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A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes

Bottom line up front:
Adrien English, minus the great writing...and with no editing to speak of...mixed in with Twilight-ish gay fantasy elements.

The rest:

After reading Calmes' last book, Change of Heart, and loving it so much, I hit the author's backlist. All she had out was this series from Club Lighthouse Publishing. I think I shoulda just stuck with the book I liked.

The books start out with a stack of plot holes you could drive a bus through. Jory, our intrepid hero, is called in the middle of the night by a very good friend who has just left her husband. She forgot the dog, and asks him to swing by her place to pick it up, since she can't bear to be without the thing. Jory leaves the club in the middle of the night to go over to get the pup, arriving just in time to see a guy get shot. Apparently friend's husband is involved in some sort of organized crime, and Jory busted into the house in the middle of a police sting about to go down. The undercover cops weren't able to get enough evidence to convict friend's hubby on anything other than the murder charge, and Jory is the only witness to the murder. Now Jory's life is on the hit list, and Detective Kage has become his self-appointed bodyguard because Jory refuses to go into protective custody.

1)Throughout the series, Jory never again encounters Anna, the girl who is supposedly so close to Jory that she can call him at 2am to go get a flippin dog. Other than in vague references to what had people shooting at him in the first place, she is never mentioned again. Way to go, plot device o' convenience.

2)The undercover cops busted into the house as soon as they heard gunfire and pulled Jory out. But they don't have any evidence of anything, and need Jory to testify to the murder that happened because he's the only witness, and if Jory doesn't testify, Bad Guy will walk? Yeah, no. The police were ALREADY THERE. This being an age of technology, somebody had to be listening to something going on in the house, so they had to know for a fact that Bad Guy murdered someone. You have a body, the weapon, fingerprints, and a whole pile of DNA, for Chrissake. In what universe would you also need a witness? The police were already on the flippin property, about to bust Bad Guy for something else. There had to be at least 20 witnesses, so the whole premise that Jory is on some mob hit list because he's the only witness to a crime is pure bullshit.

3) Throughout the series, people randomly pop out of vans in the middle of the street to shoot at Jory, or show up at his old houses and mistakenly cut the occupant to bits. Despite this, he refuses to go into protective custody, saying he likes his job. Yet he has no family and very few close friends to speak of, so really nothing to lose by walking away and getting a new identity. And not only does he not go into protective custody...the little club bunny keeps right on dancing the night away pretty much every night in town,picking up random men for one night stands.

Everyone in this series, male and female, is drop dead gorgeous. No ugly people allowed in this world. All the rich, powerful men are either gay or adore Jory anyways. And they tend to steer Jory around by the neck. I never got that, why all the men put their hands on Jory's neck to guide him about the room.

Jory's relationship with his boss, Dane, is creepy at best and incredibly alarming. The guy pretty much tells Jory that he wants to own him, and does some really odd things to make that happen. Jory tries to establish independence, but he's completely overwhelmed and subsumed by the men in his life. If it wasn't Dane, it was Sam telling him where to live and what to do.

Despite all this, there is an energy and something really joyous about Calmes' writing that is utterly charming and captivating. I would like to see this series placed with a great editor who can polish the stories and fix the multiple grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, as well as fixing the style some. The way the author put the conclusion at the beginning of every chapter, then backtracked with the events, drove me bugnuts. With a little work, this series would *glow*.

If you're in the mood for what essentially amounts to Adrien English fanfic, get this series and have a wonderful weekend reading the four stories. Get them here.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. Would it amuse me or make me tear my hair out? I get to start reading for fun next week.
Dec. 17th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Depends. You like reading stories about pretty men who somehow end up surrounded by dead bodies, and who are in love with tough cops who aren't out and therefore try to keep the relationship a secret until everything goes from sugar to shit and pretty boy walks away in frustration?

If so, you'll like this series *g*.
Dec. 17th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
If so, you'll like this series *g*.

I cannot IMAGINE anyone writing anything that crazy. *g* Nor readers enjoying it.
Dec. 17th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Lol, I'm still trying to figure out how this is even a little bit like Adrien English. Club bunny? Haha.

Not every mystery where the love interest is a cop is a rip-off of Adrien. That's a staple of romantic mysteries/suspense/thriller last time I checked. And in gay romance, closeted cops aren't really rare, either.

At any rate, I'm disappointed. I read Change of Heart on your rec, enjoyed it, and was thinking of reading this one over break. Ah well.
Dec. 17th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
There were just so many similarities, other than the deeply closeted cop who didn't want to come out to family and friends...like the dead bodies that popped up whenever Jory was in the neighborhood, fake women in cop's life to throw the family off, guy getting frustrated and tired of being hidden and taking off.

The total suck for me here was the lack of any discernible editing whatsoever throughout the entire series. As the books were purported to be professionally published, the many, many, MANY errors in grammar, spelling, an punctuation, not to mention rookie style mistakes that could have been corrected with the help of a good editor were distressing. I *love* the author's voice. Love it. But she needs help that she's not getting with this publisher. She needs to get her rights back and sell this to LI, or someone who will bring the writing to its full potential.
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
I thought that it was quirky, campy, and fun, kind of like Tremors, one of my favorite movies... even with all its editing faults. I'll definitely be looking for more from MC.
Dec. 19th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I'd definitely read another book. Hopefully the next one gets edited. Either that, or she can quit charging us to read unedited fanfic, lol.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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