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Shades of Honor (Grayson Brothers, Book 1) | [Wendy Lindstrom]

Shades of Honor (Grayson Brothers, Book 1)

Prepare to fall in love with the Grayson brothers in Shades of Honor, the first novel in the best-selling series by award-winning author Wendy Lindstrom. Haunted by a gruesome war and his own dark secrets, former Union soldier Radford Grayson returns home, seeking a loving reunion with his brothers and a place where he and his young daughter can make a home. Desperate for peace, Radford is ambushed by his unexpected and forbidden love for Evelyn - his brother's fiancée.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (250 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (234 )
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Story
4.0 (230 )
5 star
 (83)
4 star
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3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    MaineOne maine 05-07-14
    MaineOne maine 05-07-14

    reviews for fun

    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
    ratings
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    "I could not tolerate the narrator"

    A good narrator can make or break an audiobook in this case I think it was the latter. I could not tolerate the narrator. I tried.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela 04-11-14
    Angela 04-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Avoid any novel that starts with "Shades of...""
    What disappointed you about Shades of Honor?

    I read all the reviews and it sounded like a really good story, I was in the mood for a good romance. I was disappointed to find that I could not agree at all with any of them. I was expecting the men to be strong passionate characters but they came out as wimpy and rigid, the females were sickly sweet and their characters didn't fit to the kind of behaviour I expected for women in that era, and I didn't enjoy the story-telling to the daughter. I was bored by the plot of the book which I could have guessed just by reading the summary and reviews. I played it at double speed just to get through it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Wendy Lindstrom again?

    Nope.


    What character would you cut from Shades of Honor?

    The grandfather and the daughter.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 03-05-14
    Rebecca 03-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pleasant but not outstanding"

    Some research was done for this post-Civil War story which is set after the Civil War, but it must have focused on the war, livery stables, and saw mills. The characters are far too modern in their speech and behavior to be believable--the heroine in particular spouts modern psychobabble. On the other hand, most of the characters are well-developed and interesting. The plot line is predictable but I liked the emphasis on honor and family.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-01-14
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Should have been under drama and not HRomance"

    The story was not bad but it was just sprinkled fully with drama at every corner of the book. I absolutely feel drained. Also, the narrator made funny pauses while reading a sentence that broke it into unnecessary sections. A bit distracting. Be prepared for drama if you purchase this book.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D.G. 06-30-14
    D.G. 06-30-14 Member Since 2015

    Voracious reader/listener: I usually have one ebook and one audiobook going at a the same time. I'm a very eclectic reader so I tend to switch genres after every book. I'm open to most genres but my favorites in audio are mystery and fantasy (epic and urban both).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Emotional story with uneven narration"

    I'm not very fond of characters that betray people that trust them (siblings or best friends) but when I accepted to review this book, I had recently read "Texas Destiny", which I really liked. On the surface, both books have the same trope - tortured Civil War veteran falls in love with his brother's fiancee - but the execution makes them different, so this one wasn't as enjoyable for me.

    Evelyn has been engaged to her childhood friend for 4 years and she's months away from the wedding when his older brother shows up. Radford (our hero) and Kyle (the fiance) are having problems because Kyle felt her brother abandoned him. Radford's a veteran of the Civil War and has had problems adjusting, so he stayed away from his family. Now he's ready to come back but the relationship with his brother is not making things easy.

    The attraction between Evelyn and Radford is immediate. They try to ignore their feelings - although there was a little too much touching for my liking - but instead, their feelings bloom. 3/4 of the book proceeds in this manner - them saying they cannot continue, with a few kisses and touches - and Evelyn's trying to work things out with Kyle. Evelyn has plenty of chances to break the engagement but the truth of her relationship with Radford comes out in the worst possible way. I wasn't a fan of Kyle - he was too much of a whiner about the situation with his brother - but they definitely didn't treat him very well.

    The book has some very emotional parts, specially about Radford's recolections of the Civil War. I teared up when he finally confesses to Evelyn what he went through. I think my favorite character of the whole book is Evelyn's father.

    The narration was slow, slow so I had to listen at 1.5 speed. Ms. Motyka tended towards over dramatization but the story was melodramatic in parts. I won't necessarily avoid her in the future but I'll listen to the sample first to see if she's sped up her narrations.

