A MelanieM Review: Stand In Place by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

One summer won’t be enough….

Kaenon Geary was done fighting the small minds in his sleepy Texas town when he made his escape and never looked back. But now, for the first time in more than a decade, he’s returned to Braxton to spend the summer with his beloved grandmother—her final summer—and no longer recognizes the home he’d left behind all those years ago.

Everything has changed.

Everything but the man he’s never stopped wanting.

Brody Scott was the local football hero who became a gridiron champ, but he retired from the fast lane to forge a new life as the Chief Constable of Braxton. He longs to put down roots in the community he is now sworn to protect. Though he’s not at all sure he can protect his heart from the quiet, earnest boy he once knew. The boy who has come back a man.

Starting something would be a mistake. Kaenon plans to fly away at summer’s end, but his love is something Brody desperately wants to have…and to keep. Their days together are numbered. Unless some simple hometown magic can make all the right things bloom and show them the true definition of love.

Stand In Place by Mary Calmes is a sort of fantastical mix of romance, forgiveness, family, and love.   Of all sorts.  Familial, friends, houses, gardens, the land they stand on, and of course, romantic love.  All lightly laced through with the aromas and touch of the mystical and magic.  Had that Practical Magic sort of feel about it….sans the murder mystery of course!

It starts with a phone call to Kaenon Geary from his beloved grandmother, asking him to come spring her from the hospital in his home town of Braxton, Texas.    It’s a phone call he can’t and won’t say no to.  Even though the town is a place he has nothing but bad memories and swore he wouldn’t return.  But it’s his grandmother and there’s nothing he won’t do for her.

The setup here is both heartbreaking and life affirming.  It’s about a journey that both looks back, inward,  and, eventually forward.  And it’s all centered in Kaelen who returns to the family, school kids, town who treated him so horrifically when he came out as gay,  All excerpt for his coach, two best friends and his grandparents and Aunt Peg who he went to live with when his parents kicked him out.

The setup is enough to rend one’s heart.  The impending loss of the last person he considers family, the return to the town who beat him for being his true self, and finally having to deal with all the memories and people Kaenon thought were deeply buried in the past.

Then come the gardens, the fireflies, and the magic.

All of which Calmes swirls around her characters like a witch with a wand.  A narrative one at that.

Kaeon is another one of the author’s golden boys she does so well, here given a glow imbued by a land that missed him so.  I believe in that, totally.    Just as I did in the romance between Kaenon and Brody Scott.   And the forgiveness that followed.  Character by character.

Too soon?  Too much forgiveness?  Others will admittedly hate that Kaenon forgave  so easily perhaps , but within this setting and context. I think the author made her case.

Did I want more?  Yes.  Of Aunt Peg, their relationship, the town, even more of Brody and Kaenon but I’m glad it ended where it did.  I didn’t need it to go past the summer and the vibrant return of the garden.  I was content to leave all three right where they were.  In that small house, facing the garden, savoring the summer night and the magic in the air.

And yes, I highly recommend this story.

Cover art: Reese Dante.  Love that cover, perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Amazon |

Book Details;

Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published July 17th 2019
ASINB07VCM4QK1
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caretaker to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too.

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t he seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) is the quintessential Mary Calmes story. It has all the elements I love about her stories and characters, including the main character.    I can sit back, giggle over the dialog (always snapping smart, cute, and connectible) and just sink into the romance that I know is about to happen.  Plus the kids, great wonderful kids.  And a dog named Winston.  Ok, that did it upteen times over.

Brann Calder is Mary Calmes’ archetype hero.  He’s gorgeous, great at everything he does, kids and animals adore him (so do readers), he has a bruised heart wanting recovery and needs someone to love him. And a home.  Here the author dumps him into a job that will give him all three if everything works out…which of course they will eventually.  Because with a Calmes book it’s the journey to the end we know that’s coming.  How will they get there?

And who does it involve?

In this case (well, it’s not unusual with her novels) it takes a small town or village, all of whom we get to know.  From the women of the baseball team, to the captain of the Vol Fire Department, the people at the dinner and bakery, and the Veterinarian’s, we get to meet and like or love them all.  And they in turn love Brann, take him right to heart.

But before that?  It’s a family that is in sore need of a change of direction and heart. Emery Dodd and his two daughters (and one Westie) have several problems.  One the loss of a mother and wife that still haunts the family.  Two, Emery has agreed to a business arranged marriage for the betterment of the town and his family, whether they like it or not.  And nothing should stand in the way of that marriage going forward so perhaps a bodyguard is needed. Enter Brann Calder and an explosion of possibilities and fireworks.

