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....
Steele, a KGI team leader, is an enigma not even his teammates understand. His emotions are tightly locked down and nothing can break that icy exterior. Nothing except Maren Scofield, a doctor on a mission, a woman who has gotten under Steele’s skin and threatens to crack that unflappable cool he’s legendary for.
Steele is determined not to allow Maren past his carefully guarded defenses. But when she’s in danger, there’s no way he’ll allow anyone else to protect her.
Maren’s hiding something. He’s sure of it. But he isn’t prepared for the shocking discovery her secrets reveal. Or how they will forever alter the course of his destiny. He has a decision to make. Hold tight and shut her out. Or take a chance on something more powerful than he’s ever faced: Love.
©2013 Maya Banks (P)2013 Penguin Audio
You get familiar with characters though out the series, and start to look forward to their book.
As I said If it's not broke don't fix it. Changing the narrator detracted from the flow of the series. The same characters with different voices ruins the experience.
I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a very good story. I loved seeing Steele actually turn away from being the "Ice Man" and showing feelings, he ends up being a very good hero. Maren makes a great match for him and I loved seeing them get together.
Steele is a team leader for KGI. KGI (Kelly Group International) is a private company that performs Ops like hostage/kidnap victim recovery & intelligence gathering among other things. Steele has always been known as the "Ice Man". He's a great leader and his team loves him (and he feels the same about them) but to see him crack a smile or show any kind of emotion is unheard of. He's disturbed to find that Maren (a doctor that helps them out occasionally) keeps going through his mind and he can't forget her.
Maren is a doctor that has a clinic in Central America. She lives in the jungle and treats villagers and at times, KGI members that have been injured on a mission that come in for treatment when they're not in the US. She has a past association with KGI from when they rescued her and some others from a hostage situation so she's always is willing to help them out. She's attracted to Steele but he's always avoided her and wouldn't speak to her. She's shocked when he shows up at her cottage, propositioning her for one night of sex because he needs to get her out of his system.
Maren is attracted to Steele and isn't thrilled to be propositioned for just one night with no option for more. Despite this, Maren really wants Steele so she agrees and they have one hot and steamy night before he has to leave the next morning. After this, Steele is annoyed to find that now he thinks about Maren more than ever. He feels drawn to see her again and decides to take some R&R from work so her can go see her again. When Steele comes back, Maren is very surprised but happy to see him again. They spend a couple days together and they start to form a connection. Steele finds himself relaxing and having fun with Maren and he wants to spend more time together. Maren is enjoying Steele being there is hoping that she's not the only one feeling the deepening connection between them. Unfortunately, before they have too much time, Steele is called away on an emergency mission (but he's shocked to realize that he doesn't want to go). He does promise Maren that he'll come back after his mission.
After Steele leaves on his mission, Maren gets some surprising news she's pregnant with Steele's baby from their first night together. and immediately after, is kidnapped by a psycho that's obsessed with her. Unfortunately, The psycho is a very rich and evil man and he's not easy to track down. Maren is held by him, threatening her and using leverage over her to force her to do what he wants. To hide his identity, he's undergoing surgery on his face to completely change his looks. He forces Maren to care for him while recovering but he also tries to woo her and starts to grow impatient at not to be getting anywhere with her. Just when it seems that Maren's danger level is spiking in her captivity, an unexpected ally helps Maren get out and back to KGI. Steele has been frantically searching for Maren the whole time she was gone and once she's back he's determined to help her recover and do whatever he can to convince her that they should be together, permanently. Maren goes back to Steele's place with him to recover and they talk things out. Although Maren's worried about how Steele will take all of her news she tells him she's pregnant with his baby. She was worried he wouldn't want anything to do with her or the baby but Steele quickly disabuses her of that notion and convinces her that he's happy about the baby and he wants her but he shows her he can be very supportive and unexpectedly sweet.
Steels and Maren spend some time together and start to figure out how they fit together now. Steele (for being such an Ice Man in the past) is so sweet and there are some wonderful moments when he tells Maren how he feels for her and his hopes of them together that just made me melt. They get a few days of peace when the psycho strikes again, kidnapping Maren's parents in order to trade her for them. Maren goes to the meeting with KGI backing her up, attempting to trace where her parents are and saving them and her before she's in too much danger. While ultimately successful, some issues do arise on the mission and both Steele and Maren are injured. They have some tense moments but in the end they all come out of it alright. Steele is determined to keep Maren safe and happy for the rest of their lives and we have some sweet moments at the end, as Steele and Maren start their HEA.
