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I loved this one SO much!!! I still can't give this one 5 full stars, but I got invested into this story so bad! Can't believe this author did't write more. I really loved this one! It was raw, it was painful, it was heartbreaking at times, but we get such a wonderful ending! It's definitely worth it! View all 10 comments. By no means the easiest read, this really brought on the feels and the angst. Miller has lived his life by a set of rules.

These rules have guided him on how to act, how to live, and how to be. The very picture of how he sees himself is about to be shattered. It has no room for soft desires or comforting caring, let alone love. A series of bad choices and unfortunate circumstances have him trapped. This was frantic and desperate and intense.

There are hard truths to swallow and not so pretty things to be seen. Gritty and harsh, peppered with some lovely sexy and tender intimacy, all of which will no doubt make you cheer for these two. View all 18 comments. One of the best debut novels I have read! Awesomamazing 5 plus star read!!! I wish there were more books out by this author. I loved this book. I loved both MCs. I would love to read a story about secondary character Griff. View all 17 comments. Jun 06, Ridley rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: People who liked Zero at the Bone but found the story execution a bit flawed.

Shelves: ebook , favorites , m-m , 5-star , read I know it's not fair to compare this book to Zero at the Bone, but, I can't help it. It's sort of a similar storyline. Where I think Zero was a bit more ambitious, in the end I thought it bit off more than it could chew. Shades of Gray takes a smaller bite and is a bit more graceful about it as a result. The book opens with Danny Butler sweating, and bleeding, it out while waiting alone in a police interrogation room. A cop pulled him over for running a red light and bags him on a weapons charge, I know it's not fair to compare this book to Zero at the Bone, but, I can't help it.

A cop pulled him over for running a red light and bags him on a weapons charge, dragging him through a broken window in the process, leaving him bloodied and looking at a long stint in federal prison. He's a career criminal.

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In the fourteen years since he joined Roberto Hinestroza's international drug smuggling enterprise at 18, he's risen up the ranks and is currently a mid-level drug runner. He's no stranger to the federal prison system, and he's not at all eager to head back, but he's even less eager to roll over on Mr. Hinestroza and take a deal with the FBI. Not only is he afraid of getting killed, he has a sense of loyalty towards the drug lord that he's not ready to abandon. He's been on Hinestroza's case for three years, following Danny for over half a year, so he pushes and pulls to get what he wants, implying that he'd let Hinestroza think Danny's working with the Feds even if Danny turned him down.

He knows he's being a dick, that he's placing this guy in mortal danger, but that's just what he does.


He's with the Good Guys. Sad for Miller that he's not sure he believes his own propaganda anymore. He wins a deal from Danny, so why doesn't he feel like a winner? Though the plot is centered by Danny informing on his boss, outrunning a hitman and the like, it's not really a romantic suspense. It's more of a character study than anything else. As Miller babysits Danny in a secure apartment, they talk and form a friendship.

Closeted Miller, stressed out by living a carefully guarded lie, is mesmerized by the impulsive, comfortably gay Danny. They're clearly attracted to each other early on, but just how would a FBI agent and a drug runner hook up? I found the romance gritty, but entirely realistic. Not in the way that this is how any of my friends have met their better half, but that if an FBI agent were to hook up with an ex-felon informant, this is a completely plausible how.

I mean, what they're doing breaks all their rules. So why? Why these two? Why now? McKinley's superior characterization answered those questions for me. Through dialog, POV prose and bits of deep POV flashback, we get the full picture of both lead characters and what made them who they are today.

Both have a character arc that spans the length of the book. Both are sympathetic, but with flaws and bad decisions aplenty. At the beginning, it seems a bit like Miller is the good guy and Danny the bad guy. But the more we find out about the both of them, the more decisions they make, the more those lines blur.

It's hard to offer examples of the characters without giving away crucial bits of plot. Both plot and character are closely intertwined and paced perfectly. Suffice to say, I could see how Miller could feel so overwhelmed by his life perched upon one lie after another that Danny was the straw to break the camel's back and make him throw everything away and start over. I could also see how maybe Miller needed to do it this way, so that he'd have no way to go back to how he'd been living before even if he wanted to. Those actions and decisions, I thought, turned him into a man only someone like Danny, who is well acquainted with how easily people can screw their lives up, could understand.

By the end, Danny has begun to acknowledge the good inside him and live with it, while Miller is just getting used to living with his darkness. I'm doing a bad job of reviewing this. I can never decently review a five star book. They've got a magic quality to their storytelling that I can never quite adequately describe.

But, to sum it up, this was a great character-driven romantic suspense in which the characters personalities, gender and sexuality all played a major role in the plot. Both men acted like men; neither could have been replaced by a heroine and kept this plot. It's a rare book that makes me want to re-read it so soon after finishing it. View all 8 comments. May 23, Lorraine Lesar rated it really liked it. View all 40 comments. Apr 05, Christelle rated it it was amazing Shelves: mm-gfy , mm-absolute-fav , mm-uniforms , mm-hot-hot-hot , mm-intense , to-be-reread.

So great!!! Danny, a drug runner, just got arrested for a driving offense and the FBI used that opportunity to make him turn on his boss, a big drug dealer. Trapped in a safe apartment for several weeks, Miller and Danny get to talk a lot, and not only about the case, but pretty soon about themselves 4. Trapped in a safe apartment for several weeks, Miller and Danny get to talk a lot, and not only about the case, but pretty soon about themselves while dealing with their attraction, a difficult journey for Danny, who believes himself not being worth anything, for Miller, who has denied his gayness his whole life, and for both of them, having to deal with the FBI games and death threats.

Might sound like a typical suspense book?? Not at all. Like one of the MCs said : "it's just so much more". What bothers me a bit : there is cheating involved. It felt real, without BS, not an easy one, but so much worth the fight. The cherry on the cake : the sex is hot and the suspense perfect.

Highly recommended!!! View all 12 comments. Mar 18, Kiki rated it it was amazing Shelves: waterworks , sentimental-value , books-that-changed-my-life , favorites , love-rocks-yeah-yeah , adult , absolute-best. This book is simply spectacular. I'm notoriously hard to please when it comes to fictional romances. I just don't buy them. Friends come to me with couples they loved in books or movies, and they leave me stone cold. You see, I was never really brought up to be a romantic type. I was never one of those kids who at ten had decided what cake they wanted at their wedding.

At ten, I was really into gory anime and cheesy pasta. I also had an emo phase that went on for longer than it should have. I just cringed so hard my back snapped! Romance doesn't convince me unless I can tell that whoever wrote or acted it really and truly put their back into it. I want to feel an author's dedication to the couple they're writing. And I don't doubt that most authors do.

It just doesn't translate on the page. Katsa and Po? Katniss and Peeta? Not interested. Romeo and Juliet? Christian and Ana? Meredith and McDreamy? Jane and Mr. Allie and Noah? Elizabeth and Mr. Every Disney Princess and her Prince, ever? Jace and Clary? Penryn and Raffe? Rick and Lori? I just don't care about any of them. And that's why Danny and Miller are killing me so much. Danny and Miller are just such beautiful, broken characters, with this beautiful, broken romance. They're so desperate for each other, and they go on this journey, and I can't! It's too much! Even separately, they're brilliant.

There's such smooth character development for both of them, and Miller in particular makes such an organic transition from the man he is before Danny to the man after. When you close the back cover of this book or tap the last page. I read this on my Kobo, which I've since lost, so I can't reread this book until I buy another. Yeah - this book is so good I want to re-read it despite my titanic to-read list you truly feel as if you've been through a journey of each character's self-discovery. This book made me feel like I'd really achieved something.

Don't wrinkle your nose; you've felt that way. If you say you haven't, you're lying. The best books make us feel this way. As if we've been through something challenging, transported from the hall closet or the couch or the roof of the Chrysler building or wherever you like to read, to the characters' world. And it's not like the writing isn't worth some serious attention. This book is written with so much passion and heart. The plot is tight, dialogue smooth and slick, and the pacing perfect.

The author has such love and respect both for her artistic license and her plot's relationship with reality. Yeah, there's melodrama, but this book really knows when to reel it in. It never oversteps the mark. It's angsty and dramatic, but that's what it's meant to be.

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That's the beauty of it! It's not like Crimson Spell where the women are missing. Sorry, Crimson Spell. I love you like an annoying little sibling that really deserves to be punched. I love you like Ontario loves Quebec. Really, though - Rachel was an incredibly sympathetic character. This isn't just personal opinion; the book actually forces the reader to recognize how much Miller hurts her and not to excuse it. She was a strong and soulful character. The romance is deeply tied to it, but they're symbiotic. You care about the plot because you care about the romance, and vice versa.