If you are not familiar with how the classic Calmes main character acts, than watching Calder “superhero” his way through the town almost on day one will engender more than a few eyerolls.   But if you’re a lover of Jory and Sam, a reader of Frog, or Timing, or Marshals or I could keep going, then you know that’s the classic Calmes main man in action.  And we love him and her for it.

Because as he’s performing all these acts of bravery or compassion or whatever they may be, he’s also learning that he’s been missing out on something in his life and now it’s staring him in the face at every level, furred (dog), child, and man.  And a town that clearly needs him.

I’m so hooked every time.  From the moment he tiredly exits a car and ends up staring into a child’s daunting glare.  I’m there with him, especially as he meets that challenge and heads into the next, cuss words and all.  He had me at “shit”.  And “awesome”.

Love that whole family.

Wow, I’m torn between wanting more of Brann and this town and more of the other men in the Torus group who clearly need their own HEA.  Mary, can’t I have both? lol

And yes, I highly recommend this story and the author.  When I have need of a comfort read, a hero and a romance, Mary Calmes’ stories have often saved the day.  Adding another now.

Cover art: Reese Dante.  Yes, that is Brann Calder to the core. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published March 19th 2019
ASINB07PLJ65NT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTorus Intercession #1

A MelanieM Audio Review:His Consort by Mary Calmes and (Narrated by Scott Smith)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A new life in New Orleans is all Jason Thorpe had hoped: his quaint little store attracts a devoted staff and his warm, loving heart grants him a loyal circle of friends. He’s perfectly content, having left behind the chill of a confusing and danger-filled night in Washington, until he discovers something unbelievable lurking in the steamy darkness of the shadowy streets of the Vieux Carré, something that turns out to be terrifying… and utterly mesmerizing.

The prince of the vampyrs, Varic Maedoc, is visiting New Orleans when he finds out the man who once helped his counselor is there in the Quarter. He thinks to simply meet and thank Jason—until he lays eyes on him. Varic’s devoted himself to protect the honor of his race, and he’s never wanted a mate before… but he immediately knows he must have this man, and no one else will do.

Varic may want to bring Jason safely into his world, but someone who doesn’t like the human’s soothing influence on vampyrs has deadly plans that would disrupt Varic’s dreams. Now, unable to tell friend from foe, Jason finds himself wondering how to hold on to the prince’s heart when he’s fighting for his life.

I’m a big Mary Calmes fan, both of her contemporary stories and her fantastic supernatural series as well.  So I was enthusiastic to hear she was including vampires in her next release, His Consort and couldn’t wait to see what spin she would put on the vampire mythology. A plus was waiting until it came out in audiobook so I got the additional pleasure of listening to the superb narration of Scott Smith as he effortlessly voiced character after character, making each come alive for me, scene after scene.  That extra half point is his alone.

I found His Consort entertaining, enjoyable, and, honestly, a wonderful Mary Calmes story.  It has so many of her hallmark elements here.  It also had aspects to the story that sent me looking for answers I never found. Like will it be a series? For me (and others) I found a sort of similarity in format or perhaps setup in His Consort to another beloved series.  That would be Change of Heart.  Here we follow Jason to New Orleans and a new life after exiting military service and the death of his best friend.  He gathers around him, in a new home, new “family”, much like Kin did, then comes Varic with his group who we slowly get to meet and become close to, ala Logan, then towards the end of the story you can see as the two groups begin to come together as one.

It’s a complex, and slow process.  And very much has the feel of the author laying down the foundation for a series, not just the framework for one story.  So as Jason meets all these different people and various events happen…without meeting Varic, I really didn’t mind.  I was caught up in the world building the author was laying down before me.  Plus I really liked all the characters I was meeting, watching all the complicated dynamics play out, the new relationships form, watch Jason get his “besties” together and formed into an odd family.

Plus there is the whole vampire mythology thing going on here to explore.   Loved that.

So while there wasn’t an immediate romance (at least not Jason and Varic’s ) to connect with, there was so much fascinating story threads running around grabbing my attention that I didn’t want the audiobook to stop (and didn’t).  I had to know what was to happen next!  All the other couples, the devilish delights, and suspense ! Tiago and Hadrian’s story is definitely one I hope she is writing even now.  There are so many elements laid down that are similar in structure to Change of Heart that I’m hoping that it’s because this is just the first in a series and not just one story.

I will  say that I love the New Orleans location.  There is something special about that shop, customers, and the dynamics being played out there between the casts that need more exploration. I hope Malta is to this story what Egypt was to Change of Heart.  I can’t wait to find out.  So much promise here.  So many great characters waiting in the wings for their chance at love.  This is different in that you don’t get an immediate romance, but I thought the wait was more than worth it.

I definitely recommend this audio version of His Consort by Mary Calmes.  The narration by Scott Smith is splendid and the story just needs the sequel it cries out for.

Cover Artist: Reese Dante,  I love, love this cover.  That’s Varic to a T.  Just mesmerizing.

Audio Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audio Details:

Audiobook

Length 6:33

Published December 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 20th 2018)
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: His Consort by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jason Thorpe, former military, opens a quaint little shop in a home he inherited when one of his former buddies was killed in action. He meets a gregarious and beautiful woman named Ode, who becomes his best friend and business partner and settles down. Little does he know, however, that New Orleans is heavily populated by a vampyr population—some born and some made (result of a vampyr and human mating). Oddly, when he’s around, the two groups don’t feud, but it isn’t until later in the story that we learn of his personal connection to the world of vampyrs when he meets Prince Varic, his apparent mate.

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I had hoped. I’m a huge fan of Mary Calmes and rarely dislike one of her characters, but in this instance, I couldn’t warm up to either Jason, the “everyone loves me” character, so typical of her stories, or to Varic, the vampyr prince—dark, handsome, alpha male.

Like the Change of Heart series, the author needed to build this world from the ground up and though it was interesting, there was more on-page time devoted to the background and world-building than there was for any romance. While building the vampyr world, the author also introduced a whole host of vampyr characters, including those who were pure and those who were made. There was also the world of the royalty: not only Prince Varic, but information about both his parents, the courtesans, and two other characters who had a major role in Varic’s life and in this story.

And then there was Jason and his host of friends, because of course, he’s one of those people who are too good to be true and attract friends like flies to honey. He didn’t work for me because his character didn’t seem to fit with his past behaviors, like his military background and the life choices he’s made. And then that background and life experience didn’t fit with someone who would swoon at his vampyr mate and more or less play the role of a dainty maiden. Granted, he fought alongside the vamps a few times, but he continued to be super sappy over Varic, and I couldn’t warm up to him at all.

Now Varic is another story. In fact, I didn’t like him at any point in the story. He was, as one would expect a vampyr prince who is hundreds of years old to be, quite full of himself. Self-centered, know-it-all, super-alpha male, not considerate of how his actions affect Jason, at first, and simply too OTT. Definitely not my cuppa, and as I said, even toward the end, I was not a fan.

Add to the fact the characters weren’t believable as loving mates, the overabundance of new facts in the world building made this much less than I’d hoped. I liked it. Yes, the story was complex and interesting once I understood the various factions, but I never moved beyond minimal liking it.

The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous, long-haired man in a black suit—the perfect representation of Varic.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640809628
Edition Language English

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kairos by Mary Calmes and Michael Fell (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

This was a nice heartwarming story. Kade pushes Joe to talk to his family, going as far as getting them close to his hometown when they need to go away from their home for a bit.

Joe can’t see that Kade greatly cares for him just as much as he does for him but it was easy to see while hearing the story from Joe’s perspective.  Kade is a broken man but Joe has been a big help in holding him together and when Joe’s mom decides to keep him it’s just the additional reassurance he needs.  The story was focused more on Joe and Kade figuring their way around more than the conflict of Kade’s past.

Michael Fell did a nice job narrating this story.  The voices for the most part the different voices he used help keep track of the story but he sometimes changes the accents up or said the words differently that would confuse me for a second.

Cover art by Reese Dante is great and I loved the visuals of the characters.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 10mins
Published March 16, 2018 (ebook first published December 15, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

What they say this book’s all about?

Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Late in the Day is a story of second chances and hard happily ever afters. It starts right into the action and personally, it took me a moment to make the connection between the end of the last book and the start of this one. One thing I didn’t like was the switch between the current moment and snippets of past events. By the time the characters moved back to the current timeline, I was ready to skip over.

Like many of the author’s stories, we have met Conrad before and we get to see many others helping us discover the events that shaped Conrad. Also, to learn how he fell in love with Efrem. Perhaps a bit far-fetched but it works in the end.

