Author: Mary Calmes
Length: 68,880 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Author Backlist Project, Mental Health Issues, Mob/Crime, Assassins, Sexy to the 999s, Tattoos, Family Issues, Teen Throwaways
Rating: Really Liked It
Trevan Bean has a job that’s going from illegal to frightening, a boyfriend who may not be in his right mind, and a guardian angel who might actually be evil incarnate. Add to that the reappearance of his boyfriend’s estranged family, death threats, kidnapping, and the struggle of saving money to realize a dream, and Trevan has a lot on his plate. But Trevan is up to the challenge: he promised Landry a happily ever after, and Landry’s going to have it if it kills him!
It just might.
Landry Carter was a broken doll when they met two years ago but has grown into a partner who can stand at Trevan’s side… most of the time. Now that Trevan’s life just got scary—and Landry just got himself kidnapped—Trevan has to hope Landry’s love stays strong through this newest challenge, because the happily ever after won’t happen if Trevan has to go it alone.
This is the second book of my Author Backlist Project for Mary Calmes and I’m so glad I chose this author first. I’ve always really liked her books in a past, but I’ve missed a few of them here and there, this one included. I actually had a few problems with this book, but one thing was done so absolutely well (the character development) that I just couldn’t give it less than a Really Liked It rating.
That, ultimately, is really what makes this story so incredibly special. Landry is most often seen as the fucked up guy in their relationship but Trevan has a lot of issues as well. But somehow, this author made these characters that so so messed up and also who sometimes aren’t exactly likable, accessible and understanding to us through their love for each other and in Trevan’s case a very strong moral compass (skewed according to convention, yes, but still unyielding). Trevan refers to them early in the story has completely codependent, but that it is okay because it works. That’s the truth. Landry is barely capable of making it through the day on his own, but Trevan needs to take care of him, needs the control in a way that is unique to him. I almost don’t even know how Mary Calmes pulled this off. Their relationship is so unusual, but so utterly charming at the same time and almost the whole story is devoted to the psychology of it all, but completely under the radar. So much so that by the end of the story I felt like the story had been about something totally different (the external plot) but that I knew these characters way better than I know most when I finish a book. That is to be commended.
I found it a little unfortunate that we don’t know Landry’s family better since the end of the book really has a lot to do with them, but then I understood it as well. The last 60% or so reminded me quite a bit of A Matter of Time and this whole story had a lot of Mary’s trademark zinging dialogue that I’ve grown to love. Ultimately, how you feel about this book depends on how you will feel about the relationship. I can’t say that I loved the characters, but I liked them a lot and respected the hell out of them. I felt a bit like there wasn’t a driving focus in the plot, and that’s why I say that how you feel about the relationship will affect how you feel about the book. There are two real sub-plots, Landry and his family and Trevan and his “job.” Maybe it is that I’m used to a traditional narrative that I’m finding this hazy, but ultimately it didn’t overly affect my enjoyment of the story and you have to give Mary Calmes props for this book.
These two books I’ve read, this one and last week’s book, Acrobat, are two of the best books this author has written in my opinion. Still, Acrobat takes the cake for my favorite. I liked this one a lot, but I didn’t love it.