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“There isn’t always a clean beginning and ending to every story. Instead of something being black or white, it’s a mixture of both, forming a nice shade of gray.”

Writer Lori Stevens was eighteen when she was assaulted by her mentor, learning people aren’t always what they seem the hard way. She’s found solace living in the gray, keeping everyone at arm’s length with her secrets safely tucked away.
When the biggest story of her career hits too close to home, Lori is forced to face her demons and question everything—like her feelings for Steven Duncan.

Steven was meant to be nothing more than a failed one-night stand, but when a cruel twist of fate brings him back into her life, she begins falling for him.

There’s one slight problem: he’s dating her best friend.

Officer Steven Duncan is no stranger to tragedy, but that never stopped him from searching for his fairytale. Now, he’s dating the perfect girl, only it’s the wrong girl who feels right.

Steven is willing to fight for Lori—to step outside the boundaries of his black and white world—but can they find happiness living in the gray?

***This book can be read as a standalone***

240 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 19, 2018

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About the author

A.D. McCammon

20 books383 followers
Daughter, sister, wife, mother, avid reader and writer.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
Profile Image for Ashley.
501 reviews229 followers
April 12, 2018
Read this review and many more at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.

I love supporting Indie authors, especially authors who were inspired to write books by my favorite authors! A.D. McCammon is one of the authors I have followed for a long time, but have failed to pick up books by. Through Kat Savage's reader group, I was lucky enough to score a copy of McCammon's upcoming release, In the Gray (In This Moment #3). Though this book is part of a series, it is a great place to start with A.D. McCammon's work and reads perfectly as a standalone. I went into this story completely blind, trusting the writing to live up to my expectations. Fortunately, this novel kept my interest, allowing me to read over half of the story in one sitting.

When Lori Stevens gets the biggest break of her writing career, she's forced to face her past demons from seventeen years prior. She's hard, closed-off, and determined to push away the good things in life she has convinced herself she's unworthy of - like Steven Duncan.

Unknowingly, Lori pushes Steven into the arms of her best friend, Cat, as she slowly comes to terms with her own budding feelings. Torn between loyalty and possible love, Lori is caught between a rock and hard place, leaving plenty of room for writing and self-discovery.

In the Gray alternates between the perspectives of Lori and Steven, along with an exciting third perspective in the latter half of the book. Through Lori's point-of-view, I found myself endeared to her character, then abruptly annoyed by her. The walls she built up were aggravating to the highest degree because she was rude to nearly everyone in favor of protecting herself. I understood her perspective, feeling empathy for the struggles she faced, but couldn't help wishing for her to project herself in a different way.

When Steven came along, I couldn't help but fall for the "boy scout". He was kind, patient, and didn't let the negativity he had experienced in life drag him down. I mean, he's a cop AND he takes care of his aging grandmother! Sweet to the max!

This story had a similar feel to Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, which happens to be one of my very favorite movies (I prefer this movie to the book). However, I absolutely loathe cheating in a story and was rewarded with absolutely none of that in this book. I was grateful the author was able to create the strong feelings between the two characters without the huge deception of infidelity.

Though I gave this story a slightly lower rating, I hope it won't deter possible readers because I truly enjoyed the book and didn't want to stop reading. The novel provides an intriguing and important perspective on rape and assault, helping readers to understand the horrible stories we often hear these days are not simply black and white. In the Gray shows how women can be groomed or manipulated into feeling as if giving up their bodies is the only choice they are left with. It was incredibly heartbreaking to read about and feel a sense of helplessness for women who are influenced in these ways by men they trust or even look up to. I'm grateful for the insight the author provided, allowing us to be fully immersed in the gray areas.

My critique of this story is minor and has to do with a few unanswered questions I had toward the end of the story. I felt as if the ending was slightly rushed after a huge build-up and wanted a bit more information. I really enjoyed being able to read chunks of the book Lori was working on as she completed it, but I felt this section needed to be slightly polished. The writing felt quick and choppy, and I simply craved longer, more in-depth sentences and detail. I also hoped for a bit more "show, not tell" in regards to the feelings between Lori and Steven.

