Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Club: Hidden Away by Maya Banks

By: Kris Gilson

Kelly Group International…a super-elite, top secret, family-run business.

Garrett Kelly is the ultimate alpha male; former military, rock hard body, highly intelligent, the type to shoot first and ask questions later. His scowl and suspicious nature would have a lesser man shaking in his boots. In the two previous books (The Darkest Hour, No Place to Run), Garrett is always very intense and consistently broods, but his deep loyalty and devotion to his family is evident when he takes a bullet (in No Place to Run) for his soon-to-be sister-in-law. In Hidden Away, Garrett is recuperating and he accepts a mission to babysit Sarah Daniels on a tropical beach. Most people would think an all-expenses tropical getaway for a cake job would be fabulous, but Garrett sees it as a potential opportunity for revenge. Sarah Daniels is the secret half-sister of Marcus Lattimer, the man who betrayed Garrett and his team and resulted in the deaths of several of his men.

Garrett is instantly drawn to Sarah. She is haunted by a devastating betrayal of her former bosses. One of those bosses is the man that Marcus Lattimer killed, drawing the attention of the CIA and, subsequently, the Kelly Group. From early on in the story, you can see that both Garrett and Sarah are closed off people, and not very trusting for decidedly different reasons. During their time on the beach, both of them slowly start to change. Garrett is described by his mother as a self-sufficient loner, but deep-down there are more dimensions to his character than just being grouchy and anti-social. We get to see the warm and caring qualities and his lighter side the more he interacts with Sarah. It was also a sweet journey to watch Sarah begin to overcome her past, her timidity, and her vulnerability.

Garrett follows Sarah to Mexico and when he shows up at her house, telling her that her brother hired him to watch over her, she asks what’s in it for him, besides the money. He tells her “You, you’re what’s in it for me”. A minute later they’re kissing and she is laughing when he tells her to forget about his expanding groin. He tells her that he was trying not to be an asshole. She laughs harder and says “You break into my house. You take my gun away from me. Informed me you lied about pretty much everything when we were on the island. Then tell me I’m an idiot who’s trying to get herself killed. And you’re worried about being an asshole?” To me, this scene exemplifies the book and how it transports us from the emotionally tender to the laugh out loud.

Garrett knew Sarah would be unhappy to find out that he lied about working for her brother. He knows there is a loyalty and innate goodness to her, but he desperately has to believe he is doing the right thing in fulfilling his unspoken promise to avenge his fallen teammates. Even as he begins to realize that he could lose Sarah and might be losing some of his honor, he is driven by the honor of that promise. It is this internal struggle that kept me from thinking that his lying to Sarah was a despicable act!

When they’re kidnapped in Mexico and Garrett takes a beating for her, she tries to defend him as she is sick with worry that he will be too badly hurt. She doesn’t understand how strong willed he is that he could suffer a beating without uttering a single sound. When Rio shows up to rescue them, she doesn’t know who he is and puts herself between Rio and a sleeping Garrett in order to defend him. She is ready to humiliate herself and give him her body in order to protect Garrett. Then she is embarrassed that she partially bared herself in front of one of Garrett’s men. Not only is this a glimpse into Sarah’s loyalty and her growing love for Garrett, but we get another glimpse into Rio’s mysterious and unique personality. I am so looking forward to Rio getting his own book (which, according to Maya’s web page, will be Book 5, after Nathan’s story!).

There are so many wonderful and intriguing characters we’ve been introduced to so far who are further developed in each book, and I really am hoping that each and every one gets their own story. There are also other elements that simply add to the story, namely the family dynamic and the interaction among the brothers. Visiting again with some of the characters was great, and truly meaningful, not simply page filler. I was charmed by Sam with the birth of his baby and devoured the news that Rachel continues to improve. Other than Rio, I’m especially intrigued by PJ and Rusty. I know Rusty has a lot of growing up to do, but I’m really hoping that we’ll get to see her paired up with Sean someday. Perhaps if Maya is able to pop in and chat she will give us some more info on what the future might bring!

Maya is giving away the winner's choice of one of her books, so comment to be entered in the drawing! Find out more about Maya and her books at http://www.mayabanks.com./

Since a portion of the story takes places in the Caribbean, I thought we could cook up a treat from the island where I honeymooned just about 20 years ago:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Jerk seasoning, a spicy blend of garlic, onion, chiles, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, originated in Jamaica and is traditionally used on pork and chicken. Because the jerk marinade can burn easily, the chicken requires slow cooking on the grill, which also helps keep the meat moist.

