Review of But For You (A Matter of Time #6) by Mary Calmes

Rating: 4.5 stars

Jory Harcourt finally has everything he has ever wanted.  He has his husband, US Marshall Sam Kage, after many obstacles and stumbling blocks.  They have their two adopted children, their son Kola and their daughter Hannah, and even a deranged cat named Chilly.  They have a house in the suburbs, a minivan Jory loves and their family and friends are happy as well.  So of course, this means that trouble is about to barge into their life and turn it upside down.

When Jory intervenes in a neighbors marital dispute by the curb, it figures that the only ones injured were Jory and his minivan.  But during his visit to the hospital, the Doctor on call turns out to be someone Sam was involved with down in Mexico during the three years they were separated. Someone Sam has never told Jory about to Jory’s consternation. Then a hitman climbs their balcony of their hotel at the family reunion, and a missing informer may just not be missing after all.  With criminals chasing them, and Sam after the criminals and Jory ending up in the middle,  things are getting a little bit out of hand yet again.  But now Jory and Sam have a family and a normal life and that’s worth fighting for! So the criminals had better beware.

But for You is the last book in the saga of Jory Harcourt and US Marshall Sam Kage which started with A Matter of Time novels.  And it has taken Jory and Sam and the readers on a long and complicated journey to get to their Happily Ever After.  Mary Calmes has had our boys separated on more than one occassion, they both have been shot and injured, miscommunication and sometimes just bad timing has at one time or another interfered in their passionate courtship but eventually Mary Calmes always brought Jory and Sam back together come hell or high water. When the author created Jory Harcourt and Sam Kage, she endowed each of them with such staying power both as individuals and as a couple, that they are often nominated as favorite couple at poll time.

Jory Harcourt has been a memorable persona right from the start in 2009.  Full of life, nosy, loyal, and trouble on two feet, Jory captured the imaginations and hearts of readers immediately.  How could you not love someone who could turn a mere errand into a disaster with citywide implications in a matter of minutes?  Meet someone, have a conversation and coffee with them and have their new friend turn out to be a sought after mobster?  That would be Jory.  Lovable, klutzy, and way too endearing for his own good. The readers loved Jory immediately. Then Mary Calmes created Sam Kage as his soul mate because goodness knows only someone with the shear mass and attitude of a US Marshall would be enough to keep Jory under control, at least most of the time.  But of course, getting Sam to see that Jory was perfect for him was not a easy task, including the fact that Sam had to accept his own “gay” card in order for that to happen.  So their meeting, courtship, curtailed courtship, renewed courtship was carried out over a series of books.  I can tell you their roller-coaster of a romance caused much angst and heart flutterings along the way.  And each time we think their relationship is safe and secure, something or someone comes along to shake them and the status quo up but good.  It never mattered how wild the complication or how bad the  criminals involved, Sam and Jory (whether Sam wanted it or not) were in the thick of things.

Now comes the last Jory and Sam story and I will be so very sorry to see such an entertaining and adorable couple go.  But Mary Calmes has given us a heartwarming portrait of a contented happily married couple with the kids they have always wanted, complete with house, cat and minivan to take with us as we leave them behind.  For one thing, it is easy to see that the author is a mother herself.  Kola and Hannah behave and talk like real children and I loved them.  It doesn’t matter whether six year old Kola is telling four year old Hannah not to lick Chili their cat or if looking at a magnificent hotel fountain makes Hannah need to pee, the children come across as realistic as any child I know.  When Kola makes retching sounds when his parents kiss, I was cracking up because I have heard and seen children do exactly that.  And when Hannah  goes into a 20 minute description about a bug and a leaf, yep that happens too.  And then there are Sam and Jory’s reactions to their kids.  Trying not to laugh when they know they should be stern?  Absolutely.  Horrified when someone abuses their power at school and their kid gets hurt?  You betcha!  All real, all wonderfully familiar, at least to any of us that have children.  And I love that they are still as passionate and crazy about each other no matter how complicated their lives get.  These great characterizations are why we feel in love with Jory and Sam to begin with.

The Cartel storyline that has carried through all of the books is finished here and loose ends are tied up.  Of course, not without Sam disappearing and Jory getting into trouble.  It wouldn’t seem like a Jory and Sam story if that wasn’t the case.  And all of their family members are here too to say goodbye.  Dane and Aja and their kids, Dylan and her kids, Sam’s family and more.  Even Aaron (remember him?) and Duncan are here as well.  Jory and Sam are hunted by criminals and Sam in turn hunts them right back.  There is danger and there is resolution.  And in the end, Jory, Sam, Hannah and Kola and even their cat Chili are moving into a new house and happy in their lives together.

Do I have any quibbles?  Sure, I wish it would have been longer, I wish I could have had more of Sam and Jory together, more of Sam and Jory with their children, more of……well, you get my drift.  But if they have to go, then their creator has done them proud and sees them off in fine Sam and Jory style.  There’s laughter, some pouts, tears and lots of sex.  Goodbye, Jory.   Goodbye, Marshall Sam.  You will be missed.

Here are the Jory and Sam stories in the order they were written and should be read:

A Matter Of Time – Books 1 through 4

Bulletproof (A Matter Of Time #5)

Just Jory (A Matter of Time 5.5) find it here.

But For You (A Matter Of Time #6)

Cover art by Reese Dante.  Aww, loved it and a perfect way to send them off.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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