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Shades of Gray: A KGI Novel by Maya Banks

Shades of Gray: A KGI Novel (edition 2012)

by Maya Banks

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Title:Shades of Gray: A KGI Novel
Authors:Maya Banks
Info:Berkley (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

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Shades of Gray by Maya Banks

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This review was originally posted on my blog.

If I say that Maya Banks has huge brass balls, I say it and mean it with the utmost respect. The sixth book in this series is so different from its predecessors. The Kelly clan, as well as members from Rio’s team are still present, the action is still heart-thumping, but this book was so much more emotional than even Ethan and Rachel’s story. There’s one sex scene, and the rest is action and emotional turmoil, but it was to be expected, and I loved it all the same.

Over the course of the series, we’ve met Steele’s team, comprised of Baker, Renshaw, Dolphin, Cole and P.J. Former Navy SEAL David ‘Cole’ Coletrane and P.J. Rutherford are the snipers of the team. There’s always been friendly ribbing going on between them over who the better sharpshooter is. Although they’re a tight-knit group based on loyalty and trust, none of them know anything about P.J. outside of work. As soon as a mission ends, she’s out of there. The only thing they know about their intensely private teammate is that she used to be a member of S.W.A.T., but they have no idea what brought her to Steele’s team and eventually KGI.

Some women packed purses. P.J. packed heat.

Coming off the last mission, P.J. returns to her home in Denver for some R&R – seedy bar/strip club, loud, horrendous music, and alone. Just the way she wants it. When her ex-lover and S.W.A.T. teammate strolls in, we finally learn more about P.J.’s past. But when Cole walks in and they start drinking, inhibitions fall, and they finally put an end to the buildup of sexual tension that had been brewing between them since they first met. The awkward morning after is only interrupted by a call to gear up and move out. The mission is far from routine, and P.J. has to act as bait to reel in a child trafficker. Even though every precaution was made to ensure her safety, things take a horrifying turn. Filled with shame that her team may never look at her the same way again, as an equal, she leaves KGI to go on her own mission of one – revenge. But her team, least of all Cole is willing to let her go it alone.

I love any book with a strong, kick butt heroine, and P.J. is no exception. I’ve always been intrigued with her from the beginning. Like the rest of the guys, the secrecy and mystery surrounding her persona just made me hunger to know more about her. In this book we see sides of we’ve never seen before, but underneath her pain that tough warrior sill lurks. What I really loved about her was that despite her stubborn need to be independent, no not ask for help when she clearly needed it, she didn’t put up the typical girly fuss when she found herself falling for Cole. Her reservations were clear, precise, logical, but she was willing to work on her issues rather than keep pushing her away. I can almost see her shrugging as if to say “Eh, that’s just how it is.” Once she’s convinced that her team really does have her back, and that they’d honor their motto of “We live as a team and we die as a team” to the fullest extent, she finally learns to let them in. During the climax of the story, her bravery really blew me away.

Cole ….. sweet, hot, lovable, lickable Cole. He comes pretty close to utter perfection. Ladies, in the first few pages, when P.J. describes what he’s wearing when he walks in the bar … prepare to swoon! I loved his caring and protective streak. That really came out later after he gets P.J. back. He didn’t fight his feelings like most men would, and he didn’t go all Neanderthal on her either. That was actually very refreshing. It told me that he was very secure in his manliness, and he knew the fastest way to lose her was to try and stuff her in a box labeled “female, helpless, must protect at all costs”. I loved it when he had his little soul searching moment and came to terms with the fact that she was bad-ass, and she’d likely be saving him a couple of times. Their little power play remained on the level all the way through, and I respect the hell out of that.

Now I want to go back and re-read the KGI series all over again.

Favorite Quotes/Moments

“Nope. Ned about five more minutes. I didn’t even ask you how you like your meat.”

She choked and covered it with a cough. When she looked back up, he was giving her a glare of impatience.

“For God’s sake, you dirty-minded heifer.”

She laughed and kept on laughing. “Oh come on, Cole. You have to admit it sounded kinky. I mean, I could have said I like my meat hard.”

He sighed and shook his head.

“Why do you even want to be involved with me?” she asked. “I’m a complete mess. I don’t have my head on straight. I’m a master at fucking up everything’s that’s good in my life.”

“But you’re my mess,” Cole said quietly. “I don’t need you to be perfect. I just need you to be you because that’s who I care about.”
( )
  MsRomanticReads | Apr 12, 2013 |
The story of PJ and Cole. Blood thirsty, vindictive, retaliative, and fantastic. PJ is a loner. She is also a sharp shoot on Steele's team. She is part of a team at work but her life is alone. Cole has had enough and shows up at her local haunt to claim her.

They have one night of bliss in the whole book. PJ is brutely raped so the book is realistic. How does she handle this? How does Cole handle this? And, Interestingly, how do the Kelly brothers handle this?

Too bloody for me to read a second time, but good enough to stay in my memory for a while. Hoo-rah PJ. The girl to do it for all of us. ( )
  2Sunny | Apr 6, 2013 |
I love this series. This book was probably my least favorite thus far even though I loved PJ & Cole, just because of the storyline (& that's saying something because I had real problems with both Shea & Grace). The first third of the book was very difficult for me but it finished up in typical KGI style. I love the Kelly's, I wish they would adopt me! All in all, another successful addition to the series. ( )
  FanGirlMom | Apr 2, 2013 |
Loved the action in this book. ( )
  Calisandria | Mar 17, 2013 |
Book six of the KGI series is another worthy read and certainly meets all my expectations of this author. This one though is more...this one makes you think of all the gray areas in life and how we make choices while operating in them. Loved it. ( )
  VirginiaGill | Jan 5, 2013 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:20 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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