On the whole, In the Gray conveys important messages about how society views sexual assault while boasting a sweet and conflicting love story. Sexual assault and abuse are hot topics these days and were handled with the utmost grace by the author. In no way did this story become graphic or overbearingly difficult to read. It mostly elaborated on the emotions women feel after the event and how these terrible moments affect the rest of their lives. I greatly appreciated the amount of growth the characters showed as the story went on.

I hope readers will feel encouraged to pick up In the Gray upon its release on April 19. However, if you can't wait until then, be sure to pre-order this beauty!
Profile Image for Fabiola Francisco.
Author 45 books928 followers
April 2, 2018
This book surpassed my expectations of what I thought Lori's story would be like. AD McCammon brought her A-game with this one. I truly love this entire series, but this story made me self-reflect, feel things I sometimes don't allow myself to, and all the while fall in love. The path these characters take can be identified as unconventional, but I see it as real. We all have experiences that have shaped us and ways we cope with them, but it's how we choose to grow from it that brings healing.

The emotions flow through the writing, and Lori is a tough chick with a heart of gold she sometimes doesn't let people see. McCammon does a fantastic job of showing the true journey someone who has lived through ugly experiences takes. She shines a much-needed light into the topic of abuse/assault in a well-expressed and respectful way.

And Steven... I'm so happy he's the character that fights for Lori.

In The Gray is a beautiful novel about what happens when you've held years of shame and guilt and how to open your heart and accept you are worthy of love despite it.
Profile Image for E.K..
Author 15 books179 followers
April 19, 2018
What a heart breakingly beautiful story!!! Such raw emotion, so much love, hope and longing, a beautiful story of survival. 💕💕💕

A more detailed review for this beautiful story will be out in a couple of days on my blog. (www.ebsandherreads.com)

Wow guys!!! This book was amazing. At first, when I started reading it, I thought that it was going to be a sweet romance, but could have never imagined the ride it gave me. It's full of raw emotion, love, hope, despair and a beautiful story of survival. It literally took me 24 hours to finish this, and I may have mentioned once or twice in A.D.'s reader group that I was going to get fired because I couldn't put the book down. This was such a captivating story.

First, I want to talk a little about the book and the characters in it. Lori and Steven were written to perfection. I have felt their emotions right alongside of them. I loved how even if she pulled back, he still didn't give up on her. Steven was the perfect swoon worthy hero for Lori. He was sweet and gentle, to her scared and stubborn. He was understanding and forgiving, to her push backs, and self sabotages.

I specially enjoyed the scenes with Steven's grandmother. She was a fire cracker of a lady, and said it like she saw it. I loved her. And I really liked seeing the love and the interactions between Steven and his grandmother. I mean who doesn't love a guy that takes care of his grandmother. Swwwwoooooonnnnn, big time.

There were so many things I loved about this book, and one of them was the fact that how A.D. was able to bring the characters from In This Moment and Crushed into play as well. I loved getting a glimpse into their lives.

Now that I have mentioned what I wanted to about the characters and their interactions and the love they all had for each other, I'd like to get to the underlining message of this book. First of all, like I said above, it was written to perfection and with the utmost respect that the subject matter deserves.

This was a book about survival, and how not everything is so black and white as the rest of the world may think. There are some of us out there, that the lines between black and white has blurred, and they are living in the gray. The book was about sexual abuse, and how it didn't need to look a certain way to be what it is. Assault and abuse can come in different forms, it could be physical, it could be emotional or it could be both. I personally think that the subject matter was handled with a lot of care, and emotion, and it was realistic. As in, it could happen to anyone, and it probably has.

A.D., you've a masterful job with this book. I had a really hard time putting the right words together to make, this book and what it represents, justice. Needless to say, this is a 5-star read for me. I highly recommend it to all. Make sure you stock up on Kleenex before you start reading it, because there will be tears.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 62 books625 followers
April 3, 2018
I don't even know where to begin with this review. I had no idea this book would end up where it did when I started it. McCammon did a fantastic job of writing a book that deals with issues that are rather dark but she does it so well. She wrote it in a way that made you really feel what these characters were going through.

Lori Stevens- I adore her as a character. She's quick witted, sarcastic and a little insecure. She has faced darkness, true darkness and found a way to continue on. However, it isn't until Steven shows up that she sees just how much that darkness is still controlling her life. Lori is loyal above all else. When her best friends starts to date Steven she put her feelings aside for her friends. She so much more than she realizes which makes her more likable.

Steven Duncan--has went through his own hell during his life and is convinced that the only love worth having is easy love. Lori's best friend is an easy love but not the right one for him. Throughout the book he fights for Lori even when he doesn't realize it. He's a gentlemen and romantic at heart which only make you love him more. He sees more in Lori than just a hook up unlike most guys. He wants all of her not just her body and that right there makes him number one in my book. It isn't until he has to face the truth that he realizes where and who he should have been with all this time.

This book will give you all the feels. Be prepared because you might need some tissues. McCammon doesn't fail to impress.
Profile Image for Kat.
72 reviews
April 15, 2018
Excerpt from In The Gray: People aren’t only talking about a topic no one likes to talk about, they’re changing the dialogue.

This book is a romance, about two people coming together but the priceless take away from this story is its message. Abuse isn’t black or white and victims living in the grayed areas can often feel isolated. They might believe their pain is meant to be overlooked because of the unclear picture most of society has of abuse. I appreciate the author taking time to tell the stories of Lori, Ashland & Julianna in such an uplifting and informative way.

A more in depth review can be found on my blog: www.bookishkat.com
Profile Image for A. Lewis.
15 reviews
April 18, 2018
So where to start with this book.. I'm going to be honest I was a sobbing mess by just reading the prologue. Not because it was this horrible tragic thing (I mean it has its areas) but because I felt like the prologue was written by me they were my emotions bleeding out onto a page. I have never been that effected by a book before. A.D McCammon is that good with expressing her words to get you to that emotional state. Lori is a hard character to love but from the beginning I did she is such a smart ass, take no shit give no shit strong wild hard headed women. Underneath that exterior is a broken unloved girl screaming out. Steven was after my own heart. I fell for him hard I don't think I have had that kind of crush on a character for awhile now. This book is so much more then just your average novel about love and happily ever after's, its gut wrenchingly real. Its the Gray area of abuse that not many know of or even talk about. I think the only one who can truly write the words that were displayed in this book is someone who has lived it and come out of it as a survivor. Just keep tissue near and maybe a glass of wine. This is a tough read but its worth sitting down and reading it. Lori was me I guess more then a character has been in a book I think ever. I think maybe others can relate to this story as well and feel the closeness and the over all realness of this story.

Quote from the book "For a story to have a happily ever after, the characters must go through and overcome something bad. Otherwise, its a flat storyline no one wants to read. Its those scenes that are hard to read that give a story depth. I think the same could be said for people.
Profile Image for Beyond The Covers Blog.
2,377 reviews86 followers
April 8, 2018
Lori Stevens doesn’t do relationships, she doesn’t date, she does one night-stands to scratch an itch then she moves on. Yet when she sees the gorgeous police officer at her favorite coffee shop she can’t help but be drawn to him, but Officer Steven Duncan wants a date not just a fling. Steven knows that there is a reason that Lori has a thick wall built around her and as he dates Lori’s best friend he slowly starts to break down that wall. Lori tries to keep her distance and let her friend Cat have her happiness, but the universe keeps pushing Lori and Steven in the same direction. When Lori finds out a troubling secret about her sister and her sister’s connection to a recent convicted murderer, all of Lori’s own secrets start to smother her. Steven is the only one that will listen as Lori tries to explain to her family and friends that not everything is black and white, that sometimes the lines get blurred and things can be gray. No one sees Lori’s world imploding except Steven, but will Lori let him be there to help her pick up the rubble?

In the Gray, is not a sweet happy love story. Through the whole story I never knew which way the characters were going to take me and that’s what made this story realistic. I felt like it could be me, or my sister, or my best friend that I was reading about. It was very close to real life that only a true survivor could have written it as fictional and given it justice. This compelling story of blame, guilt, shame and eventually forgiveness pulled me in from the very first page. All that being said, I should also mention that through all the pain there was eventually love and acceptance and closure and that was what made the story by A.D. McCammon worth reading. I give In the Gray 5 stars.
Profile Image for Brandy Roberts.
2,079 reviews51 followers
April 20, 2018
I really liked this it would be the first book I've read by the author and I know i'll be reading more i the future . My emotions were all over the place it felt like a roller coaster that I didn't want to get off on . You don't want to miss this one
Profile Image for Mary Dean.
Author 13 books639 followers
April 19, 2018
What a powerful story! And a story that needed to be told. This is the story of Lori Stevens who is a writer and known to have heart of stone when it comes to love. Little does everyone know it's because of trauma she experienced and has kept secret. She meets Officer Steven Duncan and she thinks he will be fun to hook up with. But Steven isn't interested in just hooking up with her. He wants more. Lori doesn't do more and runs. Then he starts dating her best friend Cat and as they become friends feelings that they both tried to ignore from the beginning grow stronger. But Steven doesn't want to hurt Cat and Lori doesn't feel she is worthy of Steven's love.
This was such a powerful story. It is a romance but like this authors other books it is so much more. This is the story of victims of sexual assault and the process of healing. It was a story that needed to be told. The victim is never at fault and everyone is worthy of love. I really hope this story helps anyone dealing with this. The fact that the author wrote this story and shared part of herself in it makes me respect her so much more.
This is also a story about the truth of love. It is different for everyone. Sometimes we try to settle for easy. But easy isn't always what is meant for us.
I also loved the characters. This is book 3 of the series. It can read as a standalone but it's way more fun reading it after the first two books have been read. There are familiar characters and new ones. I found myself, as usual for this series, feeling connected to all these friends and feeling like I was part of the group. As readers we not only got a new story but also continuations of the other ones.
I highly recommend this book. If you aren't a romance fan that is okay. This book deals with so much more. It's inspiring and tugs at the heart strings.
Profile Image for Leila.
166 reviews16 followers
April 28, 2018
Sometimes in life we build barriers and put up walls to protect ourselves from the world around us.

It’s easier to have control when there is a mutual understanding that long term, and intimacy is simply not an option.

So what happens when you meet someone willing to climb that wall and abseil down the other side for you?

All your instincts tell you to fight it, to protect yourself and that’s exactly what Lori did. Until fate intervenes bringing Steven back into her life, but this time as her best friends boyfriend.

It’s obvious A.D. McCammon wrote her heart and soul into this book, letting it seep into the pages, riddled with raw emotion and bittersweet turmoil.

No matter what your trajectory in life may be, it’s not always a direct route, and sometimes you’ll find yourself in The Gray!

This book will most definitely give you all the feels and although it’s third in the series it can easily be read as a stand alone.
Profile Image for Cait's Creatures.
146 reviews38 followers
April 8, 2018

First, Thank you. Thank you for writing this book. I don't normally read love triangles, because they're messy. I like romances because I escape from reality, and I've got enough mess in my life. But when I read the blurb for this book, and had an opportunity to read it, I asked for the chance. Something I forgot about emotional reads? They can rock your world, rip you apart from the inside out, and still leave you wanting more at the end. 

Lori Stevens was not a like-able character. God, I wanted to shake her and scream at her so many times it's not even funny. She has suffered heartache that no one ever should, so she's been busy pushing everyone away, worrying about everyone else's happiness, believing she doesn't deserve it. 

Steven Duncan is a nice guy, who I loved from the beginning, who chases Lori as much as possible, but she never lets up. When he meets someone new, someone who makes love easy, he takes it as a sign to move on. The problem? His perfect girl is Lori's best friend, Cat. WHAT A MESS! Although I loved Steven from the beginning, LORD did I want to throat punch him sometimes. The relationship with Cat, though, allows both Steven and Lori to become close, under the guise of friendship. 

There is no cheating happening in this book. Both Lori and Steven try to ignore their feelings for each other, try to be friends, for the sake of Cat. They do not cross physical boundaries. Not once. 

Growing up, I think I've had the "what is rape?" talk many times. I had to watch a video starring Kristen Stewart on my first day of college detailing date rape, and other kinds of rape. When I watched the video, I felt my heart in my throat thinking "Wait, that's rape? That's assault?" They still didn't cover being groomed for assault. They didn't talk about the stigma that follows you when you try to report something that happened. "Should women be arrested for falsely reporting rape?" pictures are all over different social media on any given day. We still live in a world that tries to blame the victim because they don't understand that even though you didn't say no, or you said no then said yes, you do not want to be in the situation you're in. This book had me in tears, telling the story of three women suffering from assault that they were trained to believe was not assault. They were manipulated and lied to, so they would keep quiet and never tell their story. 

So thank you, A.D. McCammon. Thank you for writing this story. Thank you for giving me Lori and Steven to stay with me forever. Thank you for telling a story that needed to be told. This will be a book I recommend to anyone I can, because it's that good, and that heartbreaking. Thank you for writing a story about a side of assault we (at least I) don't normally hear about. Just, thank you.
Profile Image for Michelle Austin.
2,687 reviews33 followers
April 22, 2018

In the Gray was a great 5 star read told in alternating POVs.
Lori is a writer who has decided to write about something that really hits home for her. While at the coffee shop writing she meets a really hot cop, Steven. There is something about him that gets her attention.

I’m damaged goods-fundamentally broken in ways that prevent me from living the life I dreamed of as a girl.

A few weeks pass by and the next time these two meet is at the police station, where Lori interviews Steven about a case. From there Steven convinces Lori to go on a date. Lori is not a commitment type, she is only looking for a one night hook-up. Steven has more in mind and ends up scaring Lori away.

You’re looking for a great love story and I’m a tragedy.

When fate steps in these two end up face-to-face again, only problem is, he is now dating her best friend. Lori is shocked to find out that this is the man Cat has been telling her about. Her emotions are all over the place and she struggles with their relationship. Steven is surprised as well but uses this opportunity to get closer to Lori as friends.

As the story moves forward these two grow closer, Lori opens up to Steven in ways she never has before. She meets his grandmother (who I loved) who tells her how Steven lost his parents. Lori starts to understand more why Steven has made the choices in life he has.

Is Cat really the one for Steven or is Lori the one? Will they realize it before it’s too late?

Your life is what you make it.

There is so much more to this great read. So many different emotions and I really feel like the topic of sexual abuse was covered so well. You see a side that really makes you understand just how manipulative predators can be. There are so many great characters that have such a great connection and friendship. Even though this is book three in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. This is my first read from A.D. McCammon and I really look forward to reading more from her. I was pulled right in and couldn’t stop until I was done.

Alpha Book Club
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. Reviewed by MAustin from Alpha Book Club
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.4k reviews149 followers
April 20, 2018
I want to start out by saying that this powerful story had all of my emotions all over the place throughout like it was my own life, so no matter what I say in my review, this is why I gave it the perfect rating. It takes a truly special and talented author, like A.D. McCammon, to bring such extreme emotions out with their writing that it was hard to separate reality from fiction by the end of the story. Lori finally gets the biggest break of her writing career, but she must face her demons from the past. It's made her very stubborn, closed off with walls sky high, and she pushes everything good away because she feels so unworthy that she shoots herself in the foot. And that includes Steven Duncan, who she pushes to her best friend. And that last line had me so frustrated that I wanted to shake Lori throughout this story so much, even though I recognize the self sabotage mechanism, so much so that I wanted to hug her as well. And I know I'll be in the minority but I blame Steven, it's not rational, but if he wanted her, he shouldn't have dated her best friend, especially since he knew there was something going on with Lori, #sorrynotsorry. With my extreme emotions all over the place, thankfully there were a couple of secondaries that brought some laughter to the table to give me a slight break from the heavy, like a firecracker grandmother. Finally, I have to touch on the brilliance of this author, how she wrote about the gray areas of sexual abuse with grace, emotion, and so realistically, that my eyes leaked until the floodgates finally opened. She will be forever be on my go to addiction list, and I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Profile Image for Ariadna Basulto.
923 reviews64 followers
April 23, 2018
This story was so unexpected. I didn’t think it would take it in the direction that it did, but I’m so glad for the ride I went on.

First of all the writing is beautiful. The emotions drip off each page and had me feeling every emotion right along with Lori and Ethan. Together they were a beautiful couple in the sometimes chaos of emotions. Ethan was absolutely perfect for Lori. His patience and unwillingness to give up on her had me in a constant state of swoon. Lori doesn’t make it easy for him to be close to her because of the walls she’s put up and since she can be self sabotaging, but Ethan doesn’t give up. Despite his persistence he was still gentle and careful with her and I loved him more for it.

I really loved this book. It wasn’t easy to read at times. It tackles such a difficult subject of abuse in a respectful manner. The story and writing are raw, real, and heartbreaking while also giving hope. 5 stars.
April 4, 2018
Absolutely loved Lori's story! I appreciate that the author doesn't make everything all butterflies and rainbows with her writing. It's real life ups and downs and not knowing what will happen next.
Lori and Steven we're obviously meant to be, but Lori won't let herself find happiness. Still holding the emotional scars from her sexual assault, not feeling that she is good enough for anyone. Steven's friendship helps bring her out of her shell, but it isn't until Lori talks to Ashland that she can finally forgive herself and allow herself to love.
Profile Image for Stacy Wray.
Author 9 books108 followers
April 5, 2018
Such a powerful, honest and pertinent story - especially in a time where women all around the world are finding their voices, speaking out against the ugly that has wronged them. It's sad that Lori's story and Ashland's story reflect a staggering number of women who have suffered at the hands of a predator. AD McCammon, you have woven a delicate ribbon between truth and fiction, and the outcome is a heartbreaking, yet beautiful story of how to get to the other side. Bravo to you for your ability to convey such a "gray" area into what most do not see.
Profile Image for Wendy Livingstone.
15.1k reviews150 followers
April 18, 2018
This is the 3rd book in this awesome series. Lori and Steven have both got pasts which have shaped them into the people they are today. This author has written a truly beautiful story, which is raw, gritty, emotional, sweet and hopeful, which all lead to a powerful storyline, which had me intrigued and enthralled throughout. This author has certainly given her heart and soul into this story, and I cannot wait to read more from her.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,007 reviews
April 8, 2018
I was hooked from the the first page of this book. Lori feels she is broken beyond repair , because of events in her past that were beyond her control. Steven is a great support system to Lori as she balances all of the obstacles that are holding her back from being worthy of love. The characters were well written , I enjoyed Darla's character a lot. It takes a whole book for Lori to feel loved , and worthy of more , but the ending will leave a smile on your face .
Profile Image for Patti Gunkel.
509 reviews
April 19, 2018
I got this book as a ARC, I am soooo touched by this book. I can really connect with the characters.I will add more to this review..just need a day to collect my thoughts. yes this book touched that deep.. now that I have had a few days to really take this book in I can add more to this review. I can connect with this book so deeply because I am a survivor of sexual abuse. it happened when I was young but to this day I still have issues. books like this help me to know I am not alone.
Profile Image for Melissa Ledet.
2,036 reviews13 followers
April 19, 2018

“You’re looking for a great love story, and I’m a tragedy.” ~ Lori to Steven

This story will pull on your heartstrings. A phenomenal read that sucks you in. In the Gray is written in dual point of view and I fell in love with Steven and Lori very quickly.
1,560 reviews61 followers
April 19, 2018
This was a difficult book to read and finish and I loved every moment of it. The tenderness taken to such a difficult topic brought me to tears. This book has a soul. The undertaking itself is inspiring. This is a book that will haunt you and want to re-read.
Profile Image for Theresa Alberts.
838 reviews6 followers
April 2, 2018
Wow. The story of Lori Stevens is one that is profoundly intense and captivated me from the very first chapter. This story is one of fear, love, loss, self-doubt, and self-realization. Lori's story will move you in ways that you cannot begin to imagine and you will be yearning for her to reach the happily ever after that she most definitely deserves, regardless of what form that HEA may look like.

Lori Stevens is a writer with a secret that she has kept deep insides for over a decade. A victim of sexual assault, by her mentor, changed Lori's life in so many ways that there are too many to count. Lori now lives her life without letting people close to her, without romantic long term committed relationships as a result of what her mentor did to her.

Lori meets officer Steven Duncan by chance one day in her favorite coffee shop. While Steven is drawn to Lori and wants to take her out, Lori does not want a relationship, she doesn't know how to get close to people. Instead of taking a chance on Steven, she pushes him away and he ends up dating her best friend Cat.

Steven and Lori begin to develop a close friendship while he is still dating Cat and it is through that friendship that she begins to have the courage to stand up for herself and those who are also victims of sexual assault. It is only after interviewing a victim who killed her attacker, that Lori begins to realize that she needs to forgive herself in order to start healing from what happened all those years ago, and it is through writing a book on Ashland's story that Lori is able to understand why she has closed herself off for all these years and what she truly wants from her life going forward, and it isn't to live in a self-inflicted dungeon punishing herself for situations that were beyond her control.

I was moved by Lori's story and I know that other reader's will be too. While the story of both Lori and Ashland are typical abuse stories, they are abuse stories just the same and it is through Lori and Ashland's story that readers can put yet another face to sexual abuse and sexual victims.

4 stars
Profile Image for Heather Merriman.
664 reviews24 followers
April 7, 2018
Wow! This is my first read by AD McCammon and I really enjoyed it! It contains a very serious topic of rape and tells about all the series of emotions that someone goes through after going through this, from the blame, to the guilt and being able to eventually forgive oneself.
Lori takes on a reporting job to tell the story of a lady, Ashland, who is in a psychiatric ward for murdering the man who raped her. After the interview, Lori decides to write an entire book rather than just an article about it. 17 years ago, Lori was a victim herself and by taking on this job she begins to slowly heal as she relives the emotions she felt by writing Ashland’s story. She feels like this is a way to get her story out there and help others going through the same thing.
Through the story it tell about her relationship with Steven who she initially blows off after he won’t have a one night stand with her. He wants a relationship but Lori’s totally closed off to anything more. He tries to get in touch with no response.
After a couple months, she has dinner with her best friend, Cat, to meet Cat’s new boyfriend. Lori is shocked when he ends up being none other than Steven. As Lori and Steven slowly become friends, she realizes she may have actual feelings for him. Oh, the tangled webs we weave. This story had me intrigued! I could wait to figure out how it ended! I loved the dual POV and getting Ashland’s story through the book as well. Very well written and heartfelt story!
I received an early copy and voluntarily left my honest review.
Profile Image for Karen.
429 reviews
April 16, 2018
Stark and honest, with dual POV, this was a raw read in many parts. Many people have a not-in-my-backyard attitude when it comes to abuse, be it sexual, physical or psychological. Lori's odds were stacked against her; who would believe her word over a well-known and beloved member of the community?

Lori's journey was long and painful; with little to no self-esteem, she carried on with life, emotions adrift when she met Steven. Her detached personality failed to deter him and this was where Steven's character shone. Despite her brush-off at a more personal connection, Steven persisted in getting to know her. His character was warm and engaging which in turn slowly broke down Lori's defences.

Lori's story ran parallel with a journalistic piece that she was writing about an abuse victim, a piece which was cathartic for Lori in so many ways that you really felt for this woman.

This book made me quite emotional. Would have loved a longer wrap-up at the end however still enjoyable.

*ARC provided by author; review is my own.
Profile Image for I Dont Get Sundays.
832 reviews6 followers
April 15, 2018
Lori and Steven. Steven and Lori. These two will give you gray hair before the end of their story. You will want to shake Lori and hit Steven in the forehead with the palm of your hand. Their story is so complicated, you wonder if they even belong together.

This book was amazing and beautifully told. It hits subjects that may make you shutter in disgust and want to punch someone but it is done so well. We are told of a story that involves strong women. Women that are trying to find their way in life. Women that need to understand they do not need to be quiet. Women that find their voice.

Steven in all of this is amazing. He is gentleman. He is exactly what Lori needs during this time. Although dating her best friend isn't ideal, it actually allows Steven to become friends and be there for Lori. This friendship helps them dig deep and crawl out the sand together.
Profile Image for Amy  Crull.
1,993 reviews28 followers
April 23, 2018
This book had a lot going on in it. It was Lori and Steven's story but it had more to it then that. The secondary characters had a big part in it as well. I must say at first I wasn't the biggest fan of Lori, partly because she threw him away like trash and then got jealous when someone else had him. I realize she had to overcome her issues and let the healing process happen but she could have been honest with him and told him. She just kept running away. Steven, I loved him from the beginning. He was a genuinely nice guy. He knew the connection was there but let her have her space. She didn't really give him a choice though, he had to do it. Anyway, I loved how Lori was able to bring a delicate subject to life and change lives. I liked the story but there were times Lori ruined it for me. Steven was the main reason I kept reading to be honest. I truly liked him.
Profile Image for Hanna.
288 reviews2 followers
January 18, 2023
I read and loved the other books in this series but this one knocked me on my booty. This book captures true emotions in the most raw way. I loved that this book was messy and it wasn't perfect. Because the story line is a hard one. A.D. McCammon can write tension like no other, but seeing the emotional level she hit with this series and especially this book had me never wanting it to end. I fell in love with these characters, and Lori and Ashland have my heart. Those women are brave and strong in ways they shouldn't have to be. But reading their stories and their perspectives was such an honor. Women who go through something as traumatic and terrible as SA... it will never not be heart breaking to read this. But I appreciate all A.D. did in this book in showing the many different ways SA looks and the many different ways in which women deal with the aftermath.
Profile Image for Rae Bousum.
10 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2018
This book is so much more than your average "romance" novel.  

"Sometimes instead of something being black or white, it’s a mixture of both, forming a nice shade of gray. And, in reality, that’s the way most of us live— in the gray."

I couldn't have said it better myself.  Lori's journey, to excepting that she deserves more than what she has limited herself too, is a painful but necessary one.  This story is not just about two people falling in love.  It is about Lori releasing the crushing guilt she feels about what was done to her in her past, excepting that it was not her fault, and forgiving herself.  

In the Gray, I feel is a MUST read!  I love this book so much and I am so thankful to A.D. McCammon for writing it!
Profile Image for Clare Harrison.
1,074 reviews12 followers
April 15, 2018
This is the third book in the series and whilst they could be read as standalone I wouldn't recommend it as the same characters are in all the books and you won't fully understand all the references to past events so if you haven't read "in this moment" and "crushed" you might want to do so.

Before I go any further this book covers sensitive and possible trigger issues.

In the grey follows Lori, the sister of Julianna and best friend of Cat.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and getting to know what makes Lori act as she does.

I don't want to post spoilers but this book is so much more than just a romance book it's about moving on and finding peace with yourself.

It's very moving, touching and angsty and if you read and loved the other two books then you NEED to read this too!
Profile Image for Brandie Breaux.
112 reviews
April 30, 2018
This book was probably my favorite of the series, which completely surprises me. I was not a fan of Lori's in the first two books, but I completely misjudged her. Character development was strong in this story, and I grew to love her! She runs from every relationship due to issues from her past...until she meets Steven. Oh, she tries to run still, but Steven, with some help from fate, doesn't let her get far. I loved the feelings between these two characters and the buildup to them both admitting their connection. No cheating between Lori and Steven was a major plus for me! Great job again, and I'm excited to read Cat's story.
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