Genre: romantic suspense
Cover: Love it. So totally PJ
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...
Warning: if you can’t handle rape in a book, you should not read this one.
P.J. is relaxing in her usual bar after a gruelling mission. Then her ex-boyfriend and fellow Seal walks in with his two best friends, who totally screwed her a few years ago. She doesn’t mind that much anymore, she would not be working for KGI otherwise, and she really loves her job. But she also won’t take any crap from them, and Derek is not pulling any punches. To P.J.’s surprise, suddenly Cole is there, taking her side. And she has no choice but to tell something of their story to him. How she found out he was dirty, stealing drugs and money from busts, and when she told their commander, he and his friends just painted her as a scorned lover looking for revenge. Making her position on the team unbearable. So she walked away. Since then, she kept her private life private, and although she is just one of the guys, she doesn’t risk her trust or her heart anymore.
Cole has had his eye on P.J. for as long as she joined the team, and he respects her. She is a better sniper than he is, although he will of course never confess that! But he wants more of her, he wants a real relationship. And after a few shots of tequila, to his surprise, P.J. asks him to come with her to her place, to spend the night. But after that night of hot sex, they are called back in for the next mission. A mission where P.J. is asked to go undercover to gather Intel on some child smuggling bad guys. A mission that goes horribly wrong.
P.J. gets cut off from her back up team, and ends up drugged and raped and tortured. She doesn’t want to deal with it, or with her team’s sympathy and especially not with Cole. She only lives for revenge, and that is not what KGI stands for. So she gets herself out of the hospital, and goes vigilante. It takes over half a year for the team to find her again, and safe her but. They are mad at her for leaving them behind, they will have her back, always, and they will help her get the main bad guy. Whatever it takes.
P.J. has some serious healing to do, and she cannot go back to her own place. Cole offers to take care of her, and she lets him. He still wants her, he doesn’t care about what happened, only the horror that he had to listen to everything and could not safe her in time. Cole wants nothing more than to keep her safe, and out of the action, but he knows he cannot. That would not be the P.J. he fell in love with. He will have to let her fight her own battles, and go into danger with the team, knowing he can only have her back, as she will have hers.
Ofcourse I cried buckets in the beginning, but I was totally absorbed by this story. Cole is such a great hero! He knew just how to handle P.J. to be there for her when she needed him, and not to try to hold her back. He took her on a date and everything, and even knows how to cook. Which is really not P.J.’s gig.
I liked P.J. already from the previous books in the series, and I just knew that Cole was the one for her. I am very happy that Maya Banks wrote their book.
Shades of Gray is very much filled with action, but also with attention to the team dynamics, and the healing P.J. has to do. The Kelly wives help her with that as well. The whole team is there for her. We get a bit of a closer look at Steele as well, and he is the hero in the next book. It will for sure take a special kind of woman to tame him! The dialogues are great, lots of bantering between the team members as usual, but you just feel the closeness they share. And of course, there are some hot love scenes as Maya Banks can write so well.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it kept me up way too long, and thinking long after I finished it. I do recommend this series to all lovers of romantic suspense.
There is a short story (Sofly at Sunrise) in the back of this book as well, but I am saving that one for a rainy day, when I run out of her books to read.
(only for romantic suspense and historical romance).
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian