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Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia [Kindle Edition]

Jessica James
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (667 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A #1 Amazon Bestseller.
Winner of four national awards and named Favorite Book of the Year by five book review sites. This is the original novel that is NOW called Noble Cause.

Discover the fine line between friends and enemies in this epic love story that captures the emotions and fears of the country as war sweeps the land. This debut novel by Jessica James has received critical acclaim from Civil War authors and historians, as well as lovers of romance and historical fiction. Called “a sympathetic, loving portrait,” by the Historical Novel Society and “well written and expertly executed” by the Book Review Journal, “Shades of Gray” takes readers across the rolling hills of northern Virginia in a page-turning tale of courage as a Confederate cavalry commander and a Union spy defend their beliefs, their country and their honor.
What others are saying:
“… Exciting, intense, romantic, and thrilling from start to finish. The most balanced book on the War Between the States I have ever read.” – Bob O’Connor, Author of The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln
"A beautiful story with a timeless message. It touched my heart and soul.” – Catherine Bennett, Amazon Reviewer

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jessica James is a former newspaper editor who spent 18 years in a newsroom before turning her attention to writing fiction. She enjoys reading 19th century fiction and non-fiction, and writing about the honor, traditions and strong Christian principles prevalent in the South during the Civil War. James holds a master’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism. She is featured in the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, which was published in 2010.

Product Details

  • File Size: 804 KB
  • Print Length: 438 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Patriot Press; 1 edition (January 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0019SW4DS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,034 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about the honor and dedication December 19, 2007
There was a divide among the states, among brothers, families, and friends. There was a common ground, in honor. Jessica James' book, "Shades of Gray," is a novel about the Civil War in Virginia, but it is more about the honor and dedication, beliefs and convictions of both sides, than about the battles themselves.

Captain Hunter, a Confederate cavalry officer, is a fierce and worthy opponent to the Union. His determination and cunning is respected and feared. He'd never met an equal on the field, until a Union spy came face to face with him at a river crossing. Sinclair, with an imposing beast of a black horse, was a legend, escaping the grips of death again and again. These two foes would hunt each other, evade each other, and eventually, save each other's lives. Sinclair holds more secrets than the future plans of the southern forces; Sinclair is a woman in scout's disguise. Known only to her cousin's husband, Colonel Jordan, she is sent on missions to deliver messages, bring back information, and try to stay alive. Her desire to fight for her beliefs leads her to much more; going up against the famed Hunter becomes a challenge she cannot stop herself from pursuing. What she ends up allowing herself to do is well beyond what is expected, or accepted in the days of the Civil War.

Capturing the reader's attention from the start, Jessica James offers a different sort of historical fiction. While the conflicts and skirmishes are detailed and enthralling, the feeling within the soldier is what is so important here. The passion and depth of convictions is clear, respectfully portrayed on both sides, to a point. The plot is intricate with southern nuances, northern straightforwardness and the inner and outer battles of war.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shades of Gray April 14, 2008
I have given relatives and friends a number of copies of Shades of Gray as I was so impressed by it. Their feedback has been fantastic! A sister wrote she could hardly put it down. Not a word should be changed, not a line omitted, perfect, she cried over it.

Sons of Confederate Veteran Camp members have also purchased copies and love it.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming, enchanting tale April 2, 2008
By Miranda
Jessica James' Shades of Gray is a touching, captivating tale about Andrea, a spirited young woman serving as a scout for the Union, and Hunter, a dashing, powerful colonel in the Confederate army. After Andrea saves Hunter's life, their fates become intertwined as she poses as a Southern lady, reveals her true identity as a Unionist, and eventually ends up as a captive in his home.

The stubborn nature of both Andrea and Hunter, combined with Andrea's hot temper, make for some interesting, explosive battles of wits between the two. Their attraction for each other builds throughout the novel, but trouble befalls them from the moment they admit their feelings. The succeeding battles and plot twists pull the reader so deeply into the story that putting the book down is not an option.

Jessica James' has done a fantastic job with this novel, giving Civil War buffs and anyone looking for a wonderful book something fabulous to read. She skillfully weaves real battles and historical figures into her tale, and creates characters and plot twists that keep you begging for more. I wholeheartedly recommend this splendid book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it ~ start to finish November 5, 2008
By Marcia
Loved it ~ start to finish. I didn't just read about the civil war I was there smack dab in the middle of it. The spying, the battles, the raids, the camps. The human drama, the camaraderie, the love, the lives hanging on the edge. This book has it all. The last 100-150 pages were intense, the last 50 pages heartbreaking, the last 20 pages I cried. I mean the tears were running down my face.

The passion between Andrea and Hunter is so explosive that I thought the book was going to catch on fire. The scenes where they argue and fight for their own beliefs and feelings about the war and why each is involved are intense and heated. I felt like I was in the room listening to these two worthy opponents do battle for themselves, their families, their homes and their country. As they slowly come to realize that what they feel for each other is beyond their control they surrender pieces of themselves to the other and cross battle lines.

For the time it took me to read this book I was transported back to those war years. I was there in the thick of it. I was riding my beloved horse across enemy lines to bring dispatches and information back to camp. I shared my days and nights with my fellow soldiers. I fought side by side with them. I stared the enemy in the eye. I worked to save their live and when I couldn't I held them as they died. I shared stories of home and family as they read letters from loved ones. I cleverly played the part of spy whether I was a southern belle or disguised as a young man.

Any book that captivates me, absorbs me, captures my imagination is a good book indeed. Shades of Gray did all that. I recommend this book to any reader as it has something for everyone. Readers of historical fiction should especially enjoy it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of romance and rebellion January 7, 2008
The American Civil War was among the darkest of times in our nation's history, a period in which both civilians and soldiers suffered greatly amidst the tragic circumstances that surrounded them on behalf of their respective causes. In addition to separating the country's northern and southern states, this `Great Divide' also cut through the fragile fabric of family and friends. As the threat of armed conflict became inevitable, loyalties among the country's citizens became blurred and one's sense of duty to the state often overshadowed the duty to the country.

Ultimately the War Between the States was a catastrophe of epic proportions, yet it is within this tragedy that we can sometimes find triumph. For every battlefield account depicting the worst of man, there are countless other stories that illustrate care and compassion. For every instance of hatred between the combatants, there are also stories of love. This is the basis for author Jessica James' debut release titled "Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia."

More than a typical romance novel, "Shades of Gray" takes the reader on a whirlwind journey across the Old Dominion with a highly original and historically accurate plotline. It is presented with a wonderful narrative that echoes the classic writing styles of days gone by, and it is through the author's meticulous attention to detail that the book's characters come alive. Depictions of their tenacity, both for and against one another's causes, seem to spring from the pages and I found myself reading much faster than usual, as the forward momentum of the storyline was maintained throughout.

Our hero, a cavalier named Captain Alexander Hunter, represents the Confederate cause.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Historic novels are a favorite of mine and then toss in a great...
Historic novels are a favorite of mine and then toss in a great romance--voila! This story moved me to tears, and I haven't felt that about a book in a long time. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Margaret L. Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
A great story, well written and unpredictable. I look forward to more from Jessica James.
Published 5 days ago by Nurse Debi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great novel about the civil war. Characters well written.
Published 6 days ago by activityd
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
OMG! I couldn't put this book down! It made me laugh, cry and want for more. I highly recommend this book for anyone that appreciates any form of historical fiction, but a female... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Laloba
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
On of the best historical fiction novels I have read in recent years.
Published 7 days ago by Bridgette Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Poorly written.
Published 8 days ago by John L. Popp
3.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, but doesn't quite deliver
The story line kept me interested enough to finish the book, but the writing was inconsistent. Parts of the book that needed more details flew by very quickly, and areas that were... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars not the reedited to include a happier ending, Noble Cause by the same...
Fast-paced, riveting novel of the Civil War that is based on Mosby's Rangers. You can hear echoes of Gone With the Wind, without the chest-heaving histrionics. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Wendy Power
5.0 out of 5 stars a riveting and interesting historical writing
I chose the book to read an author I had not read their work broaden my future interests. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sherry
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a good summer read
A good read without being tedious.
Published 13 days ago by rt lover
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More About the Author

Jessica James is the author of four historical fiction novels and is the first two-time winner of the coveted John Esten Cook Award for Southern Fiction.

A former editor, James spent 18 years in a newsroom before turning her attention to writing historical fiction and Southern romance. Her Civil War novels ABOVE AND BEYOND and NOBLE CAUSE both won the Cooke Award for Southern Fiction in addition to a number of other national literary awards in both the historical fiction and romance categories. Those novels also hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller list in the categories of Christian Historical Fiction and Military Romance.

James added another literary honor to her list of accolades when her first Civil War novel SHADES OF GRAY was used as a clue on the popular game show Jeopardy. The novel was re-written and entitled NOBLE CAUSE to provide romance readers with a happily-ever-after ending.

James stays busy working part-time as a stagehand where she assists with shows ranging from country bands and comedy acts, to operas, symphonies and ballets.

James is featured in the book "50 Writers You Should Be Reading," published in 2010. She has been a featured author at the Amelia Island Book Festival and the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville.

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Topic From this Discussion
Civil War Epic Novels - HELP!!!
Jessica, Please don't change the ending!! It was perfect. There was nothing "happy" about the Civil War and I believe that the ending was so appropriate and contributed greatly to the overall tone of the whole book. I've read your book several times now and recommend it to everyone!
Mar 1, 2011 by B Lonnes |  See all 13 posts
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