Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Darkest Hour (KGI, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Darkest Hour (KGI, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Darkest Hour (KGI #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  22,245 Ratings  ·  1,371 Reviews
It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymou
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Berkley
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Something About You by Julie JamesA Lot like Love by Julie JamesWild Card by Lora LeighThe Darkest Hour by Maya BanksUnlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
I Love A Man In Uniform
1,365 books — 1,425 voters
Mr. Perfect by Linda HowardAfter the Night by Linda HowardHard Evidence by Pamela ClareUnlawful Contact by Pamela ClareNaked in Death by J.D. Robb
Best Romantic Suspense
1,806 books — 2,344 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Blacky *Romance Addict*

Well, this was my first non-BDSM Maya Banks, and I really liked it!

Image Hosted by

I am definitely going to continue with this series, and I'm especially looking forward to book 3!

Image Hosted by

The story is about Ethan and Rachel, getting a second chance in life, literally.
It's been a year since Rachel's death and Ethan is still grieving, a total mess. One day he gets an envelope with loads in pics and information that leads him to believe his wife might be alive and held hostage somewhere in South America.
Lucky for him, he
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of romantic suspense and second chances
Recommended to Auntee by: Shawna
I loved the premise of this book because it reminded me a little of two of my favorite RS books, To the Brink by Cindy Gerard, and Wild Card by Lora Leigh--two stories about second chances. Although this book was good, and is a good start to what looks to be an exciting series, it just quite didn't make it to great. Something was missing for me--and I think it had something to do with the relationship between the H/h.

Let's back up a minute and get the synopsis out of the way. Ethan Kelly is an e
4 to 4 Captivating Stars

I really enjoyed this book. Why on earth it took me so long to start this series is beyond me.
5 stars – Romantic Suspense

I’m a big fan of Maya Banks and military romantic suspense, so I was really looking forward to this first book in her new KGI series. I’m not at all surprised that I liked and enjoyed it, but I was amazed and impressed by the emotional depth and intensity of the story. Ethan might be an alpha military hero, but he’s not afraid to express his love, demonstrate his feelings, or shed tears of grief, relief, joy, and gratitude. The homecoming scene where Ethan cries while
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Obviously I'm in the minority, reading other reviews, but I have to say - I didn't enjoy this.

I'm not going to rehash what the story is about, plenty of those kinds of reviews. Here's what pissed me off:


To me, he's a sonofabitch. His wife has been presumed dead for a year. Granted, no one knew - but when she's finally, FINALLY rescued and brought home, a literal shell of the woman she was, all super dick can worry about is her not finding out about the divorce papers he gave her befo
Opening Line: " He'd hoped if he drank enough the night before he'd sleep right through today."

Ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly is hangover again, it's been a year since his wife Rachael was killed in a plane crash in South America and he can't seem to move on, the pain as fresh as the day she died. Ethan has cut himself off from his large family and refuses to have anything to do with his brother's top secret business, that of KGI (Kelly Group International) With their expensive military backgrounds th
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mojca by: reviews by Zosia, Shawna and Auntee
Your wife is alive. Four simple words and Ethan’s life implodes. Again. After losing his wife in a plane crash, a year after her death someone concocts a sick joke. Making him believe she might be alive. There’re pictures of her being a prisoner in a Colombian drug cartel camp. Guard change schedules, topographic maps, camp layouts...Everything he might need to get Rachel out of that hell. If he believed she was still alive that is.

And he does. Despite everything, he does. Because maybe, just ma
Listening to this series on audio as a re read. This one, while a tougher read I would probably increase to 4 stars upon re read. Many of the below (originally) mentioned things did not bother me this time and I enjoyed the angst in this book even though I am not usually a fan of it.

Previous comments:

I know I am late to this series, but thought I would give it a try. The story is a heartbreaking love story. I enjoyed the character development and it makes me interested in the next books in the s
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read** by: Mo

***4 Kelly Family and Alpha Badass stars***

Pardon my excitement as I know I'm late to the party, but this book gave me two VERY awesome things:

(1) A new author to stalk
(2) A new series to devour

Allow me a moment.

Ok, I've composed myself.

What a great introduction to this series and the Kelly family.

