Release Day Tag Team Review: When the Dust Settles (Timing #3) by Mary Calmes

Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

Best Buddy Read Ever the Third  
or, as we like to call it

Hi everybody!  *waves*  It's JL and Red and we're back with another episode of Crack Time with Mary Calmes, Damn We're Chatty!  Today we’re going to do something a little different from our normal different reviews, because we’re different (and awesome) like that.  Looking over our chat, we discovered that we pretty much covered everything we wanted to say so we decided to let our emails speak (mostly) for themselves.
So, without further ado...

JL: DSP just sent us the email asking for reviews for WtDS!!!  WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!  We should have the book hopefully in the next few days!!!!  
I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!


JL: I just want to say 'fuck all y'all' and ask for it by itself today.  But I will be a good girl and wait for everyone to get a chance to look at the rest of the books they're offering.  I'll be waiting very impatiently but I will wait.  Dammit, I don't want to!! >:(  side note:  I would never do that because I love all of the unicorns and want everyone to have an equal chance at all the wonderful and talented authors out there oh who am I kidding, I am totally selfish when it comes to the Crack Goddess.

Red: Yeah, I guess we have to play nice but why is it only 107 pages???? And I keep analyzing the cover now that I have met Glenn and whomever did it, nailed him. All that strength, vulnerability and just "come at me bro" is so much there it hurts.

JL: Reese Dante did the covers and they are so perfect.  After the Sunset was only 120 pages or so.  It's a novella.  I think that's why she's putting the two together into an anthology.

Red: They really are perfect. Even Stefan glows like he should! 
I guess I get so lost in her books the page count seems longer.  

JL: Yeah, me too.  I didn't even realize AtS was a novella until about the 4th or 5th time I read it.

three torturously long days later…

JL: It's here!  It's here!  IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lemme know when you wanna start on it.

Red: I KNOW!!! I want to start BUT I have to finish my chores. I’ve been bad this week about reading.
You can start though. It's okay.

JL: I can wait.  total lie

Red: Fuck it. Let's start. I can't focus on anything and I am getting to bed early. I need a book that makes me love reading so let's do it!

JL: FUCK YES let's start now, because GLENNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Red: I am getting myself to bed. I took a nap today waiting for stupid windows to update... and I need to read and fall in love. I can't just read to read right now. I need rah rah rah ah ah roma rah ah ah gaga ooh la la... I need some romance! Yes, I sang Gaga right there because I am goofy...
OMG! I have all the excites right now and I am so nervous for Glenn... Oh Boy.

JL: LOL, I heart you so much! :D
I'm getting in bed too so I will have no distractions while I read this.  I have a feeling I'm gonna stay up waaaaaaay too late tonight.

once we finally got our shit together (I swear, it’s like herding cats with us)

JL: OMG!  OHMYGAWD!  Have you started yet????  My heart is breaking!   

Red: No?!?!?. Shit.  I'm gonna cry aren't I? But I just opened it and it's NOT the excerpt...

JL:  I know.  BUT!  Glenn to the rescue!  He's so good at that.

Red: Oh my Gawd.  She pulled out the feels early.

JL:  Yep.  But how awesome is Glenn?

“Rethink your course, old man,” I warned. “I will feed you that fuckin’ bat along with every one of yer teeth.”

You tell em, Glenn!   Grrr!

Red: You're ahead of me but I’m dying.

“So you gonna take him home and fuck him?”
“Actually, no, sir, Josie’s a girl. I only fuck boys.”

JL: I loved that part. Lol
I have highlighted so much already... this is awesome so far!

Red: He used whose name? *dies*
Okay.  This is gonna be so fucking good.

JL: Lol, I love Josie.  She's a spitfire.   And Glenn is apparently a slob. I love how Mary gives her characters imperfections.  Makes it so relatable.

Red: This part has me emotional.  Do you know what cooking on a new grill means when you don't eat meat?? It's so fucking respectful. I love it.

Random fact: My Wyatt was gonna be Wyatt James before he was Wyatt Denver. Because he was gonna  be James, the song I sang to put him to sleep was Sweet  Baby James by James Taylor.

JL: I swear she had us in mind when she wrote this. To start off with a trans character and that stuff about vegetarian food...

JL: Yay Everett!  He got his shit together!

JL: Gasp!  Glenn's a (spoiler)!  This just gets better and better.

JL: Dammit!  I just finished putting my makeup on and now I'm tearing up.   That was so good to hear. And for Glenn to hear it too.

Red: You're killing me.  I stopped at Chapter four last night.  I couldn't stay awake. I'll read when I get to work. This book feels way too short already.

JL: I know.  I'm at 44% right now and I never want it to ennnnddddd!
PS I'm at a really good part right now.  :)
Ok, I'm stopping at chapter 4 and heading to work.  Glenn is so damned stubborn!

Red: Okay I lied, I am on chapter 3. Just got settled into work and ready to read! ACK! 

JL: Chapter 3 is a great chapter!

Red: Are you referring to Glenn being a *SPOILER* !!!?? OMFG 

JL: Yesssssss!  I said spoiler cause I didn't know how far you got last night.

Red: This is so fucking sexy...

I had questions. So many questions. Starting with how they felt about it, bottoming, being under me, having my weight on them, pressing them down into the bed and feeling me move inside them. I needed that. I wanted to hear about the readiness in another, I needed to be someone else’s desire.

JL: Ooh, yes!  That's the kind of man I love.

Red: All the teasing done to him though, hurts my heart. I can't wait for him to find out Mac ain't as straight as the yard stick he separates himself with. 

And Glenn takes the unwanted horse. I swear. She is channeling all sorts of me-ness for this book. It's crazy. 

JL: That scene is awesome!  It's in this chapter.
Aww, Juju.  I want a horse named juju.

Red: She is killing me! 

“You need a week at the Red just eatin’ and sleepin’.”
“Like that’d happen. You’d put me to work in no time.”
He was quiet for a moment. “I wouldn’t, though. You could just be.”

Ugh. Glenn. He wants so much but he won't let himself have it. His family loves him and he won't let them. Maclain *swoon* ain't straight and Rand saw how he took care of Glenn because Mac wants him but Glenn has this terrible self-loathing - that I get - after being beat down by his father that he thinks he shouldn't' have it and it hurts. 

But oh how bad do I want him to let Maclain manhandle and fuck him... I was afraid of submitting, but there had never been any doubt to whom I would consider going ass up for. I had thought about Mac’s hands all over me many a time. <----UNF!

JL:  I highlighted that part too! 
Glenn frustrates me so much though.  He's so stubborn and he doesn't want to believe that anyone in his family or on the ranch could love him.

Red: Chapter Four is pure fucking goo. OMG! 

JL: Eep!  I haven't read it yet. Looks like I need to take a break so I can go read it. 

Red: I can't stop reading but this book is TOO SHORT! These two are amazing. Good Lord. 

JL: I have a feeling that once I finish I'm gonna turn around and read it all over again.

Red:  It's a definite must. I am almost done and I don't wanna stop but I don't want it to end. 

pause break for some mushy gushy BFF love

Red: Also, I think you have ruined me! LOL I can't read books without you! 

JL: Lol, I was thinking the same thing yesterday while reading that omega book.  I kept going to email you about it but remembered at the last minute you haven't read it.

Red:  I was trying to figure out why the last book I was reading was so boring which it's totally not but I have no one to talk to about it. Goodness. Me, the girl who sucks at buddy reads can't read by myself anymore. 

aaaand we’re done (thank goodness that’s over, huh?)

Red: How can this book be over? I need more. She cannot end it. She just can't. 

JL: read it again and then once I'm done we'll figure out how to make her write more

Red: Knocked out a review for it. OMG I am a mess now. 

JL: Of course you did. I haven’t even started my review for after the sunset yet

Red: I have to write the review to move on to another book. My brain will forget what I read. It's jibberish of course and full of I LOVE MARY CALMES! 

JL: I'm heading to the gym now so I can finally REEEEEAAAAAADDDDD!!!!!

Red:  Yay!!! It's such a good book.  I am in love with it!

JL:EEEEEEEEEEE! !!!!!!!!!!!

“It’s taking everything in me to not attack you, so if I’m what you want, get the lube out of my pack right there and fuck me.”

I love that he's patient with Glenn but gets that Glenn doesn't know his appeal so he just shows him.  Sigh. 

JL: I really wanna move back to Texas and find me a cowboy now. 

Red: Me too.  We can move onto the ranch with the Holloways! Um… I went through a country music phase in the late 90's and that was my dream. My brother lived in Tennessee at the time and kept trying to get me to move out there.

JL: Lol!  I grew up on country. .. Probably why I hate it now.

Red:  The phase was SHORT but I do have a love for Garth Brooks. If drunk enough, I do sing Friends in Low Places at Karaoke.  AND I LOVE how humane the Red Diamond is! This book was everything. 

JL: Chapter 5 was EVERYTHING!   I'm about to start chapter 6.

Red:  I loved Glenn hearing his brother talk about him and seeing how much he cared. He's such a good man and he deserves it all. 

WASN'T IT THE BEST? This book is too damn short. 

JL: “Are you drunk? Is that what all this is?” He scoffed and his slow smile made those eyes of his glitter like mercury poured into a glass. “No, sir. I just want what I want and I’m fixin’ to have it.”


Red: DUDE! THAT IS IN MY REVIEW!! We highlighted the same parts! 


JL: And OMG, when he's [SPOILER]... and he's doing it in front of EVERYONE 
*happy sigh*
Man, I love this book.  Like, a lot.  A whole lot.  <--- Look!  I just wrote my review, lol.

Red: that scene was movie worthy. I loved how he did that and was so PROUD. Sigh. 

