May 5, 2011

Sam Kelly was her first love.
The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last 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 burns 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 it is to outrun it.

Author: Maya Banks
Series: Kelly/KGI series, book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year of release: 2010, December 7
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 332 pages
Source: Received a digital ARC from the author for review

First line:
He was waiting for her as soon as she opened the door to his hotel room.

Memorable Scenes:
- First chapter > Maya Banks didn't hold back with this opening and immediately set the tone like only she can
- Bathroom scene with Sam, Sophie and their unborn child > I totally choked up, so beautiful
- Sophie telling about her mother > I bawled like a baby!

Sam Kelly is loyal and intense. Falling for someone while undercover is very out of character for focused, stoic and responsible Sam Kelly but it's exactly what happens. His carefree life comes to a complete end when his affair ends in a pregnancy and everyone around him, including his unborn child, are in grave danger. His intensity and sense of loyalty shine through and come in handy facing this situation he’s suddenly thrown in.

Sophie Lundgren is strong, self-reliant and feisty. Despite her delicate and petite appearance she's a tough cookie and resourceful. She's learned early in life to not show any weakness but throughout the book there were moments of fragility and vulnerability that made me love her as much as I loved her for her fierceness and strength. Sophie gives as good as she gets. She doesn't take crap and does what she must to survive and protect her unborn child.

I could argue that Sophie should've been more upfront with Sam and should've told him the whole story when she went to him for protection but that would've taken away a lot of the tension and anticipation of the suspense plot so I won't hold it against Maya Banks for writing the story like that.

NO PLACE TO RUN starts out more like an erotic romance than a romantic suspense, as it is very hot and explicit from the first page. However, you’ll hear no objections from me there as Sam left a lasting first impression on me. I already knew from her Sweet Series that Maya Banks can write some hot and steamy stuff in a contemporary setting and I am very happy to see she also does this in a romantic suspense setting. This will make me come back for more every time.

At first glance the suspense may seem predictable because a lot of information is known to the reader and there's no unknown bad guy lurking around to make you guess but this didn’t bother me in the least as I knew the suspense was waiting for me around the corner. And just when I was thinking that I was missing some suspense and action other than Sophie and Sam trying to stay safe, the action kicked into gear and nail-biting events started following each other in a fast pace. And it’s awesomely written too. Early on you learn the identity of Sophie's father, a fact that is crucial to the suspense plot and from then on it's a rollercoaster of events and action that kept me at the edge of my seat and not wanting to stop reading.

I really love how Maya Banks writes male characters, family dynamics and brotherly banter. I really enjoyed reading about the other brothers and their backgrounds. This book had less multiple POVs than the first book in the series, which gave it a very different vibe too together with Sam and Sophie’s story being so very different from Rachel and Ethan’s. These very different stories make this series stand out for me and make me wish there are many, many more to come.

I have absolutely NOTHING I didn't like or that bothered me about this book! I cried, I smiled, I bit my nails, and I feared, I was outraged, I lamented and I went all 'awwww', all in the span of these 300+ pages. With the KGI series Maya Banks has turned me from avid fan to a devoted one, writing Romantic Suspense I love to read and rave about.

Favorite Quotes:
(Garrett) "We're in fucking Mexico trying to set up a buy with Alex Mouton, and lover boy takes time out to have some hot fling with a waitress in one of the local watering holes."
Donovan shrugged. "So? He still has a dick. Bound to use it sometime."

(Sam to Garrett) "Look, I know you're a suspicious bastard. I'm having my share of what-the-fuckitus at the moment myself, but until I hear what she has to say, I'm reserving judgment."

Sainthood. He deserved sainthood.
Not only had he stood in the bathroom with a very gorgeous, very naked woman, but he'd calmly discussed getting her things like a bra and underwear without batting an eyelash.
Give him bombs, grenades, blood, guts and gore, but bras?
Now, where the hell was he going to get her a bra?


Leontine said...

I just love it when an author can hit all right spots with a reader. Like you I don't mind hot sexy times, mixed with wonderful characters and suspense, it = me being very interested *waggles eyebrows*

Have a fabulous weekend, Pearl!!!

Marissa said...

O yeah Pearl the perfect 10 is rolling in waves off this review! Those characters sound fabulous, together with Banks writing it is guaranteed to be a pageturner! Doing the happy dance here for this series is already on my shelf!

Me wants to read it!

Aurian said...

Wow Pearl, a 10! You sure had a great read with this book!

Nice to meet you!

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39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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