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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Parting Shot (A Matter of Time #7) [Duncan & Aaron] by Mary Calmes

~sigh~ BEAUTIFUL, I couldn't have asked for more, mostly because I didn't expect to enjoy this one as much as I did! (or to read it in one sitting!) I was never an "Aaron hater" but I wasn't a real fan fan either.. Books with billionaires are NOT my troupe.. and yet Duncan and Aaron fit in the best way possible. They complete each other. They are both strong men who know what they want and they are not shy about it! Not even about how they enjoy holding hands.

Unlike the previous installments in the series, this installment focuses on a different couple - Aaron and Duncan. We've met Aaron in the 3rd installment, he and Jory used to be in a serious relationship. Jory being Jory they stayed friends even though Aaron seemed to want much more from Jory. While in Phoenix in the 6th installment, Sam and Jory meet up with Duncan a Detective helping Sam on his case. Somehow Jory decides to try and match these two together. We don't get much of what happened with the two after their first night together, but from a phone call between Aaron and Jory - Aaron is more that interested which is something Jory haven't seen or heard of before from Aaron. I WAS curious with how things could work out between these two and so I"m happy I got this sort of "spin off" novel of them, not to mention though I LOVE Jory and Sam, the previous installment was too much family oriented for me so getting a couple - no kids included - was a nice break before the last installment of Jory and Sam in the 8th book (though there IS another short novella after which I'm assuming is the absolute last).


Aaron and Duncan have one thing in common - they are both in the closet and both consider staying there for the rest of their lives.. Duncan (our sole POV) being a detective enjoys his job even if he gets hurt A LOT, he doesn't want to be stuck in place (promotion-wise) due to his sexual orientation. He did have one serious relationship in the past but it ended right when his ex Nate decided enough is enough - he wants to live his life on the open, not hiding away. While Nate wasn't the love of Duncan's life he wasn't willing to give another relationship a go,exactly because he didn't see a way he can offer a true relationship to anyone. But seeing Jory and Sam together hurt, he wanted what they have SO BADLY. He had a horrible childhood, his job his only real solace but now he is craving something more - a partner. A true partner. 

Jory's "bet" about Aaron paid off beautifully, Aaron have been lonely and bored out of his mind from everyone around him. He wanted Jory because he was different, but he also wanted too many things to change for them to work. He wanted someone who would get him, someone who appreciated him and not used him for his money but won't shy away from his lavish gifts as well. Aaron exudes power, and so he seems like someone who needs to control / dominate his partner and yet, he needed that the same way he wanted to be "handled" a bit himself, which was something that made Duncan so compatible with him.  Duncan is rough around the edges, but he too wants sometimes to let everything go and let someone else take care of him. Their duality was a joy to see, especially the way it was forming, for both of them "letting go" was not something they're used to. 

There are a lot of ups and downs in this book, mostly with the amount of action, yet it was balanced with the romance story perfectly. We start with Duncan after a guy who killed a kid (also connected to the drug cartel Sam was hunting) when this case is closed Duncan finds himself not only badly hurt but also alone. It seems being with Duncan is not something Aaron can do while being the public figure he is especially when his father is trying to throw him out of his managing position (due to his sexual orientation..). Yet they meet again when a case Duncan is working on (also drug related) brings him to Max (Aaron's brother) and so instead of getting help from Max, Aaron steps in and they play a little undercover together in a resort for the rich who likes to play with BDSM. While I"m not usually a fan, I liked seeing what happened between the two of them there, though I don't see them in the scene as regulars, it's obvious the whole idea of possession was something that spoke to them and yet they are still equal, their dominance keeps switching from one to the other. 

Aaron is FUN, something I don't think Duncan used to be.. he lightens up Duncan and lavishes on him (though not THAT much), in return, Duncan gives Aaron what he always craved, a true partner, someone who sees past the money and power, who is his equal in everything that matters. He is not afraid of Aaron, well, maybe at the beginning the amount of cameras following him around DOES shake him up ;) but even that is addressed and works out sweetly in the end. 

The work Equal and all the words that mean Strong are here in this review so much because in two words this is how I would describe these two. I loved the way Duncan and Aaron worked especially because they are who they are. In the end everyone wants to be loved, but for both of them, there are very little who can offer what they truly want. 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Though it's a sort of a stand alone novel, I don't think it would be a good idea reading it as such because there are mentions of Jory and Sam and so there could be spoilers.. Also, this series is SUCH a favorite all I can say is - GRAB IT AND READ IT - from the beginning til end.  


Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 264 pages, 14 May 2016 / On GoodReads
 
 
ABOUT THIS SERIES
 
A Matter of Time is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Contemporary MM Romance series by Mary Calmes
Telling us the story of Jory (Keyes) Harcourt & Detective Sam Kage romance story. The relationship buildup goes through the books, don't expect the HEA or even the HFN too soon - these guys have a lot to go before they can sit and watch the sunset together, yet throughout the series they do formalize their relationship and later on adopt two kids. 

The whole series is told from Jory's POV. Jory is one of my absolutely favorite characters, he is a JOY to read. He is funny, and a bit strange, he is very good with little details when it's about people but real life and everything around him? he can totally miss out on. Though he is basically an orphan he acquired a family through his boss - Dane Harcourt. He was the best personal assistant Dane could ask for, but after years working together they come to the conclusion they are much more than a boss and employee and so they part ways work-wise so they can become each other's family. Dane is also a character I absolutely LOVE. 


Detective Sam Kage is a complicated character. His whole life he saw himself as straight but he can't deny the attraction he feels toward Jory. He has a lot of struggles concerning his sexual identity, mostly when it comes to what he expected his life to be and also the fact he is a cop and being one and having a relationship with a man doesn't work that well together. Sam has a very loving and caring family but though they love Jory almost as much as he does, he is more close minded and so it's hard for him to find the path to what he truly wants. But when he finally realizes Jory is "it" for him, he is determined to NEVER let him go and doing all he can to be by his side and protect him (from himself mostly, or rather from his tendency to ALWAYS get into MAJOR trouble). 


Sam is truly the "alpha" in this series, it's usually not something I care for, but though he has his temper, Jory is mostly amused when Sam gets all ruffled up. Jory wants to "submit" to him, but their relationship is still very equal. Even when it comes to taking care of life and death situations they find themselves in. Jory is NOT a "damsel in distress", on the contrary. 


The 7th installment - "Parting Shot" - is different from the others focusing on another couple - Aaron Sutter and Duncan Stiel. We've met Aaron in the 3rd installment, he and Jory were in a rather serious relationship for a year and a half while Sam was away breaking apart the drug cartel who were responsible for Jory's injury in the 2nd installment. While Aaron and Jory stayed friends it was mostly Aaron staying close enough in case he and Sam broke up.. later on he tried replacing Jory with a sort of "duplicate"/"replica" of Jory until Jory makes a strange decision near the ending of the 6th installment to try and "hook him up" with Duncan Stiel a Detective he and Sam meet on their stay in Phoenix. Really enjoyed this one as well, Aaron and Duncan fit in a way I didn't see coming. It was so very different from Sam and Jory and also I loved seeing Aaron in a different lighting or rather seeing who he REALLY is. 


Notes -

  • Originally, the first 4 installments were published on their own, which is why I have separate reviews for them. A while back they were discontinued and instead of them two books were published -  "A Matter of Time Vol.1" containing the first and second installments and "A Matter of Time Vol. 2" containing the third and forth installments. It's basically the same. 
  • Jory and Sam's story is basically told in the first 6 installments. The 8th installment is a free closure novella of Sam and Jory getting re-married. The 7th installment as mentioned above is of a different couple (also mentioned in the 8th installment)
  • The 4 bonus short novellas - "Just Jory", "Ears, Eggs & Bunnies", "Hannah's Big Night" (told from (10 years old) Hannah's POV) and "Another Day With Jory" are free online reads (click links to read). 
  • If you've just finished this series and BUMMED that it's the end, it is and it isn't.. you can catch many glimpses of Sam (and a bit of Jory and the kids) in "Marshals", where Sam is the boss of the two MCs. 

Books:

1. A Matter of Time, #1 (published 1 October 2009) ★★★★★ 
2. A Matter of Time, #2 (published 2 November 2009) ★★★★★ 
3. A Matter of Time, #3 (published 30 November 2009) ★★★★½
4. A Matter of Time, #4 (published 15 December 2009) ★★★★★
5. Bulletproof (published 1 September 2011) ★★★★½
5.5. Just Jory (published 9 October 2012) ★★★★★ 
6. But For You (published 12 October 2012) ★★★★
6.5. Ears, Eggs & Bunnies (published 18 April 2014) ★★★★
7. Parting Shot [Duncan StielAaron Sutter(published 18 July 2013) ★★★★★
8. Piece of Cake (published 12 August 2015) ★★★★
8.5. Hannah's Big Night (published 27 November 2015) ★★
8.6. Another Day With Jory (published 24 December 2016) ★★★
 
 

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