A Matter of Time (A Matter of Time #3)

Title: A Matter of Time (A Matter of Time #3)
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: novel
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary Review: It seems that Jory and Sam are on the ‘outs’ but can they get back together and have a much better relationship? It could happen.

THE BLURB

Three years have passed since Jory Keyes was kidnapped, shot, and left by his lover, Detective Sam Kage. Jory walked through fire and came out the other side stronger. He changed his name to Harcourt and shut the door forever on a past full of pain. Jory now owns his own business, and has a life he enjoys. What he doesn’t have is love. He’s been unable to make that deep connection with another man, the kind of connection he’s only had with Sam.

When a chance encounter brings Sam back into his life, Jory doesn’t know what to do. But for Sam there’s no hesitation. He wants Jory back and this time he wants him for keeps. When Sam is called away to a crime scene in the middle of the night, Jory realizes that his fear has nothing to do with being emotionally vulnerable. Why, he wonders, is he so damned uneasy?

THE REVIEW

At the end of Book II Jory was kidnapped, a rescue attempt went awry, and he took a bullet intended for Sam. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and Sam, broken hearted because Jory was injured trying to save him, decided to go undercover at the request of his Captain, to find out who had put out the contract on Jory’s life and was also behind a major drug syndicate. He knew that  if he didn’t go undercover he would have been under investigation by Internal Affairs and could be charged with interfering with an ongoing investigation because of his relationship with Jory.

Devasted after Sam left, Jory the party boy becomes Jory the cock whore as he sleeps with anything that moves. His life is in such a downward spiral I wondered if he could ever get out from under all of the alcohol and one night stands that had become standard fare for him. During the three years Sam was away he also had a relationship with businessman Aaron Sutter, which lasted 18 months. However before and after Aaron his personal life was a mess as he went from one nameless, faceless man to another for one night stands. He was on a self destructive path in his personal life, but on the other hand his business was thriving, so at least something was working for him.

The author for some unknown reason uses almost 10% of the book on Dane’s wedding. We are treated to scene after scene of the groomsmen being drunk from the various bachelor parties, the bride-to-be and Jory haranguing them to be on time for the wedding, and the piece de resistance, the elaborate wedding, another time waster. For me there didn’t appear to be any purpose to all of this because none of these people would be heard from again other than Dane and perhaps his new wife, so I had no idea why the wedding could not have been dealt with in a few pages rather than the elaborate soap opera it became.

Sam emerged from his undercover assignment after laying low for about a year after it ended, and his objective was to have Jory back in his life. At the same time, Aaron, Jory’s ex boyfriend returned from abroad and decided that he had given Jory enough time to have his fun, so these two men were jockeying in the ‘Jory stakes’ to be the man in his life. Jory didn’t know who he wanted – in the red corner was Aaron who wished to change him to be his creation and showpiece and in the black corner was Sam who just wanted his heart. He cared about Sam but they had the same issues as before, and at times the angst and indecision between him and Sam was silly because with Jory everything was a big drama.

As you can tell from my comments, Book III was a huge disappointment to me – there were so many wasted opportunities to focus the story on Sam and Jory, the protagonists. Instead, much of the book went off on a tangent and centred on minor characters in whom I had no interest, as well as a lavish wedding that was irrelevant, IMO. The same spelling and editorial errors that were evident in A Matter of Time Book II continued in Book III, which I expected because the series was written as one story.The prose was just as over the top and here’s one example –

I loved her hair, long and curly, the colour of copper, red and gold at the same time, completely wild and her freckled skin and smiling rosebud mouth. when she took the lacquered chopsticks out of her purse and put up her tresses, pieces tumbled out, stray curls falling down the back of her long neck and forward into her lovely pale blue eyes. Rick reached out and twisted a piece around her ear. He was drowning in her after only moments. ….The long lashes looked like they had been dipped in gold

The one character that I really cared for in A Matter of Time Book III was Sam who showed time and again how much he loved Jory. Unfortunately, like in the previous book, Book III went off track several times with  the number of new characters, as well as Jory’s indecisiveness about whether he wanted Sam back in his life.

I really wanted to like Book III which I thought would be pivotal to peeling back the layers of the relationship between Sam and Jory and set the stage for the big finish. In my opinion this didn’t happen. It was as if the author had lost her way and decided to introduce a whole bunch of new characters, and had Jory playing matchmaker to some of them while his own romance was pushed aside.

I have no idea where Book IV will take me because I haven’t started it but I’m very afraid that this series may just fizzle. I hope not, but it seems headed that way. Book IV has to make a huge leap for me to give this series the thumbs up. I know that my opinion about these books differs quite a bit from others that I have seen recently, and the series has many fans, however I can only tell you how I feel about it so far and you know what they say about opinions, …….. everyone has one. 🙂 My advice is to check out other reviews before you make up your mind about this series.

A Matter of Time Book III is not a standalone book and should be read as part of the series.

