Tag Team Review: The Warders Volume #2 (Warders #4-6) by Mary Calmes

Most humans live in blissful ignorance, never dreaming of the frightening surprises and paranormal danger that lurks in the night. Most… but not all. These few who stand against the darkness are the Warders, men who fight demons and square off against all kinds of creatures from the pit with only their brothers-in-arms and their lovers—their Hearths—to strengthen them in the unending battle of good versus evil.

Novellas included:

Cherish Your Name

Sinnerman (June 2011), Nexus (October 2011), and Cherish Your Name (December 2011) were previously published individually in eBook format by Dreamspinner Press.


You didn't expect us to read volume one without immediately diving into volume two, now did ya?


Red’s Review

YAY and holy hell was this good! I loved Raphael when we met him in Tooth and Nail. He was fun with Dylan telling him all about the world of the Warders and he even saved Malic’s life even if it almost went too far. But when we get more of the kyrie in Heart and Hand and all he does for Simon and Leith I was so damn intrigued and then, he saves Jackson and the little bit he tells Simon about what he wants… yeah, I knew I needed this book.

So, it was interesting to get Jackson in the beginning all drunk and the other warders coming to help him out. You see, Jackson has, er uh had a Hearth but apparently, Frank couldn’t take what was required of him and decided to cheat on Jacks. First, I have issues with Frank because I am so sorry but the poor man couldn’t handle being fucked against the kitchen wall by an intimate and insanely passionate warder who would literally die to keep his heart safe? Poor thing but Frank is an ass and doesn’t deserve to be a hearth and though it was sad to see Jacks find Frank with his new lover, it’s the appearance of Raph that made me flip off Frank and shove him to the corner of the room.

I am in love with Raphael.  I can’t help it. I love that we get more of him in this and exactly what a kyrie is and what would happen to a kyrie if they are not claimed. Goodness, the need coming off Raph was so intense it made me squirm but knowing who Raphael wants made this super swoony.

Jackson is in a tough place, he loved his hearth and he is finding it kinda hard to get over Frank. But that one night, the one night he is used to Raphael always being there and isn’t he goes looking for the kryie and what happens had me swooning right off my bed. GAH! I love these two. I love that Raph gives Jacks exactly what he thinks he needs until that moment he gets it. When Raphael falls, he falls so damn hard and it was just a joy to witness.

I like that Jael felt the need to question his warders about bringing a kyrie in to the mix and how they all reacted. OMG and I loved Phoebe’s reaction to Jackson and her daughter’s reaction to Raph. Seriously, this book was just so much fun and so romantic between these two. It was great seeing all the warders and their hearths and getting just enough of Marcus and Joe to know that the next book would be another thrill ride full of passion and love.

Moving on.

Red:  Good lord. Frank is an asshole loser! Who wouldn't want to be fucked hard against the kitchen wall by a warder whose love is insane and passionate. He doesn't deserve Jackson at all. I love Raphael! GAH! He wants Jacks so bad and just saved him. I bet he follows him to Malibu and man, I hope they fuck on the beach!

JL:  Raph & Jacks's story is so heartbreaking at first but when you get closer to the end you really see how amazing Raph really is.
JL’s Review

It’s Raphael’s story!  Oh, how I’ve been waiting for this one!  We first met Raph way back in Tooth & Nail, Malic and Dylan’s story.  I was intrigued by this snarky maybe-demon and I was hoping that I would get to see more of him.  Thank Mary I got my wish!

Jackson is in the middle of a foot chase across the rooftops of the city when he spies his hearth, Frank in another man’s apartment.  He watches in horror as his life falls apart thus causing him to spiral into a deep depression.  Thankfully Raph steps in with some yummilicious angry sex before things go too far.

I loved how we got to see both Raph and Jacks grow as the story progresses.  At first it looked like the relationship would be a bit too toxic as Raph basically uses Jackson to get off and Jacks just lets him since he thinks that he’s no good for anything else any more.  I mean, his freaking hearth left him; he wasn’t good enough to even hold onto him.  But, bit by bit, Jackson starts to believe in himself again and you begin to see how truly amazing Raphael really is.  He was so patient with Jacks! 

Though I do wish we could have had more of Raphael’s snark in his book, I was happy that we got a peek into his loving soul.


Red’s Review

That title that, word… Nexus -  from Latin nexus "that which ties or binds together," goodness it means so much to this story.

I have to say how much I loved that we get an established warder/hearth couple of five years in this story with Marcus and Joe. We’ve met the couple before of course and know of Joe’s jealousy with Malic and how it all ended when Malic found Dylan. We know Joe is blind and that Marcus is a black man but what we don’t know is how they met and how they are the most adorable couple with the best banter!

This was a great addition to the series. Seeing Marcus go to Joe’s home to celebrate his grandfather’s birthday and being with Joe’s family was a lot of fun. Joe’s quips about them being special was so damn cute but when Joe needs the strength of his warder, things get deep and serious.

Let me say that Joe’s family and their reaction to what Marcus is was great but his sister’s and mothers reaction to Marcus’ warder family was hysterical even though I would have been the same way.

I love in this that we not only get Marcus and Joe but we get this clutch and all they have come to mean to one another. They have become so damn strong since book one with each of them having a hearth and realizing all they can do together when they are bonded. They are a true family and each one has their individual strengths but they are always stronger together and when they are needed by a brother, they drop everything to come.

Seeing another clutch, other warders and how they function was so bizarre but I get it was meant to be that way. Still, they need to get their shit together, you know?

But anyway. There are demons doing shit to Joe’s family they shouldn’t and being total douchenuggets to folks in town that Marcus and the boys need to do house cleaning at a club. Oohh the club! I have three words for you: Assless Chaps. I won’t say who wore them that would ruin the surprise but dayum boy!

Where was I. Oh yeah. The clutch is there to help Marcus take care of Joe’s family which is totally his family and Marcus does the unexpected, but not really. It was unexpected because it shocked me and then what happens had me crying through the last part of the book. Mary pulled out the feels with Dylan’s speech to Marcus and Joe’s as well. These men, these warders and their hearths are so amazing I am rambling my butt off about them but really, they are amazing.

Another great book in the series that keeps getting better.

Red:  They are adorable !!!

“Are you the only nonwhite guy in the room?” Joe asked.  
“Am I the only blind guy?”   
“Yes again,” I said, squeezing his hand.  
“And are we the only gay people here?”   
“For the third time, and the win,” I teased him, scanning the crowd. “I’m gonna go with yes.”  “Oh thank God, I wanted us to be special.”   
“No worries about that, love,” I assured him.  
“Awww, thank you, honey. I—hey, wait a minute… that’s not a compliment."

JL:  Lol, Joey is a hoot! And Marcus... swoon.

Red:  "It was just like Malic to go.  He would mever say he cared; he would just show it instead."

I love this series!!! I hope Raphael gets to kill the witch!

JL:  I love that Marcus and Malic are so close.  Malic needs a best friend and Marcus is perfect for that role.  This book made me cry near the end.  Marcus does something incredibly stupid and it broke my heart.  Don't worry, it all worked out in the end but Mary makes you work for it.

Red:  Lord.  If you cried I'll be a mess.   I just met Kyle and Shane. I loved Joe's family and how the handed Marcus being a Warders and their reaction to Leith was priceless!!

JL:  I love how Joe's mom went and put makeup on after meeting them.  I think she did it for Jackson? You're about to get to the part that made me cry.

Red:  Malic hugged him.. Ugh.  Joe saying he can live without Marcus but  doesn't want to... She does the best reunions.

JL:  that part just really got to me. Joe being so angry and upset made me cry. His heart was broken and mine was too. 
JL’s Review

This is my second favorite, after Tooth & Nail.  Marcus and Joe have been together for six years and are visiting Joe’s family to celebrate his Joe’s grandfather’s birthday.  I love that they are in an established, long lasting relationship.  I love that Joe’s family loves and accepts Marcus and have welcomed him into the fold like he was born there.  I love that Joe’s family finds out about warders and demons and hearths and instead of freaking out they just roll with it.  I just love this everything about this story!

BUT! (and it’s a big but) this story made me cry so much.  Marcus does something incredibly stupid and breaks Joe’s heart and it broke my heart as well.  I cried for Marcus because he felt like he let Joe down and doesn’t deserve him anymore.  I cried for Joe because what Marcus did was just devastating to him. (I’m just going to spoil you right here by saying no, Marcus didn’t cheat on Joe.  I know some of you won’t read a story with cheating in it.  Rest assured that wasn’t the stupid thing that Marcus did.)  And I also cried during Dylan’s speech at the end. 

There were so many feels in this one I had to take a break before reading the final book in the series.  My heart was broken but Mary, in true Calmes fashion, pieced it back together for me by the end.


Red’s Review

I went into this book thinking it was going to be so fun and light with Malic going home to meet Dylan’s family over the Christmas holiday and um, I was wrong. From the start, we get Dylan hanging out with his friends and leaving Malic behind. Sure, this was Malic’s choice but seeing him miserable enough to start doing handyman chores and yard work made me side eye Dylan. What the heck is wrong with this angel that he would leave Malic to the coldness of his family who obviously see the age difference between them and not the love?  Ugh.

But, the love is strong with Malic and his hearth that when a little jealousy gets tossed in, Dylan realizes what he is doing and freaks out. Of course his worries are for nothing because Malic loves Dylan beyond the beyond, he was just feeling lonely. When Dylan tells his story and why he needs his friends the way he does, my heart hurt. How much shit can he go through in his young life? Goodness. It’s a good thing he has a handsome warder who is built to protect at his side now eh?

I loved Dylan’s family and their turnaround with Malic. It was genuine and they all start turning to him for support, comfort and protection which is totes what Malic does best.

But…fucking Brad! I’m just going to say that because WTF Brad? Neighbors shouldn’t be like Brad but it did bring Ryan and Marcus to the Shaw house and seeing those men is always a good thing. I loved Marcus dealing with Brad and OMG Dylan’s mother and her reaction to the warder was hilarious. Again, the warders are mind blowing in so many ways that how else would a man or woman react to them? Sigh.

So shit went down, Malic handled it and he handled his hearth terrifically. This is another series by the Goddess Mary Calmes that, in the words of her characters, annihilated me with the pouring of emotions, of family, of fun banter and of swoony romance.

I am a Calmes addict and I will never get enough.

Red:  I thought  Malic and Dylan would  be cute but it's  hurting me. Poor Malic. I don't  like him  upset  and feeling left out this way when he's finally  found his hearth and his place

JL:  yeah, Dylan is acting a fool in this one but only for a little bit. He pulls his head out of his ass soon though, don't worry.

Red:  Dylan just told Malic about Ethan.  Kinda reminded me of Joey telling Marcus about Shane and that deal.

Red:  Malic just said his name is Dylan? I am so lost now. WTF did Brad do?

JL:  I know, right?  Fucking Brad!  He's such a douche!

Red:  Dylan being all bossy with Malic was hot AF! Love that boy!
JL’s review

Yay, we get more Dylan and Malic!  I was so looking forward to this book.  I needs me some more Dylan!
Malic and Dylan are visiting Dyl’s family for Christmas in Georgia (Marietta, in fact, which is about 20 minutes from my house).  This is the first time Malic has met Dylan’s family and it’s not going too well.  They feel that Malic is too old for Dylan and that what they have is just a passing fancy so they give Malic the cold shoulder.  Poor Malic!  If only they realized just how important Dylan is to Malic they would surely welcome him with open arms.

And Dylan isn’t making it any better with his running off to party with old friends every night.  Malic seeks solace with the neighbor and seriously contemplates just going home to spend the holiday with people who actually care about him.  I was so mad at Dylan at this point!  He’s taking Malic for granted and Malic doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s getting at all.

Thankfully, Dylan pulls his head out of his ass before too long.  Just in time, too, as there’s evil afoot.

This was a great ending to a remarkable series and I’m so glad that I was able to revisit this world.  Mary is an astoundingly creative writer who has created a fascinating world.  I just want to sink into the stories and never surface.  Thankfully I own the series so I can re-read them any time I wish. 

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