There are certainly enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. One in particular really knocked me off my chair. It was like a pantomime. This book is just great. It's one of my favourite books. There's some sex and swearing and graphic violence, but don't let these things deter you, my lovelies. I'd recommend this one in a heartbeat. I just really, really love it. Bonus Time! This is a really lame bonus time, but it's like 1 a. However, I won't lie and say I didn't watch the first season religiously, because I totally did. Yes, it's mildly archaic, but it's the best and most passionate romantic pairing in any of Shakespeare's works.

Clearly, I am not a huge screaming fan of Shakespeare's. Buddy read. Wow, what an amazing book, I loved it!! I'm not going to do a long review To my mind, all sorts of adjectives can be applied to the people in this book, and to the general mood created by the author Oh, and let's not forget violent, psychopathic, vicious, hot, sexy I could go on but won't. Danny, I liked right from the start, and ye Buddy read.


Danny, I liked right from the start, and yes, I know he was a criminal but that doesn't necessarily mean that he was a bad person inside, he was a victim of circumstance. Miller, well, Miller had a huge stick up his backside, being an FBI agent and all, but I felt he gave a little of himself away when he sat on that bench with Danny, and as the book progressed, I grew to like him more and more.

I felt for both of them when they parted, and although I understood the reasons, I couldn't help but be more than a little annoyed that they were willing to give everything up so easily It was as plain as the noses on their faces that they were in love with each other.

I'm not mentioning the villains of the piece at all Hinestroza was a very complicated character, very keen to be the boss yet wanting you to feel that he could be counted on as a friend, quite willing to stab you in the back as long as he could employ someone else to do it Juan 'what a complete nutter' Madrigal. What a thoroughly nasty piece of work he was!!

All I can say in finishing is that I had tears rolling down my cheeks at the end of the read. Feb 04, Mel rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Zero at the Bone lovers. Recommended to Mel by: Lauraadriana. Shelves: m-m , e-book. I tried to like this, I really did, but oh my God, the melodrama!

At a certain point I was imagining violins in the background and my inner reading voice relaying the story with a constant sobby infliction No, this story wasn't for me. I wanted to say it started well enough, but it didn't actually. No drama there, I'll give you that, but the whole premise of the story is based on one huge suspension of disbelief. And I know, I know: it's fiction; logic has a lot of leeway here, but really: I' I tried to like this, I really did, but oh my God, the melodrama! And I know, I know: it's fiction; logic has a lot of leeway here, but really: I'd like to not forfeit my common sense while reading.

Another peeve was the author's style of instantly telling us all about the characters. Upon meeting them we knew Danny was a good guy in a bad world who had morality issues, Miller was a frustrated straight- ha! I personally don't like being told everything about characters at first sight. I like to get to know them, learn more about them as the story unfolds, have the chance to form my own opinions. To me this makes for more well drawn, layered characters, whereas McKinley's writing style has the danger of making her characters seem flat.

She barely avoided that with the main characters but the secondaries were pretty one dimensional, especially the women with their pearl necklaces and sugar pink fingernails, and the bad guys who were downright caricatures. As the story progressed the suspense plot became more unrealistic and the romance plot more sappy. Danny and Miller acted liked women. No, wait: they acted like women in romance novels. Because no real chick thinks and talks and acts like that, come on!

Besides the contents, McKinley's prose ups the sap factor. The guys don't shout, they scream, they talk with hurt in their voices and despair in their eyes, they draw shaky breaths, they choke and wince constantly. The characters, the plot With a lot of sap to top it off. The story got slightly better towards the ending, but all in all: this was not for me. View all 93 comments. Oct 08, Jassy rated it it was amazing Shelves: mm-dual-pov , mm-slow-burn , mm-abusive-past , mm-out-for-you , mm-suspense , mm-super-great-writing , mm-contemporary.

I admit I have a thing for those complicated and twisted stories. Throw in a virgin closet case and a criminal with a heart of gold and I'm in love. Which is exactly what happened here. Since that is basically a death sentence for Danny he needs protection and Miller is the one for the job. That means spending time together and soon enough the two can't f 4. That means spending time together and soon enough the two can't fight their attraction anymore. Danny is a man full of guilt but for me he is actually just a boy who was abandoned and got in the hands of the wrong man.

He was abused in prison and has been a survivor ever since.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ author E.L. James to release new novel in April

Miller is scared of who he really is and reminded me of a robot without feelings in the beginning. Until he falls for Danny and he can finally be his true self with someone. What got to me the most is the deep connection between the two MCs. For me it always feels better if a couple fights a common enemy while being together than dancing around each other for the whole length of the book! That also gives feelings the time to develop. At one point where Danny is ready to sacrifice himself for Miller I was so convinced of their love that it got me choked up in the middle of a hospital thank you very much x.

