Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/15/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: M/M Romance
Hutch Crowley is well-liked in the small resort town of Mangrove—he’s got friends in his new neighbors, he’s the owner of the town grocery, and he’s building a community center—but he’s still unlucky at love. Every man he’s attracted to is either taken or simply not interested, including his best friend, Mike Rojas.
When Mike came to Mangrove two years ago, Hutch gave him a job and a place to stay in his guesthouse, where Mike has remained ever since. Despite the rumors circulating about them, Hutch knows Mike is straight and looking for the right woman. But his friends disagree, and after some hints to the contrary, even Hutch finally has to admit that maybe the rest of the town sees something he’s been missing. If Hutch wants to spend each sultry sunset with the man of his dreams, it might be time to figure out what’s going on with his best friend’s heart.
Fair warning, I love Mary Calmes. I enjoy all her books and only once do I remember reading one and not liking it. She’s a go to author for me, an auto-buy, and I never regret it.
Sultry Sunset was another greatly enjoyable short, though not without some issues.
Let’s start with the good. I loved Hutch Crowley immediately. We first see him interacting with a teenage girl named Ivy, his new neighbor. Ivy is home alone because of a misunderstanding and is locked out of her house. Hutch calms her down and helps her out, careful not to be seen as a total creeper.
It is during this time we are introduced to Hutch’s best friend, Mike. Their friendship stretches back several years and it is obvious Hutch has feeling for his straight friend.
I liked Ivy’s father, Ession, when he was introduced and his friendship with Hutch was interesting. I hadn’t read the blurb so I wasn’t sure who the main couple was going to be. For a minute I thought it was going to be Ession and Hutch, then Hutch’s feelings for Mike became so obvious to everyone I knew Mike wasn’t going to be so straight after all.
That is one complaint I have with Sultry Sunset is that a good part of the story is introducing other characters in the town, characters who are obviously going to be featured in future stories. I’m fine with that, but it could’ve been done more seamlessly without it taking up quite so much time.
Another issue I had is that Hutch and Mike aren’t together most of the story. Their friendship all took place off page in the past. That being said, it was still obvious how much Hutch cared for Mike and vice versa.
And when they finally got together—WOOHOO—was it hot and sexy. If you had any doubt they belonged together, their lovemaking should’ve erased all doubt.
I enjoy Mary Calmes because I know what I’m getting when I read one of her books. There isn’t going to be major angst and the banter between her characters is always fun.
Of the three Mangrove stories, I still like Quiet Nights the best but this one was pleasurable. A good read for all fans of Mary Calmes. You don’t have to read the Mangrove stories in order to enjoy them, but I would recommend either of the first two before this one.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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