Title: A Day Makes
Author: Mary Calmes, Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Genre(s): Gay Urban Fiction
Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.
But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.
Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.
This is a story about someone who, when offered the job, chooses to be a gangster as a mature, rational and professional decision. I suppose this might happen, certainly it is a credible fiction. However, it should have prepared me more for what was to come. Of course there is the violence associated with the role, but this is largely hinted at rather than being gratuitous. This allows for character development and these guys aren’t so bad, yes they do very nasty things to other people but they are good to their family, so that’s alright then. Character development is rich, as you would expect from this author, and there is clear differentiation between the core characters and those with which they deal. This allows for the aforementioned violence without the need to dwell on it.
The central character is gay, but the reader should not be concerned, as for the first half of the book he is the sole of discretion and his sexuality is not even a variable in his interactions with others; certainly his colleagues are not in the least bothered by it.
The narrator handles the flow of the story well with clear characterization of voices. He handles the eastern European language comfortably. Although it is not possible to judge the accuracy of the accent, it comes over well. Feminine voices are presented as gentle somewhat breathy characters.
About halfway through the story, when things in the story-line get a little problematic on the job front, along comes a task that specifically places him in close proximity with an ideal sexual partner who pushes all his buttons. How this occurs is probably the most bizarre part of the book. The other person comes across initially as someone who has an ‘adolescent’ love-at-first-sight crush on the lead character; but then the author adds tattoos, post-doctoral intelligence, a blasé attitude to murder and an age somewhere in his thirties, so the reader is required to rationalise these aspects. Then of course the lead character is instantly hooked and reeled-in, it’s funny how gangsters are actually so vulnerable; who knew? It is good to know therefore that our gangster would never hurt old ladies, pregnant women or other vulnerable people and is prone to run to their defense.
Never a dull moment, there is always something happening in his hectic life and the reader gets to share in his thoughts and feelings, if not a lot of the action.
Then, of course, there is the happy ending. The story comes full circle and all the bad things are finessed away and all the good in his life are held close. Awww! All that is missing is Dinah Washington.