Timing, by Mary Calmes
Series: Timing, Book 1
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 19, 2016 (re-release)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Stefan Joss just can’t win. Not only does he have to go to Texas in the middle of summer to be the man of honor in his best friend Charlotte’s wedding, but he’s expected to negotiate a million-dollar business deal at the same time. Worst of all, he’s thrown for a loop when he arrives to see the one man Charlotte promised wouldn’t be there: her brother, Rand Holloway.
Stefan and Rand have been mortal enemies since the day they met, so Stefan is shocked when a temporary cease-fire sees the usual hostility replaced by instant chemistry. Though leery of the unexpected feelings, Stefan is swayed by a sincere revelation from Rand, and he decides to give Rand a chance.
But their budding romance is threatened when Stefan’s business deal goes wrong: the owner of the last ranch he needs to secure for the company is murdered. Stefan’s in for the surprise of his life as he finds himself in danger as well.
Enemies to Lovers
Oh gosh, where to start? Well, first off, this is my first Mary Calmes book. Her name is familiar to me, of course, but I’ve never had the opportunity or the inclination to read anything by her until now. A few months back I asked some friends in a FB group what people thought of her books and the reaction was pretty mixed. But one thing was certain: it seemed you either really liked her books or you really disliked her books. There didn’t seem to be much middle ground. Unfortunately, after reading this book, I find myself in the latter category.
I almost DNF’d fairly early in, but I can be stubborn when I’m reading and unless the content is vile, I want to give the author every opportunity to entertain me. Sadly, the one part I actually liked was a case of too little too late, and nothing that came after could make me change my mind.
The problem I had wasn’t with the overall storyline itself, which was fairly decent, but it was more with the outrageous and frankly unbelievable behavior of the characters themselves. I didn’t like any of them. Stef is too perfect, Charlotte is too needy and Rand is too unpredictable. And the enemies-to-lovers storyline between Stef and Rand might have been more believable had the change not happened literally overnight. Like, one moment they’re treating each other much like they have for the past 10 years when suddenly, Rand is getting all alpha male and being all demanding for Stef’s time and attention.
And then there was this:
“Stop,” I breathed out, taking in gulps of air.
His eyes were heavy-lidded, his mouth curling in the corner as he looked at me. “I can feel your heart beating in your cock,’ he said, leaning in to bit the curve of my shoulder where it met my neck. “I need to taste you.”
“Stop,” I panted, feeling his words in the pit of my stomach.
“I don’t wanna stop,” he said, his voice hoarse, deep. “I just wanna touch you.”
“Stop fighting,” he said.
Not really feeling a big seduction scene when two clear requests to stop are patently ignored. That doesn’t exactly fill me up with the warm fuzzies. Not to mention that this scene comes minutes after Rand admits that he basically treated Stef like crap for so many years because he really liked him. Um, schoolyard antics anyone? Oh wait, we actually encourage kids to treat each other with more respect than that.
And then there is Stef’s best friend, Charlotte. When she isn’t flinging herself into Stef’s arms every 5 minutes, and literally clinging on to him like a baby monkey, she’s yelling at him in true Bridezilla fashion (Stef is in town to act as ‘man of honour’ at her wedding), and ordering him around or begging him to fix some wedding snafus that she is clearly incapable of handling. I get that the author was trying to impress upon the reader the importance of their place in each other’s lives, but all I got out of it was that their relationship was incredibly one-sided with Stef always jumping in to save her without getting much in return.
There were a few other things I didn’t like – Stef is perfect and EVERYONE is either hitting on him or acting like he’s their new best friend – but from what I understand, this book is fairly typical of Mary Calmes’ writing. And if that’s the case, I firmly believe that this is author is just not the one for me.
One last thing: that cover is stellar *heart eyes*
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.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.