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Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes

Old Loyalty, New LoveOld Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 73,902 Words
Purchase at Amzon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father’s prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Excerpt

This was a nice shifter story.  The story starts out with feeling like you get dropped into the story part way through.  There was a lot of filling in of back story to do and it broke the rhythm of the book.  It was interesting to watch Quade struggle with his feelings for Roman.

I will admit right off that I didn’t care as much for this book.  I love the story line and side characters but the book went so fast.  With the feeling of being dropped in part way through and the speed of it I just couldn’t connect with the characters.  I didn’t get why these two had such strong feelings for each other.  I get there is a lot of past and the whole you see me for me but it just didn’t ring right with me.

Unlike others I wasn’t disturbed by the age difference.  It really didn’t bother me.  I had no issues with either of the characters.  I have always enjoyed the author’s characters and the snark and humor in her stories.  The writing with regards to that was a good as always.  I just didn’t get the depth to the story and characters as I usually do.

The writing was well done.  The author is always very descriptive.  The scenes come alive and are very vivid.  The plot makes sense and leads in a logical progression through the story.  As I said though there is something missing to this story that I usually get in her other books.  I just couldn’t grasp the emotion to connect to the characters.

I did enjoy the story.  I hope there is a follow up to the book with the descriptions of the other male characters and the way they are acting.  It would be interesting to hear what they do:)

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Floodgates by Mary Calmes

FloodgatesFloodgates by Mary Calmes
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  71,040 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles
Roses:  3
 

Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—with a past that just might get Tracy killed.

Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It’ll be a tough sell; reputation is everything, and Cord’s is tarnished by his past indiscretions.

Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to suffocate their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord finally has the chance to ride to the rescue and break through the dam of Tracy’s reserve. But he’d better be careful: if Cord is breaking the floodgates to wash away the past, he’s going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they’re still standing when the tumult recedes.

 Excerpt

I really am a fan of Mary Calmes.  I don’t care that her style is a bit formulaic.  It works for me:)  This particular book though was not as good as others.  It was mainly that it felt…loose.  There were threads that made no sense to have and then leave hanging, in particular Tracey’s boss. I know it is accepted in the end but it just felt like there was more there.  Then there is Breckin’s cheating.  I get the crazy stalker going after those that Breckin cares about but what about the man Tracey caught him with.  This is a friend of Breckin’s but is never gone after…doesn’t make sense.

The writing itself is good.  Mary Calmes has a way to draw you into the story and give you details without making it totally overwhelming.  I quite enjoy her writing style.  The plot is a bit thin and seems a bit stretched.  I don’t buy the whole going to another state with police escort for something like this even with family involved it was a bit much.  The characters are what always make me smile.  I love the possessive, domineering alpha and the snarky “bottom boy”.  It’s a thing that works for me and makes me smile.  This isn’t the most stimulating of writings but for a comfort read that makes you feel good it is great.

So overall, the characters and writing worked for me.  I thought they gave something different to the story and made it fun to read.  The plot though and storyline had a few too many holes to make this a great read though.  If you want a feel good read though this is a good one.

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Parting Shot by Mary Calmes

Parting Shot MaryParting Shot by Mary Calmes
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  69,966 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

A Matter of Time Story 

Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.

Everyone thinks Aaron has it all—looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important—his heart.

Excerpt

This is the seventh book in a series that until this one has focused on Jory and Sam.  Aaron and Duncan are friends of Jory and Sam.  Jory and Aaron dated for a while but it never worked.  Aaron and Duncan meet and sparks fly.  Both men are in the closet.  Duncan decides quickly that he is willing to come out of the closet for Aaron but the two men are separated by Duncan’s undercover work and then by Aaron’s brother.  When the two manage to get back together again it is sizzling hot.

 

Mary Calmes has a certain style to her main characters.  They are interesting and gentle.  Now Duncan may seem like a different type but he isn’t.  Duncan just wants to help people and doing that is why he is injured a lot.  I really enjoy her characters.  There is always a lot of love.

 

The writing was good.  The story is a bit choppy in points but smooths out quickly.  The characters are interesting and kinda fun.  There isn’t a lot of true conflict between the couple.  There is the short separation of the two but they get past that very quickly.  I am disappointed by the fact that there really isn’t development in the relationship.  It truly is insta-love.  I had some hope of a little conflict between the couple.  It was just a sweet little love story.

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