Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Review – Shades Of Grey - Bev Haynes





Back of The Book

HEATHER MANN’s life is a mess. She is a widow working as activities director at Twin Pines Care Center and Assisted Living Center located in the Wyoming mountain town of Evergreen. Her co-workers have accused her of stealing and any number of deceptive antics. Hurt and confused, Heather cannot find a way out of the quagmire in which she finds herself.

CHAD BROOKS is the owner of the corporation of which Twin Pines is a part. He arrives in Evergreen as a means to get out of the city for a while and to observe his prime candidate for the position of corporate activities consultant…Heather Mann. Her resume and references are in direct conflict from the reports he is receiving from Wyoming.

Sparks fly when CHAD and HEATHER meet and continue as they sort their way through mystery and possibly murder.



Chad Brooks – Arrives in town with little or no fanfare but ends up causing the biggest upheaval to the care home that Heather works at. With a boat load of secrets – he has to decide how much or how little to disclose in order to protect those he works with and those he care about. 

Heather Mann – The little train that couldn’t but ending up having to. Taking on more than she wants to, hiding behind work and the bubble that she has created for herself – she wasn’t prepare for the direct approach that was Chad Brooks.


The Plot

When Chad Brooks moved into Heather’s parents home, she firstly didn’t  expect him nor neither did she expect that he would turn not only her personal life but her professional life upside down as well.

With issues at work, doubts about her life so far – she has taken on more than she can realistically manage at work and struggles with it. When she is accused of theft and she ends up being a target, her only source of support is Chad – however after too long it seems as if Chad is working off his own agenda and Heather is more confused about where to turn.

Chad is in Evergreen for a reason, Heather knows he’s hiding something – after all is said and done – where will this secret leave  them.

Another loud, crash brought Heather bolt upright in bed. Brandy yelped and growled her displeasure as she bailed over the top of Heather. “Ouch! You miserable mutt!” Heather squealed as the dog’s nails scratched the tender flesh of her arm. Throwing off the covers, Heather raced behind the dog, her thin, silky sleep shirt clinging to her body.

Ned…it had to be her brother, he’d been remodeling the apartment across the hall, but she remembered he’d finished with that last weekend. Besides, she and her brother were much alike, they both liked to sleep in on a day off work.

Slowly, she turned the knob, easing open the heavy oak door a crack allowing her just enough room to peek out to the landing. She couldn’t see much of it from her vantage point, but she could hear movement out there—scraping sounds, grunts and groans.

Tossing open the door she cried, “Ned! What are you…?” Her words stuck in her throat.

A handsome stranger crouched on the landing, yanking on wide canvas straps that surrounded a gigantic storage crate that was perched at a dangerous angle near the landing. The box teetered on the edge of the top step.

This attractive man certainly wasn’t her brother.

Sweat dampened the man’s black, curly hair and perspiration ran in rivulets down his tan skin. His thick-muscled shoulders strained against a buffalo-plaid shirt, and a pair of soft, worn jeans hugged his backside as they stretched around perfect muscles.

“Geez!” Heather cried, throwing her hands in the air, emphasizing her dismay. “What are you doing?”

“Can’t you tell?” He grunted as he tugged at the strap. “I’m moving in.”...

Shade Of Grey 9c) Bev Haynes


Surprise Element

I was attracted to so much things about this book, the cover, the blurb – but i have to say i really didn’t get into this one until about a third in but i really like the topical plot that Ms. Haynes went with.

There was very plain speaking in this book, other than the suspense bit, i could relate and see where there was definite respect for the people who are still young at heart.


Smut/Ick Factor

None of that – lots of lip locking and tender touches but none of the smut. Too much was happening in both the protags life to get their groove on – even though they wanted to.

The emotional part of the book was a hit and miss for me. Hit in that Heather went through some growth, but it really felt like she was drag there. Chad was a mystery and he had these looks and sudden moods that was so confusing at time.

It really took me a while to get close to these protags.



One of the first thing you get from this book is that the weather was going to play a big factor in the theme – and i love overcast, chilly days with a fire, so i was liking how Ms Haynes played up that bit.

The fine print of the care home was very detailed and well structured in it’s explanation – i am thinking ether Ms. Haynes spend some time in a care facility and more than likely got to know the staff. It felt real somehow, not a make believe scenario..

As much as i had a few issue with the main female protag – Ms. Haynes clearly thought about how the dynamics of the main protags and the support cast was going to work. As much as i hated some of them – they were well placed.

Support cast was coming out of the woodworks and a good few of them got air time, so you really weren’t left wondering why this or that was happening.

SHADES OF GREY actually deals with some very edgy issues as related to geriatric care and continuing support. To be honest i was more interested in the whole inner workings of the care home than the romance between Heather and Chad..

There was secrets a plenty and every one kept everything close to there chests – till literally the last moment.

This book had a natural conclusion – that i like, no assumption that they would have a HEA – we were a part of it.

Bottom Line.

A full length book that i never really  got into. I liked the plot, however there were some missed opportunity with character development and the circus of side stories. While i was impressed with the topical issues raised in this book, i was more  so impressed with the fine print of what Ms Haynes introduces the readers to – An insightful look at what really happens to the ones  we love in a care facility.



This book wasn’t an easy read for me – there was a few things, that i not necessarily didn’t like, but just niggle me the wrong way.

Heather character  was just poor. She was in a professional position, wears a few hats at her place of work and has seen some life. Yet she had no confidence, everyone walked over her and i mean everyone – there was one point where i thought – get a spine woman!!!!.

While i love a angsty read, too much of it can be over kill. While admittedly – some of the angst was necessary in the development of Heathers character, some of it left me doing too much thinking.

Heather and Chad’s “eyes across the room Moment”  felt very plastic, it was literally when they got a bit more face time together that i felt that  “yeah –there was a spark here”.



I have not been drawn to a book by it’s cover in a long time. As soon as i saw this cover, i knew i wanted to read this book. Even after reading the book – it is still a wonderful scene and it made a perfect cover.


4 Speak To Me:

Yvette Kelly on 11 June 2009 at 07:26 said...

You know how we always miss what we don't have?Like if it's hot we wish for cold and vice versa.Well I am freezing here.We have had rain for 3 days and winter weather so your positive for the weather which I would have welcomed if it was summer here,I am not enjoying right now.I will check out the book come September when YOU guys are starting to freeze.But I did want to know this.The book mentioned "the attractive man certainly wasn't her brother".Is her brother NOT attractive?

Erotic Horizon on 11 June 2009 at 07:30 said...

Morning hon...

Yeah he was actually, but you know how women go over the top with there description of a man they are attracted to...

The hottest, tightest bun, most eloquent and all that... her brother was cute..


Desert Rose on 11 June 2009 at 10:03 said...

You have a little something waiting for you at my blog :)

Erotic Horizon on 11 June 2009 at 17:59 said...

Thank you Ms. D' rose

I will be by to collect...

thank you..