Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Parting Shot
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Tristan James
Series: A Matter of Time #7
Heroes: Duncan Stiel/Aaron Sutter
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: Book – 266 Pages / Audio – 8 hours, 2 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Book – July 19, 2013 / Audio – March 7, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.
Everyone thinks Aaron has it all – looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important – his heart.
Review – Book:
We first meet Duncan Stiel in Acrobat, he’s Nathan Quell’s ex-boyfriend. In Acrobat, Duncan doesn’t want to come out of the closet for Nate, and this (plus some other things) eventually breaks the two apart.
Aaron Sutter is Jory’s (from the Matter of Time Series) in-between man during the 3 years he and Sam are apart. At the time, Aaron wants to make Jory his pet and Jory resists. Now Jory is playing matchmaker and puts Aaron and Duncan together on a dinner date.
From the very first moment the pair meet, they are immediately attracted to each other and hit one another’s buttons in a big way. Duncan is strong enough to push Aaron around but also willing to be pushed around when it’s called for. Aaron wants to lavish Duncan with money and attention but is willing, this time, to allow Duncan his own space and career.
Finally, Duncan has met a man he’s willing to come out of the closet for. Luckily, Aaron has reached a point in his career where he, too, can come out, loud and proud.
It looks like things are going to be hunky dory for our couple when suddenly Duncan is captured by a deranged drug lord while he’s doing undercover work. Aaron thinks Duncan has forgotten him and their fledgling relationship, and Max (Aaron’s brother) muddies the water even further by encouraging Duncan to stay away (once he’s rescued from the drug lord).
Something happens to make Aaron question Duncan point blank about their relationship, and the two realize they both want the same thing: to be together. But… first they have to solve the murder mystery and get away from the bad guys.
Though it’s touch and go for awhile, they do conquer evil and end up living HEA.
This is my absolute favorite book in the Matter of Time series. Yes, I know Sam and Jory aren’t really mentioned all that much, but I just love, love, love Duncan and Aaron together! Both were vaguely painted as bad guys (or not the perfect guys) in other stories, but together they are magic.
Aaron is at once both ridiculously needy and demanding, tough and gentle, overbearing but compassionate. Duncan is the perfect alpha male with a giant, big soft side that exists solely to make Aaron feel cherished.
Their sex is off the charts hot and plentiful. Very plentiful. The “acting” that Aaron does while being “undercover” is both exciting and hysterical. Duncan’s stoic acceptance of his horrible past and torture is the stuff every great Mary Calmes hero is made of and his “perfection” is made all the more perfect by the way he “handles” the flightiness that is Aaron.
I really loved this book (which can absolutely be read as a stand-alone) and enjoyed the cameos from the characters from the other books.
I give it 5 of 5 stars.
Review – Audio:
Tristan James. He’s my audiobook go-to narrator. I haven’t met a narration of his I didn’t absolutely adore. I especially loved this one. His Aaron is wonderful. Kind of that cocky school-boy meets needy boyfriend. This is an audiobook that I have listened to over and over and over and is one of the few cases where I give the audiobook just a bit more on the rating scale than the book itself because the listening experience is just that enjoyable.
I give the audiobook a 6 of 5 stars. (Try and stop me!)
Overall 5 of 5 stars (more if I could!). I highly recommend this book, audiobook, narrator, and of course, the ever wonderful author herself.
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*