Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 260 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Mary Calmes is absolutely smashing it with this series, and she has hit another home run with Tied Up in Knots.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Miro Jones is living the life: he’s got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn’t just his partner at work—Ian’s a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it’s casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of.
Work isn’t the same without Ian. Home isn’t the same, either, and Miro’s having to face his fears alone… how to keep it together at the office, how to survive looming threats from the past, and worst of all, how to keep living without Ian’s rock-solid presence at his side. His life is tied up in knots, but what if unknotting them requires something more permanent? What would that mean for him and Ian? Miro’s stuck between two bad choices, and sometimes the only way to get out of the knot is to hold tight to your lifeline and pull.
Review: Ok—my love for Marshals Jones and Doyle is now officially bordering on the ridiculous after this book; I honestly don’t think I could possibly love these guys more. In my review for All Kinds of Tied Down, the first book in the Marshals series, I said, “Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are the sexiest, swooniest, most bad-ass US marshals in the history of forever,” and that is still one hundred percent true. Mary Calmes is absolutely smashing it with this series, and she has hit another home run with Tied Up in Knots.
The book begins with an action packed chase scene, some unforgettable cameos, annnnd Ian off on a mission. Again. This time what was supposed to be a two-week deployment has stretched into over four months, and Miro is clearly nearing the end of his rope with missing his partner. It is painfully obvious throughout the book that Ian’s absences are putting more and more strain on Miro. He’s not sleeping—the running joke is everyone constantly telling him he needs to get some rest—and he’s losing himself more and more every time Ian leaves.
Being a soldier means so much to Ian. It has always been an integral part of who he is, but at what cost? Is it still worth it being away from Miro so much? Whether or not the relationship can survive—or for how long—and truly whether Miro can survive Ian remaining a Green Beret, is the burning question in Tied Up in Knots. I’m not gonna lie…I wanted to smack Ian upside the head several times during this read. I couldn’t blame Miro one bit for being sick of his macho bullshit and stubborn insistence on remaining in the service. Mary Calmes does an excellent job of showing the toll that Ian’s choices are taking on both men—especially Miro.
This line killed me:
“Because the only place you’re not replaceable, where no one else will do, is right here with me. Here, at home—you’re it…”
“My heart ached, and the need for Ian, in that moment, nearly drove me to my knees. I wanted to be held and to lean and to be protected, and it was stupid and needy but I couldn’t help it. I wanted him more than anything.”
Gahhhhhhhhhh. I wanted to just hug Miro SO many times.
Now, to be fair to Ian, though Miro sleeps better when he’s home, his absences aren’t the direct reason for his partner’s restless nights. We can blame Dr. Craig Hartley for that. Miro is still having nightmares about his kidnapping by Hartley—and unfortunately, it looks like the good doctor may not be done haunting Jones. This part of the storyline and this villain are so well-written; every moment Hartley is on page is truly chilling and shudder-inducing.
I was on the edge of my seat through many scenes, in fact—but, I have to talk about something toward the end of the book. There is a scene at eighty-seven percent (Yes, I remember the exact percentage. Don’t judge!) that turned me into a swoony puddle of goo. You guys, I’m telling you, if I wasn’t already so in love with both of these guys, I would have fallen So Hard at this moment. I might have reread this scene five times. Or so.
With very few exceptions, the flow of the story here is fabulous. Calmes has hit all the marks. We get a ton of interaction between Miro and his chosen family, i.e., ‘the girls’. I love everything about Aruna, Min, Janet, and Catherine, and their love for Miro and protectiveness over him remains adorable. Ian and Miro’s fellow marshals were completely fantastic in every facet of the story. Truthfully, I love all of the messages that are threaded throughout the book about what it means to be a team or a unit, and how important it is to have your team members’ backs. There is a hilarious amount of hero worship from the WITSEC boys—Cabot and Drake, and the newly processed Josue—that brought some great comic relief. And, finally, there is plenty of Sam Kage. *hearty eyes*
So, yep… LOVED it. Go read it! I’m gonna go read it again!
You can buy Tied Up in Knots here: