Tied Up in Knots (Lily G’s Review)

Title: Tied Up in Knots (Marshals #3)
Author: Mary Calmes  Narrator:  Tristan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 5th, 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level:  3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Marshals: Book Three

Miro Jones is living the life: he’s got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn’t just his partner at work—Ian’s a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it’s casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of.

Work isn’t the same without Ian. Home isn’t the same, either, and Miro’s having to face his fears alone… how to keep it together at the office, how to survive looming threats from the past, and worst of all, how to keep living without Ian’s rock-solid presence at his side. His life is tied up in knots, but what if unknotting them requires something more permanent? What would that mean for him and Ian? Miro’s stuck between two bad choices, and sometimes the only way to get out of the knot is to hold tight to your lifeline and pull.

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.

Tied Up in Knots

With this one, I kept thinking what’s the point of this scene? What is it adding to the story? The first chapter was forty-five minutes long and seemed totally unrelated to the main story at the time. Miro and Ian spend a lot of time apart and Miro is on his own missing him and trying to function without him. And he does so, but only just. As always, I loved their scenes together and their interaction. The four annoying harpies (aka Miro’s female besties) are involved more this time around as well as a host of cameos from other stories and other characters that left me rather overwhelmed.

Fortunately. the story builds to a climax that is exciting and at one point I cried out, “Oh no!”

And some of those scenes I was unsure about actually do have a relevance.

Tristan James’s wonderful narration kept me listening, as did the romance storyline between Miro and Ian. They’re still a favourite m/m couple of mine and I hope we’re treated to another story involving them.

Marshals Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Audio copy of Tied Up in Knots 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.

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