Review: ECHOES AT DAWN by Maya Banks

They live by night.

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline—an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister—has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is fast running out…

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He’s unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he’s fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time…hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it’s pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

Title: ECHOES AT DAWN
Author: Maya Banks
Series: KGI, book 5
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year of release: 2012, July 3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought via TheBookdepository.com

First line:
Gordon Farnsworth has more money than God.

Last line:
He grinned then. “Bet your ass I would.”

Memorable Scenes:
– the scene where Diego examines Grace in Rio’s Belize home > I loved this scene for it’s powerful and awesome writing
– the scene at the waterfall > beautiful scene and it showed a very sweet and surprising side to Rio. It was also a turning point in the romance
– the BJ scene > Holy Hotness Batman! I read some criticism towards this scene and its credibility but there’s no denying it was darned HOT and I was definitely willing to suspend disbelief for it.
– the Browning “thing” > I read this whole scene with a lump in my throat
– the scene with Elizabeth > this one made me cry…okay, I bawled my eyes out

We met Grace Peterson in WHISPERS IN THE DARK, the book preceding this one and I knew immediately her story was going to wreck me. Grace has the gift of healing any illness or injury but it costs her dearly. However, she’s a survivor, a fighter, stubborn and defiant. She’s a little shy but has this enormous and praiseworthy inner strength that, along with her courage, determination and compassion blew me away completely. I loved her. All of the heroines in the KGI series are pretty awesome but Grace is definitely at the top of the list.

Rio flew a little under the radar for me in this series, until he made his statement in WITD that he would be the one to go after Grace and bring her home. He definitely caught my attention there and in ECHOES AT DAWN he cemented his top position in favorite heroes of this series. (No one tops Van, of course but Rio came damn close). Rio, whose real name is Eduardo Bezerra, is a silent, confident and blunt man. He is hard, almost relentless and pursues his missions with a tenacity that borders on obsession. In the beginning of the book there are some mysterious hints about his past that made him very intriguing to me. When the time for revelation came, I was both intrigued and moved. He’s skirted the grey edges of right and wrong and has no qualms about delivering death to those who deserve it.

While not entirely on board with the previous book in this series I was looking forward to ECHOES AT DAWN. This was because the set-up for it in the previous book was intriguing and I wanted to know how the plotline started in WHISPERS IN THE DARK was going to be wrapped up.

And I’m glad to report it was wrapped up satisfyingly. Despite the paranormal element I knew with a few pages that the suspense was going to be great. The confrontations, the running, the action, it all contributed to a strong and well set up suspense plot. Giving me action from the get-go the book held my attention really well as I didn’t like it at all when I had to stop reading.

I really liked the development of the romance in ECHOES AT DAWN. Unlike many RS it was built up very gradually despite the urgency of danger that normally propels the main characters into each other’s arms. I thought Maya Banks did a terrific job of establishing trust and a bond between Grace and Rio before jumping into the romance part.

I liked ECHOES AT DAWN a lot better than I did WHISPERS IN THE DARK. While the supernatural element remained it was better incorporated in the story and less intrusive. In this book I understood its purpose for the romance and the plot whereas in WITD I didn’t really. All the elements in ECHOES AT DAWN just gelled that bit better and made it work for me from start to finish.

The romance was sweet and warmed the cockles of my heart. It formed the perfect counterbalance to the gritty, hard, action-packed suspense, giving me a moment’s breath before the intensity of the plot drew me under again. It provided a balance that made this RS a perfect mix of romance and suspense.
The surprising twists in the suspense, the strong and intense characters , the wonderful romance and the non-stop action in the plot made ECHOES AT DAWN a great read for me.

Favorite Quotes:

Her voice whispered through his mind, so broken that he wanted to bellow in rage. He wanted to crawl up over the side of this damn cliff and rip apart the savages who’d pursued her so relentlessly and kill them all over again.

“Who are you?” she whispered around the knot in her throat.
He smiled then, white teeth flashing against dark skin. “I’m the man who’s going to get you the hell out of here, and then I’m going to hunt down those sons of bitches who hurt you and gut every last one of them.”
She shivered at the menace in his voice but was oddly comforted by the savage vow.

“Okay, so it’s bad. Give me more to work with, boss man. Will I need lube for this a$$ f#cking?
Rio grimaced at Diego’s dry humor.

Her enjoyment for him was there for the world to see. Shining in her eyes. Clear, unapologetic appreciation. It made him want to bow up and flex or do some other equally immature male posturing.

He almost whimpered when she pulled away. She continued to stroke his face and he felt like purring. He was such a goner. He wondered if she had any idea that all she’d have to do is pet him a little, look at him a certain way, and he’d lay the world at her feet.

Rio
She sent out the one word, releasing it from the deepest part of her soul. It was a cry in the night, chased by the promise of dawn.

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