Ingredients
For jerk marinade:
• 3 scallions, chopped
• 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 4 to 5 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, stemmed and seeded
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
• 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 2 teaspoons ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons black pepper
• 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For chicken:
• 4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3 pounds), halved crosswise
• 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks

Preparation
Make marinade:
Blend all marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Marinate and grill chicken:
Divide chicken pieces and marinade between 2 sealable plastic bags. Seal bags, pressing out excess air, then turn bags over several times to distribute marinade. Put bags of chicken in a shallow pan and marinate, chilled, turning once or twice, 1 day.
Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
Papaya Salsa accompaniment

Ingredients
• 2 pounds papaya (2 preferably pink-fleshed strawberry variety), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 1 1/2 cups diced (1/4 inch) fresh pineapple (from 1/2 small pineapple)
• 2 scallions, finely chopped
• 1 small garlic clove, minced
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation
Stir together all ingredients.
You can also substitute mango or cantaloupe.

65 comments:

krisgils33 said...

Morning all!
I haven't had nearly enough caffeine yet. Reading over what I wrote for book club, I get the tingles just thinking about the delicious Kelly brothers! I can't wait to see what the future will bring as the series progresses! I'm hoping if the uber-busy Maya is able to stop by she will give us some insider info! :-)

Jackie P said...

Loved this book! I too am looking forward to what the future holds for the Kelly brothers. (I have a thing for the twins :) )

krisgils33 said...

I don't feel I know the twins well enough...yet. Is there anything in particular that draws you to them?

Marie Force said...

I LOVE this series, Kris! Great choice for book club. Garrett was a great hero and I loved Sarah, too. Looking forward to more from KGI. I agree that I don't feel like I know Nathan or Joe very well yet, so it will be interesting to see their stories unfold. I was surprised to hear the next book is Nathan's. I figured it would be Joe since he comes home injured in book 3. I can't wait to read Rio's book, too. I think there's a lot lurking beneath the surface with him. A great series!

Ronlyn said...

Morning all! *sipping my coffee trying to get my eyes to focus*
I very much enjoyed Garrett & Sara. Garrett for being the "man's man" on the outside with a soft, gooey core and Sara for being so wonderfully brave and not even realizing it.
The banter between the brothers is always fun to read and I admit to tearing up a bit when they all presented a united front to & for Rusty. What teenage boy wouldn't be sh*tting bricks after that?
And I felt for Sara who was torn between loyalty for a brother who did love her and her need to ostrich herself in regards to what he was capable of, even on her behalf.
Relationships are tricky things...

heatherphagan said...

I have not read this series yet but i do love Maya's books. I will get them and start on them. I had looked at this one and almost got it guess i will be getting it now.

krisgils33 said...

Hi Heather, thanks for stopping in. Yup, I have to say this is a really great series and if you already enjoy Maya's books, you won't be disappointed!

Maya Banks said...

Morning! I'm awake. Sorta. I'll pop in and out through the day :)

Maya Banks said...

I didn't know whose book I was going to write after Hidden Away until I got to the end of Hidden Away when I found out Nathan was missing. And then I said, omg where is he?? And well then I had to write his story :)

I'm not much on the whole preplanning thing...

Maya Banks said...

Ronlyn, I was pretty much nodding while reading your comment. I think you were channeling my brain when you read the story heh

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

One of these days I'm going to show up here and have actually read the book that's featured :) It's going to surprise you all LOL I loved the first two books and am sooo looking forward to reading this one and I will be picking it up to read.....TOMORROW!!! YIPEEE, I just found it at a grocery store in my tiny town and about passed out when I saw it on the shelf after looking for it for FOREVER it seems. Dang kids and their baseball and library day are keeping me away from Garrette, but tomorrow he's mine, well till about 4 then it's baseball again. Kids and their sports, JEESH :)

NEways, love Maya, was introduced to her work by reading Seducing Simon, I just couldn't resist the hottie on the cover and recently thanks to Hope, I was blown away with Loving Lies. My new fav. book. Loved it. Now, I can't wait to read more Maya. Now that I'm done gushing...

Jackie, I soo love the twins, and can't wait to see more of them. Rusty too, love that girls spunk and want to know what the future holds for her as well

Marie Force said...

Maya,
You write the way I do... No planning... Love it! Very interesting how the story led you to Nathan next. Can't wait to find out where he is.

