Customer Reviews for

When Day Breaks (KGI Series #9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

One of the most beautiful, compelling, and inspiring love storie

One of the most beautiful, compelling, and inspiring love stories I've ever read

The last time we checked in with Kelly Group International (KGI) team, Donovan “Van” Kelly had taken charge of an orphaned family in After the Storm. Now it’s Swanny’s turn in When Day Bre...
One of the most beautiful, compelling, and inspiring love stories I've ever read

The last time we checked in with Kelly Group International (KGI) team, Donovan “Van” Kelly had taken charge of an orphaned family in After the Storm. Now it’s Swanny’s turn in When Day Breaks by Maya Banks, the ninth book in her KGI series.

From the first moment that I “met” Darryl “Swanny” Swanson in Whispers in the Dark, which tells of the months of captivity, abuse, and torture that both he and Nathan Kelly suffered in the mountains of Afghanistan after their mission went very wrong. With their miraculous escape and Nathan’s subsequent search to find and help his practically angelic whisperer, I also wanted to know more about Swanny - this strong, resolute, self-effacing, and quiet man. One could say he epitomizes the romantic “tortured” hero, with Banks careful and affectionate depiction of his inner and outer scars.

It was definitely a celebratory red letter day for me when Swanny's story,  When Day Breaks, was delivered to my Kindle.Now this solid protector would have the chance to shine. And he does.

Only Banks would have the creativity and sensitivity to pair Swanny, who wears the signs of his torture both glaringly on his scarred face and body as well as within his soul, with top model and golden girl, Eden Sinclair, who at one time was named the most beautiful woman in the world. At first glance this might seem to be the most disparate “Beauty & the Beast” pairing possible. Swanny, whose self-image seems irrevocably damaged, and Eden, whose beauty has the the world at her feet.

But Eden isn’t superficial or in love with her looks, instead she is refreshingly nice and down-to-earth, finding the most enjoyment during the time when she’s at home in jeans and a hoodie playing with her non-yip-yap dog, an English mastiff. Plus her entire family is made up of the same alpha warrior caste that populates KGI. Her father is a retired military special ops commander, her one brother Ryker served in Afghanistan with Swanny, Nathan, and Joe Kelly, while her other brother Raid is a cop. So Eden well knows - and can deal with - her alpha men.

Swanny, since his rescue, has closed himself off from most interactions with women - aside from his KGI teammates and their families. Yes, he’s a big, strong, alpha warrior, but he prefers to reside in the background. Self-conscious about his scars, he’s afraid of having women react in horror when they see his damaged body. And frankly, he can’t imagine any woman wanting him with his scarred face. But that just proves he hasn’t met the right woman and is also blind to his own attraction, which his KGI teammate Skylar explains to Eden. Yes, he’s one of those alpha warriors who attract women like mad, but even before his captivity it’s implied that he never took advantage of that. Oh Swanny, you are a fairytale hero for sure.

KGI is called in by Eden’s brother Ryker after she is almost killed by a sniper on the Boston streets. There's a perceived threat to her due to the last mission her father went on before he retired. Her mother's life was already forfeited through a prior retaliation, but Guy Hawthorne had taken that threat out - or so it was thought. (Yes, that Guy Hawthorne who keeps popping up, is back once again.)

Even before KGI is mobilized, Banks’ makes it immediately clear that Eden holds a special place in Swanny’s heart - even though they’ve never met in person. Swanny self-reflections on the importance of the letters from Eden and news about her (including some magazine covers) that Ryker shared before the mission went south are incredibly moving. However, Swanny doesn’t think that Eden will ever notice him, but is looking forward to finally seeing this woman - this ideal - that helped him through the darkest nights of his captivity through her very existence.

When Eden and Swanny meet in her Boston hotel, with all her family and his KGI teammates present, it’s quite clear that there is a strong mutual attraction between the two of them. No matter how much Swanny wants to disappear in the shadows. Eden won't let him and acknowledges to herself that she wants to know more about this man who has fascinated her for years, each time her brother discussed his teammates with her.

Now, you may notice from the above description that there is far more about a romance between Swanny and Eden than there is about jam-packed, thrilling action. That’s because although Eden does have a stalker/assassin after her, that really isn’t the focus of When Day Breaks. Instead, action takes a backseat to one of the most beautiful, compelling, and inspiring love stories that I’ve ever read.

Now, some of you may stop right now and say to yourself, that’s not the KGI I want to read. If you do that, I think that you’re doing a disservice both to yourself, Maya Banks, and a series and characters that, in my view, continually breaks and remakes the mold of a romantic suspense series.

Maya Banks is one of the most talented writers around and is able to create characters that set up home in our reader hearts. The KGI family - the Kellys and their teammates - have become, book by book, people to care about. Because of this, I realize that passions run high with this series and expectations about what the books should be like. All I can say is that the way Banks is envisioning and presenting KGI, her books will continue to be preordered and remain on my must-read shelf.

So please add When Day Breaks to your bookshelf if you’re looking for a title that is inspiring, passionate, populated by characters that one can truly admire. It is a story that I am proud to share with a younger relative for them to use as a sort of updated fairytale, with a hero and heroine to admire and fall a bit of reader in love with. 

True beauty is drawn from the spirit within, and both the writer behind When Day Breaks and the story itself epitomize this.

Five stars

posted by Emsy-VanWyck on July 12, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

31 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Disappointed again

So the last book in the series was disappointing and I hoped Swanny's story would be redeeming for the series. Did not happen. I really had high hopes because I loved Swanny's character so much and wanted his story to be awesome.
The story was about 270 pages. If you t...
So the last book in the series was disappointing and I hoped Swanny's story would be redeeming for the series. Did not happen. I really had high hopes because I loved Swanny's character so much and wanted his story to be awesome.
The story was about 270 pages. If you take out all of the recapping of previous stories in the series, droning REPEATIVE dialogue between Swanny and Eden, and obvious set-up for more books, the story would be cut in half. I kept thinking I was rereading the same pages and my nook had a glitch but it was just repetition. I was really disappointed in the "filler" of the stories of previous characters in the series. As an author, if you need some filler, at least give the readers some new info! I found myself skimming instead of reading.
I do not want to add spoilers but their was some serious cheesy in this story. I do not think I can waste money on this series any longer. So sad. :(

posted by Misty628 on June 24, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Disappointed again

    So the last book in the series was disappointing and I hoped Swanny's story would be redeeming for the series. Did not happen. I really had high hopes because I loved Swanny's character so much and wanted his story to be awesome.
    The story was about 270 pages. If you take out all of the recapping of previous stories in the series, droning REPEATIVE dialogue between Swanny and Eden, and obvious set-up for more books, the story would be cut in half. I kept thinking I was rereading the same pages and my nook had a glitch but it was just repetition. I was really disappointed in the "filler" of the stories of previous characters in the series. As an author, if you need some filler, at least give the readers some new info! I found myself skimming instead of reading.
    I do not want to add spoilers but their was some serious cheesy in this story. I do not think I can waste money on this series any longer. So sad. :(

    31 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Very underwhelmed. Insta-love (which I can usually read with no

    Very underwhelmed. Insta-love (which I can usually read with no problem but WOW), not much suspense, little character development...shall I go on? I was sort of looking forward to Swanny's story but shouldn't have been I guess. I was disappointed in Donovan's story (the last KGI novel) and should have realized I guess that Maya Banks has reached the point of diminishing returns.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    I feel compelled to throw my review out there, basically just to

    I feel compelled to throw my review out there, basically just to vent my frustrations. I have absolutely LOVED the KGI series...the action/romance mix has been perfect, and I can't put the books down once I start them. Up until Donovan and Swanny's story. Another reviewer mentioned that it seems like someone else has written these last 2 books...and that's exactly what I thought while reading them.

    Where's the action?!? The first 6 books of the series were so action packed, I would get "anxious" to find out what was going to happen and how these bad ass, alpha males were going to save the day. And Swanny has been portrayed in all previous books as one of the baddest of the badasses! Yet...85% of the book was all about feelings, and doubts, and just so over-the-top corny-ness I had to stop reading to roll my eyes and force myself to get passed it.

