Author ~ Mary Calmes
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 16th September 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
Tied Up in Knots is a perfect title for this installment in the series, because from the start of the story Miro is completely tied up in knots with worry and concern over Ian and their relationship. Ian’s two week deployment has become four months and Miro is currently loaned out to the DEA in San Francisco on an assignment that has become a bit of a mess.
Ian and Miro are separated quite a bit in this story and Miro is really struggling with it (I struggled a bit too since I missed seeing them working together). Even when Ian is home, Miro’s enjoyment of having him there is marred by a constant underlying worry over when Ian will be called away again and if the next will be the time he doesn’t come back or the time Miro finally can’t deal with it. He’s not just missing Ian emotionally, it’s actually now taking a physical toll on Miro and everyone around him sees it and doesn’t fail to bring it up.
Miro is still suffering nightmares from being abducted and tortured by Hartley in the prior book. The man’s got himself settled deep in Miro’s psyche and he comes back to haunt him in several ways including the PTSD that keeps him up at night. The turn that storyline takes here is all at once very unsettling, somewhat humorous and possibly final closure (who am I kidding - I doubt he’ll ever fully go away and I don’t think I’d ever really want him to since he’s one of those villains I love to hate).
The focus of this story is really Ian and Miro’s relationship. Miro’s fear of abandonment and growing dependence of having Ian physically there has him considering that he may have to make some very difficult decisions in the future. My heart hurt when Miro finally after an incredibly emotional day and is more honest with Ian about his feelings and fears than he likely ever expected to be.
Since the series is told from Miro’s point of view, Ian has remained a bit of a mystery with little bits of himself being revealed in each book. We know he absolutely adores and is in love with Miro, but more comes out here about his military life and his fears. Miro still wonders if the fact the Ian loves him is enough to conquer Ian’s lingering insecurities about being with a man and whether that love trumps Ian’s need to be a soldier. This comes up throughout the story and I loved every step Ian took here to reassure Miro that he is the one.
As with the prior books there is a lot going on here and you definitely need to read this series from the beginning. There are a number of past and present investigations referred to, some having more impact on the story than others. Characters drop in from prior books and from the author’s other series and there’s even one particular character from outside of the Mary Calmes’ universe who makes a brief appearance that was an unexpected and pleasant surprise, and I’m sure a lot of m/m readers will get a particular kick out of it.
With the intensity of the last book, I was so happy to see this one go down a bit of a different path. Miro and Ian’s relationship continues to grow and Ian, especially, has come so far from the first book. This series is sexy, fast-paced and fun and Mary Calmes never hesitates to throw in a creepy surprise or two. I love the passion between Ian and Miro and their sexual chemistry is searing! That’s one place neither of them is afraid to voice their needs.
Rumor has it that there will be more to come in this series and I would absolutely love to see more of these two as partners on the job and in life. This story and this series has a little bit of everything and I recommend it if you like scorching love stories that are rounded out with plenty of action, humor and suspense.
Meet Mary Calmes
Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into the work. She can even tell you what her characters smell like. She loves buying books and going to conventions to meet her fans.