And Danny is not the only one who was willing to make sacrifices for love. I liked the ending and how everything was resolved. I have to admit that I skipped those torture-scenes because I am no fan of violence and there was quite some detailed stuff. So be warned about that. All in all, I would highly recommend this book I've read this twice now and could easily pick it up again. The chemistry between Miller and Danny jumps off the page at you and literally smacks you in the face from the moment they meet.

Millers stoic cop and Dannys cocky nature make for an explosive Pairing. Danny's no goody goody but as the book progresses and you learn more of his backstory you can't help but grow to love him and even though he's done some not so nice things in his life and witnessed many others, he's far from being a career I've read this twice now and could easily pick it up again.

Danny's no goody goody but as the book progresses and you learn more of his backstory you can't help but grow to love him and even though he's done some not so nice things in his life and witnessed many others, he's far from being a career criminal. Exciting, sexy, gritty and at times very tender this is a cracking venture into both romance and crime thriller. Getting straight to the point, my disappointment was related to the guys meshing quite well almost from the beginning.

The first interrogation was a joke, for a tough guy from the streets, Danny gave up too easy. We had two guys standing in opposite sides of the law and as such, what I had in mind was something fiercer, grittier, with clashing forceful personalities, if you know what I mean. But no, the guys were too friendly to each other and it fell flat. There was a little struggle from both parts, both guys feeling guilty about their attraction for different reasons, but getting well alright. It happened when Danny left. That was the moment shit got real.

On the other hand, I had a soft spot for Danny from the start. Danny was a criminal living a violent, dangerous and dark life but somehow his soul was kept untouched by it all, his heart was not tainted by its ugliness. Danny had such a great character development. I totally bought his troubled and beautiful soul. There are scenes in the story not for the faint of heart, just so you know. It took me too long to get me in the mood for this party. Written April 29, 4. It was full speed from the first page, so much desire, tenderness and fear to not be enough to be loved. At times I was so scared and worried - was there any possibility of eternal happiness and a life together for them?

A reading I greatly enjoyed. Denny will be hardly "persuaded" and an exciting story begins. It's hard not to love these two men. Already on the first page, I fell for Denny while the rigid and closed Miller needed more time to grow.

Danny is everything; tough, street-smart, experienced, affectionate, caring and fragile. Miller is the splendid skilled worker, he has turned off his emotions and working to achieve conventional goals. He has not dared listen to what he feels inside. The feeling for men Danny shifted his weight. For me, this is primarily a very beautiful story about a growing love between two men from different worlds.

The game between them is so beautiful and the various love scenes are hot but always loving. I hoped with all my heart and soul that they would get a second chance, for a change and, for them better lives. A life in the name of love! OMG I love them - it was so soft, tender and nicely. Shades of Gray is also a fascinating crime-story with some very cruel villains a drug lord and his assassin , terrible past experiences and the deep scars that remain. I bit my nails all the time and just "hated" these terrible enemies. A few times I had to read some brief recaps with squinting eyes, they were too crude to process for me.

Why is the reality so terrible sometimes. View all 28 comments. Apr 25, Gina rated it it was amazing Shelves: m-m , best-of-the-best , favorites. I have read some really good books, but this one is up there with the few that truly rock my world! I am still left a little speechless and I am at a loss to describe how much this book moved me. The rollercoaster of emotions, the suspense all blended together perfectly to take me a ride that made me forget everything but this story and these two great men!

Two men coming from very different backgrounds and experiences. They are thrown together by circumstances and their attraction to each other is magnetic. In the beginning I had an issue with Danny, he background, his life as a drug runner. Miller, the FBI agent, closed up, by the book agent, ended up being the one who pissed me off more. I absolutely fell in love with Danny, I admired his strength to start a new life, and my heart broke for him when I learned of his life.

The guilt he carried with him, his amazing loving heart, courage and strength. But like I said the author really gets you in his head, and I started to understand his fears, issues and why he treated Danny the way he did. And again, I admired the way he changed, evolved, accepted who he was and what really mattered. Life is not black and white, but shades of gray.

The writing in this story was wonderful, the author truly got you into their heads and feelings. I am writing this review the day after i read it and I am honestly compelled to start reading it again WHY did it take me so long to read this book?? I loved it. Complex characters, interesting storyline, hotter than hot sex. Miller and Danny were so amazing together. A must read!! Shelves: recommended-to-me , reviewed , type-standalone-story , dark , lgbt , age-adult , made-me-smile-or-laugh. Miller smiled, his eyes calm and steady and sure.

