A Matter of Time (Matter of Time #1)

Title: A Matter of Time (Matter of Time #1)
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (191 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 THE BLURB

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?
 

A Matter of Time Series

THE REVIEW

 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’. 🙂
Jory’s vulnerability
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.

Author

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

23 comments

  • I’ve read the entire series, and while I think the story is great and the development of the plot and characters really captured me emotionally, the editing was so poor that I became more and more frustrated by the last book. It got so bad that I wanted to print out the pages and attack them with my red pen! Just to name a few of my issues: there were grammar problems, inconsistencies within the same scene, and descriptive paragraphs thrown in places that would have been better placed elsewhere. It really frustrates me when great stories lack a good editor.

    • Michelle
      Thanks for commenting.

      I, too, had problems with the editing as I mentioned in the review. It’s too bad because if what you say is what I have to look forward to in the rest of the series that would make it tough to read the rest of the 750 pages. I didn’t come down too hard on the editing in this book other than that one comment because this is, I believe, a new publisher and perhaps good editors are hard to find.

      On the other hand I quite liked book 1.

  • I always hesitate to speak poorly of books that I know are much loved by others, but when comparisons to Josh Lanyon were mentioned I just had to say something. I enjoyed the first book in this series enough that I bought the next three all at once (I was going on a trip). And I was really sorry I did. In my opinion, they become progressively worse as the series goes on. They are poorly written and Jory’s behavior just gets more ridiculous. He’s all temper tantrums and recklessness. He’s not even likable by the end. And I didn’t see anything of Jake – who I like – in Sam. Jory & Sam had a spolied child/scolding parent sort of vibe. I didn’t like Sam’s need to control & be in charge, but Jory would drive anyone crazy! This is so NOT like anything Josh Lanyon writes.

    • I have to agree with JW. This series is nothing like AE. I loved the 1st book and maybe the 2nd too, to a lesser extent.

      The 1st was really exciting esp. when I wasn’t sure where it was going and who Jory would end up with, Sam or Dane, both were hot (& straight). Jory was fun and engaging and the book was such a fun ride, I couldn’t wait for book 2 which I bought right away. It would have been a great story if the author had ended it at book 2. But she didn’t. 🙁

      I think I’ll wait for the review of book 2 before I comment on it. (I actually have ALL of Mary Calmes books, however disappointed I’d get, I’d still get the next one 🙂 )

      • Hi Salina
        I really hope that book 2 proves to be good. For me to invest as much time as I will be in this series I at least hope to come out on the positive side when the series is completed.

        Next week (or earlier) I will post my review of book 2.

    • Hi JW

      I thought that Sam’s characteristics in book 1 were similar to Jake’s in AE because they had similar traits. Both were police detectives, dominant alpha personalities, each had a strong need to protect his lover, they were both closeted, they both had dreams of the white picket fence and marriage/children, each had a lover who took risks with his life which activated the protective instinct, etc.

      With regard to the other books in the series, I haven’t read them as yet so I will withhold my opinion until I do. I promise that I will give my honest opinion and not be swayed by others.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Hi Lady M
    I hope you enjoy the books. Please remember I have only reviewed the first one so far and know nothing about the rest. 🙂

  • Oh, thank god, I was looking for something good AND long to read for days! This sounds great and similarities with AE are a plus in my book. Thank you!

  • Aliens
    Just the thought that a book is over 300 pages makes me break out in hives. It took me 9 months to open Cut and Run becuse it was about 375 pages. I would never have attempted this series if it was one book. 🙂 You and Ingrid are crazy.

  • I wanted to get the series for awhile but read somewhere that it was too much like Adrien English. Knowing that your of fan of AE and that you enjoyed this one I will get them for sure.
    I agree with Ingrid, I wouldn’t have minded the 750 pages in one book.

  • I loved this series but wish it had been combined into at least no more than 2 stories – it woulda worked! This series and “Change of Heart” is the standard that I now have for this author and “Timing” came very close but “The Guardian”, no.

    Alexi, I think you’d still like these. I’ve read Adrien English and the genre is similar but to me there were enough other differences (huge!) that I wasn’t disappointed.

    • Sherri
      I’m so glad that you recommend the entire series. So far I like it but mainly because of Jory’s character although the inscrutable Dane is running a close second. The jury is out about Sam until I finish book 2 and see how he behaves. 🙂 I have all 4 books so I’ll read them sequentially; this way it won’t matter to me if they are 2 books or 4.

    • Thanks, Sherri. I still think I’ll wait though, and see if Sam’s asshattery is as overwhelming as Jake’s before I take the risk.

  • I had avoided these books so far (although I love long books, and especially love series which are already finished, leaving me with no cliff-hangers) because the plots and characters seemed dangerously similar to the Adrian English novels.

    You do mention the similarity here, but it doesn’t seem to have detracted from your enjoyment at all, Wave. Would you recommend this series to Josh Lanyon’s number one fan?

    • Alexi
      I have only finished book I and just started the second one but so far I’m really liking the series. There is no doubt that Sam’s character reminds me of Jake – there are a few things I can’t talk about because they would be spoilers, but the similarities are there. However, I think that Dane is going to become a very important character in the series too (not a love interest, at least I don’t think so) and I really like his character. I’ll have a better sense of the series after the end of book 2 so I’ll answer your question then.

      I think thelastaerie (Eve) will challenge you about who is Josh’s No. 1 fan. BTW my favourite in the AE series has always been Jake – sorry 🙂

      • I think I’ll wait then, and get your opinion after the next one. I did read all the books in the AE series, but I only managed it because of Josh Lanyon’s exquisite writing and characterisation – and unlike you, Jake was NOT my favourite character. Frankly at times I hated him, and if the books hadn’t been by JL I’d probably have given up.

        So to hear that there’s a Jake-a-like in these books doesn’t really encourage me that much, especially as (much as I like some of Mary Calmes’ books) the writer isn’t really as talented.

  • This sounds like gfy and I love that genre. Combined with a mystery it sounds like a winner.
    I would not have mind publishing the series in one book 🙂

    • Ingrid
      You’re the only person I know who loves extra long books. 🙂 750 pages is a bit much for one book – I can barely finish one that’s 200 pages long.

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