By Mary Calmes
Rating: 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.
What did I enjoy most about Timing by author Mary Calmes?
- The humor. Not every author can convey humor as effortlessly and realistically as Calmes does in this book through the characters’ personalities and the storyline itself. It all felt natural.
- The authenticity. The story felt real, and Rand and Stefan had so much history and so many layers.
- The dialogue. Coupled with the humor and authenticity, it was brilliant. Some of Stefan’s verbal responses and reactions, especially to Randy’s unusual/unexpected remarks when he arrived for the wedding week and also when Rand pushed him face first onto the bed, were priceless.
- Casting and character development. In a word? Magnificent. There may have been a lot of characters involved in this story, but at no point did it become overbearing or too hard to follow. Every character was realistic and had a role to play, and Calmes delivered the perfect balance of description, personality, emotions, and actions for each one along the way.
- Clean writing, minimal to no errors, and delivery of the plot and sub-plots in a steady-paced manner, each tied up neatly and thoroughly.
At one point, I pondered whether the pre-wedding story took up too much of the book – I had nearly forgotten about Stefan’s visit with Mrs. Freeman to discuss selling the ranch or the near hit-and-run accident he barely escaped from when out on a run, but about two-thirds of the way through, the story was redirected back to that particular plot line to finish the book. This observation isn’t meant to diminish the significance of the wedding, because it’s through it that we completely get to know Rand and Stefan, as well as to partake in the enjoyment as they transition from an apparent antagonistic and hostile bitterness towards one another to a romantically scintillating love story. I admit I was enraptured by Rand’s and Stefan’s sexy story – they definitely fit together in more ways than one, from their undeniably blazing physical attraction to one another to Rand’s determination to prove to Stefan that he’s his now and forever, these two are not your typical vanilla couple. They have spark, there is history, and there is that “it” between them, that ingredient that can’t be falsified.
Stefan’s obvious vulnerability came as a bit of a surprise to me, as did Rand’s willingness to step outside his routine gruffness and coldness to pursue Stefan, going as far as to seek him out at the reception to make sure their original plans hadn’t changed for the evening. (Stefan: “I’m glad you came to check because I wouldn’t have.”) These two deserve their HEA, and the reader is left satisfied and with a smile. It’s the type of book you’ll want to read again one day. I know I’m planning to pick up the audio version!
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on November 6, 2016.