This book is amazing. I can't believe how good it is and I have this one line in an email waiting for you because it's kinda a spoiler but I am also kinda shocked by it. 

JL: Uh oh. Am I gonna be mad?

Red:  Nope. Never. It's not a bad thing. Just an observation.

Red:  And didn't you love when Mac realized Glenn [SPOILER]? I died and adored that he would [SPOILER] if he could just have him. And he [YEP, ANOTHER SPOILER] Glenn… not [AND ANOTHER ONE] at all but I found it really hot that he [OK, NOW I’M JUST FUCKIN' WITH Y’ALL]. Even if Glenn didn't know. 

Also Glenn asking Mac if he was straight and Rand asking Mac if there was something he needed to know. I LOVED IT!

JL: Yes!  I highlighted those parts too. 

“I thought you were straight,” I mumbled. “Nope,” he said flatly.
“Pardon?”“I suspect you heard me just fine.” The hell did he say?


Red: The Calmes has blended our brains! 

JL: I'm loving all of the revelations Glenn is having.  How he actually wants to grow as a human being, having the balls to own up to his own shit and do something about it.  It's not 'magic peen' either.  He’s making himself a better person all on his own.

Red:  Yup! It's so great that something as hearing people want him around makes him realize he wants the same thing. He wants his family and his restaurant full of misfits. He wants it all and if he can let down his guard, it's all his. 

It wasn't having sex with Mac that did anything, it was Mac seeing him for who he is - this amazing and caring guy whose father fucked up his head - and taking him at it. Good and bad. When you are lonely, you tend to push the world away thinking you are better off but then, once that person tells you that you are wanted, the light turns on. And that person doesn't have to be romantic. He heard it from Zach and Rand first.

JL: And then from Everett.

I smiled at him, overwhelmed by how he saw me and how maybe I should start seeing myself.

Red: Glenn is amazing. He is almost like no other of her characters you know? He is not a typical Jory/Sam deal (which I hate everyone pointing out anyway) he and Mac. They are different and I love the fuck out of them. 

meanwhile, back at the ranch…  (yes, I just went there)

JL: What the hell?  Who are these people in the house?

Red:  Right???? I was all wait, huh??? 

JL: Glenn to the rescue!  Again.

Red: I loved that! He is such a good man. 

Red:  How could Mary Calmes think ANYONE wouldn't love this book?

JL: I have no idea.  I messaged her today and put in a PS that I was reading the book and it was EVERYTHING but it was too short. :)

I spy an Easter egg!!!

LOL, I love his little restaurant family. :)

Red:  Did I miss it???


Red: Okay he is from [NOT TELLING!] right? I only read that series once and I'm digging through my brain. 

JL: Yes, he's [NOPE] and

Red: I know I'm terrible for that fault right.  But I read slow and hardly ever re-read books anymore.  But hey, I got it right.

JL: You did good there, Red!

Red:  I knew the name sounded familiar but I didn't immediately place it.
I love Glenn’s staff though.  They are so sweet and tease him for being a slob. 
But Mac... *heart eyes*

JL: She leaned over to hug me. “Why’re we doing this?” ”Just hug.”  

Red: This book is so damn squishy

JL: Awww, Zach! 

"I don't want us to fight no more."

He loves his big brother.

Red: Stef is magic making Glenn go on the cattle drive.

JL: He is at that.  Such a sneaky little bastard.  LOL I love him so.

Red: Headed out for a run, without Glenn.. I'll check in when I get back.

JL: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  It's over?  Already?  But, but... there's, like, five more percent left in the book!  She can't leave it at that!!!  I NEEEEED MORE!!!!!!!!

Red: That's what I was saying too. I was not ready for it to end even though it ended all schmaltzy and perfect. 
This was my spoiler... [ONE LAST SPOILER CUZ I LOVE YA]

JL: That's cause it's too damn short! 
I think some of her other short novellas are like that too.

Red: I swear I forget the length of her books as I read. LOL my brain no worky.  Still it was super swoony.

JL: Super duper swoony!  I wanna read it again right now!

And so I did.

So, in case you couldn't tell from the squeesplosion above, we kinda dig this book.  We want to thank Mary Calmes for providing us with such a wonderful series and we hope that there is more to come in the (very near) future.

Find this on Dreamspinner Press and Goodreads!

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  And let's be honest.  This book is crack-a-licious!

Link to our review of Timing can be found here.

Link to our review of After the Sunset can be found here.              

Trivia Question

Who is the love interest for a bookstore owner with a knack for amateur sleuthing ? (worth 10 pts)

Be sure to tag @BMBReviews along with the author on Twitter with your answer to be entered to win DSP credits!


  1. Excellent review, I have this book to read tonight I can hardly wait to swoon over Glenn as much as I do over Rand (those covers are sigh...)

    1. And swoon you will, my friend! *sigh* This book was EVERYTHING! ♥