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Mostly Cross Posts from my blog, Readings From the Dark Side

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A Matter of Time Book 1 - Mary Calmes

Note: the edition available from Amazon combines Books 1-2 so I'm reviewing both here.

I'll admit to a love hate with these. I could not put the book down, plowing through books 1-3 in little over a day. I really liked the initial set up with Jory as a kind of slut/player with selective ADHD and a habit of making bad choices, and I loved his relationship with his boss, Dane. The relationship with Sam is deliciously hot and angsty and just added to the books' addictive effect. I totally get why people love the books so much, but they also drove me crazy. In a lot of ways the beginning did not live up to its promise--Jory is not really a messed up, dysfunctional guy, or if he is, it's beside the point. The main thrust of the plot is repeated scenes showing how much everyone adores him, how great a friend he is, how many men throw themselves at him because he's so gorgeous, how even Dane who can't love anyone loves him. I like messed up--I do not like perfect. At all. Sam is the most messed up thing about Jory, which makes for compelling reading, but there are still all those "I'm so lovable" scenes to get through. Arguably the effect is not so much saccharine as neurotic, but I really began to yearn for someone, anyone (other than cartoonishly evil people) to just hate Jory for a bit of contrast.
Major Spoiler: My other problem is the ending of Book 2. Frankly, it almost ruined the book for me altogether. It wasn't just that it wasn't the usual HEA, but I felt seriously cheated, like I'd been asked to invest in a character who wasn't who I thought he was. Sam's leaving while Jory was recovering in the hospital after nearly being killed was so incredibly, gratuitously hurtful, it basically made every caring, loving word he'd ever said into a lie. (IN contrast, when something similar happens in Josh Lanyon's Adrien English series, I thought it very sad but consistent with the character in question). This development just left me frustrated and angry. Worse, Sam's actions went way too far for forgiveness in my opinion so I couldn't accept his return in Book 3. Ultimately I had to stop reading.
Despite my problems with this, there is no denying that Mary Calmes is a terrific writer. I highly recommend clearing time in your schedule before you start this series, because you will find it very difficult to put it down once you start. You also might want to get your Xanax scrip refilled first because you're in for some serious emotional turmoil along the way.