This was a really good story. I loved both Steele and Maren and was gratified to see them get together and be so sweet together. The action/suspense plot was interesting but didn't overshadow the romance, which had some very sweet and poignant moments. This is a great series and I can't wait for Donovan's book to come out. I'd recommend this book. 2 thumbs up. :)
* note - This narrator is the same one from the last book but I think he did much better with Steele's voice in this one, making it kind of deep and growly (which is perfect for him).
Oh my. His voices were OK until he decided to pull out a cross between Christian Bales Batman and some creepy raspy voice. I literally laughed out loud everytime he switched to the god awful voice. It is Soooo distracting to listen to a romantic scene with a voice that made it sound like a twisted scene in a horror movie. I can only imagine his poor ravaged voice after reading this novel. The story great. Everything else great....the voice distracting. Nuf said!
Maya Banks has done it again. I love this series. I love that the women in this series were all strong and independent. They knew what they wanted and fight for it. It has action, romance and angst. Like the rest of this series, the action was hot, the romance was steamy, and angst wasn't too bad. Steele and Maren were perfect for each other. I like the reappearance of characters from the previous books in the series. I recommend this series.
researcher, mad off-roader, desert girl
Did you fall for Steele like I did thru the series? Quiet-silent really-still waters run deep kind of guy? I have read/listened to all the books in the series simply because there are few in this subgenre (military/warrior/suspense romance) but have actually not finished several.
Eager anticipation for Steele's story met with flat disappointment. I think there was some laziness and formulaic writing here on Ms Banks part. I could have stomached the wimpy, whiny delicate doctor if we'd have seen more depth to Steele. But Ms Banks does deliver on sex. In this case, it has to create the bond between the couple cause chemistry and plot are lacking here. The plot devices are overused--accidental pregnancy, crazy mystery admirer who kidnaps heroine providing necessary opportunity for K&R expert creating artificial intimacy thru adrenaline sex. Banks likes these plot devices as seen in other books.
But there was almost no buildup/background to crazy kidnapper--it was like a chapter or two were cut at the last minute. I suspect ms banks was under contract to get this out while she was focused elsewhere. It shows.
On another note, the narrator, who we suffered thru in the previous book of this series has improved in this book. He does pretty well with Steele's raspy voice and it adds in a positive way. His performance was markedly better; the male lead actually has a lower voice than the female here, compared to PJ & Cole. His former monotone that made prolongued listening difficult has opened up a bit here and was not a detriment.
But it didn't save the book. I lost interest about 3/5ths of the way in. I listen to about 6-7 books a month at least, and 10% do not get finished. That said, I'd still give the book 2.8 (rounding up to 3).
I love the story, haven't quite finished it yet, but its a good book. As to the title of my review... Anyone who has seen the recent Batman movies should be familiar with the growly voice Christian Bale uses when he's in Batman mode. Well, the narrator does this with Steele. I keep wanting to tell him to get a drink or give the guy some cough drops. Its rather jarring and I keep picturing Batman.
I like Hancock so far. I haven't finished the book yet, so assuming he doesn't die in this, I hope to see him in a future book.
Yes, but please stop doing the Batman Voice for Steele. Please.
I guess, but work and sleep intervened.
I miss the old narrator for this series.
I don't understand why they changed narrators. He changed Steels voice from Shades of Gray and it makes the book hard to listen too. Harry needs to do the next one or the voices will change again. Harry made the book a great listen. I never review but I am disappointed that they changed from Harry to Adam he just didn't make the characters come to live as did Harry he made the ICEmen of the KGI books believable. He sounded better in Shades of Gray. This was brought to the attention in the reviews of Shades of Gray but I guess the listeners don't count. It actually hurts I hope with the new one coming out they will bring back Harry. His voice made it hard for me to enjoy the story line and I am a KGI lover. Adam should not of changed the voice for Steele it hurt.
Love this series. Hate the new narrator. Steele sounds like Ridiculous and I keep laughing at everything he says. I keep picturing Christian Bale and those YouTube videos of the dad that keeps yelling at his wife in the Batman voice. It's awful and takes away from the overall experience; however, the story is great. Love Maya Banks!
I don't understand why Maya has so many different narrators for this book. I heard Hancock's book first and loved the narrator's depictions of Steele, Rio, and Hancock. After that, I bought Rio and Steele's books (my favorite in the series after Hancock). I was in shock over the voice in Rio's story. He did the male characters well, especially Rio's Portugese, but his Grace was strange. Then I move to Forged in Steele and this guys voice is incredibly thin. His Steele voice sounded like a teenager trying to sound tough. The most disappointing was his Rio. Rio went from a Brazilian man to a Mexican one. Sigh...I'm go to stay with authors who have the same narrator for all their books.
This whole series rocks I'm addicted to every Maya banks book I read. Will forever be a fan
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