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.
©2010 Mary Calmes (P)2010 Mary Calmes
The name is Katie. Account says Kevin, but I'm the one actually listening and writing reviews.
I'd like to start by saying that Mary Calmes is NOT a bad writer. The writing in and of itself is good. Her weakness lies in her characterization.
This is the second Mary Calmes novel I have listened to and I've noticed some patterns in her writing.
One- her protagonists were both 'too perfect'. They're what I like to call Mary-Sues. In Timing, Steffan was a flawless little charmer, and her protagonist in the other book I listened to was much the same way. I understand that she wants her main character to look a certain way, but the point doesn't need to be driven home EVERY OTHER SENTENCE. Steffan, did have some flaws- but even the flaws, in the way they were presented, were just totally unbelievable. The character was too much, too perfect, and instead of coming across as the way I'm sure Calmes intended, he was just obnoxious.
Two- The style of romance she writes reminds me very much of anime characters. If you're into UST and males who either constantly top or bottom- story lines that are rushed and with little depth... If you are into that, than I can see this entertaining you.
The story itself isn't bad, and some of the characters are even cute.
However, personally I couldn't get past the stereotyping and weak characterization for the the lead couple.
Lastly... a word on the reader. The reader isn't bad. He has a fun voice and a lot of personality. I only have two complaints about him. One- He reads all of Mary Calmes books and uses the same voices for the lead and the love interest. The love interest always sounds goofy to me, like he's just trying too hard. I could live with it, though. What really got to me was that one of the characters, the best friend's fiance, sounded just like a muppet. Who seriously talks like that? It killed the character. It really did.
All in all... I would tell you to avoid Mary Calmes books, unless it's truly the style of writing you're into. I see this book really appealing to teenage girls... But I think most people would side with me. There are better homosexual romance novels on audible...
once again Mary Calmes brings a great series. I can't wait for the next installment. I recommend this the series it's great.
This book get cited in hundreds of M/M lists as a "comfort read" for a reason. The dialogue is hilarious, the dynamics are warm and believable, even the suspense subplot is handled deftly. Calmes’ affection for her two heroes (Rand in particular) cooks off the page. The blistering sex scenes and the complex family around these characters only add to the experience.
Its a cute simple story of opposites attracting. Its definitely not anything new but, its Mary Calmes so it's twisted in a slightly new way. Funny, sarcastic, and tender I loved it.
I was turned off by this books cover. It looked out of date and corny. I should have known it would be a winner with teaming up Calmes and Crisden. It's the classic story of falling for your best friends brother. These guys are not friends or friendly for years, ones a openly gay big city guy and the other is a Texas cowboy. This is a story that gives it's characters some history and there are a lot of family characters to enjoy as well. Happily there is a 2nd book which proves their story may be worth looking into.
Stefan and Rand hate one another. Right? Well, maybe not so much.
Stefan is Rand’s sister Charlotte’s BFF. Charlotte is getting married and needs Stefan in the wedding. Stefan and Rand have always butted heads, but now that Rand is divorced he’s seeing things a bit differently.
A few things have changed around the ranch (like Rand’s homophobic dad has died and Rand is now very financially protected from the bigory of Texas) and Rand is finally able to admit the attraction he’s had for Stefan for years.
This floors Stefan, but he admits his own attraction to the hunky cowboy.
The only problem is that Stefan doesn’t see himself as a one-man guy and definitely not a guy who lives on a ranch in Texas.
After a lot of super hot sex and some misunderstandings and a gun fight (!) the two manage to come together in a very HEA.
I love Mary Calmes’ alpha males and Rand is oh so Alpha! The sex between him and Stefan is super hot and then the love that gets declared super romantic.
We begin to understand more about Rand’s family here in this, book one, and this lays the groundwork for what we learn in book two, After the Sunset.
5 of 5 stars
Sean Crisden has done many Mary Calmes books and he does a great job here. I loved his southern twang and his deep rumbly version of Rand. Though the female characters are never the strong-suit of male narrators, Sean does a great job with Rand’s mother as a southern belle with a spine of steel.
I highly recommend this book and the audio version and give both a 5 of 5 stars.
Yes, I know Mary Calmes' work is unrealistic and sometimes everything fits a little too perfectly. But that's exactly what I want out of this type of novel. It just makes me happy to read or listen to her work. Sean Crisden has developed great voices for the characters. I love the low baritone voice for our rancher. He really knows what his audience wants to hear. He uses close to the same voices in his other novels, but the voices work so I really don't mind. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Sean Crisden. He does an incredible job with Mary Calmes' books.
Any scenes with Rand and Stefan.
Very good book, and an even better narration.
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