I did want more time with Conrad and Efrem. It seems as if we lost the majority of their love story within other books. Don’t get me wrong, they have great chemistry but I wanted them to show it, not having it be implied. It does end with a pretty wrapped up, sigh-worthy HEA.

And definitely, kudos to Mary Calmes for having characters over forty; getting closer to fifty. 🙂

As always, Greg Boudreaux did an excellent job bringing to life the new characters in this book and bringing the rest from the previous ones. It was easy to feel what the characters felt and this added to the listeners’ enjoyment.

The cover by Reese Dante has a lovely depiction of Conrad. The strength in his gaze shows through the book.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 5 hours and 41 minutes

Published: March 7, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07B86XWF8
Edition Language: English

Series: The Vault
Book #1: A Day Makes
Book #2: Late in the Day

A Lila Release Day Review:Twisted and Tied (Marshals #4) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones finally has everything he ever wanted. He’s head-over-heels in love and married to the man of his dreams, his partner Ian Doyle, he’s doing well at work, and all his friends are in good places as well. Things are all tied up nicely… until they’re not.

Change has never been easy for Miro, and when situations at work force the team he’s come to depend on to break apart, and worst of all, his and Ian’s individual strengths put them on two separate paths, he’s pretty certain everything just went up in smoke. But before he can even worry about the future, his past comes for a visit, shaking his world up even more. It’s hard to tell what road he should truly be on, but as he learns some paths are forged and others are discovered, it might be that where he’s going is the right course after all. If he can navigate all the twists and turns, he and Ian might just get their happily ever after.

Twisted and Tied is my favorite book in this series. Perhaps because it brings all the plot lines to an end and after several volumes, it’s easy to follow the connections with other books by the author. Also by now, we know all the characters well and small details, like brand name mentions, are part of the narrative.

Even when the book is only from Miro’s point of view and in the first person, we get to see and understand everyone’s’ actions and their part in the story. The author is known for her detailed descriptions–from settings, physical aspects to the weather, foods, and clothing.

I will recommend reading Together Tied before this book, not because it’s necessary, but because it brings the relationship between Kage and the Marshals to a different level. Then it’s easier to understand certain decisions Kage takes here involving Miro and Ian. These books definitely are not stand-alone but in my case, I haven’t read the original books with Kage and Jory.

As for this story’s plot, it’s a lot simpler than any of the previous books. The reader has time to appreciate the changes happening in Ian’s and Miro’s lives and they didn’t spend long periods of time apart as they did before. We get updates from other characters and get to know new ones with potential for other series.

The beginning is slower than we are used to but it has enough information not to get you bored. I did a bit of crying around the eighty percent of the story but it was because I didn’t expect something to happen as it did. Perhaps I was naive enough but in the end, it worked well. I was hoping for an impossibly happy ending. But hey, a girl can dream.

The ending was a little anti-climatic but fitting. It brought Miro’s life full circle and set the path for his future with his friends, family, and work. Ian is more of a secondary character in this story than one of the main character but it still worked.  Overall, this is a great ending to the Marshals series.

The cover by Reese Dante matched the previous ones and gives several hints about the particulars of this story.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Nook

ebook, 266 pages
Published: March 13, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640801721
Edition Language: English

Series: Marshals

Book #1: All Kinds of Tied Down (Marshals, #1) 

Book #2: Fit to be Tied (Marshals, #2) 

Book #3: Tied Up in Knots (Marshals, #3) 

Book #3.5: Together Tied (Marshals, #3.5)

Book #4: Twisted and Tied (Marshals, #4) 

A Melanie Release Day Review: (PreRelease Review) Kairos by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

Kairos is the greek word for the moment when everything comes together, the right time, an opportunity to have the perfect whatever you are searching for in your life…which is what Mary Calmes’ new book is all about.

Joe Cade fled his family after coming out for a life as a PI in Chicago. However his main focus in life is his partner Kade Bosa, the man he loves in secret and his best friend.  He’s Kade’s support and his family.  Kade’s troubled past is never far away from them in Chicago and their present job is just another link to it.  That it turns into something that alters all their lives irrevocably is something they never could have imagined.

Kairos is another wonderful  convoluted romance from Mary Calmes.  Two smitten partners who don’t let on to each other just how much they love each other, a criminal element, and in this case a lovely young rent boy, Declan, who I hope will get his own book sometime in the near future.

This is pure Mary Calmes, from the characters to the situations.  I loved it and felt right at home from the banter between Joe and Kade to the angst that arrives mid story and the wonderful storylines to come (no spoilers here).  If you’re a Mary Calmes fan, you’ll feel right at home here.

The only thing that troubled me was the quick resolution to the criminal element.  I was sure it was going to play out a little further only to have it end without their needed involvement.  That was sort of a shame.  However the page count should have indicated there just wasn’t room for more.  How I wish this was a larger novel….

If you’re a Mary Calmes fan, then this romance is for you.  Even if you’re new to the author, you’ll enjoy this fast-paced romance, spiced up with a hint of danger, a young rent boy who I hopes gets his own story and two special men who get their own HEA.

Grab up Kairos by Mary Calmes and have a wonderful read.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  Love this cover, unusual and attractive, it caught my eye.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 154 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640804975
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Second from The Vault

Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

I loved the first story in The Vault series, A Day Makes, so I couldn’t wait to see what the sequel would bring.  Late in the Day brings into focus a character we’ve met before in other stories,  not just A Day Makes. Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne, these are all names that Darius Hawthorne has gone by at one stage of his life or another.  In a series of flashbacks throughout the story, much like the first novel, we see the progression of events that lead up to the man Darius is when the story opens.

It’s an effective format and one that pulled me in immediately.

Mary Calmes engages her reader on many levels from the opening scene.  We’re let into a moment fraught with danger, we understand the personalities of the men involved, and the author sets out an explosive start for her tale that pulls us in emotionally and intellectually.  And then starts to explore why this event has so much impact to Darius and his future.

This author also does lovers reunited like nobody’s business.  That would include Efrem Lahm, the one man that Darius fell deeply in love with and never got over.  The  effect on the reader of these two men meeting again is so strong, so vivid it’s almost gut wrenching. I love it when an author can pull that sort of emotional response from me, making me aware of how powerful a ground shift it would be for a character to see this man again. Mary Calmes does it here…over and over.  And not just from Darius.

Along with the romance, there’s suspense, action, and, yes, humor albeit on the darkish side.  Yes, I think this book and series really has it all going for it with fascinating characters, a complicated series foundation, and outstanding cast of characters.  What this book is not is a standalone novel.  Late in the Day exists within a specific universe, that has its own framework of morality, carefully interlocking family of characters, and even other stories that can be joined to this by weaponry.  Don’t miss out on the note at the end for other stories by Mary Calmes that will connect with this one.

At the end of the novel, I was so happy that I was ready to go back to the beginning of the series and read through the two books all over again.  I can’t wait to see where the author is taking this series next.  Until then, I highly recommend you read Late in the Day if you’ve read A Day Makes, and both books if you are new to the series.  If you are a Mary Calmes fan, you are already ahead of me.

Cover art by Reese Dante is perfect for the character and makes a stunning cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 30th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339802
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series The Vault :

A Day Makes (The Vault, #1)
Late in the Day (The Vault, #2) 

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Day Makes by Mary Calmes and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.
 
Lot’s of my friends love this author.  I always see her books with 5 star reviews all over Goodreads.  So about every two years I feel like I’m missing something so I try one, thinking that this will be the one I connect with.  It never works out for me.  It’s time I admit defeat.  This writer’s story telling style just does not work for me.
This story begins with Ceaton meeting a mob boss and going to work for him.  This was where I first had to suspend belief.  Ceaton’s character was discharged from the military for not following orders and he did that because he was so full of integrity that he couldn’t follow an order that would kill people, but now we’re supposed to believe he’s thrown all those morals away to work for the mob and kill people?  The suspension of belief needed to follow this plot was just too much for me.
The story was slow and repetitive.  Lot’s of killings and mob related things.  Ceaton doesn’t meet the other MC until the later part of the book and then it is an insta-love thing.  I found the ending to be even more far-fetched than the beginning.
The narration was done by Greg Tremblay and I thought he did a very good job.  There are a number of different characters and a number of different accents that needed to be done for this story.  Some of the accents were Serbian and Russian and I do not know if they were accurate but they did sound different and distinct and I enjoyed the narration a lot.
I rated this based on my enjoyment of the book which isn’t completely fair.  I disliked the story itself a great deal but on the flip side I feel like the narration was probably a 5 star.  If you typically enjoy this author then I definitely recommend this on audio.  I think you will enjoy it.
 
This cover was done by Reese Dante and I think it’s a great cover.  I really like it alot and it was part of the reason I chose to try this book.
Book Details:
Audible Audio
Published June 19th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published April 19th 2017)
ASINB0721R5PTF
Edition LanguageEnglish