Review: HIDDEN AWAY by Maya Banks

A man who shoots first and asks questions later…
Most people would take an all-expenses-paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who’s in hiding after witnessing a murder by Marcus Lattimer, her half-brother—and a personal enemy of KGI. This gig may be beneath a disciplined soldier like Garrett, but if he gets a shot at Lattimer, it will all be worth it…

…and the ultimate moving target.
But Garrett hadn’t counted on falling for Sarah. He’d considered seduction as a tactical maneuver, but when he glimpses Sarah’s dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe—even after she disappears on him. Garrett doesn’t know exactly who, or what, Sarah’s running from, but whatever it is, she’s running for her life…

Author: Maya Banks
Series: Kelly/KGI series, book 3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year of release: 2011, March 1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought via The BookDepository

First line:
There were a number of men who would do any job Marcus Lattimer wanted done.

Memorable Scenes:
– Garrett and Sophie’s meals > they slowly bring them together
– Rusty’s part in the book > heartbreaking
– Sarah holding Garrett at gunpoint, demanding answers > loved this kick-ass side of Sarah
– Sarah realizing she’d fallen in love with Garrett > total awww-moment
– The Kelly brothers standing up for Rusty > cue the bawling

Garrett Kelly is the hero of this third KGI. He’s calm, intense, patient, and meticulous. He has a chivalrous streak a mile long and puts up a tough front and sometimes he’s very cautious of trusting those he doesn’t know well but he is very protective and caring and would go through fire for those he loves.

Sarah Daniels is Garrett’s heroine in this book. It was hard for me to get a real clear picture of Sarah. She’d seem strong and resilient one moment and would then completely fall apart the next. About a third to halfway into the book I still couldn’t get a grasp on her. Yet this didn’t mean I didn’t like her as a heroine. She was skittish, loyal brave and smart and she didn’t come across as one of those TSTL romantic suspense heroines.

HIDDEN AWAY was a completely different book for me than NO PLACE TO RUN was and though I liked NO PLACE TO RUN much better as I clicked with it on so many more levels, I still had a great time reading HIDDEN AWAY. I can absolutely appreciate that Maya Banks is writing such varied books in this series. Nothing bothers me more than installments of a series (in any subgenre) being carbon copies of each other. I really admire Maya Banks’ ability to give me totally different books in this series and yet keep the series a cohesive, coherent whole in which each book and each couple has its rightful place.

One thing I loved in the first two books, was a little less for me in HIDDEN AWAY. The suspense started out very promising with a first chapter that immediately had my attention but soon the suspense was pushed back a little by the romance, secondary storylines and emotional stuff going on. I must also say that I liked the second part of the book better than first part. In the last third of the book the suspense picked up considerably and when the other KGI members were brought in, I welcomed the heart-racing suspense I’d been missing. Yet, at the end I was a little disappointed as the suspense in this installment just fell a bit short compared to the first two books. It just didn’t put me at the edge of my seat like books 1 and 2 did. And also certain threads of the suspense felt like they were left unexplained or brushed over a little.

As I mentioned the romance took a more prominent place over the suspense in HIDDEN AWAY and I thought the build up of the romance was perfectly done. The slow pace and less heat of the romance fit the characters, especially Sarah and her background. It wouldn’t have been right if Garrett and Sarah jumped each other from the start and I think Maya Banks handled this very well, even if it did make the book less steamy than the previous one.

I can’t escape the comparison of Maya Banks’ romantic suspense with another favorite of mine: Stephanie Tyler. Like Tyler in LIE WITH ME, in HIDDEN AWAY Banks wrote a villain I’m ambivalent about. Yes he’s a bad man but the way he cared about his sister and her wellbeing made it hard for me to truly despise him as I should have when it comes to villains in romantic suspense novels.

Once again I loved the banter and bond between the brothers and their ability to make fun of themselves, their self-deprecating humor is so funny you can’t help but read their banter with a smile on your face. But…when push comes to shove they are also capable of handling sticky situations together. This is something that Maya Banks nails in every single installment of this series and something that makes this series a favorite on my keepers’ shelf

Though I definitely enjoyed this installment, the lack of intensity both in heat and suspense and my inability to really click with Sarah made it my least favorite of the 3 KGI books so far. Still the romance, emotionality, humorous banter and the Kelly family make this book totally worth the 8/10 rating I’m giving it.

Favorite Quotes:
He grunted under his breath. He hated this kind of shit. He didn’t do undercover crap. That was more Sam’s forte. He’d much rather go in, blow the shit out of the bad guys then go home and have a beer.

No, it wasn’t fear of him as someone who posed a potential risk to her safety. It was the fear a woman had when she sensed a man who could overpower her senses and reduce her to instincts to those of a primal being.
It was a heady sensation. It filled her mind and soul with a vibrancy that awakened a deep longing. To possess and be possessed.

He lowered his voice. “They won’t hurt you.”
She squeezed back. ”I know. If you trust them, so do I. I’m just so…” Her voice trailed off.
Yeah, me too, honey. Me too. But we’re going to make it just fine. And then I’m going to fulfill a little promise I made.”
Her brow wrinkled in question.
“You. Me. Naked. Me inside you. As many times as I can get there.”

“Come here,” he said in a sexy, husky voice.
When she looked up there was a predatory gleam in Garrett’s eyes. A look that told her she was his and he planned to lay claim. Oh but she loved that look. No one had ever looked at her with such intensity. Like he dared anyone to take what was his away. Like he wanted to devour her in a single bit and savor the taste.


3 thoughts on “Review: HIDDEN AWAY by Maya Banks

  1. I liked this one too but definitely not as much as the first two books. I really love the series though and can't wait to read the next installment.Great review Pearl!

  2. You've sold me lately on an other suspense author, so I'm leaving this one for the moment. Though I really like your review, and why you did or did not like parts of it. Still a good read.

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