Ethan is torn apart by the death of his wife Rachel. So many regrets swimming in his mind. And the cherry on top, he was horrible to her on the last day he saw her alive. But then on the one year an
Mimi Smith
Jan 13, 2012 rated it liked it
3 stars

The Suspense

I have to admit I wasn't vowed and amazed by this one. The story is:someone kidnapped Rachel a year ago and then faked her death, so everyone, including her family, thought she was dead. Now, a letter arrives to Rachel's husband Kelly, with pictures of his supposedly dead wife and her coordinates. They get her out, but who did this to her? And why?
I felt the suspense part could have been done better. The premise could be a good one, but it was paid almost no attention at all,
If you have read Amy Fetzer, Cindy Gerard, Suzanne Brockman, Cherry Adair or even Lora Leigh then you have read this book. That is part of the problem with this book, it has been done before. Lots of times, which is what I think hurt this book the most. There wasn't much about this book that was different enough to separate it from the pack. I won't go into a lot of detail about the book itself, as of course I am late to the game and everybody else has told it better than I.

The story of Ethan a
Originally read - June 2011
Re-read - December 2015

Review posted June 2011

What a great story! I haven't read much of Maya Banks in the past but she has definately now registered on my radar:)

It was quite sad in places and bought a tear to my eye especially when learning how Rachel was treated for a year whilst in captivity and how Ethan suffered emotionally both when he thought she was dead and on learning what she had been through.

I really liked the scenes where he showed his emotions and severa
3.7 stars

Y'all, the first 50% of this book was insanely good (It looks like the vast majority of you have read this already since I'm Way Late Lana to the party but remember how good it was?!) and I didn't even want to pull myself away to notch an update on here. I loved how this was romantic suspense but flipped a bit with the woman, in this case our former military dude's wife, being the one taken captive and held for a year; she was the one dealing with the trauma of that situation.
I also lo
So look. I'm not usually one to get on my high horse and go off on a rant about certain words or derogatory phrases used in books. It's fiction and sometimes things are said because the flow of the story and banter can lend itself to the occasional 'you're a girl' comment or 'that's a pussy thing to do' remark and I get that. And you know what? I would probably even overlook it more often than not. But...

This book pissed me right off. I LOVE alpha book men. Adore them. Can't read enough of them.
♥  Sam ♥ ~S2~Im made of awesomness
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: um...everyone!
Recommended to ♥ Sam ♥ ~S2~Im made of awesomness by: deesreads Read
I think first and foremost I need to apologize to Dee, for taking so long to get my gear into action and actually read this. And I wasn’t disappointed in the least. A story about alpha brothers, a tight knit family, danger, mystery, romance, passion and betrayal. I was a reader’s heaven.

The story starts with Ethan mourning the death of his wife. It is the one year anniversary of her death. During the middle of his drunken break down he receives a package that brings light to the hope that his wi
Jane Stewart
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
3 stars. Very enjoyable beginning and end. The middle part about Rachel’s healing and problems with Ethan was a little slow.

Ethan and Rachel were married. Rachel went to South America with a group of relief workers. On her way back, the plane went down and her wedding ring was returned to Ethan. He’s been mourning her death for a year. All of a sudden an anonymous package arrives showing pictures of her as a prisoner in the jungle of Columbia. Ethan and his brothers (all former mili
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Story Rating 4 Stars
Character Rating 4 Stars
Romance Rating 5 Stars
Action Level 4.5 Stars
Heat Level 3 Stars
Overall Rating 4 Stars

This book took off right from the beginning and kept me interested all the way through. It was exciting and had me tearing up in quite a few spots too. I absolutely loved how this story involved the whole family. They were just so caring for each other. I can't forget to mention all the hunky brothers and friends. The few love scenes were done well with some good heat t
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
“The Darkest Hour” by Maya Banks starts on the one year anniversary of Ethan Kelly’s wife’s death. She died in a plane crash on her way back from a humanitarian mission in South America. He is not taking Rachel’s loss well, even one year later. When I first started reading this book, I thought ‘whoa, this dude needs a hug.’ Then, when Ethan receives an envelope containing photos of his supposed dead wife with a note stating that she is still alive, I thought ‘whoa, this dude needs a beer!’

Can yo
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-other
She stared from face to face, her heart swelling and aching with irrefutable truth. She was home. She had a family. She was loved.

