Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Release Day Review ~ After the Sunset (Timing: Book Two) by Mary Calmes

Release Day Review ~ After the Sunset (Timing: Book Two) by Mary Calmes

Title: After the Sunset
Series: Timing: Book Two
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Category: Western
Pages: 169

Two years after riding off into the sunset with ranch owner Rand Holloway, Stefan Joss has made a tentative peace with his new life, teaching at a community college. But the course of true love never does run smooth. Rand wants him home on the ranch; Stef wants an exit strategy in case Rand ever decides to throw him out. Finally, after recognizing how unfair he’s being, Stef makes a commitment, and Rand is over the moon.
When Stef gets the chance to prove his devotion, he doesn’t hesitate—despite the risk to his health—and Rand takes the opportunity to show everyone that sometimes life’s best surprises come after the sunset.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

This is Book 2 in the Timing series, it's about the same couple from Book 1 so you really need to read this series in the appropriate order.  

After the Sunset is set two years after Timing and we find Rand and Stefan as a well-established couple.  Stefan has had to make some big decisions and put his trust into Rand and accept his love.  He's taken a job at a nearby college so he can be home every night.  He's still the person that almost everyone loves.  Though many in the community have not accepted Rand and Stefan's relationship, Rand and Stefan don't care and have gone about making things better for the town that does accept them.  Rand only needs Stefan in his life to be happy and once Stefan takes his new job, Rand finally accepts that Stefan will be there.  Rand binds their life together by giving Stefan ownership in the ranch, joint checking and savings accounts.  He has pulled Stefan into business decisions which just continues to make their ranch stronger.  But, as we learned in the previous book, Stefan gets himself involved in things that go awry and you wonder how any of this seemed like a good idea at the time.

This story is focused on Rand and Stefan's life together, of them planning their future of their ranch and family, and of each of them taking care of the other no matter what is needed.  And in that spirit, Stefan and half of the ranch hands decide to participate in a rodeo to save the ranch's grazing rights.  And it turns out, in this world, not everyone is charmed by Stefan.  But, Stefan doesn't back down from a challenge.  He is true to himself and his love for Rand and does what is needed, even trying to fix Rand's dysfunctional family issues.  It turns out to be a rough weekend for Stefan and Rand is not happy to discover what happened and swoops in to take care of him and take care of all problems. 

Let me just say this, this is the book you didn't know you needed and you totally do need it in your life!  Plus, there's a third book coming out, that will be about Rand's cousin so make sure you're caught up in the series and ready for that little delicious nugget!  Books end all the time with a HEA, but we don't always get to see the next step in the lives of our beloved characters.  We don't see how they've handled the issues with neighbors who won't accept them being gay and living in their midst.  We don't see the couples work through issues as they come up.  And this book was not only a wonderful bridge for the next book in the series, but it really let us the dynamics of this relationship. 

I highly recommend you check out both books in these series and you'll fall in love with Stefan and Rand just like I have. 

Rating: 5++ stars!

4* Hmm, a case of Stefan being Jory by any other name. Love the world of Mary Calmes, but boy, do I need timeouts when reading, LOL!

This is book 2 in the Timing Series and there's enough mention of events of book 1 that technically this book could be read as a standalone. But, if you're not familiar with this author's writing, it's best to read in order, joking aside. She does write pretty brilliant tales, but she has a unique way of doing so and it's always a case of 'many cooks in the kitchen, working in a weird kind of harmony'.

So, Stefan in this tale turns into even more of a Jory-clone (A Matter Of Time series), one who's loved, lusted after and befriended by strangers who want to talk about how wonderful, talented, pretty and great he is. Believe me, this is no criticism of either Stefan or of the author, as this is her MO, and somehow, it works and she makes her likable characters very likable, and her grouchier characters, i.e. here, Rand, hard guys that you come to love anyway. 

Stefan ends up being in the middle of all, ends up bringing people together, ends up bringing secrets out into the open for the better, ends up enabling a guy to out himself and in between all of this, manages to commit fully to Rand, in every way that Rand - who has a surprisingly big, tender and not-scared-to-vocalise-it heart where Stefan is concerned, needs and wants. Strangely, of the two, though I never doubted either's love for the other, Rand was the more romantic and perhaps neediest character, which warmed me to him.

At the end of this tale, there are hints of book 3 in the series, which is out in Nov16, and it looks to be another decent one, with hopefully more of Stefan and Rand to come.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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