Book Review: Maya Banks’ Forged in Steele

Posted December 6, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Maya Banks’ Forged in Steele

Forged in Steele


Maya Banks

romantic suspense that was published by Berkley on June 25, 2013 and has 372 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Sweet Surrender, Colters' Woman, Sweet Persuasion, Sweet Seduction, In Bed with a Highlander, Darkest Hour, Seduction of a Highland Lass, Colters' Lady, No Place to Run, Hidden Away, Men Out of Uniform, Red-Hot Summer, Never Love a Highlander, Brazen, Sweet Temptation, Whispers in the Dark, "Colters' Wife", Colters' Promise, Echoes at Dawn, Undone By Her Tender Touch, Four Play, Cherished, The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress, Never Seduce a Scot, Highlander Most Wanted, "Softly at Sunrise", Shades of Gray, Rush, Fever, Burn, Colters' Daughter, Colters' Gift, Be With Me, When Day Breaks, After the Storm, Taking It All, Keep Me Safe, Darkest Before Dawn, Enticed by His Forgotten Lover, Sweet Possession, Sweet Addiction

Seventh in the KGI romantic suspense series revolving around the men of Kelly Group International based out of Tennessee. The couple focus is on Steele and Doc Scofield.

My Take

Confession time…it’s got everything I would want: a strong heroine and a sensitive hero who is concerned about what his lover want. Two people who want the best for each other; who, mostly, communicate with each other; who are so open with each other; are aware of each other’s needs…and what’s my gripe? Yup, not enough personal tension between the two primary characters. I feel like such a hypocrite…

Hmmm, reading through what I wrote above, realizing the lack of stress, the happiness between them, I guess communication is the key to a more stress-free relationship.

I actually wanted to give this a “3” for that reason, and I couldn’t. It wouldn’t be fair when Banks is simply giving me what I’ve been griping about wanting.

Well, and with the man of Steele suddenly breaking down and taking Maren. I appreciated his intensity, but wish Banks had provided a good reason for his sudden expression of interest. It’s out of the blue for everyone but Steele. I had to enjoy his bluntness, although I’m really impressed that Maren accepted it so easily. I understand why; I’d probably grab what I could as well.

I didn’t really buy Mendoza either. There was a lot of tell going on, telling us how enamored Mendoza was of Maren. I sure didn’t feel it.

Banks does make good use of P.J.’s recent experiences in Shades of Gray, 6, to twist at our emotions, make us worry for Maren. She definitely is giving us more background on Hancock, painting him as a man with a past that allows the occasional bit of heart to peek through.

Ya know, that’s another bit I don’t get. The KGI guys have all this experience with bad guys. Steele knows that Caldwell will be coming after Maren and anyone she loves. So, why is it they put off picking up her parents?

Aww, it’s so sweet when they finally talk about the baby…

The Story

An unlucky rescue results in Steele and his team stopping over for a quick fix from Doc Scofield for the wounded. And it’s a quick fix Steele demands from Maren. One night in bed, and he’ll have her out of his system.

The Characters

Dr. Maren Scofield was raised to practice in primitive situations, and she’s happiest when she’s helping people in this little village in Costa Rica. Kevin is her older brother, a doctor; her doctor parents, Diana and Matthew, are retired in Florida.

Steele, a.k.a., Jackson Steele, lost everything important to him when he was young: his ambassador father, his mother, his older brother, Griffin. He’s walled himself off from his emotions, so much so that everyone calls him the man of steel, the ice man. His team includes Dolphin, Baker, Renshaw, and Cole and P.J.

Rio‘s team (he’s married to Grace, and they’ve adopted Elizabeth after events in Echoes at Dawn, 5) includes himself; Terrence, his right-hand man; and, Diego.

The new, third team is almost ready for action and includes the youngest Kelly brothers, Joe and Nathan, Skylar Watkins, Zane “Edge” Eddgerston, and “Swanny” Swanson.

The rest of the Kelly brothers include Sam who’s married to Sophia and they have a daughter, Charlotte; Garrett who’s married to Sarah; the single Donovan “Van”; Nathan and Shea; and, Ethan and his very pregnant Rachel.

Marlene and Frank Kelly are their parents; Rusty is the youngest, an orphan they took in who’s currently in college. Sean, a local sheriff’s deputy is another honorary Kelly. Doc Campbell is thinking of retirement.

Resnick is the KGI contact at CIA and not particularly trusted after events in Whispers in the Dark, 4, and Kyle Phillips with his black ops team. Hancock is a cold-hearted bastard for whom the job, his goal, is everything. He led Titan, an off-the-books black ops team which followed orders and did whatever it took to get the job done. Until it was disbanded.

Javier Mendoza has his fingers in too many pies. All illegal including the hold he has on the police. And it’s time for him to disappear into Tristan Caldwell. Carlos is a messenger boy, a goon, for him. Armand is a cold, hard man with splashes of kindness who appears to be his second-in-command. Anton Maksimov is a Russian mobster with whom Mendoza/Caldwell is doing business.

Matteo Garza kidnapping Christina Westlake is the best thing that ever happened to Steele. Rico is the watcher in Costa Rica who screwed up.

The Cover and Title

The cover makes me wanna sing “It’s a jungle out there” with all the ferny, frothy greenery behind Steele. In jeans with an athletic gray T-shirt clinging to his body, his arm crossing his chest, he’s holding a gun in his hand.

The title is all about the hardness of the man with a subliminal nod to Maren’s experience, with both Forged in Steele.