We love "journey" stories here at book club (okay, I do), so tell us about your journey to publication.

krisgils33 said...

Maya,
Can you tell us a little about your process and what your typical writing day is like?

Hope said...

I am in love with this series. The Darkest Hour was actually my first "Maya" book, obviously it wasn't the last.

I love the dynamics of the Kelly family, the brothers are great but I am in love with the parents. I guess just wishing and hoping that sort of thing. I am with Ronlyn, I did tear up at the scene that the brothers came to Rusty's school and I sincerely hope Rusty gets her own book. I have my hero picked out for her already and NO it isn't one of her brothers!!!

I have been intrigued by the twins from the start, and maybe not knowing a lot about them is one of the things that I find intriguing so I am excited Nathan is next.

Ronlyn said...

What led to the Kellys? A large family with a mom who takes in "strays"? Each time there is a natural disaster (Haiti, Japan) I turn my big brown eyes onto my hubby and he tells me "No, we are not adopting one of those kids."
I would LOVE to do that (even while realizing at this time there's no way it would be feasible.)

Maya Banks said...

Hope, I've really loved Nathan since book 1 even though we didn't see him and Joe for books 2 and 3. I had always planned to "bring them home" and have them get out of the service early in the series. I also always knew that I wouldn't write the brothers consecutively. I've never found it believable that they would just all get married bam, bam, bam heh. So Donovan and Joe are the holdouts for now. I still have no idea who book six is going to be about!

Maya Banks said...

Writing process.. I wish I HAD a process. I wish I was more organized. I wish I could sit down and write X number of pages every day no matter what, but it never works out that way for me. My process is just to sit down and start writing. Somedays I get a LOT done. Others I'm distracted by having edits for FIVE books ugh. Or galleys. Or kid stuff.

I'm never really ever sure how I get to the end of a book by my deadline. It just sort of happens!

Alison said...

Hi Everyone! Hi Maya!

Love Maya's books! I'm totally hooked on this series! The Kelly brothers are amazing!!

I loved getting to know Garrett better...his sense of humor and the sweet way he was with Sarah, couldn't have been better. I think he's my fav brother at this point :)

I could sympathize with Sarah's conflict...loving her brother, but knowing he was up to some bad stuff.

Loved that the punk who messed with Rusty got the sh*t scared out of him! I hope Rusty gets a book :)

Can't wait for Nathan's book!

Maya Banks said...

Publication went nothing like I planned. Nothing ever does. I started writing historicals. When I was writing my second historical (ever) the idea for The Darkest Hour popped into my head and for awhile I ignored it until it took over my brain cells and I had to start writing it.

But then I found an agent to rep those historicals and so I put Darkest Hour aside to focus on those other books. Historicals and the agent fell through and I started writing contemporary erotic romance, sold to two publishers and then two years later decided to pull out Darkest Hour again. I polished up a proposal for the KGI series and my editor bought it!

Maya Banks said...

Hope lol, all I will say is that, no, Rusty does not end up with one of the Kelly brothers :)

Marie Force said...

And now The Darkest Hour is a Rita finalist! Congrats on that! Sometimes the old gut knows where it is leading us. We just have to be wise enough to follow it, right? :-)

Maya Banks said...

Ronlyn I wish I had a succinct answer for you. My ideas typically just come to me and I daydream about details, but it's not really a case of me saying ok I want this character trait and that character trait and I want this many people in the family and I want them to be like this.

They just sorta come to me and more often than not, little tidbits are revealed to me the further I get into a story. I would get bored if I knew everything up front. It's what I love about writing because I discover new things as I'm writing a story so it's almost like I'm reading a book and learning new stuff with every page I turn, only I'm writing and I learn more the more pages I write. It keeps it exciting!

Tara said...

Hi All, welcome Maya! I love,love,love this series! Can you tell that I like these books? However, I have not read this one,yet. It is on my kindle being saved for my flight on Monday. The spoilers here make me want to start it today.

I love the family dynamic and enjoy the interaction between the family members, especially the boys becoming more accepting and protective of Rusty.

Maya,and Marie,when writing do you work on multiple books at once, or just focus on one at a time?

Also, how did the idea for the Kelly family and KGI originate?

Kris, thanks for picking a great book and for the recipe, another one to add to my book.

Have a good rest of the week everyone and enjoy your weekend!

Siobhan Muir / Meg Palevich said...

