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Shades of Gray by Maya Banks

Shades of Gray

by Maya Banks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: KGI Novels (Jan 2013 - book 6)

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2061556,890 (4.02)1



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Shades of Gray
3.5 Stars

A fun read despite the glaring plot holes and inconsistencies.

Cole and P.J. have been secondary characters in the series until now and it was great to finally have them get together. That said, there is something not quite right about their personalities and their relationship.

While Cole is sweet and sexy, he is far to open and understanding for an alleged alpha male. Moreover, he gets captured very easily for a supposedly skilled operative. P.J. is a kick-ass heroine but goes from a skilled sniper to sultry seductress to all out vigilante warrior in the blink of an eye. These drastic changes all leave the reader rubbing their head and thinking "what just happened?"

The storyline deals with difficult issues - human trafficking in children, sexual abuse and trauma. While one cannot help feeling for P.J. in light of her suffering, it is impossible to ignore the moral repercussions of her actions. While the title of the book seems to suggest this, the shades of gray are in actuality conveniently glossed over in the characterization and the plot.

Overall, an action packed and entertaining romance but misses the mark in its attempts at conveying stronger psychological and ethical messages. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
When we start out in life we tend to think only in black and white. Its not until we experience some of the crappy things that happen in life that we realize there are gray areas where right and wrong aren't so clear.

PJ thought in those black and white terms her whole life. It cost her job and friends when she was SWAT. KGI and Steel's team have been her family for years even though she didn't appreciate it or was as open to receiving it as she should have been. After years of her and Cole dancing around each other they finally have a night of pleasure. But it would be the last for PJ for a while because they next mission has dire consequences for her. It is after this that she lives in those shades of grey and it takes Cole and all of the KGI teams love and support and backing her in some of those grey areas to get her back on the road to healing. ( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
Maybe I'm getting a bit tired of the series, or maybe I'm getting tired of the US mindset of resolving everything with violence, but I just couldn't enjoy this book as much as other in this series.
To me the things that happen in this book are just to shock, to mask the lack of development in the romantic storyline. The protagonists are not together for a big part of the book. It feels like most of their story/romance was developed in the books before this. ( )
  Marcella1717 | Jan 22, 2016 |
A great story centering around a very intense event. I've enjoyed P.J. and Cole's interaction in the series and their romance is just as good with exciting action and sensitive emotion. P.J. and Cole finally spend the night together but their next job shakes up the whole team.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
Overall Rating: 2.95
Action: 4.0 / Emotion: 3.5 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 2.0 / Suspense: 3.5 // Laughter: 1 / Giggle: 0 // Tears: 3 / Teary: 2

Shades of Gray: 2.95:
An entertaining and intriguing read that, for some reason, was not absorbing. That means that although Banks finally managed to write a story that brought forth tears, she failed to write a story that had awe-inspiring main and secondary characters.

Hero: 3.5:
David "Cole" Coletrane: An absolutely wonderful, handsome, understanding, 'go after his woman' hero. However, rather than feature Cole as the kind of strong, brave KGI operative who could support his team in combat, he had his alpha wings clipped and was only allowed to play the 'supportive mate' role.

Heroine: 2.5:
P.J. (Penelope Jane) Rutherford: Loved her in the previous books of the series. Hated the way that Banks turned her into a single-dimensional character who seemed to be all about proving that she was a better man than any of her teammates. Why couldn't P.J. have been allowed to be as considerate, supportive, and as understanding as Cole?

Story Line: 1.0:
Banks had too many implausible events taking place in this story. It has been drummed into readers that KGI operatives are the best of the best, and yet in this single book Banks had Steele and his team looking like the Keystone Cops just so she could set P.J. up to be brutalized by the villains.

Action: 4.0:
The story moved at a quick pace that included plenty of adventurous actions scenes, mostly featuring P.J.

Emotion: 3.5:
It is impossible not to be moved by the scene where P.J.'s teammates had to listen to her being traumatized. Banks did connect readers to her characters on an emotional level, bringing forth tears as well as laughter.

Romance: 3.5:
The romance factor started out with a bang when the book was opened with Cole finally searching out P.J. to let her know that it was time to act on the attraction that had been sparking between them for years. But then the relationship that was to develop between Cole and P.J. took a back seat when P.J. went AWOL to deal with her bruised and battered soul.

Sensuous: 2.0:
The sensuality in the love scene between Cole and P.J. was potent and hot.

Suspense: 3.5:
Incredulity at what was happening to P.J. and the team replaced the edgy suspenseful aura that should have inhabited the storyline.

Secondary Characters: 3.5
Banks developed the personality of Cole and P.J.'s teammates, Dolphin, Renshaw and Baker, to a greater degree in this book, without assigning them any identifying features. Steele was allowed to loose his cool and some of the Kellys were briefly included in the story: {1} Sam Kelly, {2} Donovan "Van" Kelly, {3} Sophie [Lundgren] Kelly, {4} Rachel Kelly, {5} Sarah [Daniels] Kelly, and {6} Shea [Peterson] Kelly.

A more in-depth, detailed, spoiler-ridden review of Shades of Gray appears at Wolf Bear Does Books (http://goo.gl/wachXc). ( )
  Vonda_M_Reid | Jan 26, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maya Banksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Paul, AdamReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, PenguinPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Betzenbichler, RichardÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mrugalla, KatrinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425251128, Mass Market Paperback)

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business. Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background. Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

P.J. and Cole were sharpshooting rivals on the same KGI team and enjoyed a spirited, uncomplicated camaraderie. Until the night they gave in to their desires and suddenly took their relationship one step further. In the aftermath of their one-night stand, they’re called out on a mission that goes terribly wrong, and P.J. walks away from KGI, resolved not to drag her teammates into the murky shadows she’s poised to delve into.

Six months later, Cole hasn’t given up his search for P.J., and he’s determined to bring her back home where she belongs. Bent on vengeance, P.J. has plunged into a serpentine game of payback that will make her question everything she’s ever believed in. But Cole—and the rest of their team—refuse to let her go it alone. Even if it means sacrificing their loyalty to KGI, and their lives…

Also includes a never-before-in-print KGI novella exclusive to the mass market edition!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

Former KGI sharpshooter P.J., who is bent on revenge after a mission that went terribly wrong, finds an unexpected ally in former teammate and lover Cole, who is determined to help her, no matter what the cost.

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