Title: A Matter of Time (A Matter of Time #4)
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (253 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Summary Review: A series that failed to live up to its potential on many levels but did have some memorable characters and Kodak moments.
Jory Harcourt is back in trouble. An old threat has shown up, and soon Jory is running from a madman who’ll do anything to see him dead. When Jory is kidnapped it soon becomes clear he is up against something bigger than he ever imagined. Sam Kage, the police detective he loves, is caught in the crossfire, and ends up fighting for his life in a hospital bed. Jory springs into action, and goes on the defensive to catch a serial killer. The trail leads from his home in Chicago to Dallas and back. More resourceful than anyone imagined, Jory cracks the case, or does he? And can his love affair with Sam withstand the pressure?
A Matter of Time Series
I gave a lot of thought to how I would write this review because I know that this series means a great deal to many readers who love Jory, the principal character. I must admit that I, too, fell in love with both Jory and Sam his police officer boyfriend, throughout the course of these almost 750 pages of this series, but it would be remiss of me if I let that blind me, as a reviewer, to the major flaws in Book IV and the series as a whole.
I’ll start with the positives. Jory is sweet, always sees the best in everyone, and he can’t do enough for his friends which is why he got into trouble in the first place in Book I and ended up witnessing a murder. Sam is three dimensional and I think that his character is the more realistic and complex of the two protagonists because he, at least, had a few flaws in the earlier books. Jory, on the other hand, is perfect – he can run his design business with one hand tied behind his back while he is running down leads that the police missed, and they can only watch in amazement.
In Book IV, Sam is back after being away for 3 years hunting down the criminals who were after Jory in Book III, while at the same time trying to resolve his personal issues and career options. He is now living openly as a gay man with Jory and he doesn’t seem to care any more about what being ‘out’ will do to his career. Everyone on the force knows about their relationship and that seems to be going in a positive direction. Then, as usual, the story takes some strange turns, and our hero Jory becomes chief investigator in a series of murders and blows everyone out of the water, including the FBI and local law enforcement, solving the crimes all by himself, because he’s just so smart. How cool is that? It doesn’t seem to matter that he has no training in forensics or police procedure. Most of the book is so exhausting as I lived through Jory’s exploits that I wondered if I were reading a fantasy. As an example, when Sam is critically injured and in hospital Jory is put under protective custody, but somehow he manages to elude all of the law enforcement officers guarding him and goes back to the scene of a major crime without being challenged. All the officers and Dane, his brother, can do is call him on his cell and demand that he come back, which instruction he ignores of course. He escapes from police custody not once, not twice, but at least 6 times. Are all the police officers and FBI agents in this book idiots?
Of course everyone is still beautiful in Book IV and all the random men that Jory met on his travels would make your eyeballs bleed, they were so hot – even the guys on meth who worked for a major drug kingpin, murderer and pimp by the name of Rego, were gorgeous with no rotten teeth. It goes without saying that Rego fell for Jory too and let him go just because Jory promised to return, when he could have restrained him and raped him and made him one of his whores. There is so much hurt/comfort in this book I wonder how Jory lived to tell the tale, after being kidnapped several times, threatened within an inch of his life, and shot at. I was convinced that he was superhuman, otherwise how could he have survived the many attempts on his life? He escaped from police custody every single time he was restrained, and he even escaped from a jail cell merely by outwitting or bribing every law enforcement officer.
This is only a small taste of what I found so incredible about this story and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In case you think that Sam doesn’t have a key role in this book you’re right. He is now Jory’s sidekick and he’s relegated to dialogue like this –
“I’m never gonna let you out of my sight again”
“You’re my whole life”
“It’s not home if you’re not in it”
“You scared the hell out of me again”
I kept wondering, whatever happened to Sam, the tough police officer? He seemed to have disappeared after his car blew up and he ended up in hospital for 2 weeks, while Jory was on the run trying to catch the bad guys as he discovers more dead bodies. In case you think I’m revealing spoilers, nothing in what I have written could be considered a spoiler because the best (or worst) was yet to come, when Jory blew the case wide open and tied it with a bow for the FBI.
What is it about this author and weddings? We’re treated to yet another grand wedding although not on the scale of Dane’s and Aja’s extravaganza, which for me was in pretty bad taste because it was so over the top, but I guess if you had Dane’s money why not have the wedding of the century? You will have to read the book to find out why my reactions were not exactly positive about the latest wedding, I’ll just say that Sam was required to deny that he and Jory were a couple and go back in the closet in order to satisfy the bride’s family, and consequently he had to extricate himself from yet another woman who saw him as the man of her dreams, while Jory was relegated to the sidelines.
On the positive side, Sam’s and Jory’s relationship could not be better after all of their troubles; their love blooms and marriage is in the air. This is the best part of the story and readers will love the evolution of their romance. In case you were wondering, Sam and Jory did get their HEA and it was a fitting end to their love story.
To recap, I really liked Book I, Book II was okay, Book III was a downer and Book IV was not exactly wonderful. Many fans of this series will probably be upset with this review, but without revealing spoilers I can’t say much more about some of the inconsistencies, cardboard characters, a plot that was unbelievable and not in a good way – it had so many holes you could drive several trucks through it, and a story that had soap opera written all over it. Why, you wonder, is the book rated 3.5 stars and not lower? Because there were elements that helped to lift the rating from where I had it originally. My rating is definitely not consistent with those I have seen on a couple of other review blogs which gave this book 5 stars, so as usual I’m bucking the trend. However, you can make up your own mind by reading all the reviews and then deciding whether you want to invest your time and money in this series. My recommendation is buy Book I to see if you can love all the beautiful people in A Matter of Time rather than buying all the books at once, then decide what you want to do. I warn you though, Book I is the best. BTW the phrase “a matter of time” was mentioned at least 10 times in this book, just in case I didn’t “get” why it was the name of the series.
A Matter of Time sure put me through the wringer. At times I thought the writing could have been brilliant if some restraint had been shown with the characterizations and plotting, but alas it was not to be.