Tied Up In Knots, by Mary Calmes
Series: Marshalls, Book 3
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Miro 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.
Mary Calmes is what I like to all my fuzzy bunny crack. Seriously, that’s the name of the collection on my Kindle. And the Marshalls books with Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are my favorite kind of fuzzy bunny. Just enough endearments and smooshy feels. Over the top stories and completely unbelievable action. While Sam Kage and Jory are what most people love about Ms. Calmes, I like Miro and Ian because they’re less like Sam and Jory than most. Miro and Ian are loving and respectful of one another without any of the abusive controlling junk we see in a lot of the other books.
Liking Miro and Ian as much as I do, I was thrilled to get an early copy of TIED UP IN KNOTS. Book 3 with even more of the squishy loving Marshalls? YES PLEASE. This book delivered much of the fun that is Miro and Ian together, but unfortunately it felt incomplete and rushed while being longer than book 2. The guys are struggling with Ian’s repeated deployments and the separations and reunions that go along with it. Apparently Ian has been gone for a lot of the time since the end of the last book. It felt a bit like being dumped into the middle of the strain and stress of that. It becomes quickly clear Miro is working on some serious resentment. It’s no wonder Ian questions if they can survive the fighting; I started to wonder.
This book feels like a placeholder. There’s not a lot of forward motion in the relationship; Miro and Ian aren’t even on page together all that much. Definitely they’re not communicating a whole lot with clothes on. I’m sad about that as their direct interactions are witty and fun to read.
Per usual for this series, there’s a lot of interaction and page time with the other Marshalls. There’s also the usual extra EXTRA characters from other agencies, Miro’s friends, and Ian’s teammates. If I ever tried to keep all of the characters in these books straight, I think it’d be a massive spider web. Luckily, I’m finally keeping the other Marshalls straight (after *mumbles* rereads of books 1 and 2). I generally enjoy them and their interactions as a team. This book, though, had some interesting scenes with the others. There’s one scene that feels RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES…dun dun duuun. The good news (and spoiler free) is the scene helped facilitate sending the guys off on another job, so at least it wasn’t completely a teaching moment. It most definitely WAS a teaching moment, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It felt a bit preachy, but I didn’t hate it.
Some of the extra extra characters feel like a setup for more books. Which also makes this book feel like a placeholder or perhaps just a cornucopia of characters and little substance. I continue to like this series and characters, but I hope the next book feels like more of a story.
Some series books can be read out of order or stand alone. This isn’t one of those books. The Marshalls books should be read in order and from the beginning. Book 1 remains the best, in my opinion, so start there and roll around in the fuzzy bunny feels.
Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into the work. She can even tell you what her characters smell like. She loves buying books and going to conventions to meet her fans.
Find her online at http://www.marycalmesauthor.com/index.php
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.