Reviewed by Nikyta and Susan65
Title: You Never Know
Author: Mercy Calmes
Heroes: Hagen Wylie/Mitch Thayer
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 212 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.
Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.
If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.
I’ve always been a fan of Mary Calmes. She has the type of writing style that always draws me in and keeps me interested. This book was no different! I liked the premise of this one and how Hagen’s ex, Mitch, was back in town. What I found funny was how worried everyone was about Hagen seeing Mitch. Meanwhile Hagen played it off as he didn’t care. I liked Hagen for how easy going and friendly he was. Mitch was a bit of a mystery to me but I liked that he finally wanted to settle down with Hagen and live that happily ever after they planned as teenagers.
While I really enjoyed the premise and I adored the characters, I felt like Hagen should have made Mitch grovel for leaving him. I mean, Mitch left Hagen to go into the closet and was a douche about it. Then he comes back and Hagen just accepts that Mitch had to do that. He didn’t HAVE to do that, he could have broken up with Hagen before he left for college instead of stringing him along but he didn’t and that aggravated me. On top of that, I felt like Hagen spent more of the story with Ash than he did with Mitch. So I felt like I knew Ash more than Mitch which wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from the story. Especially when the main couple barely spent any time together.
In the end, I liked this one. It wasn’t my favorite and it had its faults but I enjoyed it and it kept me up at night reading it, which is par for the course with Mary books for me! But I hope there’s a sequel because I don’t feel like Mitch and Hagen’s story is done just yet.
Overall Impression: It was good
Susan’s Review: Yet another bilateral conundrum I find myself in concerning my true feelings over a story. On the one hand, I completely understood the who’s, and the why’s, and the how’s of the dynamics being played out, but on the other hand, there were aspects where I needed a bit more clarification…and that just didn’t exactly work for me. Let me explain…
Mitch and Hagen were high school sweethearts whose love came to a screeching halt once Mitch ran off to college a year before Hagen. This part was so totally believable and typical. It’s rare for young, first loves to last. What I struggled with was the return of Mitch, some fifteen or more years later, with kids, expecting Hagen to be thankful for his return and expect him to happily pick up where they left off, and help Mitch raise his kids, too. That was a bitter pill for me to swallow. From some of the other reviews I’ve read, this was not their issue with the story, but with Hagen and Ash instead.
Hagen was devastated when his one true love dumped him, via phone, and moved on without him. Not only moved on but became a professional NFL player, had the beautiful trophy wife, and the two kids, too. All this while Hagen ran away from the pain and joined the military, ended up in a war, and came home with PTSD. Doesn’t sound like a fair trade to me. In the meantime, Hagen has had his fair share of hook ups, but he does not trust anyone with his whole heart anymore and even with his pseudo-relationship with Ash – a movie star / hound dog – he is not able to commit.
What Hagen doesn’t deny is that his feelings for Mitch are still as alive as ever…but his trust of the man is near nonexistent. He is not in denial, he is in survival mode. I honestly hated the arrogance of Mitch for a while. I think he was a great guy but he had quite a bit of groveling to do (which he didn’t really do) and he should have started off that way, not expecting Hagen to be the same submissive young boyfriend whom was left behind. I was glad that Hagen held out, and I was glad he kept Mitch wondering about Ash. There is no cheating in this book because Hagen stops fooling around with Ash before he gets back with Mitch. If anything, I would have liked this story more if it was a bit longer because by the time Mitch and Hagen renew their love affair the story was basically over.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*