Ethan believes his wife died a year ago when he suddenly receives a package with her pictures, a detailed map and a note "Your wife is alive". Luckily he has his brothers "The KGI" who launches a big rescue operation. Rachel has been held captive by a Colombian drug cartel for the last year. They've drugged her on cocaine and heroine and she almost doesn't remember he
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm not even sure of what to say about this book. I did love it and I definitely had a great time reading it. From the first page I was completely entailed by it. What's not to love? A great family, 6 HAWT bad ass brothers with a huge love towards their family and a special soft spot for their mother, a guy who thought he had lost his wife forever without being able to apologize for huge mistakes he made to one day find out she is actually alive... So many things made this such an appealing stor ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
** 4 1/2 stars **

Exciting, fast-paced story. I liked the hero's family and how they interacted.
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Suzanne Brockmann/Cindy Gerard/romantic suspense fans
I loved this book. The writing was solid. The plot was solid. Ex SEAL Ethan's wife, Rachel, died in a plane crash a year ago but he gets some info that she is not dead but being held by a drug cartel in South America. He and his brothers, who have a spec ops type agency, go to get her back. She doesn't remember that their marriage had been troubled and Ethan doesn't want her to remember because the trouble was all his fault and he wants a second chance to do better.

There wasn't a lot of suspense
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
I liked this story a lot, It felt like a roller coaster, lots of action, good steamy action and plenty of feelings and story. I like stories with big loud loving families and this series looks to be just that kind.

I like these two, I liked getting Ethan. filled with regret and mourning the loss of his love. Only he finds out later that his wife is not dead, but held captive. So he gathers his brothers (can't wait for their stories) and off to fight the bad guys and rescue Rachel they go! (oh YA
Kellie Maddox-Ward
To sum this book up only one word comes to mind...

I was up, I was down, I was up, I was down and then suddenly I was thrown to the left then the right then up again, down again...

What a great storyline.. It made me smile, laugh, blush, cry, get angry, and really frustrated at times!

I loved the Kelly family.. All of them... Mum, Dad and Rachel included with all the boys, not too sure about Rusty yet though.
Looking forward to the next book.
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
Rated 3.5

A little different for Maya Banks but it wasn't a bad romantic suspense. There was a lot of emotions and action throughout the story. Curious as to how this series will continue and also with Rusty.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great start to a series. Think I'm going to keep reading this one.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fv-review, 2read2

"Your wife is alive." If you received a note like that on the anniversary of a loved one's death, would you believe it? Would you believe in second chances? This is the chilling start to The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks.

Ethan Kelly has just returned from visiting the grave of his dead wife, Rachel. It's been exactly one year since her death and he still mourns her deeply. All he wants to do is drown his grief in liquor and numb himself enough to have the rest of the day slip by in a haze. Once Eth
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
It was good, but missing something

Writing: Easy read. 3rd person narration. Several POVs.

Characters: You have the parents Frank & Marlene. They have six sons – Sam, Donovan, Ethan, Garret, Joe & Nathan. A semi adopted daughter Rachel. A cop they took under their wing – Sean. They also took in another young girl – Rusty. The six sons formed a group called KGI and they work with other teams that add more characters to the book. The MCs are kinda Ethan & Rachel. They could have been be
SamJ ★Needs a HEA★
★Book Basics★

Genre : - Cont Romantic Suspense
Series : - Book 1 in the series.
Love triangle? - (view spoiler)
Cheating? - (view spoiler)
HEA? - (view spoiler)
Would I read more by this author/or in this series? - Yes
Rating - 3 stars


I have had this series sat on my kindle for a fair few months.

I really liked the premise of the story, but for me, the execution was not as good as it could have been.

I would have maybe liked
Tilly Slaton
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Your wife is alive. Four simple words that yanked Ethan from his drunken induced self-destruction.

After throwing divorce papers at his wife, she walked out the door and headed to a mercy mission. Before she could return to give Ethan the chance to reconcile their difference and apologize for his actions, her plane goes down. All passengers aboard perished.

One year later on the anniversary of her death, Ethan received a package that is filled with classified information on where his wife is being
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who is your favorite character(s) in this series? 24 175 Jan 26, 2015 11:51AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing Cover 3 15 Apr 17, 2014 06:45PM  
The World of Maya...: 1. The Darkest Hour 60 51 Nov 16, 2013 02:14PM  
What do you think of the book/series? 13 135 Jun 30, 2013 07:43AM  
Romance Lovers fo...: The Darkest Hour, by Maya Banks (KGI #1) Start Date: January 2, 2013 129 90 Feb 06, 2013 12:27AM  
  • Hard Evidence (I-Team, #2)
  • Take No Prisoners (Black Ops Inc., #2)
  • Maverick (Elite Ops, #2)
  • Show No Fear (SEAL Team 12, #7)
  • Return to Me (Last Chance Rescue, #2)
  • No Turning Back (Suspense Series, #3)
  • Shoot to Thrill (Passion For Danger, #1)
  • Hidden Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #3)
Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.
More about Maya Banks

