ORDER A COPY: Echoes at Dawn
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: July 3, 2012
Paperback: 307 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline – an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister – has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is fast running out…
Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He’s unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he’s fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time…hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it’s pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.
This story takes up where Whispers in the Dark left off. Rio and his team have been sent to find Shea’s sister Grace after Shea loses her telepathic connection to her. Grace had been captured by an unknown enemy and was being forced to heal subject after subject to test her healing abilities. She manages to escape when another faction bombs the facility she is being held in. Rio and his team finally locate her up in the mountains and reach her just as the enemy manages to track her down.
Grace has been so weakened by her constant testing, that she is barely holding on. Unable to contact the rest of the KGI teams Rio decides that it is best to keep Grace and Shea separated for now and he takes Grace “off the grid” so that she can have time to heal her own body and mind.
Grace has been on the run for so long, she is not sure who she can trust, but she so wants to trust Rio, especially when he talks to her about being reunited with her sister and finally being safe for the first time in her life.
But those who want Grace’s special healing abilities aren’t going to give up the search so quickly, and they are desperate enough to call in Titan, a supposedly non-existent black ops government team who are known for their motto “Failure isn’t an option.” Rio and his team know they are up against the best and it will take all of KGI to keep Grace safe.
We all have inner strength to get us through the rough times: lost job, death of a loved one, experimental testing…but how much easier is it to get through those rough patches with someone at your side? Maya Banks writes great characters that may bend, but they never break and they show us that you can survive anything and truly heal with the help of someone special.
This was a book I just could not put down! I wanted to know more about Grace after reading her character in Whispers in the Dark. In this story, just reading the torture Grace goes through and the dark places it takes her mind and her soul is painful, but Maya gives her Rio, who knows just when he needs to be tough and when he needs to be gentle to help Grace recover from her torment both body and mind.
This was another captivating story in the KGI series and should definitely be on your must read list.
Received ARC courtesy of Penguin/Berkley. Thank you.
Check out our review of Whispers in the Dark.
“You’ve been through hell, Grace. You can’t expect to come out unscathed. You have to heal. Not just physically but mentally as well. Especially mentally. Your body will take care of itself but your mind has been deeply bruised by all you’ve endured. It’s likely shut down to protect you. It’s in survival mode just as you are.”
“You make me feel hope,” she whispered against his chest. “I’ve been without hope for so long, but with you, I can remember what it feels like to believe and have faith.”
He held her for a moment longer and then finally pulled away. “We’ve talked enough for one night, I think. I’m sure you’ll have more questions when you’re not falling-down tired. You need to rest and completely heal. I’m not going anywhere. We can continue this conversation tomorrow.”
She nodded and he tucked her back underneath the covers. Then he went to the closet, pulled out several blankets and some extra pillows. After arranging a comfortable spot on the floor, he turned back to her. “Ready for lights out?”
“Yeah,” she murmured.
Already she’d snuggled into the pillows and was lying on her side facing his direction. She looked tired. Worn down. Like she’d been through hell. And yet he’d never seen a woman who looked more beautiful to him. Maybe it was because he’d seen the heart of her. Her spirit and resilience.
Grace had made a huge impact on his life in the very short time he’d known her, and he knew he’d never forget her.
He reached for the light switch and doused the room in darkness. Then he crawled beneath the covers he’d arranged and closed his eyes. His muscles screamed their protest, and fatigue beat relentlessly in his head.
He had almost drifted off when he heard her soft whisper.
He opened his eyes and half turned in her direction so he could hear her.
“Are you awake?”
It was said so softly he almost didn’t hear her.
“Yeah. You okay?”
There was a long pause.
“Would you…” She trailed off like she was having difficulty asking what it was she wanted. “Would you sleep with me? On the bed, I mean? I feel…safer…when you’re near.”
His chest did funny things. His heart turned over at the fear and hesitance in her voice. Hell, he’d move a damn mountain for her.
He pushed himself upward and then flipped on the lamp. She blinked and then peered anxiously up at him.
Then he pulled the covers back and crawled into the bed. He reached back to turn off the light. Once again darkness settled over the room, and he turned back so they were facing each other, though he could barely make out her features.
They lay there silently, so still he couldn’t hear her breathe. She was stiff and completely immobile but he could tell she hadn’t relaxed or gone to sleep.
“Come here,” he said quietly.
He lifted his arm and she immediately snuggled into his embrace. Her body was a warm shock to his, flush against his chest, her legs touched his.
He remained still, waiting to see if she’d react or if she seemed uncomfortable with his proximity, but to his surprise, she burrowed farther into his embrace, emitted a sweet-sounding sigh and then settled limply against him.
“This better?” he asked.
She nodded against him, her head bobbing just underneath his chin.
For several long moments, he lay there, unsure of what to do next. Finally he lowered his arm, curling it around her midsection and anchoring her to him. She didn’t even stir. She’d already fallen asleep.