I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Shades of Honor by Wendy Lindstrom
Series: Grayson Brothers #1
Narrator: Julia Motyka
Published by Rustic Studio Publishing on June 17, 2002
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 9 hours, 46 minutes
Former Union soldier Radford Grayson returns to his small home town, looking for a stable and comforting place to raise his young, motherless daughter. Despite his troubled past, his hopes are to reconcile with his family and put his dark secrets behind him. But he doesn't count on falling in love with Evelyn-his brother's fiance... When Evelyn Tucker accepted her childhood friend Kyle Grayson's marriage proposal, she thought it was the best way to make her ailing father happy. But when Radford arrives home, the fiery and independent Evelyn soon realizes that the comfort and friendship Kyle has provided her with will never hold a candle to the instant, undeniable passion she feels for Radford. Now their forbidden desire threatens to shatter family ties and destroy newfound dreams-unless their love has the power to overcome all obstacles...
The set up
When Radford Grayson returned home to New York at the end of the Civil War, he was a troubled man. As the oldest of the four brothers, it was expected that he would help his father with the family sawmill business but he left soon after. Now he’s returned home after five years with his four-year old daughter, Rebecca, but his younger brother, Kyle, doesn’t receive him with open arms. He’s had to manage the business following their father’s death and resents Radford showing up now that the business is healthy again.
Kyle is now engaged to Evelyn Tucker, his childhood best friend who is running her infirmed father’s livery business. Radford is sent to help Evelyn and they soon find themselves trying to resist their growing attraction to each other. It doesn’t help that Kyle isn’t very attentive to her and doesn’t hide his resentment of Radford.
The heart of the story
This was a really touching story as Radford 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. She’s desperate to make her relationship with Kyle work but cannot ignore her strong feelings for Radford. Neither wants to hurt Kyle (who was a bit of a jerk) but it was inevitable. They are both honorable people trapped in an impossible situation that Kyle 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.
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.
The bottom line
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.
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