Verdict: SOFTLY AT SUNRISE manages to light up the love story element in spite of overworked narrative and a slow start.
Rachel, haunted by memories of her kidnapping by a terrorist group, and her daring rescue by her husband and his Navy SEAL team, counts her blessings daily. Now life is filled with second chances to work on her marriage, to have a child, to start a new job, and to appreciate the love of her extended family. But, once again, she is confronted with a situation that makes her wonder if her second chance may be short-lived.
The themes of the story revolve around marriage, family bonds and second chances. Author Maya Banks gives the reader a sense of Rachel and Ethan’s efforts on their marriage, which is held together in part by the obvious love they have for one another, and the cohesion of the extended family unit. However, it is hard to really bond with the characters because Banks leaves little to the imagination or the reader’s powers of deduction. Everything is broken down into spelled-out statements, rather than letting actions and descriptions leave room for the imagination to decipher: “But they were the best of men. They had a strong sense of family and justice.” Also, there are many clichés in the narrative: “Everyone laughed and warmth filled Rachel’s heart. Life was good. The very best. She was surrounded by people who loved her and whom she loved with all her heart.”
Though SOFTLY AT SUNRISE is one in a series of books and a somewhat stand-alone book, the repetitive references to Rachel and Ethan’s past gives the sense that this book’s plot is incomplete without reading the previous books, which also weakens the reader’s connection with this book.
The pace of the book lingers in the beginning and doesn’t really pick up until over half way into the book, when an action scene heightens reader interest. The other points that arouse interest are some love scenes between the two protagonists that are erotic but tasteful.
Despite difficulty in really sinking your teeth into the plot and characters, what makes this book compelling to a degree is the fact that both Rachel and Ethan are likeable characters. Though Ethan is stereotypically macho as a SEAL, and his attachment to the undefined Rachel is somewhat overbearing at times, both are sympathetic characters struggling to make amends for past mistakes and their sparks manage to keep the story going.
SOFTLY AT SUNRISE manages to light up the love story element in spite of overworked narrative and a slow start.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader
Purchase Softly at Sunrise (A KGI Novella) (KGI Series) from Amazon