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REVIEW: “All Kinds of Tied Down” by Mary Calmes

PersonalizedBannerSusan

ABOUT:

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they’ve gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more.

As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn’t working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home—and no one to come home to—is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn’t work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn’t being tied down at all.

REVIEW:

Mary Calmes is my crack. I don’t apologize for loving her stuff. Sure, it’s formulaic, but once I embraced that fact, I realized the formula works for me. It’s my comfort food. She’s my mac-n-cheese of m/m romance.

The best parts of the Mary Calmes formula are the over-the-top characters who love each other fiercely (MINE! MINE! YOU. ARE. MINE!) and have really really hot bend-you-in-half sex, and guns…there are always guns.

The worst parts of the Mary Calmes formula are the myriad of side characters (wait, should I know this guy from another book or not? Why do I have to meet 10 of the friends who won’t show up on another page again?), totally unbelievable suspense plots, and eyebrow waggles…I hate the waggle…sorry.

So, what happened here in this book? The scales tipped. All the best parts were outweighed by the worst parts. And the formula…failed. It’s like when you put too much of something in a recipe and it changes how it’s supposed to taste. I found myself reading this book thinking “What the heck is going on here? I’m totally confused. And when are we gonna get to the good parts?”.

Now, all is not lost. Miro is in love with his partner, his best friend, and Mr. Straight-as-an-arrow, Ian.  I loved these two. Miro is the Jory in the mix (everyone loves him, dontchaknow). And Ian eventually figures out that even he loves him…a good ol’ fashioned gay-for-you (possibly out-for-you, but I don’t remember reading the details, if they were there…). And their devotion to each other both as friends, and eventually as lovers, pushed all my happy buttons.

It’s just…they didn’t actually get together until well past the halfway mark and there wasn’t any SMEXY parts until the second half of the book!!!! I mean…c’MON! I can accept that with some other authors/books, but it’s not part of the FORMULA! I actually read the first half of this book thinking, “this is a HOT mess!”

There are a bunch of side characters that you do know (or should) from other Calmes books (wheeee! SAM KAGE ALL OVER THE PLACE!). But, the risk now of doing this is that you’ve got my head in the irritated space of “well, are they ALL gay in this town’s law enforcement?”

And by the end, I was just tired, confused, and slightly annoyed. And simply liking Miro and Ian wasn’t enough to save this book for me.

If you’re new to Mary Calmes, there are better books out there for you to try.

If you’re part of the fanbase, you’ll read this one anyway, despite my review…and quite frankly, you should. Because it’s Mary. And we all have our favorites and our least favorites. This one just didn’t work for me…

RATING: 2.5 STARS

BOOK INFO:

22402178Title: All Kinds of Tied Down
Author:  Mary Calmes
Publisher:  Dreamspinner
Pages: 290
Release Date:  July 4, 2014
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner

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This entry was posted on July 4, 2014 by in Contemporary, Cops / Cowboys / Military, Reviewer: Susan and tagged , , .

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