All Kinds of Tied Down (Lily G’s Review)

Title: All Kinds of Tied Down (Marshals #1)
Author: Mary Calmes  Narrator: Tristan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 24th September, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary
Length: 9 hours and 1 min
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3  stars out of 5

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they’ve gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back…faith and something more.

As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn’t working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home – and no one to come home to – is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn’t work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn’t being tied down at all.

The series overall:

What I particularly enjoyed across the series was Miro and Ian’s relationship development, their banter, the hot sex scenes, and the love that blossoms between them. I also liked the overall story arc involving Craig Hartley, the serial killer who becomes obsessed with Miro and the suspense connected to this. Chickie Baby, Ian’s massive dog, provides some light relief as well as being important in each of the stories.

On the whole the writing is good and entertaining with well-developed main characters, although some dialogue and certain superfluous scenes and characters could have been pared down. I didn’t like the four interfering and domineering female friends of Miro so much. The wide range of characters and cases became a little confusing and OTT at times and often didn’t seem to have a relevance. This was especially so in Book 3. Avid fans of Mary Calmes will love it.

I’m thrilled that Tristan James narrated all three books as I dislike a change of narrator mid-way through a series. His voice is sexy and husky—perfect for this story, his intonation and pace add interest to the storytelling and dialogue, and his distinction between characters, especially Miro and Ian is subtle but clear. And Craig Hartley’s voice is just creepy. Great job! 5* for his performance throughout the series.

All Kinds of Tied Down:

The romance is a slowburn. It took half the story, but there’s a great build up as Miro and Ian move from best friends and partners at work to lovers when they finally realize what they feel about each other and admit it. It’s clear to us Ian isn’t ‘straight’ by his desire to spend time with Miro rather than his girlfriend and the looks and concern he shows for his partner. These guys have sizzling chemistry and a delicious intensity from the word go. Their first, almost public, make-out scene was a surprise and unexpected. I like how Miro became the leading man in the bedroom and Ian hands over control to him, yet remains protective of Miro at other times. The second half is filled with smoking hot scenes.

I enjoyed most of the exciting action scenes involving criminals and witnesses, especially those towards the end, although some seemed superfluous. Miro fearlessly dives right in and Ian is the ideal guy to have by his side. The fact that Ian is called away on secret missions is an important element to the series and ultimately their relationship, but I missed him almost as much as Miro did!

These two well-developed and strong characters have now become a firm favourite of mine. I also liked how Sam Kage and Jory from the Matter of Time series featured in this story. Two other secondary characters, Drake and Cabot, are also cute together and the way Miro and Ian protect them is uplifting.

Marshals Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Audio copy of All Kinds of Tied Down provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men's feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing! Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.