Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Brooke McKinley - Shades of Gray

Miller Sutton, a by-the-book FBI agent, is starting to see some troubling shades of gray in his black-and-white world. He comes face-to-face with his doubts in the person of Danny Butler, a mid-level drug runner Miller hopes to use to catch a much larger fish: Roberto Hinestroza, a drug lord Miller has pursued for years. Danny has no interest in being a witness against his boss, both out of a sense of twisted loyalty and because he knows double-crossing Hinestroza is a sure death sentence. But he reluctantly agrees to cooperate, and as he suspects, it doesn't take long for Hinestroza to figure out the betrayal. 
Miller is surprised to discover Danny's not the career-criminal lowlife he expected; at the same time, Danny finds himself helplessly attracted to Miller's innate goodness. They barely begin to explore the sparking attraction between them when Hinestroza's hitman tracks them down, and then they're on the run, both for their lives and for any kind of love.

Comment: This is a book I've had in the pile for years. I always assumed I'd save it for the perfect time but well, I guess that only meant it was left aside... but this month I just added it to my reading list, otherwise it would remain, along so many others...

In this book we meet Danny Butler, a man who's worked for a drug lord and has delivered drugs, went to prison for it twice, someone who's had had a bad life and now things are getting worse because he is caught again and sort of forced to make a deal.
Miler Sutton is the FBI agent who interrogates Danny and who stays with him when the drug lord sends his killer to shoot Danny. The two man have to share a small apartment and they talk and what they discuss is not just a way to spend the time, they bond and by doing so, change both their POVs in life...

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than what I imagined I would, mainly because I tend to dislike books with characters dealing with drugs or drug related. It's a subject that annoys me deeply but thankfully, the author has written an emotional based story, good enough to distract me.

This is the first story I read by this author, apparently she hasn't got more and this one was published in almost 8 years. I liked the writing style, I feel very fond of both main characters but yes, some things just didn't get along with my tastes, even if I recognize why the author used them, namely the drug related issues, the chasing and fights, the dealings with the drug boss and the not so clean actions by the characters. Precisely what gives this book's title importance are the things I'd change. I was imagining all this without the drama and the issues outside the character's feelings and thoughts.

The plot is pretty interesting, despite the things I didn't like much, the emotional journey both characters do is convincing for their lifestyles and decision making, their past and experiences and, after all, no one has a perfect life, carefree and without choices, but yeah, this is fiction and I'd have liked the characters to decide other ways sometimes so the plot could move more alike my tastes. Many readers say this is precisely what makes the plot interesting and strong, this showing off of the differences and the path they take into becoming different people. Yes, I agree but at the same time I wouldn't do it this way, no matter who well done.

Danny and Miller are a good couple, for me the best part about their story was how slowly they fell in love, it wasn't always very obvious what they were thinking, some things are inferred and not very highlighted, but the end was sweet and it was very easy to imagine how their fictional life would develop from the end on. Their romance tended being sweet and cute, despite some not so positive scenes with them or about them.

Danny is fascinating, I think he's the best character and apart from all the details that turn him from possible bad guy to hero, my favorite thing about him is how despite all the bad things in his past, all the negativity of his experiences, he still has a bright inner self, he is a good guy at heart.
Miller, on the other hand, started as the hero and at the end some of his choices are debatable. This is where readers point out the importance of the title and so on but honestly, I think too much fuss was done. Yes, he breaks some rules but his actions don't seem as radical in the context of the story. In reality, they would have been for sure and I understand the dilemma but...ehh I was just focused on the romance.

After finishing the book, I was smiling because the HEA is cute and deserved and had a lot of potential. The bad guys aren't all punished, which sucks for fiction, we want justice even if in rel life it isn't so, but I was still pleased by having read this book. It was good it got out of the unread pile.
Grade: 8/10

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