A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Tied Up in Knots (Marshals #3) by Mary Calmes


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

tied-up-in-knotsMiro Jones is living the life: he’s got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn’t just his partner at work—Ian’s a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it’s casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of.

Work isn’t the same without Ian. Home isn’t the same, either, and Miro’s having to face his fears alone… how to keep it together at the office, how to survive looming threats from the past, and worst of all, how to keep living without Ian’s rock-solid presence at his side. His life is tied up in knots, but what if unknotting them requires something more permanent? What would that mean for him and Ian? Miro’s stuck between two bad choices, and sometimes the only way to get out of the knot is to hold tight to your lifeline and pull.

Days after finishing, my head is still spinning. There was just so much detail to this story!

First of all, thank you, Rhys Ford, for allowing Kane and Connor Morgan to interact with Miro on a takedown in San Francisco.  Wonderful vignette!  And thank you, Mary Calmes, not only for arranging that interaction, but also for mingling in mentions of some of my other favorite characters, including Andreo Fiore and Duncan Stiel. 

So, on to the story. Oh boy, this one is packed full of adventure, almost as much as it’s packed full of heartbreak—for both Miro and Ian—his frequent deployments are causing havoc with the stability of their relationship.

There are numerous trips away from his Chicago home base for Miro, as he first has to assist the DEA in San Francisco for a takedown, and then finds himself picking up a young man in Vegas who’s going into Witsec, a young man who wants to get in Miro’s pants in the worst way. Thankfully, Drake and Cabot, the young former witnesses who treat him and Ian like parents, are getting out of the program as their safety is no longer in question, and they befriend Josue, the new witness, and help him acclimate.  Add to that, Miro’s former partner, Cochran, has a blowout with him and ends up slugging him in the eye, resulting in even more chaos and animosity between the cops and the marshal’s office. 

And then there’s the prison escape by Dr. Craig Hartley, Miro’s archenemy. Thank God, Ian arrives home from deployment when he does.  First of all, because their new neighbor is hitting on Miro, thinking Ian is never coming back, and secondly, because the Army brass show up to investigate a hitman who is knocking off members of Ian’s former unit. Unfortunately, they haul Ian back out of the picture to an undisclosed location. And if that’s not enough turmoil in Miro’s life, let’s add in even more chaos at the end of the story, just when I thought it was safe to close the book for a few minutes. 

This part contains dead FBI agents assigned to cover Miro from Hartley’s reach and the truth about who is really trying to kill Ian and his fellow soldiers.  Miro, of course, is caught in the crossfire again, facing down not just one, but two villains.  Did I mention this all happens around Thanksgiving, and Miro’s “family” of female friends and their partners are having issues of their own, and everyone seems to come to Miro for their solution, bringing their cray-cray with them?

Oh yes, this story is not boring.  Not boring at all.  In fact, I’m amazed that I can remember even this much detail, but that’s just a hallmark of Mary Calmes’s stories for me—unforgettable, for sure. This one is packed so full of action, it’s like buying a ticket to an emotional roller coaster ride. Don’t miss out. You won’t want to put it down for a minute once you starting reading. 

Cover art by Reese Dante is done in the same gray tones as others in this series and depicts a US Marshal’s badge, service revolvers, and army boots. All are key pieces in this story as the guns and badge are used frequently by Miro while, in the meantime, Ian has to face some serious choices about his Army Reserve status. 

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Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages
Expected publication: September 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777557 (ISBN13: 9781634777551)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesMarshals – add to your Goodreads shelf here: