Book Review: Maya Banks’ Shades of Gray

Posted March 16, 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’ Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray


Maya Banks

romantic suspense in eBook edition that was published by Penguin on December 31, 2012 and has 282 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", Rush, Fever, Forged in Steele, 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

Sixth in the KGI romantic suspense series revolving around the Kelly family and their friends and employees. The couple focus is on P.J. Rutherford and David Coletrane.

It includes the KGI novella, “Softly at Sunrise”, 6.5, at the back.

My Take

This was the most disappointing entry in this series. My problem was with the initial undercover mission. As competent as the Kellys and their teams have been in previous stories, I just don’t buy their lack of competence in this one. From the initial party to the meet-up in Vienna. Nor do I buy that P.J. would be so trusting.

I do not mean to trivialize what P.J. went through, but I feel that Banks does. Banks just tells us what happens. She doesn’t pull me into the story and really make me feel how awful P.J.’s experience was, and that makes the rest of the story and P.J.’s determination and fears lacking. Intellectually, I understand how horrible it was, but there is no depth to it.

Cole’s reactions before and during just don’t cut it either. He goes from supporting P.J. in the field to a roll in the hay and now he’s freaking out about a mission? And I do mean FREAKING. No, it’s too abrupt.

I do understand P.J. wanting to protect KGI, but she should have let the boys say no instead of saying it for them. That’s a minor issue though. I realize that Banks needed it this way to make her point.

LOL, I did enjoy Cole’s coming to P.J.’s “rescue” in Denver! I also enjoyed seeing the shoe on the other foot; it’s such a rarity for the woman to be skittish after sex. Events with her old team have caused P.J. to be cautious, and she has no intention of the past repeating itself. Although, I find this a facile excuse for P.J.’s behavior. It’s too simplistic. I did like Cole’s consideration, his support of her behavior. It was quite insightful. Not something I’d expect from a huge, muscle-bound soldier. Yeah, I’m stereotyping. I think it’s part of what I did enjoy about it. Getting stood on my head!

God, I am a bloodthirsty woman! I so approved of P.J.’s actions in that hostage stand-off!

The Story

We’re introduced to P.J. just after a completed mission when Coltrane shows up at her favored bar.

It will create a complication when an emergency mission crops up and P.J. has to go undercover in a dangerous situation. One for which she will be determined on revenge.

The Characters

P.J. Rutherford is former S.W.A.T. and an excellent sniper; she’s on Steele‘s team along with David “Cole” Coletrane, a good marksman, but not as good as P.J.; Baker; Renshaw; and, Dolphin.

Jimmy, Mike, and Derek, her ex-lover, are former S.W.A.T. Former friends. The guys who turned on her.

The Kellys who run KGI include:
Sam (army) and Sophie are happily married and the parents of a beautiful baby girl, Charlotte. Sarah and Garrett (Marine) are recently wed. Donovan “Van” (Marine) is the computer genius; these three Kelly brothers started KGI and run it today. The remaining Kelly brothers joined later: Ethan, a former SEAL, and Rachel are working through her fears; and, Nathan and Joe, the twins.

Rio‘s team consists of Diego, Terrence (Rio’s second), Alton, and Decker. He and Grace Peterson, a gifted psychic healer, still live under the radar in his hideout in Central America. They have taken in Elizabeth Farnsworth (Echoes at Dawn).

The third team consists of Nathan and Joe, Swanson “Swanny“, Nathan’s friend, (see Whispers in the Dark, 4), and two new recruits: Skylar Watkins and Zane Edgerton.

Adam Resnick is CIA and KGI’s contact with the government. Their not-so-trusted contact since events in Whispers in the Dark. Cathy is one of the nurses on the base and a friend of P.J.’s. Katia is a call girl who takes a huge chance.

Carter Brumley is a major trafficker in children. Gregory Nelson is his second-in-command.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golden with a profile of P.J. in her peach form-fitting tank top with some amazing cleavage and her khaki pants, a wide belt securing her holstered gun, as she glares over her shoulder with Coltrane in white T and pants holding a scoped rifle, watching her back.

The title refers to P.J.’s initial belief in things being black and white when, in reality, life is full of Shades of Gray.