Wow, this one sounds great! I've really enjoyed the Kelly brothers and would love a copy of The Darkest Hour. Maya's Kelly boys are to die for! :)

Ronlyn said...

more questions (as I battle the 7 year old about the need to actually be clothed to attend school)
-who do you enjoy reading in all your spare time (I know, spare time-HA!)
-do you have any charities or special interests that you're involved in outside of the romance world?

krisgils33 said...

Maya,
do you know WHO Rusty ends up with? You don't have to share (unless you want to!!), but I am curious to know if you've figured it out. :-)

Marie Force said...

Ronlyn,
Who does Maya sound like? I always joke that I don't plot because knowing how it will end would bore me and I have the attention span of a 4 year old. LOL! Always glad to know it's not just me!

Marie Force said...

Tara,
I often work on more than one at a time, and if some current things come to fruition, I will HAVE to work on more than one at at time. Yikes. Often one will surge to the forefront and demand my attention and get finished first. It's always good to have the other waiting for me to return to it when I am ready. Good question!

Maya Banks said...

I love Christine Feehan. LOVE HER. Julie Garwood (she taught me everything I know about writing) Sharon Sala (her older stuff) Elizabeth Lowell's older stuff. I adore Harlequin lines like Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Romance, Silhouette Special Edition. I love Nalini Singh. I don't read a whole lot of paranormal but I do love Christine Feehan and Nalini Singh.

Maya Banks said...

Tara, no, I can NOT work on more than one book at a time. I'm hopelessly linear. I can't write out of order either. For me, whatever book I'm working on, is IT. It's all encompassing. It's very much in the now. If I broke away to work on something else, it would be hugely disruptive for me.

It's almost like when you're reading a book you just can't put down and you can't wait to see what happens next. You wouldn't put THAT book down to go start on another one.

I wouldn't be able to focus on either book well and that wouldn't be fair to my readers and it would FRUSTRATE me to no end lol

Roberta said...

This book sounds soooo good! I only finished the first book in the series this week and I am totally hooked. The book was a permanent fixture in front of my face while I was reading it. I'm sure my husband loved how anti-social I was being. I just LOVE the Kelly family! Family banter doesn't always feel natural in books, but that wasn't an issue with your story Maya. I am very excited to read about all these yummy brothers.

Maya Banks said...

Kris, I have an "idea" of Rusty's story, but it's so far into the future that I KNOW I'll end up changing my mind. I always do. Which is why I don't want to commit to anything now because then it would likely change.

Since the series is ever evolving and isn't set in stone in my mind, any number of things could happen!

Marie Force said...

LOL Maya! I do the linear thing too. Can't go "around" a sex scene, for instance. Have to go THROUGH it. My problem is with that dreaded attention span. I find I need some space from the WIP for a day or two and will take a step back and work on something else while the juices percolate on the first one. So linear on all of them. Just linear with a dotted line. :-)

ClaudiGC said...

Hi Maya!
I haven't read any of your KGI books yet but I love the Sweet series and can't wait for Sweet Possession! I think I have to stalk my postman during the next week... :)
Good luck with your next releases!

krisgils33 said...

Maya,
you write several different genres; any preferences or perhaps you enjoy mixing it up a bit to keep from getting bored? Also, what is your favorite genre to read?

Hope said...

I haven't read Maya's Sweet books, but they are on my list of MUST PURCHASE. Maya, do you have any books that are a MUST HAVE?

Mary G said...

Hi Maya
I've been a huge fan since Seducing Simon. Love the Sweet series too.

The Darkest Hour was one of my top reads of 2010. It was amazing. The deep emotion worked great with the rom. susp. Sometimes people gripe about the first of a series being too bogged down with characters but I loved everyone it. You did an amazing job going between the main couple & the family.

Loved the next 2 as well.For Hidden Away "And you’re worried about being an asshole?” had to be one of my fave lines.

Can't wait for the next one KGI & Sweet Possession next week.

Mary G said...

BTW I hope Rusty ends up with the young cop (Darn I forget his name -my book is at home).

Marie Force said...

I have to get going on the Sweet series! What's the first one ladies?

Mary G said...

Sweet Surrender
Sweet Persuasion
Sweet Seduction
Sweet Temptation
Sweet Possession

Marie Force said...

It's Sean, Mary, and I think we're all rooting for a Rusty/Sean romance!

Mary G said...

Sweet Temptation has one of the prettiest covers ever. I want to look like her.

Mary G said...

Exactly. I felt something there from the first.

Marie Force said...

