Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Two years after riding off into the sunset with ranch owner Rand Holloway, Stefan Joss has made a tentative peace with his new life, teaching at a community college. But the course of true love never does run smooth. Rand wants him home on the ranch; Stef wants an exit strategy in case Rand ever decides to throw him out. Finally, after recognizing how unfair he’s being, Stef makes a commitment, and Rand is over the moon.
When Stef gets the chance to prove his devotion, he doesn’t hesitate—despite the risk to his health—and Rand takes the opportunity to show everyone that sometimes life’s best surprises come after the sunset.
I first read After the Sunset (Timing #2) by Mary Calmes when it came out in 2011, so I wondered how I would feel about it diving into this couple and series the second time around. Honestly, I think I’ve loved it even more. Something about Rand and Stef just resonate with me. They have from the first story, Timing, and the joy and satisfaction I got from reading this sequel returned all over again.
After the Sunset moves the time frame for the series ahead two years. Rand and Stef have settled into life on the Red Diamond, well, sort of. Adjustments are still being made. Stef is now teaching at a community college and the ranch is becoming more self sufficient as Rand expands his business with Stef’s help. Sounds great, right? With Rand and Stef nothing is ever that easy. With their past histories, their complication personal dynamics, and a somewhat messy family relationships about to push into their lives, things are going to get lively…Mary Calmes style.
That means that Stef’s need to make a commitment to Rand and the ranch will come into play yet again. This time for the doubting ranch hands who are not only a cornerstone of the ranch’s success but have become part of the family there as well. I love how this is their story too. We get to see more of life on the Diamond, the secondary characters, and Rand’s extended family. It all becomes necessary to know them better as people and as part of the ranch to get Stef settled deeper into ranch life and as a permanent fixture there as a half of the Rand/Stef couple.
There is so much drama here. Between Stef and Rand’s cousins, Stef and a few local homophobes, plus all the amazing Stef and Rand sexy interaction. That I can never get enough of. For me they just sizzle. I love the dynamic they have going on. I don’t specifically categorize it because I get it with this couple. It works for me, and I just find them hot.
One character get a spotlight on him here and that’s Glenn Holloway. We met him briefly in the first book but his role is hugely expanded here for reasons I won’t go into because they run into spoiler territory. I ended up liking Glenn. He went from your basic jerk on the range to someone you start to understand and connect with towards the end. Which is probably is really good thing considering the next story features Glenn as the main character.
So I’ve completed Timing and After The Sunset once more. And fallen in love all over again with Stef and Rand and the Red Diamond and its crew. Even Bella the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a huge place in my heart. Mary Calmes series has a way of doing that. They burrow in deep and even if its been awhile since you’ve visited with them, one visit brings all the reasons flooding back why you loved them so in the first place. And yes, I highly recommend this series. Coming up next? When the Dust Settles (Timing, #3). I’ll let you know what I find.
New cover by Reese Dante is darn near perfect. I think she has Stef captured exactly how I think he looks. Truly one of Mary’s golden boys.
ebook, 2nd Edition, 169 pages
Expected publication: November 2nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 16th 2011)
ISBN 1634777131 (ISBN13: 9781634777131)
Series Timing – add it to your Goodreads shelf here: