When the Dust Settles (Lily G’s Review)

Title: When the Dust Settles (Timing #3)
Author: Mary Calmes and Sean Crisden (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 12th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 3 hrs and 12 mins
Reviewed by:Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

This is a relatively short and somewhat under-developed story that tells Glenn’s story and how he hooks up with Mac. It’s another enemies-to-lovers story that once the passion takes hold it is quick and immediate—very much like the beginning of Rand and Stefan’s relationship.

We find out a little more about Glenn Holloway, Rand’s cousin/half-brother. Since leaving ranch life, he has a built up a successful restaurant business. He has his own self-made family with his co-workers since he thinks he is no longer part of the ranching family life. He believes (quite wrongly as it happens)  that they all think he is stupid, and thus comes across as negative and full of anger. Glenn is lonely and longs to have what Stef and Rand share.  Luckily for Glenn, superstar Stefan is still trying to bring the family together.  He wants Glenn and Rand and Zach (Glenn’s brother) to forget the past and re-unite as a family. So when Rand calls in Glenn to help move some cattle he does so to repay a favour he owes Stef. But Glenn makes it clear he’s not happy about being on the ranch again, especially when he finds out Mac, the ranch’s sexy foreman, will be helping out as well. Despite being out of the loop for some time Glenn is left to guide the calves across a river on his own and in the process is injured.

Mac is secretly gay and comes across as the alpha male. There’s been conflict between the two of them for years even though Glenn and Mac have secretly pined for each other. They spend much of the story snapping at each other until Glenn is injured and all of a sudden Mac cares for him and lets him know he is gay and attracted to him.  It’s all very quick without much conversation or build up between them. They make out in Mac’s tent and from then on it’s all resolved between them rapidly. Yet it’s believable (and hot of course) as it usually is in Mary Calmes’s relationships.

There’s an unexpected turn of events at the end which adds some suspense and excitement. And although it’s Glenn’s story we get a glimpse into Stefan and Rand’s ranch life in part of the story.

So yes, I enjoyed the story, but would have liked more time for Glenn and Mac on their own and more conversations to develop their connection and relationship.

I’m glad Sean Crisden narrated all three books in the series to maintain consistency with character voices. I especially loved Rand’s and Mac’s sexy gruff and commanding voices, but the others were distinctive and matched the characters well. Sean’s pace and emotional portrayal are always spot on and his performance is excellent throughout the series.

Timing Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Audio copy of When the Dust Settles 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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