Thanks Mary! I'm feeling a glom coming on... I have been trying to figure out what's next since I finished Cynthia Eden's Deadly series. You girls get me going on something and then I have to read it all!

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

Hmmm, I've heard a lot of talk on the Sweet Series, must buy soon!!! :) Can't wait to start on this book and am trying to shield my eyes from the teasers. Need to hurry and let Garrett join his brothers on my bookshelf, they've been somewhat patient.

I'm with you Ronlyn, I've always wanted to adopt, maybe when my kids are a little older

Mary G said...

I think the Sweet series is considered more erotic. I love the guys and the women hold their own which is great.

Marie Force said...

We always expected we would adopt, too, Ronlyn and Jolene. We also said we wanted four kids. Then we had one and said three. Then we had two and said DONE. It didn't help that I had no trouble getting pregnant but getting them OUT became an issue. I thought my big ole hips would be good for something, but turns out (are you ready for this?) I am SKINNY ON THE INSIDE. Yep. You read that right. I want a T-shirt that says that.

Now that our kids are 15 and 12 and into a million different things, I'd worry about having enough time (not to mention PATIENCE) for another child. I see those "Tuesday's Child" segments on the news and I want to run right out and get the kid, but then that pesky time/patience issue rears its ugly head. Sigh. We had good intentions!

Mary G said...

I skinny deep deep down too LOL.

Jackie P said...

@Kris I think it was the who vibe they gave off in the Darkest Hour. I just liked them.

Mary G said...

Kris
Forgot to say - You did great on this post.

krisgils33 said...

thanks Mary!

jeanette8042 said...

Love the KGI series and Hidden Away was great!

Judy F said...

I am reading the current book right now. Loving it. Just been skimming the mesgs don't want to spoil it for myself.

I just love this whole series. My friend Laurie D got me hooked on them.

oklanannie said...

Another fan of the KGI and Kelly family checking in! From the very first I've loved the familial aspect this storyline holds. And I love "Mom" and "Dad" Kelly and their big caring hearts. The unselfish and giving attitudes caught me up when Rusty arrived on scene. The brothers are all yummy and cousin Sean, as well. I'm enjoying each and every book and how they continue to interrelate to each other and all the characters while establishing each couple's own HEA. And I love the suspense elements as well -- can't leave out the suspense in a great romantic suspense series. I'm anxious to read Nathan's story and look forward to the rest of the bunch on down the line too!

I am also looking forward to Sweet Possession next week. It will be my first Sweet book but the blurb on the book caught my attention and many of my book friends have solidified my interest.

Thanks to Maya for stopping by and sharing time with us. As always, I thank Marie for the book club and Kris -- great review and recipe. I enjoyed today's "meeting."

Marie Force said...

Waving to you, Anne! You should be a full-time reviewer. You write such lovely, articulate reviews! I picture you as the next Dear Author, only we'd call you Dear Annie! :-)

Loved your assessment of the KGI series. I totally agree!

Diane said...

I enjoyed the first book but haven't gotten the second one yet.

Kara C said...

I really like this series. What's not to love about a family full of um, very fine gentlemen? I have finally managed to track down The Darkest Hour after I let a friend borrow it, who then let a friend borrow it, who then, well you get the point. I'm ready for a reread! Congratulations, Maya, on that book being a RITA finalist!
Forecasting Marie's next FB post - I'm skinny on the inside. :-)

krisgils33 said...

thanks, Anne!!!

Maya Banks said...

Ok really sorry gang! My girlie had a looooong softball practice so I've been out of pocket. Will go read the comments now!

Maya Banks said...

Hope, for me, MY must have would be my upcoming Scottish historical trilogy. They are my best work to date, hands down (IMO) :)

Maya Banks said...

Oklanannie, I hope you enjoy Sweet Possession! It's my favorite book of the Sweet series, though I do love them all. THe characters are very special to me!

Maya Banks said...

Thanks to everyone for coming by. I enjoyed chatting with you all :)

Marie Force said...

Maya,
Thanks so much for being here! It was great to chat with you. I'll pick a winner of your giveaway today and get back with you.

Thanks again! We'd love to have you back again sometime to talk about another KGI book or an upcoming release!

Marie Force said...

And the winner is....

HEATHER!

Contact me at marie@marieforce.com with your mailing address and we'll get the book of your choice from Maya's back list out to you. Thanks again everyone and get reading The Bachelor by Carly Phillips, an oldie but a goodie!

BTW, I started the Sweet series last night and I am already addicted!

Alison said...

Congrats Heather!!