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REVIEW: “Blue Days” by Mary Calmes


Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.

Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?



Hi. My name is Jenni, and this is my first Mary Calmes.


I’ve been hearing about Calmes since my first tentative days of reading m/m. Whether it was friends gnashing their teeth about the improbability of fluttery, um, things, or folks singing the praises of her gorgeous, sweeping tales of love and romance, just about everybody has an opinion about this author.

Blue Days might be the perfect thing for a newbie: it’s short and uncomplicated (mostly angst free) and includes generous helpings of man love.

MC Dwyer is trying hard to hold onto his job. His company is being systematically dismantled by new leadership, and the rest of the employees are pretty leery of one guy in particular, Takeo.

We’ve all encountered a Takeo-type in our lives: he’s the guy who lives his life by the book. He’s a bonafide rule follower, and you accept and embrace that personality OR you hate the guy’s guts. While everybody else at the office goes for door number two, Dwyer develops a fondness for Takeo that bordered on insanity (stupidity?). Dwyer approached Takeo like Takeo was a fragile puppy, and for me that approach really fell flat. It felt condescending and it made Takeo seem just…dumb.

Unfortunately, I really disliked the way Blue Days was written, too. The book took place over several years. I imagine the retelling of past events was meant to be a setup of the blooming chemistry between Dwyer and Takeo, but honestly, these two had zero love connection in my opinion. Instead, the retellings made their relationship and interactions feel forced unreal, and frankly, boring.

Blue Days read like a Harlequin bodice buster, complete with sentences like “I will have you now” and plenty of proclamations of “mine.” It was too tidy, too insta and too manufactured. I like the idea of a strong lead from a different culture, I truly do, but I thought this story made Takeo a caricature of a Japanese man, and that’s really too bad.

Bottom line: you either love and enjoy Calmes or you don’t. If you’re a fan of her previous work, Blue Days is quick, occasionally sweet and will probably frost your cake. If you’re hit-and-miss with Calmes, I suspect this one will miss the mark.




Title: Blue Days
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 98
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2014
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner, ARe, Amazon



4 comments on “REVIEW: “Blue Days” by Mary Calmes

  1. Ami
    November 13, 2014

    Look at you popping your Mary Calmes’s cherry *so proud*

    Liked by 3 people

  2. llesarlorraine
    November 13, 2014

    Have to say that I never really got “Mary Calmes”, they are all a bit to regimented for my tastes if that makes sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenni
      November 13, 2014

      Yup, I totally get what you’re saying. Formulaic, right? Cookie cutter? Predictable? ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marlobo
    November 16, 2014

    Delicious review, Jenni :)


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This entry was posted on November 13, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , .

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