    This storyline was so promising, with Swanny being scarred physically -and emotionally- (which we hear about ohhh...pretty much every 4th paragraph) and Eden being the "most beautiful woman on Earth" yet falling for him which would seem so "unrealistic". First you start off with them instantly being in love within about 3 hours of meeting. I've read my fair share of romance novels, and the ones that always disappoint are the ones where the author just says "they're in love" with little to no build-up and you're just supposed to go with that. No thank you. Then you have the absolute nonsense of "inner-dialogue" and the characters thoughts' CONSTANTLY BEING REPEATED. I kid you not, every effing chapter is the same freaking thing, but MAYBE worded just SLIGHTLY differently. It was a problem in Donovan's story and it continues in this one as well. This is where the whole "seems like someone else is writing this story" because it is such a deviation from Maya's usual writing style. The dialogue, the descriptions, all of it...just seem off.

    It is almost bothersome that she introduced new characters in this book so one could easily surmise that they will get their own story to further the KGI series, but I don't think that would be a good idea. The only reasonable explanation I have for the these past 2 duds is that she has just run out of ideas/plots/themes for all the characters she has written into these novels. I think it's time to put the KGI series to rest, instead of continuing with books that don't follow the original "theme" of the series: Kick -ass, military, alpha males blowing stuff up, handling guns and ammo like the pros that they are and saving the day, all the while falling in love with strong female characters and getting there with some hot sex scenes. Oh man I havent even talked about the sex yet. Can we say....mediocre? I don't want to give any spoilers, but it definitely was not up to par with Maya's usual bedroom scenes.

    Overall, this book is not worth the read. If you haven't read and KGI books yet, DO NOT START WITH THIS ONE. Read them in order, and you will fall in love with these guys. But be warned when you get to Donovan's and Swanny's stories...completely different approach to the last 2 books.

    Phew...glad I could get that all out.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Agree with both earlier posts

    I had pre-ordered this book and have been on pins and needles waiting and I was disappointrd....prior reviews were correct...insta-love, recycled flashbacks. Sadly may be time to retire this series thoughI will keep my old ones as I do enjoy going back to read Ethan and Joe's story. Sorry Maya

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    WOW Just WOW! I have read every one of Maya's books and I am ha

    WOW Just WOW! I have read every one of Maya's books and I am having a hard time believing she even wrote this. Totally agree with all the comments on this page. I am heartbroken of this book. Is this all Swanny gets?

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    A miss

    Loved all her KGI books. It was hard to wait until the next one. Very dissapointed in Van's story, even more so in this one. They were too emotional, repetitive and not enough suspense and drama. All her other kgi books rocked, unfortunate.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Nathan and Shea's story was by far my favorite of the series, so

    Nathan and Shea's story was by far my favorite of the series, so I was eagerly awaiting Swanny's story. To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. Midway through the book Joe is tired and bored of babysitting and no action. Well Joe, you weren't alone! As a reader I was bored too. Will I read the next KGI novel? Hmmm, I think it's time for me to stop preordering the books and waiting for the reviews before I buy. The last 4 KGI novels have fallen far short. 

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    What a waste of time and money.

    I was going to wait to read the reviews before I bought this book because of the bad reviews from Donovin's story, but I thought no way would there be two books in a row that were poorly written. BIG mistake. I really don't think Maya wrote this book and maybe even the last one. And this isn't the only author I feel is doing this. I'm done with this series. I hope I'm not done with this author. But to be sure I will be very cautious in buying anymore of Maya Banks books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    I have to agree with the others who rated this book a dud. It to

    I have to agree with the others who rated this book a dud. It took me forever to read this book because I really wasn't interested. There was NO action until the very end of the book and I found even that pretty predictable. I have loved the KGI series but this one in particular was just bad. Van's story wasn't up to the standard of the other KGI stories but I found it way better than this one. It is really disappointing when a great series goes bad.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    I agree.

    I agree.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    When Van's book came out, I thought that she was phoning it in.

    When Van's book came out, I thought that she was phoning it in. After reading this one, I'm pretty sure she has gone on an extended vacation and left the family cat in charge of the writing. This story was awful. Terrible. Painful. 24 chapters of saccharine, nauseating, repetitive, overly sappy and fake dialogue reminiscent of the very worst cheesy dime store romances, and zero action. Horrible. I gave two stars for the one scene where I cared what happened, and even that one was ruined by an ending that she wrapped up in a ridiculously unrealistic perfect little bow, like she decided she was done writing so HAPPY ENDING TIME! I won't spoiler in case someone actually wants to read, but no way do you just get over that with no lasting aftereffects, la la, life is beautiful and unicorns fart rainbows from now on! Swanny had such promise when he first showed up in the series but she ruined him with the cheesy, fake dialogue, all flowers and candy hearts with the occasional random F bomb tossed in there as if to convince readers that the boys are still badass. This series started out as one of my all time favorites, but she has lost it completely. Her characters are now fake, cardboard cutout caricatures of what a tough alpha male with a soft heart might look like. (And stop telling us how @#!$ perfect the Kelleys are! Perfect is BORING!!) I don't want to give up on this series, because I loved the earlier books so much. But better that than watching it die a slow, painful, boring death by fading into mushy crap. I know Ms Banks does not read her own reviews but hopefully someone who works with her does. Please tell her that if she can't bring back the edginess and suspense of the early series, with all its imperfect and wonderfully flawed characters, then just put it to bed and stick to the flowery, saccharine romances that don't pretend to be anything but. But please stop killing KGI. It's painful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Maya, I love your KGI books, but this one seemed to just repeat

    Maya, I love your KGI books, but this one seemed to just repeat over and over what the whole series was about.  I saw that you have had a lot going on this past year but is there anyway that you can work to extend deadlines to give more time for the book?  I would much rather wait longer for a great story than get a new story right away and have it be disappointing.  I will definitely still buy your books, just hope that they go back to the same heart stopping enjoyment as the previous books :) 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Repetitive. The first chapter was the same as the second that w

    Repetitive. The first chapter was the same as the second that was the same as the third. It just went round and round. Then it recapped all the other books in the series. I just didn't get it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Disappointed

    I have enjoyed all the KGI series books and was looking forward to Swanny's story. I was sooo disappointed! I was hoping the story would get better as I read along. It just never happened. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    I've read all the KGI books and this one was definitely disappoi

    I've read all the KGI books and this one was definitely disappointing.  It focused on back and forth cheesy moments of amazement of how simply wonderful  and perfect for each other they both were, instead of  focusing on the actual plot line.  Over and over again, until I would roll my eyes at the absurdness of it all.  Maya Banks is normally better than that.  I found that it felt more like a Silhouette novelette than a compelling story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    I have been a big fan of Maya Banks, but have been very disappoi

    I have been a big fan of Maya Banks, but have been very disappointed in the last two books of the KGI series.  Her fans deserve
    better.  The story could have been told in 100 pages, and been much more eventful.  Repetition of scenarios  gets old very fast.  I will wait
    for reviews of her next book before purchase; this one was not worth the time or money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Repetitive

    I am very disappointed. This was zo much of the same for 75% of the book. Either the same about his scars or previous stories. I live the series, but will reconsider buying another.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    My least favorite

    Of all the KGI books yhiis my least favorite. Not enough action anf to much talk of lack of self edteem and what could Eden see in Swanny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    So disappointing! It had such great potential! Very repetitive

    So disappointing! It had such great potential! Very repetitive! Swanny is just too chatty for a wounded warrior! They talk everything to death! Yes, he would most likely have a hard time believing she chose him, but it was the same dialog over and over and over again! I can honestly say that I wish I had my money back! When the action hit...it picked up nicely! Nice twist to the actual stalker...but wow...everything else was a lot of TELL not SHOW. A writer needs to SHOW us not just tell us what is going on! I am crushed to say...but "Epic Fail, Ms. Banks!" It makes me want to read the Colter series again to remember the talent and commitment you show to your writing and your characters! I know you have it in you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Lacked intensity

    This one lacked the intensity of others in the series. I also was disappointed with this book. Please Maya, get your second wind and breathe life back into KGI.

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