Title: A Matter of Time (Matter of Time #1)
Author: Mary Calmes
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (191 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Jory Keyes spends his time drinking and cruising gay bars picking up one night stands. Then suddenly he becomes the only witness to a brutal murder. Although the killer vows to silence him, Jory refuses to go into witness protection. This puts him into conflict with Sam Kage, a very straight and very hot police detective. When passion flares between the two men, Sam is astonished. Is he really gay? And if so, what will this mean to his career, and his life? As the danger threatening Jory increases, Sam senses that nothing is as it seems, and wonders who is really after his newfound and forbidden love?
What you need to know before you read this story is that it’s the first book of four in the series so there is no HEA in book I. A Matter of Time book I might frustrate you because there are many characters and a lot going on in terms of Sam’s family and Jory’s friends, and you have to be willing to invest in the entire series. You will love these books if you don’t have a problem with a protagonist who is flighty, is easily distracted and loses focus frequently, has had many one night stands before he and Sam hooked up, and sometimes there are so many characters whenever Jory is around, your head will spin. Despite all of this he will grow on you in this first person account of his very strange and complex life. If there is one word I would use to describe this novel and the main protagonist Jory, it would be ‘quirky’, but it’s Jory’s vulnerability that will make you fall in love with him.
A Matter of Time starts out innocently enough. Jory was only supposed to pick up his friend Anna’s dog from her ex’s apartment but he stumbled into a police sting and became the witness to a murder. What follows is his affair with straight police detective, Sam Kage, who was one of the officers involved in the sting at the scene of the crime. Sam was assigned by the Chief to protect Jory and keep him alive so that he could testify against the killer.
At 22 Jory has lived a very full life starting with his childhood. His father was unknown and his mother dumped him at 3 months old on his grandmother who brought him up, and when she died he went into foster care. He managed to get his current job at 17 at Harcourt, Brown and Cogan, a prestigious architectural firm in typical Jory fashion. Now established as personal assistant to the main architect Dane Harcourt for 5 years, one of his primary responsibilities was to keep fawning women away from Dane who apparently was so great looking, rich and charismatic that every woman wanted to either bed him or marry him. Part of the story is about how Jory and Dane develop a wonderful friendship after being employer/employee for so long, and this relationship is one of the funnier elements of the story. Just when I thought that Dane was a cold fish he had to change into someone who was actually human and cared about Jory!
The other man in Jory’s life, Detective Sam Kage, is an alpha personality like Dane, and there’s a constant tug of war and competition between them for Jory’s attention. Sam is overbearing and overprotective and is constantly mad at Jory because he wouldn’t take the simplest precautions to protect himself. But when Jory is shot at and injured he’s forced to stay with Sam and their relationship blossoms among the death threats and various people in both their lives.
What I liked about the book
>It’s exciting and different from a lot of books I have read lately.
>Jory whose his life always seemed to be on a roller coaster, between all the men after him for sex, as well as trying to stay ahead of the killers who are out for his blood.
>The dialogue and prose were very funny. The author definitely has a weird sense of humour – one example, in the middle of being interrogated by Sam Jory started questioning him about what the type of gun he ‘carried’.
>The action sequences which were hilarious at times.
>The fact that both Dane and Sam were foils for Joey’s character and provided a different dynamic to the story.
>Some of the supporting characters, especially Sam’s mother.
What didn’t I like about the book
>There were so many characters and sub plots it’s pretty easy to become confused. However, I suppose since it’s the first book in the series that’s understandable.
>There is too much information about the minor characters in the architectural firm where Jory worked, in my opinion, especially in the beginning.
>The pitiful excuses for women who were after Dane, Jory’s boss.
>There were many spelling and grammatical errors.
>I thought there could have been tighter editing as some of the scenes went on too long IMO.
This series was originally written as one story but it was over 230K words, according to the author’s website, (750 printed pages) which would have been difficult to publish I suppose, so it became a series. What you will like about the books is that the pacing is sometimes at breakneck speed, the characters are well drawn and I think you will become so engrossed in Jory’s insane life that you will want to find out what happened to him and Sam over the period of the four books. I have started reading the next book in the series where the author peels back the layers of the relationship between Sam and Jory and provides many new thrills. Whether they will end up together has not yet been decided because Sam is so conflicted about his feelings and ‘the gay thing’. However, I’m sure that Mary Calmes would not write 750 pages without an HEA.:)
I had a few difficulties with Sam’s characterization because it seemed too easy for him to have sex with Jory. He had been straight all his life and all of a sudden he had these urges when he met gorgeous Jory who leads him into a dark and enticing side of sex – gay sex. He’s conflicted but he can’t resist Jory, and he lets his dick call the tune as they have sex many, many times. When he does have sober second thoughts about marriage, kids and the white picket fence he has to decide if his feelings for Jory are enough, or if his career and plans for his future will outweigh what Jory has to offer.
This series will definitely keep you on your toes and the characters are very complex. Jory is sweet and likable and loves to cook and will do anything for his friends, which gets him into trouble, but he has had a tough life so he is no pushover. Sam on the other hand is a typical Alpha character with definite ideas about what he wants, and only when he’s with Jory do other elements of his character such as tenderness, emerge. In some ways Sam reminds me of Jake Riordan in the Adrien English series as they have a few characteristics in common, and he has to battle his personal demons just like Jake before he can commit to Jory. Then there’s Dane, Man of Mystery, who I assume will be unveiled as the series continues.
My recommendation is that you should try to read the books as close to each other as possible if you do decide to get the series. Book II starts the day after the first book ends so there’s a feeling of continuity after the first book. I will try to have a review of A Matter of Time Book II within a week.