After the Storm
Berkley / January 7, 2014 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital
Over the years, Donovan Kelly has fought relentlessly for justice, women and children always holding a special place in his heart. Working side by side with his brothers, Donovan has witnessed firsthand the toll it’s taken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—on his loved ones, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire. What he never expects is for his next mission to happen right on his home turf—or for it to take a very personal turn.
Picturesque Kentucky Lake is the perfect place for a soul in search of safe harbor. A beautiful stranger has arrived—desperate, breathless, and on the run from a dark past closing in on her and the younger siblings she has vowed to protect. Donovan must now draw on every resource at his disposal—if he wants to save a woman and the children who may prove to be his destiny.
Rusty Kelly knows about being a kid on her own. Before being adopted by the Kelly family, she lived on the streets rather than live with her abusive father, trying to stay under the radar of the local police and anyone who would try to do her harm. So when Rusty looks into the eyes of 15-year-old Travis Breckenridge, she recognizes the fear and desperation that he was trying to hide. She wants to help this kid on the run, so offers him a job at the family hardware store. She also knows from experience that offering help to someone in his situation is like offering food to a feral animal. She is aware if she pries too much, he will run. She wouldn’t have trusted anyone offering help, and he won’t either.
In Maya Banks’s latest release in her KGI series, After the Storm, Rusty enlists the help of big brother Van to try and help Travis and his sisters. Everyone knows that Donovan Kelly has a soft spot for abused women and children and he can’t stand by and ignore someone in need.
They follow Travis home to a run down, uninhabitable trailer and it only takes a moment for Donovan to see the fear in Eve, Travis and little Cammie’s eyes to know that they are in big trouble and running for their lives. From the instant Donovan walksinto that trailer, he knew this wasn’t going to be just another mission for him. He knows that he wants to create a family of his own with these three.
“You’re already looking at Eve, Cammie and Travis as yours,” Garrett pointed out. “We just don’t want to see you get hurt, man.”
“I just want what you both already have,” Donovan said, his voice lowering and shaking lightly with emotion. “And maybe Eve is that person. Maybe not. But I won’t ignore what I feel when I look at her just because I don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle yet. Just like neither of you turned away from your wives who at that time were just a mission. Just someone in trouble.”
As a KGI operative, Donovan understands Eve has to trust him before she'll tell him what he needs to know to help. With KGI’s resources at his disposal, Donovan is confident he can solve all their problems. But Donovan grew up surrounded by the love and support of the large Kelly family, and doesn't get how hard it is for Eve to trust.
Eve only learned deception and fear from her family, and she is willing to risk jail to keep her brother and sister away from their abusive, but powerful, father. She wants desperately to be able to accept Donovan's help so they can stop running, but she knows she risks Travis and Cammie if she trusts the wrong person and they end up being sent back to their father.
Cammie cracked a half smile and settled back against Swanny’s chest. Tears stung Eve’s eyes. They were all so…nice. So very gentle and understanding with all of them. People just didn’t do what these people were doing. Going out of their way for complete strangers. Taking such a personal stake in their well-being. It flabbergasted Eve and rendered her unable to comprehend their generosity and kindness.
His strong arm came around her waist, anchoring her firmly to his side. And God, did it feel good. To lean on this man and his strength. It was like being held up by an immovable boulder. In that moment, she knew nothing could hurt her. That Donovan wouldn’t allow it. It was a crazy assumption, but she had no intention of thinking differently. She—they all—needed a moment where they felt safe and secure.
When a tornado blows through Town leaving their home destroyed and Eve and Travis badly hurt, Donovan can’t wait any longer for Eve to offer her trust. As the leader of KGI, he takes over, moving Eve, Travis, and Cammie into his newly completed house on the Kelly Compound. He can only hope that Eve will still offer him her trust after forcing his protection on them.
He turned to Maren, not waiting for Eve’s agreement. Whether she gave it or not, things were going to be done his way from now on. That likely made him a huge asshole, to press this woman when she was infinitely fragile and on the verge of breaking. But he’d use that to his advantage and not suffer one iota of remorse for making certain they were safe and taken care of. No matter what it took. He’d spare no available resource in his quest to ensure their well-being. And that they stayed right where they belonged. With him.
Can Donovan hold onto the fragile trust offered by Eve or will one misstep on his part send them on the run from the only people who could keep them safe from the man who intends to find his family and make them understand what happens to those who defy him?
Learn more or order a copy of After the Storm by Maya Banks, available January 7, 2014:
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.