Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
After the Storm is the eighth book in Maya Banks’ KGI series. This is a series that follows a group of brothers and their teammates as they go about saving the world one mission at a time. Okay, they may not save the world every time but they do take on some pretty dangerous and impressive missions. They are all have military or police backgrounds and take on the jobs that other agencies may not be able to take care of.
This is a romantic suspense series which means that every book focuses on the happily ever after of one specific couple. This time around it’s Donovan’s turn to find his lucky lady.
Donovan is one of the Kelly brothers and someone we meet in the very first book. He is also one of my favorite characters. He is sort of a geek and has a big heart yet he is still total kick ass and super sexy. I love that combo. He is also not afraid to tell people what is in his heart which is a good thing…but this time around??? I’ll touch on that a bit more a little later. I will call that paragraph “So let’s talk about the schmaltz”.
Eve is a brave and strong woman…at first. She is running from her step-father with her two younger siblings. Dad is a creep and the reason they run away is completely valid. I admire her intentions and she seemed quite strong when we first meet her but suddenly, after meeting Donovan, she changes to someone who almost needs carrying. I really felt for her and her siblings; my heart going out to them on many occasions as I was reading. But even though I felt for them and liked Eve, there was something keeping me from completely clicking with her. Maybe I need to see her in a later book, more comfortable and at ease with everything.
Just a quick note about Rusty and Sean. Rusty and Sean are two other characters we meet in the first book. Sean is the town Sherriff and Rusty is a runaway teenager the Kelly parents take under their wing. I always found it odd that Rusty was coddled the way she was but I know it’s because it is meant to show us how big of a heart Mrs Kelly has making us all understand how her children are just the most amazing human beings ever. In this book, Rusty is a college student and Sean is still Sherriff. These two have sort of been groomed to become each other’s HEA but with Rusty being a teenager earlier on in the series, that was a bit too ew-worthy. But now that she’s an adult… There was a ‘moment’ between the two of them that really surprised me but it also made me hope that the hints are true and that, in fact, down the road, these two end up together. I think watching them come into full realization of their feelings for each other would be great to watch. But will I read it???
So let’s talk about the schmaltz. These books are full of it. There was quite a bit in the first few books and they are getting worst and worst. What I mean by ‘schmaltz’ is the ‘OMG I love you so much, I don’t know how I survived without you and I’m saying all this even though I’m a super strong man who has never been able to speak of his emotions before as I am a very very broken person…’ I love a tortured hero but there has to be more to him than his ‘torture’ and his words need to match this characters. Donovan is a naturally emotional person so I figured the schmaltz would not bother me too much in his book as it’s more character appropriate than it has been in the last few books but somehow it was almost worst this time around. *slight spoilers ahead* The moment Donovan meets Eve, he is hooked. She’s in trouble, that much is obvious, and he has a weakness for children and women in trouble (something that is mentioned WAY too many times in this book to be normal). So he wants to help and yet there is a part of him that already thinks of her and her siblings (15 years old and 4 years old) as his. HIS! After…minutes of meeting them! Then days later, yup, days and not weeks or months, he tells the kids that he loves them and wants them to stay with him forever. Um…the little girl is 4! Don’t you think this is something that should not be bomb-dropped to the girl in front of Eve but rather to Eve alone and in private somewhere. At this point, Donovan still has no clue how Eve feels! He’s talking about all of this like it’s a done deal! Soon enough, of course, Eve realizes she feels the same way but whoa… She is stressed and running for her life only to meet a man who claims to want her for ever NOW. I totally get love at first sight – that’s what happened to me and Jason, we met and married in less than a year – but c’mon! Donovan is a very smart man and he should not have handled things with the kids that way and he should have handled things with Eve differently too. A friend of mine who also read the book said it was almost creepy how it all went down and I tend to agree with her.
These books before were almost movie-like in their plots and their romance in the earlier installments which made them not realistic but very entertaining. And even though I found myself reading this book very quickly as to find out what was to happen by the end, it felt so far from real, it lost me. I am really wondering whether or not I will be continuing with this series after this installment.
These books and their missions usually take place in faraway places but this time around we stick to the US, close to the Kelly’s compound/home. It was actually a nice little break and we really had a good chance to catch up on everyone from the previous books. We also got to see a bit of the new characters that were introduced in the last book. This was good because if this series continues I’m sure that means that they will each have their own books someday too.
Overall, this book was entertaining but I rolled my eyes a whole lot, wanted to shake one of my favorite characters from the series more often than I should have wanted to and didn’t’ completely click with the heroine. Definitely not my favorite installment to date but I am happy Donovan found his HEA.