Review: Brighter Than the Sun by Maya Banks

Reviewed by Jaimie

Brighter Than the Sun is the latest installment in the KGI series by Maya Banks, and fans of the series have been waiting for the last Kelly brother to meet his match.  While I loved the book and the main couple Joe and Zoe, it was the scenes with Sean and Rusty that got me the most.  Rusty broke my heart in this book and if possible, I’m dying for them to get their HEA even more now!!!  Okay, back to Joe and Zoe – there was such a sweetness between these two and it wasn’t hard to root for them.  When the end of the book came around I was surprised it was already over because I was enjoying the whole book that much.

Zoe Kildare has had a shitty life thus far.  Her mother left when she was only five, and being the only daughter of a drug kingpin who doesn’t give a crap about her, left her vulnerable to being used by the wrong guy.  She overhears a phone call where the man she thought she loved was talking about how he had been forced to sleep with her to get to her dad, and then casually mentions that he’s going to kill her since its clear the old man doesn’t care about her.  Scared and having nowhere to turn, she calls her one and only friend from college Rusty.  As it turns out, Rusty is a badass who can outdo even Donovan in the technology department.  Rusty creates a new identity complete with full background and then takes Zoe home with her to hide out and regroup.

Joe Kelly is the last of the brothers to fall in love and he is in absolutely no rush to do so.  He enjoys hanging around his brothers and their wives, and loves all of their kids of course, but he convinces himself he’s happy with his bachelor pad and single life.  When he meets Zoe at a family bbq, something about her has his alarm bells ringing.  He can’t put his finger on it, but he’s not buying the story that Rusty spun about why her friend is in town.  While he’s also attracted to the beautiful woman, he decides to spend some time with her to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

So much to love about this book.  One of the cuter moments was at the beginning of the book when Steele finds out that Maren is pregnant again.  After the hell she went through while pregnant with their daughter, he is understandably terrified.  The team members try to reassure him but he’s still freaking out.  During this meeting however, the new team member Allie manages to get on everyone’s nerves and offend the other women on the team when she berates them all for not being serious enough.  She clearly has a chip on her shoulder and it seems like it will be a toss-up whether PJ or Skylar kicks her ass first.  She redeems herself later in the book and I was able to get past what an asshole she was at the beginning.

This one was a bit different than previous books. We don’t start off with the drama and then the couple falls in love while dealing with it.  In this one the couple is well on their way to falling in love when the shit hits the fan.  Its still warp speed that they go from meeting to being in love, but somehow Maya makes you forget these people just met.

Rusty and Sean – I think these two are going to be my favorite when they finally get their book.  Sean has been running scared since that kiss between the two and Rusty decides to confront him.  I don’t want to spoil everything that happens between these two because you really need to read it to appreciate it, but I will say that Rusty had me crying more than once.  Her overall arc in the story was probably my favorite part.

Aside from loving the Rusty/Sean stuff, I really like seeing what’s going on with the other Kelly wives.  In this case there is something in the water where they all live because everyone is knocked up.  Some for the first time and some for the second time.  It was great seeing them all and catching up.  Joe is a big softie and unlike some of the brothers, he doesn’t need his ass kicked for him to see the light about being in love.  He accepts it pretty easily.  Zoe’s self-esteem needed a major boost and I would have liked to have seen some type of a blow-out or interaction with her dad, but it wasn’t enough of an issue that it affected my enjoyment of the book.

While this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, it was still a great read and I really hope that Rusty and Sean are next up!

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Brighter Than the Sun
by Maya Banks
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Jove

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