    I'll probably try the second book in the series even though I'm not very fond of Kyle, because it's gotten lots of good reviews from my friends. I'll probably switch to print though.

    *I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaele Atlanta, GA 06-28-14
    Gaele Atlanta, GA 06-28-14

    We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AudioBook Review"



    I was excited to return to the United States for an historic romance, and Wendy Lindstrom brings a Civil War era story into this romance involving two brothers. Post-civil wartime settings and ideals are well defined, and the people are lovely: hard working, hopeful and above all, looking to start anew with the new definition of their country. The story is also not a story of people with money and grand aspirations: it is of the ordinary people with their own humbler hopes and dreams as we follow their lives.

    Evelyn is going to marry her childhood friend Kyle Grayson: she isn’t dreaming of passion and soul mates, the war put end to dreams of that sort. Respect, friendship and a kinship from their long acquaintance is perfectly fine. I liked her attitude of making the best with what you have, and the real regard and friendship between her and Kyle was well defined and nearly palpable.

    But then, in walks Radford after the war and a family estrangement, and the whole story went left for me. I saw the very well developed and defined character, and I believed in the attraction between he and Evelyn, I just couldn’t get past the whole “brother’ thing. I was hoping for some real reason, a real purpose to his returning to patch things up and diving right in to devastate the family all over again, and I couldn’t find it. Sometimes, and most especially in the 1870’s, I couldn’t see the pressure from society allowing it to happen. And, I will say that Evelyn wasn’t particularly indecisive or spineless, but I didn’t see her as a particularly bold woman either.

    It was, other than the disappointment with the twist in the romance, a well-crafted romance that was more compelling for its setting and surrounding characters and world than for the main hero and heroine.

    The narration in this book were from Julia Motyka, and this is not my first encounter with her work. While I find her voice pleasing, she needs to dial it back in her emotional (and often over-emotional) enhancements. This was not a story set at Tara, but I swear she was channeling Scarlett in one of her infamous drama queen moments more often than not. Her over-reach in several passages starkly contrasted with passages that were perfectly balanced and performed, and made for a very uneven listen.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish R. JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-30-13
    Trish R. JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This was not a good read!!"
    Any additional comments?

    I have no idea how this book got so many 5 star reviews on Amazon because it's sooo boring. You can read/listen only so much about the saw mill and the livery before it's time to move on. I'm at 44% and there's really no feeling in this book at all. No anger, no jealousy, no passion, no desire, nada! Radford goes from laughing with his brothers, Kyle, Boyd and Duke, to being depressed. Evelyn is torn between Kyle, her fiance', and Radford and keeps reminding herself that she has to marry Kyle because she'd promise. It just goes on and on saying the same thing, only in different words. AND since there's been no desire or passion on anyone's part I know that eventually there's just going to be sex, like *bam* there it is. And I just hate that. I don't read a book that doesn't have sex but when there's nothing leading up to it it's really boring. Now, I'm going to zip from 44% to about 95% and read the ending. Even free this was a waste of my time.
    I like to listen as I read along and the narrator did a wonderful job but the story was terrible. I have almost 500 reviews on Amazon and I don't often leave a review like this but I can't help it.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindlefan Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 02-27-14
    Kindlefan Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2011

    US Kindlefan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Story was ok"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I would not! The story was just ok. Evelyn is torn between Kyle, her fiance, and Radford and keeps reminding herself that she has to marry Kyle because she'd promise. It just goes on and on saying the same thing, only in different words. I really do not care about any religious aspects....I gave this a two star because she really did have a great plot but after reading over and over again the problem of why the main two characters couldn't be together I wanted to scream. I got it the first six times.


    If you’ve listened to books by Wendy Lindstrom before, how does this one compare?

    Never listened before and will not do it again


    Would you be willing to try another one of Julia Motyka’s performances?

    No way. She sounded so off......one of the worst performances


    Could you see Shades of Honor being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't find it to be an exceptional book but a typical western like romance. I am not curious about what happens with the other brothers.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Johannesburg, South Africa 05-14-14
    Brett Johannesburg, South Africa 05-14-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Boring"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you like them slow and without a story line, this one is for you


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Orson Scott Card - Invasive Proceedures


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Overly dramatic narration


    What character would you cut from Shades of Honor?

    They were all dull


    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother, this book was slow, boring and without a story line. I used it to put myself to sleep.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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