Despite having what i seek in books i didn't feel any connection with the characters and couldn't care less about them. I dislike that there was cheating. Yes, you should know about that. One of the MC is engaged and cheats on his wife. It's not a spoiler, don't worry, we all knew our two MC would do that at one point.

Its automatic star less from me - i really hate when someone cheats. Divorce is one thing - you are not in relationship anymore, but engagement is another - even if you dragged it out for five years. And i did like it somewhat in the end so i guess it counts for something. I also don't say that I didn't feel anything reading this book. I did - it was a good angst ride, and it made me laugh in some of the scenes. I would have given it even less stars if I hadn't been able to feel anything.

I just didn't care enough about the characters, and that is a bit different. They managed to capture one of his followers, Danny Butler, and Miller Sutton who plays by the rules like always wants to put Hinestroza into jail because that is what he deserves. Danny Butler once saw opportunity for a better life than he had - but soon enough he started to regret his choice when Hinestroza picked him up and gave him a new job. Now he is cornered - being a witness against Hinestroza makes him a dead man, and threat of FBI puts him even more on the edge.

But Miller managed to "convince" him into cooperating and Danny has no choice but to wait for his death - because Hinestroza is smart and he will figure out the betrayal soon enough. And soon he did - out of all people, he sent his best hitman, Madrigal, to find Danny. But Madrigal is not only hitman - he is also an expert torturer and being hunted by him is equal to painful death sentence.

Miller has no choice but to move with Danny around. At first, Miller believes that Danny is just another low life criminal - after all, he had been tracking him down for a while already. He was used to them low life criminals and he didn't feel any regret when he tricked them to get what he wanted. It is a job he knew he could handle.

I eat, sleep, and breathe Hinestroza. I know more about that piece of shit than he knows about himself. He was punished enough already. The last thing Miller wanted was to become friends with Danny Butler. Miller had a mission. He had to remain focused on a single goal: Hinestroza. In order to achieve it, he needed to draw Danny in while at the same time maintaining professional distance. All part of the game. You got ice in your veins now? Miller has fiancee - Rachel, with whom he had been engaged for 5 years, but they keep on waiting And meeting Danny doesn't help the situation. Miller is also so used to interrogating that he started using his interrogating voice on himself - he keeps doubting in himself and his decisions the more he works on this case.

To Miller everything was black and white and now he keeps seeing Danny as shades of gray. Everything set out in neat little boxes, all black and white, exactly how he liked it. Danny in general is somewhat a nice guy - although he himself believes that this is not true. He had opportunity to change something, and he chose himself over it. This he never got through. Danny is also divorced - divorced because he and Amanda didn't work out - too late he understood that he was indeed gay and he didn't want to pull her into his business Danny was raised in problematic family - abusive father and a mother who chose to stay out of the way.

Because of that, Danny only wanted to be needed by someone and that need and wanting to get approval from someone only got him into this whole drug mess in the first place. Resentment over the bargain Miller had forced him into still stung, festering under his skin. But curiosity was creeping up behind the resentment no matter how hard he pushed it away. This was going to be trouble. Trouble was the one thing Danny Butler felt qualified to handle.

And now his employer is hunting him down for a betrayal he was reluctant to agree too, because he still feels some twisted loyalty to Hinestroza - even if his orders took something he cared about once. And when he starts understanding Miller, he starts trying to use him for his own goals. But somewhere deep inside of him, he doesn't want to do that and with time, he understands that there is more to Miller.

While he worked for Hinestroza, he was a drug distributor who kept other dealers in line. And worst of all, Hinestroza trusted him not to mess things up, which he did now spectacularly by accepting the offer of protection. Maybe Danny Butler, with all his faults and failings, had something worth giving after all. I don't really need to go into all of the details here because there are more than enough detailed descriptions of this thing to spare me the effort of doing so and to spare you reading the same thing over more times than necessary. Instead, I'll just go ahead and throw my lot in with the "haters", as the fans seem to be labelling us here.

What I will add because I haven't read it yet so far, and what I think should be an important point for perspective, is that every last "10 out of 10" reviewer I clicked on was a newly created account with only this film having been reviewed. I've been around here long enough to know that's always suspicious. I won't blatantly accuse them of being involved in the film's production or of being friends of those who were, but these new members sure are mighty keen on this rather sub-par film.

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