Shades of Gray: Maya Banks

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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 up on a mission that goes terribly wrong, and P.J. walks away from KGI, determined 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. is on a mission that will plunge her into a serpentine game of payback and make her question everything she’s ever believed in. 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 very lives…

"I was so black and white back then. There were no reasons, no explanations. No excuses. You were either right or wrong. No in between."

I have been waiting for forever it feels like for a new KGI book, getting anxious with each teaser posted. For me this book did not disappoint as it did for others. I will admit however, that there were some parts to this book that I found a bit unbelievable but I am such a huge fan of PJ and Cole from prior books, not to mention the KGI series in general that I just kinda looked past it. Although I must admit that if this was not an author I loved I probably would have been a lot more irked with it. Any who, I think these two may just be my favorite couple from this series yet. I am holding final decision though until Donovan's book!

One part of the book I was definitely not fond of was the girl bonding time. In the other KGI books it flowed, this one not so much. It felt very fake and almost corny. Very forced. Maybe it was because PJ seems to get along better with the men in her life, but I don't think it is that because with her friend Cathy the little we did see was really fun and flowed without a problem.

P.J. was withdrawn or as Cole would call her a hard-ass, kept things to herself after a relationship that included love on the job went bad. She was the main focus of this story after suffering a torture that no woman should ever have to experience when a mission goes bad. Cole was just as much of a hard ass, but he was tired of waiting and went after P.J. with a vengeance. He wanted his team mate to be more than just that and after having to sit through her violation he was going to stop at nothing to put her back together again and make her whole.

Together I loved how they balanced each other out. Cole wasn't intimated by the fact that P.J. was more bad ass then he was. In fact he was proud of her. She was family to him, and she loved him just as much even though she denied it at every turn. A lot of running and chasing. I loved their characters, I loved their chemistry together. P.J. was broken and all she wanted was revenge against those who violated her, and Cole wanted to be right there with her. Helping her seek that revenge while making her see she was still very precious to him and her team.

"Don't let me run from this." 
"If you run, I'll just go after you and haul you right back to me." 
"Why do you even want to be involved with me? I'm a complete mess. I don't have my head on straight. I'm a master at fucking up everything that's good in my life."
"But you're my mess. I don't need you to be perfect. I just need you to be you because that's who I care about."

I just finished this book. I have yet to sleep if that tells you anything. See that quote down there? This is just one of the many reasons I love this couple. It's not every day you have a bad ass alpha and a bad ass female as the starring role characters. The story line was intense, the action was intense, and the character chemistry was intense!

“You'd make an awesome romance heroine. I'm just saying.”
She smiled, “You'd make a pretty bad ass romance hero too.”

I definitely look forward to Steele's book, we saw a whole other side to him in this book. I can only imagine the woman who has stolen his heart; I have a feeling she is going to bring this tough alpha male to his knees.

"Don't you fucking talk to me about being an ice man. I was there, remember? I heard every goddamn thing that happened to her. She's mine. Just like every one of you are mine. If you don't think I'm furious over the entire situation then fuck you."

I love the KGI series and this one did not disappoint me. They are such exciting romantic suspense novels, but at the core of them are the family, friendships, and love of the couples. All of the women have undergone hard situations or horrific events and are strong and capable. The men are all serious alphas, but also loving and protective. 

PJ and Cole are no exception. PJ is a loner, bad ass, independent, sniper.

She was a hard-ass. Hard to get close to. Hard to get any information from. He knew next to nothing about her personal life. 

Saucy little heifer. She had to make everything a challenge or a dare. It was okay, though. It wasn't worth it if it was easy.

Cole is an equally bad ass sniper alpha. I have loved their witty rapport in previous books. They act like kids who pick on each other because they really like each other and are afraid to admit it. Finally, Cole takes the first step and makes a move on PJ and they share one heckuva hot night. 

Never has she allowed someone else as much control. It should have scared her, but she trusted Cole. With him she could be herself. She could let go.

He had a mouth made for sin, and she wasn't a good girl by far. She'd done her share of sinning. If last night didn't send her to hell, she didn't know what would.

But then all Hell breaks loose. One Mission, one mistake is all it takes to change everything. It started a series of heartbreaking and dangerous events. It shattered PJ's life and separated her from Cole and her team. 

Now she had entered a grey world where nothing is or was. Had she become the monster that she'd accused Brumley and his entourage of being? Was she no better than he, and was her soul irrevocably tarnished?

Through it all Cole accepts PJ for the tough commando she is and also sees her as a beautiful woman who should be loved and respected. He is her biggest admirer and support. He hurts when she hurts. He respects her taking on dangerous situations even though he really would love to keep her protected and safe. 

Cole:"You'd make an awesome romance heroine. I'm just saying."
PJ: "You'd make a pretty badass romance hero too."
Cole: "See, it's fate. Or destiny. Whatever you want to call it. We're meant to be together. Wow, I'm starting to sound like a total pussy!"

Cole: "We would have gotten there eventually. Our dating time just happened to be over bullets, grenades, and hostage rescues. We'll never be normal, but screw normal, eh?"
PJ: "Yeah, screw normal."

This is the story of evil, revenge, love, friendships, and family. It is action packed, but also has emotion. The subject matter is harsh and heartbreaking at times. There is brutality and violence. There were some instances where it might have been a little far fetched, but I did not mind. 

I cannot wait for Steele's book Forged in Steele. He was such a great support to PJ in this book and we have had glimpses of his love interest in other books.
Maya Banks 


My name is Maya Banks and I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets. I’m more of a cat person, but my daughter became convinced she NEEDED a dog. So convinced in fact that it became her mission to convince her father and me. She prepared a two page handwritten proposal that detailed WHY she needed a dog, and well, after I sent her to her father (I knew he wouldn’t tell her no) we embarked on the search for the perfect dog. The journey that was two hours away and that I got pulled over for speeding while I was on the phone with my agent who had an offer from a publisher for one of my books… The officer wasn’t impressed. He wrote me a ticket anyway. Thus, I now tell my daughter that her dog turned into one very expensive concession! But isn’t he cute?
When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel. One of our more recent trips was to Scotland, which was every bit as comical as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. You know the part about “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” as they went round and round the roundabouts? Yeah, that was us, only we couldn’t even get out of the airport in Glasgow without hitting three of those suckers.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.


  1. The chemistry between them sounds exciting :D I will have to look for these books

  2. I love Maya Banks historicals, I tried her seduction series and didn't like it that much, but I really like this one. I love that the couple are fighters, it must have a lot of alpha moments. Great review :)

  3. Lily, I am a huge Maya fan, so I hope you enjoy her books!

    Aman, Have you read her other KGI books? I love that the characters run through each book, one of my favorite things about Maya. I hope you enjoy P.J. and Cole!


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