Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series)

BOOK: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series)
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Praise for the novels of Maya Banks

“Incredibly awesome . . . I love Maya Banks and I love her books.”

—Jaci Burton,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Maya Banks . . . really dragged me through the gamut of emotions. From . . . ‘Is it hot in here?’ to ‘Oh my GOD’ . . . I’m ready for the next ride now!”


USA Today

“[A] one-two punch of entertainment that will leave readers eager for the next book.”


Publishers Weekly

“For those who like it naughty, dirty, and do-me-on-the-desk HAWT!”

—Examiner.com

“A cross between the Bared to You or Fifty Shades series and the Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black.”

—Book Savvy Babe

“Hot enough to make even the coolest reader sweat!”

—Fresh Fiction

“You’ll be on the edge of your seat with this one.”

—Night Owl Reviews

“Definitely a recommended read.”

—Fallen Angel Reviews

“[For] fans of Sylvia Day’s
Bared to You
.”

—Under the Covers

“Grabbed me from page one and refused to let go until I read the last word.”

—Joyfully Reviewed

“An excellent read that I simply did not put down . . . Covers all the emotional range.”

—The Road to Romance

Titles by Maya Banks

FOR HER PLEASURE

BE WITH ME

The Sweet Series

SWEET SURRENDER

SWEET PERSUASION

SWEET SEDUCTION

SWEET TEMPTATION

SWEET POSSESSION

SWEET ADDICTION

The Kelly/KGI Series

THE DARKEST HOUR

NO PLACE TO RUN

HIDDEN AWAY

WHISPERS IN THE DARK

ECHOES AT DAWN

SHADES OF GRAY

FORGED IN STEELE

AFTER THE STORM

WHEN DAY BREAKS

DARKEST BEFORE DAWN

Colters’ Legacy

COLTERS’ PROMISE

COLTERS’ GIFT

The Breathless Trilogy

RUSH

FEVER

BURN

The Surrender Trilogy

LETTING GO

GIVING IN

TAKING IT ALL

Anthologies

FOUR PLAY

(with Shayla Black)

MEN OUT OF UNIFORM

(with Karin Tabke and Sylvia Day)

CHERISHED

(with Lauren Dane)

Specials

PILLOW TALK

EXILED

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

DARKEST BEFORE DAWN

A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2015 by Maya Banks.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® and the “B” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information, visit
penguin.com
.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-17618-8

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley mass-market edition / November 2015

Cover art by Craig White.

Cover design by Rita Frangie.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

CONTENTS

Praise for the novels of Maya Banks

Titles by Maya Banks

Title Page

Copyright

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

EPILOGUE

CHAPTER 1

HONOR Cambridge applied one of the colorful Band-Aids with yellow smiley faces over the tiny prick that had been made on the arm of the four-year-old boy and offered him a reassuring smile. In flawless Arabic, she told him how brave he’d been not to show fear or distress in front of his mother and upset her further.

He gave her a toothy grin that already showed signs of male arrogance even at such a young age, as if to tell her of
course
he’d been brave.

Though Honor held no medical degree, her training was advanced and she’d learned a lot through trial by fire. Technically her job was as a relief worker, offering aid in its many forms to the poor and oppressed in the small villages caught between warring factions and the never-ending struggle for supremacy.

Her family supported her absolutely, but she also knew they questioned her burning need to devote her life to the service of others. They were proud of her, but they also wished she had chosen other,
safer
places to offer help. Not the war-torn Middle East when the threat wasn’t just from other nations but
within
their country as well from groups, divided by religious, political and cultural differences and unable to tolerate the differences of others. They all wanted
to force others to bend to their way of life, and the lengths they went to impose their beliefs on those who didn’t share the same ideology still managed to appall and bewilder Honor despite the fact that she should be hardened by now. Nothing should shock her. And yet . . . Every day she managed to be surprised, because there was always more. When she thought she’d seen it all, something always managed to catch her off guard.

But to become jaded and cynical was the kiss of death. The day she could no longer feel compassion for the innocent and the oppressed and anger at the senseless violence and despair that was so pervasive in the region she served was the day she needed to find a staid, mindless nine-to-five job, have a safe life where the most dangerous thing she encountered was rush-hour traffic.

Honor put her hand on the boy’s arm to direct him to his waiting mother, who was already holding the large care package filled with things most people took for granted but were precious commodities in villages where running water was a luxury.

The entire building suddenly shook and the floor buckled beneath Honor’s feet as though an earthquake were occurring.

No one screamed. But looks of terror, all too common on the faces of people who’d become dear to Honor, were shared by everyone. Eerie silence ensued, and then . . .

The world exploded around them, a terrible storm, a whirling vortex of heat, fire and the acrid smell of explosives.

And blood.

Death had a smell all of its own. And Honor had seen more blood and death, had smelled it, had witnessed the horrible sight of the very essence of life slowly seep from a once-vibrant human being. An innocent child. A mother seeking only to protect her young. A father slaughtered in front of his entire family.

Chaos reigned as people ran, no clear direction in mind, and yet Honor viewed the goings-on calmly, as if she were apart from her body and viewing dispassionately the attack on the relief center. One of her coworkers—her friend—
screamed at her to take cover and then went utterly still, death in her eyes as blood bloomed over her chest. She sagged like a puppet, her expression not one of pain but of great sorrow. And regret.

BOOK: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series)
13.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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