Sarah Daniels is trying to take her life back, along with her sanity after being raped by her former boss (Alan Cross) while his brother (Stanley Cross) restrained her and watched the attack.* Broken and afraid, Sarah confesses the incident to her beloved half brother, Marcus Lattimer, who is hell bent on exacting revenge against both of the Cross brothers. Before Marcus whisks Sarah away to a quite location to heal, he tracks down and murders Alan in cold blood. Sarah witnesses the aftermath of Marcus’ killing and flees the scene, running into Stanley on her way out. Knowing Stanley will soon learn of Alan’s murder, and wanting to protect her brother and herself, Sarah flees the country with no plan of action except escape. Long connected with various illegal organizations, Marcus’ killing does not escape notice. CIA contact Resnick calls a meeting with the KGI Team to inform them of Marcus’s latest murder and to enlist their help in tracking his whereabouts. Garrett Kelly, former military soldier and now member of the KGI Team is determined to take the job. It’s a personal mission for Garrett as Marcus double-crossed Garrett years ago and as a result two of Garrett’s teammates were killed. Garrett takes off to the remote Isle de Bijoux where Sarah is hiding out so he can watch and wait for Marcus to join her. What Garrett doesn’t count on is falling for the fragile and vulnerable Sarah in the process.
There were elements of the story which I continue to love in the KGI series, but I feel that Hidden Away fell a bit short. In the previous installments, we had strong and capable heroes and heroines. They were not without faults or tragedies, but they persevered. While Sarah had a traumatic event in her life, her neurotic paranoia and broken spirit exhausted me through much of the book. Garrett’s patience and sensitivity with Sarah was heartwarming, but their overall chemistry lacked the spark I expected. In The Darkest Hour and No Place to Run, Garrett was a broody, stoic and introverted man who, never-the-less was a hard core badass. A woman who brought out his primal passion and intensity, as opposed to appealing to his caregiver instincts would have made for a more satisfying pairing. I also think this would have aided the pace of the book. I understand the relationship had to develop slowly due to Sarah’s past, but I did not expect to wait over 200 pages for their relationship to progress to the next level and for Garrett and Sarah to become intimate. Also, for a romantic suspense novel, the slow build-up hampered the tension and was uncharacteristic of the series. My relative disinterest in the main couple made me more interested in the developments of the other Kelly brothers (I want Donovan’s book now!) and KGI team members.
What I always enjoy about this series is the family unity Ms. Banks portrays in each book. If I ever wanted to be adopted into a fictional family, it would be the Kelly’s. They protect their own and have a solid devotion to each family member. In Hidden Away, we reconnect with Ethan and Rachel as well as Sam and Sophie from the prior two books. There is also a great scene with the brothers and Rusty (Mama Kelly’s stray foster child) that will melt your heart and solidify how devoted each brother is to family. Blood or not.
While I didn’t particularly connect with Sarah and Garrett did not fully met my expectations, I am devoted to the Kelly brothers and am happy to report that Ms. Banks will be continuing the KGI series and releasing information about the next two books soon!
“When she looked up there was a predatory gleam in Garrett’s eyes. A look that told her she was his and he planed 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 anyway. Like he wanted to devour her in a single bite and savor the taste.”
* For those concerned readers out there, the rape scene is not spoken about in detail.