Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Another amazing installment in the Marshal’s series by Mary Calmes. Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are two sexy, muscular alpha males— Deputy US Marshals who happen to report to Chief Deputy US Marshal Sam Kage of A Matter of Time fame. Miro and Ian first came together in all their rugged masculinity in All Tied Down and this story opens shortly after that one ended.
<spoiler>The men are now living together, and they love each other deeply, so when Miro pops the question, he’s shocked when Ian says no. Ian’s all about independence and his identity as a marshal and as an officer in the Special Forces reserves. He doesn’t want that identity jeopardized, and after all, being married is just about having a piece of paper, isn’t it? And Miro knows he loves him, doesn’t he? </spoiler>
To be honest, I was pretty surprised when this little tiff occurred at the beginning of the story, but I was happy to find out the argument didn’t end there; it became a recurring theme throughout the book, so I don’t feel that I’m throwing out a spoiler by stating that up front, though I did put in the tags. We have love, romance, sex, compatibility issues, and bickering over marriage as ongoing themes throughout the story, with an overlay of excitement, danger, intrigue, and an ongoing battle between Miro and Ian about Miro’s personal safety as he has a tendency to “leap before looking” during fugitive chases. There’s also a healthy dose of stark terror in this story as Miro and Ian not only ward off the usual crazies in their efforts to find and detain fugitives from justice, they also face a monstrous threat from Miro’s past which has far-reaching effects on their future.
As the two men discover, while facing multiple missions and dangers throughout the story, there’s more to trust than lip service, and there’s more to love than saying a simple “I do.”
As I said in my review of All Kinds of Tied Down: if you love M/M romance and you like law enforcement and action adventure mixed in with your visit with sweet and sexy alpha men, this is the book (and series) for you. However, a word of caution on this one: there is graphic violence in this story, so it is not for someone who can’t tolerate explicit details of violence and torture.
I love Mary Calmes’s stories, and this one is no exception. These two characters have moved to the top of my favorite couples list, alongside many of her others like Dreo and Nate, Rand and Stephan, and Jin and Logan, but what I love best about this one is that they are both big, strong, sexy alpha males with soft, gooey centers, and she shares their hopes and fears, both individually and as a couple, thereby endearing them to me further as I now know them intimately. If you are also a fan, by all means join me in hoping for a long and happy future for Miro and Ian. If you haven’t read a book by Mary Calmes before, I won’t ask where you’ve been— I’ll highly recommend this two-book series as a great place to start.
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts the “tools of the trade” of the Deputy US Marshals: gun, badge, and cuffs on a background of what appears to be a dark gray bulletproof vest. One additional item— a surgeon’s scalpel represents Miro’s nemesis who comes back to terrorize him in this story. Very cleverly done cover.