A Matter of Time Series

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

16 comments

  • I have to honestly say I loved this series and would highly recommend it. I’ve read and reread it several times now. I understand the publisher may have suggested to the author that it be published in four parts because it was too long as one book. I purchased and read all 4 parts at once. My only suggestion to the author and publisher is to hire a really good editor. Otherwise, I honestly hope your review does not dissuade others from reading the series as it is truly wonderful IMO.

    • Hi Ellie
      I know that this series has many fans and I was quite looking forward to reviewing it when someone recommended it to me. I loved the first book and Book II was OK, but Book III, not so much. Sometimes things just don’t work the way you hope. For me Book III had a lot wrong with it, starting with almost 10% spent on a wedding. I felt that this time could have been spent moving the main story along – but that’s just me. I also don’t feel that the book improved after the wedding, and I’m almost afraid to open Book IV.

      Being a reviewer is a tough job – sometimes even my favourite authors disappoint me and I have to comment objectively about why I didn’t like a particular book. In this case I’m hoping for the best. No book is perfect but some are less perfect than others.

  • While over all – even with all its problems – I enjoyed this series, Book III was not my favorite. I could live with the time gap, but as a whole…NOTHING happens in this chapter. Okay, there’s the wedding, but as relates to Sam-Jory, not much. Personally, I didn’t mind the wedding part, but that’s just me 🙂

    I also got a bit annoyed with Sam. Well, more with the way he seems to change personality. What I mean is he is pushy with Jory, not giving him options while chasing after him. Then all of a sudden, he says things like “I don’t want to push, it has to be your choice”, then he turns around and doesn’t give choices anymore. It just really jarred me. I’d have to dig out exact examples, but I’m not home right now, so I can’t.

    Book IV, in my opinion, is much better, although spelling and editing is still an issue.

    • Danae
      I thought that the whole wedding was really over the top – almost 10% if the book was spent on a wedding (according to my Kindle) that seemed to me to be totally irrelevant to the main thrust of the story, which was supposed to be the “romance” between Sam and Jory and the investigation into who was behind the contract that was out on Jory.

      I think that Sam was pushing Jory because he realized that there was another man on the scene, Jory’s ex. IDK.

      I’m glad you said that Book IV is better. So far Book III is a huge disappointment.

  • Justacat

    >>But the thing is, I truly don’t think there’s any way to get even close to maximum possible enjoyment from these books reading them, or viewing them, as individual novels. I just don’t think they’re constructed that way, and I don’t think they can be fairly read that way < < I don't know of any other way to review this series except as the way it's packaged - 4 separate books. I understand that publishing a book that was 230K + would not be very marketable but I can't wait until I finish the entire series before I write a review. I would not remember half of what was in the books, especially some of the more forgettable parts of Book III. >>But the thing is, I truly don’t think there’s any way to get even close to maximum possible enjoyment from these books reading them, or viewing them, as individual novels. I just don’t think they’re constructed that way, and I don’t think they can be fairly read that way < < Like most series books, A Matter of Time I, II, II and IV can only be read as part of a series, and I said that in my review of Book I. For example the Soul Mates series which I love, if you read each book individually they won't make sense. However, in this case Book III did not come up to the quality of the other books I had read so far so I had to rate the writing accordingly. When I read and review Book IV I will make my recommendation based on the entire series as well as on that book. So your point about not judging the series by one book is something I considered before I started the series. Re the Adrien English series, I didn't like one of the books but the writing was just as well done as the others - it was a matter of personal taste. In this case the writing went downhill so I had to rate the book as a separate entity because it was sold as a separate book. I hope that clarifies how I will treat this series once I'm finished with Book IV. Thanks for commenting Jusacat.

    • Hi Wave,
      I totally understand why you are reviewing the books this way – I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough! It was the author’s choice to publish as four books, and separate reviews is one of the natural and inevitable consequences. I wasn’t meaning to be critical of you at all.

      I was more making this point for other readers. From my perspective, the bad review of Book III wouldn’t justify not reading the entire series; or rather, it wouldn’t necessarily ultimately govern whether a reader would like the “series as a whole.” That was the point I wanted to make – that if a reader does read the entire series as a sort of whole novel, the flaws of any individual part don’t have the same sort of impact.

      The flaws of the whole might still, of course, cause someone not to like it! 🙂 Though that wasn’t the case for me, somewhat surprisingly.

      The same is true of all series to a certain extent, I suppose, but much more so in this case, in which the individual books really do feel much less like…well, like individual books.

      • Thanks for explaining Justacat. I know you were not being critical but just suggesting another perspective for other readers. 🙂

        It’s always difficult to rate a series, especially one like this where all the books are immediately available but the reviewer has to write separate reviews. I hope that Book IV is the piece de resistance.

  • This entire series is a bit of an exception for me – all your critiques of the writing, etc., are valid, Jory’s ridiculously perfect (and in fact, many of this author’s first-person protagonists resemble him in this regard, and in the Jory-Sam dynamic; it becomes annoying), and yet…there’s something about it (by “it” I mean the entire four books taken as a whole) I find incredibly appealing, something that draws me back repeatedly – charm, quirkiness, depth of feeling, a certain complexity of emotion even.

