Book Review by Kristie: You Never Know, by Mary Calmes

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You Never Know, by Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 21, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

summary

Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.

Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.

If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Contemporary
Romance
Second Chance
Small Town
My Dream Treehouse
Sweet Kid Moments

I absolutely love a second chance romance. I love the hope they can bring, and those feelings of warmth. You Never Know, well, it gave me those feelings. I’m a huge Mary Calmes fan, if for no other reason than so many of her books consistently make me feel good after reading them. In this case, she delivers the same thing. I do have some issues, there are some things that I really do wish I could change, but I still fell in love with the story.

I think the things that I loved most about this book really centered around Hagen Wylie. He’s someone I’d want to know in real life. He’s such a good person, kind and caring, loving and compassionate. Hagen knows exactly what he wants in life, and working in his little town, helping people to build their dreams through his construction work, he’s happy. I loved the friendships he has with old school friends and other people in town. I really enjoyed the friendship/relationship he has with Ash, a character that I’m hoping will get his own story some day.

Some things that really made my heart squeeze though, were the moments Hagen spends with Mitch’s kids. These are the kind of moments that, when I read them, I wanted so badly for them to be his kids instead. He’s a natural caregiver, protector… parent. He fits well with children, and that’s really apparent on the page.

But what do I wish for? I wish I understood Mitch. Shoot, I wish I liked Mitch. I wished for Hagen to spend more time with Mitch, because honestly, he spends a lot more time with his friends and Ash than he does with Mitch. And I understand it… Hagen has never stopped loving Mitch. So there is a part of me that gets it… gets them. But I feel like I was told a lot about Mitch and his feelings, his reasons for breaking off things the way he did in the past, but not really shown it. And I need to see it and feel it to make it a reality to me and my heart. I needed Mitch’s POV to be able to like him more, because without it, Mitch didn’t shine as a character.

I also wish that things had been different with Ash. Through most of the book I really felt torn about Ash and Hagen. At times I thought there was no way they’d be good together, so it was a great thing, Mitch being back. But at other times, they were a great couple, if they’d just been given a real opportunity, I wonder how that would have gone. In the end though, I kind of started to really dislike Ash, and that really was upsetting. It was like I was being driven to dislike him and it bummed me out. I think he’s got a lot of room to grow as a person, and there is still more of his story to be told.

So, this is one of those books where after I finished it, I was totally in love with everything about the book. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that yes, there are some things I didn’t like about it. In the end, the things I loved greatly outweigh the things I didn’t, still leaving me with a feeling of contentment. While it isn’t perfect, I’m still smiling. You Never Know also gets bonus points for Ed the owl, and the treehouse.

more-from-author

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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You can purchase You Never Know from:
Publisher
Amazon
Google Play
Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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