By Mary Calmes
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.
Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.
I enjoyed this book, even though it read a bit differently than Rand’s and Stefan’s story. I chalked it up to the different characters and their story to tell. That said, learning about Glenn and his back story, and then discovering how Mac fits in and how he has been nurturing a flame for Glenn was satisfying, and author Mary Calmes did a spectacular job relating the heat, hot and heavy chemistry, possessiveness, and intensity between these two. When these two finally succumb – yes, so worth it! The twist with Stefan and Wyatt towards the end was creative, and likely one of the strongest story-linked scenes was the conversation that took place and Glenn overheard when he was semi-unconscious while Rand was treating his (Glenn’s) injury on the round-up. Getting this glimpse at Rand’s more emotional side, one that has been kept well-hidden all along but isn’t completely unexpected considering his affections towards Stefan and their son, was well-played.
When the Dust Settles is a fast, quick-paced short read (novella), but Calmes thoroughly delivers a satisfying hot and heavy romance between two tough-as-nails alphas in Glenn and Mac. Anxious to read whatever story comes next in the series.