    But the thing is, I truly don’t think there’s any way to get even close to maximum possible enjoyment from these books reading them, or viewing them, as individual novels. I just don’t think they’re constructed that way, and I don’t think they can be fairly read that way – by which I mean not so much that it isn’t fair to the author (it was her choice to publish them that way), but that a reader’s not giving herself a fair chance to maximize her own enjoyment, or even to figure out if she likes them, if she doesn’t read them as a whole.

    Which isn’t intended to be a criticism of you in the slightest, Wave; I understand why as a reviewer you would do it this way – it’s just a suggestion for other readers, that the fact that one of the books suffers from major flaws when viewed on its own is sort of like saying that Part 3 of a long novel is inferior to the other parts: it isn’t necessarily significant in shaping your ultimate opinion of the novel as a whole. In this case, looking back I truly can’t remember how I felt about the specific individual books in the series, even though I’ve read it through three times; what I remember is my overall feeling about the series as a whole.

    Contrast this with, say, the Adrien English series: I remember each of those books very clearly; each is part of the series but stands on its own, and while I have an overall feeling about the entire romantic storyline, I still have very different opinions about each book. That doesn’t feel like one novel divided into five parts.

    Wow, I hope that made some sort of sense.

  • Oh, I remember book 3 now. And yeah, there really WAS a lot of irrelevant content, though I recall having the feeling that much of it was meant to show that even though Jory was in a dark place, emotionally, he was still the same guy, underneath it all. I’m not entirely sure that it succeeded, if this is in fact what the purpose was.

    I already mentioned the editing and punctuation issues, in my comments to book 2, so I won’t repeat myself other than to say yeah. Same, here.

    Personally, I would have liked to see the missing block of time in more detail. To actually SEE the things both guys went through while apart. Specifically, I would have been interested in knowing what happened to Sam during that time and how his thought processes worked, as well as seeing how, exactly, Jory managed to become so lost. I think that would have been a better use of pages than the overly-detailed wedding storyline. But that’s just me.

    I still don’t remember, off hand, what happens in book 4. I suppose I’ll have to reread it, since it sounds like you’ll not be posting a review to jog my memory in the next few days. 😛

    For some reason, I think I liked how the series ended, but I can’t swear to it right now. *ponders*

    Ah, well. Maybe the author was trying to diversify the story, since she wrote the entire thing as a single book. I can see how that could happen.

    It’s a long-ass story, after all, and at some point, you sort of go “Wait, it’s been five hundred pages of just Jory and Sam. Let me put some stuff in to keep people from getting bored that will make it more interesting.” Or whatever.

    I think a lot of the issues with this series could have been easily resolved by thorough editing and proofing, as well as a fair bit of trimming. It could have ended up being an AMAZING trilogy, IMO, with those things.

    Even so, for whatever reason, I really do think I liked how the last book went, spelling, punctuation and such aside. *shrugs* I’ll let you know for sure once I reread it. 😛

    ~Tis

    • TCBlue, yes. OMG, how could I have forgotten the horrible, horrible punctuation, spelling, etc. etc. It was distracting and I had to force myself to “just let it go”.

      • Hi Sherry

        I know that this series has many fans but as a reviewer I can’t just overlook the editing and spelling errors. Some sites can because there’s no mention of these errors in other reviews but I have to consider my own integrity.

        I’m holding out hope for Book IV. This book is the only one where I could not go to 4 stars.

    • Tis

      >>Personally, I would have liked to see the missing block of time in more detail. To actually SEE the things both guys went through while apart. Specifically, I would have been interested in knowing what happened to Sam during that time and how his thought processes worked, as well as seeing how, exactly, Jory managed to become so lost.< < I kept wondering what happened to Jory, the quirky, sweet individual that I had come to know who disappeared and became this stranger that I didn't want to know. The book was all over the place and instead of telling the story of the two protagonists and other supporting characters I was faced with what was truly a mish mash. As for Sam there was absolutely no explanation of what he did in the year before he reappeared in Jory's life. Didn't the author think that we deserved an explanation? Maybe this will all be explained in Book IV but it should be have been in Book III. I didn't understand the sequence of many of the events and their importance, but maybe that's just me. I'm trying not to judge this series until I have read Book IV and I hope to post my review by the end of next week, since I have a number of other books that take precedence including one that will be posted on Sunday. 🙂

  • I love the series as a whole; the quirkiness, humor, etc. etc. But I was disappointed in Book III as well. Like you, after all the wedding hoopla and then……huh? Will be interested in your take of Book IV.

  • See, this is what I *thought* might happen, when I read that there was a three year gap in their relationship. You have to be really on the ball to pull such a long interruption off. Ah, well. Thanks for taking the bullet, Wave!

    • I don’t know what Book IV will bring. It might be a vindication for all those fans of the series. I think I must have read a different book going by at least 2 reviews I have seen on this series. In one case I don’t think the reviewer even read the book. I’ll email you a link to the review and you can tell me what you think. Don’t go easy on me – I can take it.

      • Well, I suppose I’m pretty impartial, since I haven’t read the books at all, and probably won’t. Go ahead. But I’m going to bed now, so I’ll get back to you later!

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