Title: Timing (Timing #1)
Author: Mary Calmes Narrator: Sean Crisden
Publisher: Hudson Audio Publishing
Release Date: 06-07-10
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 5 hours and 41 minutes
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
I have mixed feelings about this story. For some reason, I’d already listened to After the Sunset (#2) and liked the dynamics between Stefan and Rand, so I was keen to find out how their story began. This first story in the series is a sort of enemies-to-lovers romance as Stefan had been in conflict with his best friend’s brother for ten years, despite them being attracted to each other all that time. The timing for them is now right and Rand and Stefan hit it off quite fantastically. The sex scenes are smoking hot and fabulously written. Rand comes across as the alpha male ranch owner, who is now smitten by Stefan, and doesn’t care who knows and he doesn’t hide his feelings. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the romance.
Stefan is portrayed as the superstar who bowls over men and women alike. He is beautiful and charming and sexy. Not only is he attending his best friend’s wedding, but he is also in Texas to work out a deal for a sale of another ranch and this plot point causes suspense and action later in the story. Yes, it’s OTT and unbelievable, but it adds fun and excitement.
What I wasn’t too keen on were all the wedding preparations and distractions connected to it, especially Stefan’s relationship with Charlotte, his BFF. In fact her scenes started to annoy me. She comes across as too clingy and dependent on Stefan. I felt sorry for her fiancé/husband as she seems to prefer Stefan over Ben and keeps secrets from him. Having said that, the host of secondary characters and their plots are well developed and fans of Mary Calmes’s storytelling will love this.
Sean Crisden’s superb performance (5*) and Stefan and Rand’s relationship made the story enjoyable for me. I always enjoy Sean’s range of characterizations and the gruff, sexy voice he gave to Rand was super hot—perfect for his possessive and commanding persona. Sean’s narration brought the story to life and I could picture each scene and character.