by Maya Banks
Book #2 in the Kelly Group, International (KGI) series
Published December 7th 2010 by Berkley Sensation
SAM KELLY WAS HER FIRST LOVE
The person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded form the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they had shared a brief intense affair while Sam was undercover, and then she vanished. She's spent the last five months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child - Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: This time, he's the one in danger.
NOW HE'S HER LAST CHANCE
Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again - like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes and the passion urns again, and Sam knows he'll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie's dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive is to outrun it.
Sam Kelly is the oldest of his brothers and formed Kelly Group, International. Five months ago, while on an undercover mission in Mexico, he had a brief but intense affair with a woman named Sophie Lundgren. Sophie vanished at the end of the operation and Sam hadn't seen her since...until he pulled her from the lake in front of his home, wounded, barely conscious and pregnant with his child.
This story starts off pretty steamy with a look into Sam and Sophie's last encounter in Mexico and I have to admit I was a bit lost. My first thought was this was a dream but like most prologues, it really is a back-story designed to set up the main attraction. Once the book transitions to the present, it's almost non-stop action until the end. Even though they haven't seen each other in five months, Sam and Sophie never got over each other (Sam has been out of sorts since his return home) but neither represented themselves honestly during their affair. Sophie is full of explosive secrets and Sam cannot figure out how she found out his real identity or if he can trust her. Sam's brothers are equally mistrustful of this woman and when she reveals her true identity, become even more guarded. The entire team and the Kelly family are at risk when they discover more about Sophie.
I was pretty happy with the first book in this series but this story surpassed my expectations and was even better. It was filled with tension, both romantic and suspense, and I literally couldn't put it down..finished it in a day and it's not a short read. What really worked here is the pace of the story, which really moves from the moment Sophie is discovered on the lake. Without revealing too many details to spoil the experience, I can say that the team is challenged to stay ahead of whoever is after Sophie and Sam. The KGI teams mobilize into action and the entire Kelly clan is involved in some form or fashion. The ending is one of the most climactic I've read in awhile and does not disappoint.
The one criticism I have is with Sophie's reluctance to be completely forthright with Sam about all the details of her escape and background. It wasn't entirely plausible to me that she would withhold some of the information she did, knowing it would be critical to the mission of going after those trying to kill her. Her fear that Sam would think less of her if she revealed everything just didn't cut it, not measured against the real risk of life and death. Other than this nit, though it is pretty large, the story was pretty exciting, compelling and well written.
I keep forgetting Maya Banks is first and foremost a wonderful storyteller. She knows how to grab your attention quickly and keep you hooked into the story and characters, and oh, what wonderful characters she creates. Her roots in erotica certainly provide that layer of romance that makes the book even more compelling. This is an excellent installment in the series and I'm so looking forward to the next book, which is a 2012 RITA Award finalist.
No Place to Run is available at: