Review of Mine by Mary Calmes

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars

Trevan Bean and Landry Carter have a relationship that not many understand but that words for them completely.  From the first time Trev saw Landry two years ago at a party, they have been inseparable.  Before Trev Bean came into his life, Landry Carter was a troubled young man.  He was repudiated by his family for being gay and tumbled into a mess of low self esteem, depression and endless anonymous sexual acts.  Then one night, everything changed, Trevan Bean saw him, picked him off his knees, took him to Trev’s home and told Landry he belonged to Trev alone and no one else. From that moment on, Landry began his recovery from pathetic mess to functioning happy  human being, at least most of the time.  As long as he followed his routine, and knows that Trev is always there, he can run his jewelry store and create the gorgeous things he is becoming known for and be content knowing he is loved.

Trevan Bean, half Cuban half African American, is a complicated man.  He comes from a loving family who have depended on him since his father died.  To help out his family, he became a money runner for a gambling mob, a job he has to this day. And while Trev has never carried a gun or had to hurt someone,  Trev knows it is an illegal job, full of dangerous people and accepts the risks he has to take to make money.  Trev plans on buying a restaurant someday and he and Landry have been saving to buy their own house in the not so near future.

So far, he and Landry have been balancing all the complications in their lives and it has been working fine.  Until Landry’s youngest brother shows up out of nowhere and wants Landry to come home to see his ailing mother.  And Landry starts to unravel. Then one of Trev’s runner associates ends up in a hospital, beaten by a rival mobster and Trev’s  job is thrown into chaos by a gang war.  Not only is his safety threatened, but so is the wellbeing of everyone he loves, including Landry.  Their carefully maintained balancing act is demolished, their lives in jeopardy and it will take everything they have and more to make sure they come out of this mess with their relationship intact and their love stronger than ever.

I just loved this book and think it is one of Mary Calmes strongest stories yet.  The characters she has created are two of the most complicated and damaged people she has ever produced.  One, Trev Bean, is an interracial mobster with his own slippery morality, a strong code of loyalty and an unwavering love for Landry Carter.  He is aware that Landry has some serious emotional problems that can cause Landry anxiety, manic behavior, and even result in self destructive acts.  But Trev also knows he is the key to Landry’s stability, and whether he is an enabler or not, Trev will do what he thinks is right to keep Landry safe and happy. Trev is under no illusions about his own morality or mental issues as well.  He accepts it all as it comes with a forthright manner and calm demeanor.  Just an amazing protagonist, compelling in every way.

Landry is also as damaged and riveting a persona as Trev, the yin to Trev’s yang.  He is the flickering flame to the earthen rock that is Trev. His instability, his is a luminescence which will burn too brightly unless contained by Trev and a strict routine,  His emotional problems are never given a diagnosis but OCD is mentioned briefly.  He is just as likely to flair with anger as he is with passion and you can see as a reader how badly Landry has needed someone like Trev in his life to bring him  the balance and limitations he has always needed so badly.  For some, these two men represent an unhealthy relationship, something even Trev recognizes.  But what they have together also works for them, and they will fight to keep each other and their relationship intact.  Convoluted, messy, passionate, occasionally crazied and absolutely committed, what an amazing relationship to bring to life in this story.  And Mary Calmes does bring it vividly to life in every possible way.  These characters cry, threaten, have hot, passionate sex, and tender moments and we are there with them through every event, every step forward, and all threats to their happiness.  I loved both men from the start, and by the end of the book, hated to let either of them go.

And there are other fascinating characters within Mine that I wanted much more of, the most visible and intriguing of them is Conrad, a hit man’s hit man, an enforcer so dangerous that just his name means protection.  Conrad doesn’t have many he counts as friends but Trev is one of them. The man remains an enigma even as his very presence adds weight to the events that occur within the story.  From what I understand, this is a stand alone story so we cannot expect to see these characters again.  And that is a shame for these are such interesting, gripping people  and we have become so invested in their lives and happiness that wanting to know more about them and their future is a given by the end of the book.

I only wish we had a little more exposition at the end, a little more resolution to the dramatic events they had just gone through.  But perhaps that’s just being greedy and not wanting the story to end.  If you like unusual main characters, if you like your protagonists with a twist as well as love, pick this book up and be prepared to not put it down until you are finished.  It is that good!

Cover:  Reese Dante’s beautiful torso with the all important L tat is gorgeous.  My only complaint and to be honest I am not sure  how it could have been done, is to have made that skin color more in line with the racial makeup of Trev’s caramel or dark bronze coloring as he calls it. At any rate it is gorgeous and sexy and so very hot.