within the story that I as a reader have this deep, insatiable need to learn more about them, whom we just get to meet in a scene or two in the whole story. Kudos to Ms. Banks for a job well done!

5- As much as I coveted the emotional, sensual and action-packed moments in the story, I loved the humor-laced parts of the story, though they were few and far in-between. The scene that stands out the most is where Sam has to find underthings for Sophie, and it is to his mom he has to turn to, and the conversation between Garrett, Sam and Donovan just had me laughing out loud – making my husband a firm believer of the fact that I am stark raving mad! ^_^

6- And before I forget, I very much heart the man-titty cover! Would make a sensational addition to Pamela Clare’s MTM posts don’tcha think? ^_^

My Dislikes: Absolutely none! Just wish there was more of this stuff to read, is all!! ^_^

Favorite Quotes:

He stopped, just a foot in front of her, so close that his heat reached out and circled her like the damp towel she wore so close to her breast.
The clothes were in his hand, but he didn’t move to give them to her and she didn’t reach for them.
His gaze was so intense. So penetrating. She felt naked. So itchy, and alive. She swallowed, but nothing she did ridded her of the knot in her throat. It ached like she ached.
The clothes dropped silently to the floor. His hands cupped her bare shoulders. His fingers caressed her skin.
Slowly and with infinite tenderness his mouth descended over hers. His breath danced across her skin, and then he recaptured his lips in a long hot kiss. Time melted away like ice on a summer day.

A moment later, the door burst open, startling her from her lethargy. She bolted upright to see Sam stalk in, his eyes blazing. She barely had time to register her alarm before he was in front of her.
He yanked her to her feet, cupped one hand around her nape and then dragged her to him. He kissed her long and hard, his mouth molded so tight to hers that neither of them could draw a breath.
She inserted her hands between them and shoved as hard as she could. He didn’t budge. Instead he deepened his kiss, as if convincing her of his ownership.

Recommended for:

1- Fans of Maya Banks.
2- Fans of the KGI series.
3- Fans of romantic suspense that love action packed stories filled with enough emotion and sensuality to knock your breath out! If you love them like I do, this one’s for you!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★★ 


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