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 have never been a real fan of the typical romance novel. Then I read Shades of Honor and from there the rest of the Grayson Brothers series. Yes it is a romance novel, but it is a truly a story of honor, forgiveness, the love of family and the strength that comes with it. Ms. Motyka does an awesome job narrating. She reflects the emotion and love that is found between the characters beautifully. I would highly recommend this book and the rest of the series. Once you start, be prepared to little else. These books are impossible to put down.
This was the first time I've listened to this author and I wasn't disappointed. It has it all: good character development, a credible and engaging plot, challenge and romance. The story of Radford, Evelyn and Kyle unfolds amidst a wonderful sense of family love and loyalty and personal responsibility and integrity. I can't wait to listen to others in the series.
I can say this was one of the best book's I have listened to, I listened to it all at once, and never lost interest, excited to see the other series, and also good narration. if you don't have it...by all mean's try it..you won't be dissapointed
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.
Radford Grayson is a former Union soldier and when he returned home after the Civil War ended, he was too emotionally wounded to stay and help his brothers run the mill their father built. He returns again, five years later, this time with his four year old daughter in tow, ready to take his place alongside his brothers at the mill, but his brother Kyle is not happy to see him and sends him to help his fiance, Evelyn Tucker, run her father’s livery. Radford reluctantly agrees to help Evelyn at the livery, and begins to develop feelings for her.
Why I read this book:
The story appealed to me in so many ways:
The setting: it’s set in the US after the Civil War, which was a nice change of pace from the Regency ballroom type historicals I usually read
The hero: two words -- tortured hero
The heroine: she’s not your typical heroine -- she wears boots and breeches and runs her father’s livery
The romance set-up/conflict: the heroine is the fiance of the hero’s brother.
What I liked:
Radford and Evelyn were such well-drawn characters and their emotional journey felt really authentic. From the moment I read the description, I wanted to know how they could possibly get their HEA. Evelyn is Radford’s sister-in-law to be -- how could it possibly work out? The thing I love about romance novels is that you know there will be an HEA, so it’s all about how the author gets the characters there and this was a bumpy, but realistic ride and I was hooked from the first chapter.
What I also liked:
The secondary characters really added to this story. Radford has a four year old daughter and the relationship that develops between Rebecca and Evelyn is as important to the story as Radford and Evelyn’s relationship. I also loved the relationship between Evelyn and her father and his relationship with Radford and Rebecca.
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought the narrator did an excellent job conveying the emotion needed for this story. She did a good job with the various voices too - she had to voice a variety of characters -- from a four year old little girl to a man who’d suffered a stroke and she pulled them all off quite well. There were a few areas where the pacing was off, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.
If you’re looking for a well-written, emotionally rich historical romance with well-drawn characters you grow to really care about, and miss when you’re done reading, then I highly recommend this story.
I was offered a copy of the audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was really drawn into the story and couldn't stop listening. It was also a wonderful change to be in an historical era set in America instead of Regency or Victorian England. Those societal restrictions can get tiresome after awhile. This was my first historical romance that I listened to and I was pleased with the experience. I'm also looking forward to continuing this series and hearing the stories of all the Grayson men, especially as Kyle's is next. I not only recommend the story but this format. 4.5 stars
This was a really touching story as Radford Grayson epitomizes the tortured hero, having experienced unspeakable war action that he relives through nightmares. Evelyn is a special woman who helps him overcome his misery and provides tender care to his daughter. They are both honorable people trapped in an impossible situation that Kyle Grayson had a hand in creating and perpetuating. I liked how the story developed and was emotionally connected to both Radford and Evelyn. I actually missed them when the story ended.
Same as above
I had moments of sadness where I came close to tears:)
The narrator did a good job in distinguishing characters and she managed the male characters skillfully. Her voice had a pleasant tone that worked for the story, even though the pacing was sometimes off.
This book checks all of my boxes: Well-drawn passionate characters, intelligent writing, American history brought to life ---- paired with a superb narration that breathes life into it all !!! Overall effect is a breathtaking journey into the evolution of true love, family, and adaptation to the travails of real life.
In this sweeping novel, a weary "accidental" soldier returns home to his beloved family in the Post-Civil War North, and struggles to come to terms with his past, his present, and his future. His return causes ripples in the lives of all who love him, as he tries to fit back into this family, that has also adapted to changes during his absence.
I typically read over over 200 books per year, and while I will usually rate them, I rarely feel compelled to write a review. This book , however, is an extraordinary experience which is not to be missed. The author pens the human experience of personal growth with such skill, that the characters seem real. I feel that this novel could be a classic. You will care so much about the characters, that it becomes unputdownable ! Truly 5 stars and more. Well Worth your time and credit !!!
Every unforgettable character came to vivid life for me.
The scenes were rich in emotion.
When Evelyn helps Radford face his inner demons. I also loved every scene with Grandpa and Rebecca.
I laughed and cried--it's truly a powerful story.
I loved experiencing Shades of Honor as an audio book. I felt as if I got to enjoy a great performance as well as a great book!
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.
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