Timing by Mary Calmes
Stefan Joss just can’t win. Not only does he have to go to Texas in the middle of summer to be the man of honor in his best friend Charlotte’s wedding, but he’s expected to negotiate a million-dollar business deal at the same time. Worst of all, he’s thrown for a loop when he arrives to see the one man Charlotte promised wouldn’t be there: her brother, Rand Holloway.
Stefan and Rand have been mortal enemies since the day they met, so Stefan is shocked when a temporary cease-fire sees the usual hostility replaced by instant chemistry. Though leery of the unexpected feelings, Stefan is swayed by a sincere revelation from Rand, and he decides to give Rand a chance.
But their budding romance is threatened when Stefan’s business deal goes wrong: the owner of the last ranch he needs to secure for the company is murdered. Stefan’s in for the surprise of his life as he finds himself in danger as well.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
The Timing is pure escape romance. Many of the themes read like old fashioned Harlequin romance novels and the main character is god like. In fact people flock to him like every touch gains them a million dollars and weight loss. The bride to be humps Stefan more than Rand does and if you hate absolutely perfect characters with not a single flaw anywhere, well perhaps this isn’t for you. It’s not spectacularly written, but it’s got a flair for fun, breezy entertainment that works. While there is no subtly or nuance to the prose and no complex plot, those looking for something easy, light, forgettable, and entertaining are likely to enjoy this offering.
The story starts with perfection in human form, Stefan, going to Texas to be the man of honor for his best friend Charlotte. While in Texas, his boss wants Stefan to convince an older woman to sell her ranch to a development company. Stefan’s not happy with the assignment and reluctantly agrees to do his best. When arriving in Texas though, Stefan’s confronted with his arch nemesis, Charlotte’s brother Rand who is at first hostile towards Stefan before realizing all he wants is the perfect man all to himself. With the crazy wedding going on at the same time it seems someone wants to kill Stefan, there is no shortage of action here.
The beginning of the story reminded me so much of old time romance novels. The best friend’s brother is secretly in love with the friend but can’t show it so he treats the friend like utter crap instead, which of course the family doesn’t understand but never corrects the man of the house. Thankfully this plays out quickly before I threw my ereader and Rand comes around to openly wanting Stefan instead. This makes for a much more enjoyable, entertaining read. The action is fast and furious from wedding mishaps to the subplot of Stefan’s job while Rand is aggressively courting Stefan. The dialogue is punchy with a lot of fun wit and good natured snark. This keeps the pace quick and the story fun to read while watching friends calm each other down and push each others buttons.
The story is a very light read with everything moving quickly; scene after scene of quirky antics and amusing, warm emotion thrown in. This definitely helps compensate for the exaggerated characters. First there is Stefan, who is the biggest star. Stefan is absolutely perfect and that’s not my exaggeration. There is not a single person in the book that doesn’t adore him and think he is the best thing ever. Contrary people flock to him and every single time a person sees Stefan he remarks about how they light up, their face changes, showing how much they truly adore him. Stefan is constantly surrounded by clinging bridesmaids and he’s so gorgeous that everyone looks at him at the wedding versus the bride. I think he may have sparkled in the sun.
Stefan is so over the top that he can become obnoxious on occasion. I like his relationship with Charlotte, best friends and incredibly close. Yet I also found it did skate the line of being way too close on occasion. The other characters all tend to be stereotypes but they’re superficial characters that only matter in that they adore Stefan. Rand is the prototypical hot cowboy and the sex scenes are steamy and incredibly sexy so really, no complaints there. He may not have a lot of depth but a hot cowboy with a great ass in a pair of chaps just kind of works. Perhaps it’s all fluff but it’s entertaining fluff for the most part and the end result is a hot, quick read that works as intended.
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