Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Marco’s ex destroyed him, but one man won’t let him give up on life.
Marco was the original photographer from the Calendar series. He’s almost died more than once thanks to his ex wife, Evan. It’s been a struggle to survive, but Ezra, his best friend has been by his side and isn’t disgusted by his scars.
And maybe it’s time Marco stopped fighting the feelings he’s had for his friend all along.
I have to be honest and say, this is the thirteenth book of the series Calendar Men. I haven’t read any of the previous books so I had no idea that these men are shifters. One is a cat, the other a bunny. I mention this because not only was I surprised that this was part of the book but also I couldn’t figure out WHY it was part of the book. It is mentioned once or twice about Ezra having cat vision in the dark and there is one quick reference to them playing in animal form at the end but that was it. Perhaps it was more prevalent in the other books and it was just continued in this one.
That being said, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything or coming into the middle of the story by not having read the others. Marco was the photographer for the charity calendar who has been married six times, always choosing women who weren’t good for him. The last wife, Evan, was a doozy and tried to kill him. “I knew she was a horrible person. I had a very thorough background check done on her before I dated her. So I knew.” She’s in prison now but she’s still trying the one thing she wanted – Marco dead. He has lost the use of his right hand from her efforts and “…had scars all over, albeit most of them were small except those on his right hand and arm.” He’s been in a depression, living at his best friend, Ezra’s, house while he mends.
Marco has money and prestige but he carries a lot of baggage. His parents were cultish religious who beat him and then kicked him out when he came out. He has a lot of issues from that. Add in that he’s had feelings for Ezra for years that he refuses to admit, feelings that sent him running to marry his first wife (he’s had six), and Marco is a hot mess.
Ezra? He’s the steady, loyal friend who has been in love with Marco for years and would do anything for him, especially keep him safe. When Marco finally admits his feelings it is the most glorious day for Ezra and I was so happy for him. The two of them fall into the relationship so seamlessly because they have been such close friends for so many years. I want to put it out there that I loved, “There are plenty of ways to enjoy each other that don’t involve a**holes, and we can explore whatever you’d like to try”. So often in MM books, it is all about the penetration and not every person likes that. So it was refreshing to see Ezra giving that option to Marco.
There is the mystery of who is trying to get at Marco and I admit I was wrong about who it was. While I can’t say this what kind of addition to the series it was since I hadn’t read the series, I can say it was an interesting, engaging stand alone.
The cover was a little off for me. It is obviously not Marco, as there are no scars but it also didn’t seem to be Ezra, so it was a little random.