Maya Banks can be a bit hit-and-miss for me, e.g. for me, her Sweet series started off sexy and fun, but then got a touch yuck with all the 'friends-menage' sex (I have no problems with menage, just the bunch of friends doing each other in various combos - think in-breeding...), so I was hopeful that this would be the start of a great new series. I think it will be, and as other than Ethan, the lead in this tale, we get to know his 5 brothers at at least 4 of his friends, who all sound as if they will get their own tales, though perhaps some might be novellas. All the guys either have Navy, Army or military backgrounds, so that's half the tales done - as well as guaranteed sales - already.
As this is the first book in the series, there was a lot that the author needed to tell us about KGI, and whilst, yes, all of the explanations were necessary, I did find it a touch complicated to remember so many guys, and when the friends got added to the mix, it was even more to take in, but once that foundations were settled, all was fine and we got treated to a decent tale.
Ethan and Rachel were married for three years when a year ago, on a charity mission to South America, she disappeared and eventually her belongings and personal effects made their way to Ethan and he buried her and has mourned her since. On the first anniversary of her death, he receives a parcel containing pictures of someone who looks a lot like her, though thinner, ill-looking and also GPS coordinates and a note telling him that she's alive and needs rescuing - so Ethan and the KGI gang go in and get her.
That's basically it, as you will see from the published blurb of the book, but what makes the tale is what happens after the rescue: the tenderness and care that former-Navy Seal Ethan shows as he tries to rebuild his relationship and marriage, the gentle person that Rachel is, and her amnesia, the way in which all the Kelly family and friends band together to help her is a tale of love and loyalty. I am not going to go into detail, but it's not all roses - there are emotional trials, there are baddies and blood and there is danger, but eventually, there is a HEA.
I was also fine that because of the nature of this tale, the raunchy sex scenes for which the author is noted were a touch more tame here, and came later in the book, but the balance was entirely right: the scenes were sexual, but healing, romantic and sensual and paced very well, given Rachel's trauma. There weren't quite as many as I, and probably other readers, would hope for, but that's because of the tale, yet again. However, now that the scene has been set for this series, and the hunks described yummily enough (strangely, though, Ethan's description was the sketchiest of all) that you want to read the next straight away and because from the sneak preview of the start of the next brother's tale that is included at the end, this series will, I hope, move a touch faster.
In many ways, with the guys' 'military', to use the term loosely, backgrounds, this series reminded me very much of the Lora Leigh series Elite Ops, with a touch of her SEALS series, but the male leads don't quite come across as as tortured as many of the latter's male leads. This tale, reminded me very very much of Wild Card, where Nathan and Sabella have to find each other after being married, then parted through 'death', and then reunited. A really decent tale, and I already have the next two in the series on pre-order, with the others to follow as soon as amazon advertises them!