New York Times Best-Selling Series
RITA Award winner!
The one woman he can't have is the only woman he wants.
Everything Radford Grayson wanted was in his hometown: his beloved mother and brothers, and the unscarred part of himself he'd left behind. After surviving a gruesome war, all Radford wants is to work the family sawmill and make a real home for his young daughter. But Evelyn - his brother's fiancée - reaches into his darkness with her healing love and makes him feel whole again for the first time in years. Torn between his unexpected and forbidden love for Evelyn and a desperate need to honor and protect his brother, Radford discovers that his fiercest enemy is his own heart. The one woman he cannot have is the only woman he wants.
©2002 Wendy Lindstrom (P)2013 Wendy Lindstrom
"Awesome underlying emotional power…guaranteed to move you to tears." (Romantic Times)
"Superbly written, beautifully poignant." (John Charles, American Library Association)
"A perfect ten...should not be missed!" (Romance Reviews Today)
I love listening to Shades of Honor. The story was an emotional journey to true love and acceptance of our past pain. The story of Radford and Evelyn was a tearful trip, but well worth it.
When Radford's daughter, Rebecca, asked Evelyn if she would be her "momma". The hope and love in those words brought tears to my eyes.
Julia Motyka gave a flawless reading. She made me feel the emotions and desire of the characters.
The death of Evelyn's father, William, broke my heart as did Rebecca's reaction to the news.
Fredonia, New York, August 1870
He always knew he’d come back. Everything he’d ever wanted was here.
Shades of Honor is the first book in the Grayson Brothers series. It’s a post Civil War romance, this first book being the eldest brother’s story. Radford is tired of running from the nightmares of death, pain, and destruction, and returns home to work with his brothers at the family’s lumber mill. But he arrives to find that running kept him away too long and he may no longer be welcomed home.
I’ve seen these books popping up here and there in friends reviews and had been planning to read them one day. When the author contacted me and asked if I’d review her audio book, I was more than a little excited! I’m going to break my review down by the actual story, and then the audio book.
The Grayson world in Freedonia is lovely. Such a peaceful post war time when things and families are returning to normal again. The characters Ms. Lindstrom has given us are honorable, hard working, passionate people. They've known great loss but they have hopes and dreams and refuse to give up. They keep going, heads held high, always striving to do the right thing.
Pre-, Post-, and current Civil War is one of my favorite time periods to read about in my historical romance novels. There’s something about the era – the plantations, the gentility of the South… it’s such a romantic setting. However, Shades of Honor is not set in the South, there’s nothing to speak of money, no balls or Scarlet O’Hara dramas - overmuch, but I did enjoy it. It’s a very sweet, slow paced, day-in-the-life kind of story about finding that yes, you can go home again, but it might not be on your own terms.
The Grayson Brothers series is being narrated by Julia Motyka, and I’ll say this right up front: She has a beautiful voice! It’s clear, passionate, and captures perfectly the deeply emotional side to the story. The only problem I have with Ms. Motyka’s narration is that sometimes I felt there was too much of a dramatic voice given to certain scenes. There were poignant moments brilliantly read where Ms. Motyka had me fighting back the tears, but for the most part I think she could have taken it down a notch without taking away from the overall emotional depth of the story.
The Bottom Line:
Though not without some flaws, Shades of Honor is an uplifting, entertaining read. If you enjoy charming, romantic, passionate stories with emotionally scarred heroes looking to find ‘home’ again, this might be right up your alley.
I’m rating the written work 3.75 stars and the audio book 3.5 stars.
My sincerest thanks to Wendy Lindstrom for providing me with a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't think anything could beat reading a great novel. Audiobooks proved me wrong. I've become an audiobook junkie!
The writing and the performance grabbed my heart from beginning to end. I could feel the emotions of Radford and Evelyn as they both struggled to do the right thing for everyone around them even while they yearned for the healing they instinctively knew they'd find with each other. The whole cast of characters, from Evelyn's aging father and Radford's traumatized daughter to those oh-so-appealing Grayson brothers made living in Fredonia, New York through the magic of audio a pure pleasure. This is one to savor long after the final chapter. Can't wait for the rest of the Grayson men.
The inner struggle that Radford has to deal with....ptsd, and the attraction to someone's fiancé...
A good read, the author keep me on a see-saw....do I want him to get the girl...or...should he pack up his daughter and move away. Is the attraction he feels more important that the love of his brother?
Will AUDIBLE be brining the rest of the series to us?
Rabid Listener/Reader and Shopper!
Narration - Julia Motyka - Pretty Good
This Series is based around the Civil War time period. Radford is the eldest of four sons and has returned from war but following his father's funeral, he disappears again only to return years later with a 4 year old daughter.
Evelyn, (Tomboy) is engaged to his brother Kyle and while she still spends her days dressed in her dad's altered breeches, she's definitely become a woman while Radford was gone.
This is a sweet story, albeit a little melodramatic in parts (but that could be the narration a bit) The narrators Character voices are terrific, it's only her neutral narrator voice that carries a little drama.
Is there some Cheating in this? I'm gonna say technically, yes.
Did I shed some tears? I'm gonna say technically, yes. In fact, I did a little bit of sobbing at one point. (had to even blow my nose!!)
Radford's daughter Rebecca is adorable and I absolutely loved her all through the story.
I guess that's all I'm gonna say about it because otherwise I'll just give things away. I think if you like Wendy Lindstrom you'll enjoy this book.
If you like historical romance, you'll like this book
If you're looking for hot sex and a virgin deflowering? Well, the virginity get's disposed of, but this isn't a book with hot descriptive sex, so you may want to move along...
I wasn't too sure about this book when I read the blurb but I was throughly swept away by the telling of the tale... I was living their lives with them feeling their joy and laughing and crying when things hurt. A great story.
I would definitely recommend this book. The characters are realistic and manage to persevere during a difficult family situation and time period. The hero is a Civil War veteran who is trying to reintegrate into his family and deal with the experiences of his past.
The situations and character's reactions were honest, They made mistakes but tried to right their wrongs and stick to their values. I liked seeing that even through anger, betrayal, and emotional issues such as PTSD, the family stayed together.
I have never listened to any of Julia Motyka's performances before, but I will definitely be listening to her again in the future. She is a very talented narrator who differentiates the characters well. Each character's voice remained the same throughout the performance and I always knew who was speaking.
There were many moving moments in this story, but one that remained with me was the death of Evelyn's father. Radford stayed with her the entire time and mourned with her.
I loved reading 'Shades of Honor' and the narrator's performance made it even better. I will definitely be looking for more of her work, hopefully in the rest of the Grayson Brothers series.
Yes, I enjoyed the listen. I like the time period of the Civil War. This story was really about family, friends, love, betrayal and honor. I usually like action and humorous banter, this was a nice surprise though.
When the little girl started to come out of her shell. It was more about small memorable moments.
There was not one outstanding scene. There was a compilation of scenes.
The characters are good. There is another book about one of the other brother's love story.
There was good character development of the two main characters, the secondary characters could have been developed more. I think that it brings the community and town etc. to life. More details on the personalities of the brothers Boyd and Duke would have contributed to making the story more in depth. More background on the secondary characters would make it feel like it was not just a love story. It had small amounts of the horrors of war, that was crucial to making the story work. It is an easy read not complex. I did enjoy it.
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