Other books in the series

KGI (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • No Place to Run (KGI, #2)
  • Hidden Away (KGI, #3)
  • Whispers in the Dark (KGI, #4)
  • Echoes at Dawn (KGI, #5)
  • Shades of Gray (KGI, #6)
  • Forged in Steele (KGI, #7)
  • After the Storm (KGI, #8)
  • When Day Breaks (KGI, #9)
  • Darkest Before Dawn (KGI, #10)
  • Brighter Than the Sun (KGI, #11)

Romance Deals

  • Wild Kisses (Wildwood, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Dangerous Engagement (The Regency Spies of London, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bad Boys After Dark: Carson (Bad Boys After Dark, #3; Billionaires After Dark #7; Love in Bloom #49)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Trouble in Paradise
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Staying For Good (Most Likely To, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Miss Fortune (Lear Family Trilogy #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Almost Like Love
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Party Girl
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Cross My Heart
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Grave Secrets (Rogue River #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Married by Monday (The Weekday Brides, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • If I Didn't Know Better (The Callaways #9)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Beauty Queen (Lear Family Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Life After Wife (Three Magic Words Trilogy, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Incentive
    $3.99 $1.99
  • It Started With a Kiss (Sequoia Lake, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fiancé by Friday (The Weekday Brides, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Savage Urges (The Phoenix Pack, #5)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Color of Water in July
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Knight Avenged (Circle of Seven, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Taken by Tuesday (The Weekday Brides, #5)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • A Forever Thing (Three Magic Words Trilogy, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dead in Her Tracks (Rogue Winter, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Flirting with Felicity
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Long, Hot Texas Summer
    $4.49 $1.99
  • You'll Think of Me
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Lily Love
    $1.99 $0.99
  • Forever is the Worst Long Time
    $4.99 $1.99
  • True to the Highlander (Loch Moigh #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sweet as Sin (Bad Habit, #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Dollmaker (The Forgotten Files, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Shameless (White Lies Duet #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Be Mine Forever (St. Helena Vineyard, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Playing It Safe
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Sweet Lake (Sweet Lake #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Barefoot Summer
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Smart Girl (The Girl's #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Falling Together
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Warrior's Revenge
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Lily's White Lace
    $4.49 $1.99
  • A Viscount's Proposal (The Regency Spies of London, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fear For Me: A Novel of the Bayou Butcher (For Me, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Hangman (The Forgotten Files #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stone Walls (True Heroes, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks, #3)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Flashpoint (Troubleshooters, #7)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Break Me (Corrupted Hearts, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Shark (Forgotten Files, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Black and Green (The Ghost Bird, #11)
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Wager
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Enrage (Eagle Elite )
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Treasured by Thursday (The Weekday Brides, #7)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Infraction (Players Game, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Fated (Dark Protectors, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Material Girl (The Fancy Lives of the Lear Sisters, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Summer in Napa (St. Helena Vineyard, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Devil's Daughter (Hidden Sins #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraternize (Players Game, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • P.S. from Paris
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love, Lucas
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rules of Regret
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Shining Whatever (Three Magic Words Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • By Your Side
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Follow Me (Corrupted Hearts, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sweet Girl (The Girl's Series Book 2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Kulti
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Trouble with Tomboys (Tommy Creek #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • All There Is (Juniper Hills, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Soul and Blade (Blood and Bone, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • To Win Her Favor (Belle Meade Plantation #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • In The Flesh
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3)
    $4.74 $1.99
  • Delta: Redemption (Delta, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Curiosity
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dealing Double (Heartbreaker, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Spin (Spin, #1)
    $7.74 $0.99
  • On Her Father's Grave (Rogue River #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
“She laid her head against his collarbone, and he kissed her temple. To her shock, she felt a shudder roll through his body about the same time she registered wetness against her skin. Tears. His tears.
She started to turn around, but he tightened his grip.
“Stay,” he said in a choked voice. “Just let me hold you, baby. Just let me hold you.”
“Never be afraid to tell me anything,” he whispered against her hair. “No matter how ashamed you might feel. I’ll never judge you, Rachel. I love you.” 47 likes
More quotes…