Audiobook 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.

Listening Length: 3 hours and 12 minutes
Narrator: Sean Crisden

Mary Calmes is like a balm to my soul. It doesn’t matter if I am reading or being read to, the words, the men, the characters and romance she creates heals me in ways I so desperately need. I needed to listen to this today. I’ve been having a rough time of it lately and decided that while I sat stressed out at my desk at work, I’d listen to the Holloway I’d like to go on a run with at midnight and did I ever make a good decision.

Reading how Glenn feels as an outsider among his family and The Red Diamond Ranch was one thing but hearing him, hearing all the vulnerability and hurt in his voice as Zach makes fun of him about the rodeo or how much he just wants to belong to someone, was painful. The narrator nailed the attitude and emotion of Glenn and I couldn’t get enough as I listened at work and fell into the voice of Sean Crisden as he breathed life into Glenn Holloway.

But then Mac came into my ears and goodness, I squirmed.  I blushed and good lord things happened to me that I wouldn’t say out loud in polite public. Mac’s voice was so freaking fracking sexy but then when he becomes Maclain to Glenn? Let’s just say had this been a Tom Jones show, panties “could” have been flying. Kidding. So not.

He wanted me so bad that it didn’t matter if he had me or I had him. How fucking hot was that?

Listening to sex on audio for me is part fuckhot and also cringe worthy. I think there is a part of me that turns into my 12 year old self getting caught watching CineMax After Dark when we get to the sex. I really like it but at the same time I am flustered and worried that I shouldn’t be listening to this and well, liking it. Call it left over Catholic guilt or something but it’s a comical calamity.

I loved Glenn’s story when I read it the first time and I love it doubly now. Having Glenn tell me his story through Sean Crisden’s voice was truly amazing. I am not one who visualizes characters as the read nor really thinks about how they would sound and yet when Glenn starting speaking… IT. WAS. GLENN! It was so damn Glenn Holloway that I went all sorts of gooey because, gah! It was Glenn. You know?

The reality was that like it or not, we were family, and the bond of blood was a real one. It would keep us in each other’s lives forever. I needed to get that through my thick skull. I also needed to pull my head out of my ass and realize that just because the ranch wasn’t my life, that didn’t make it bad. I didn’t need to vilify them to make what I did better.

What I adore about this story other than the swoon worthy romance is how family plays into Glenn’s life. Not just his immediate family with Rand, Zach, Stefan and Wyatt but the family he has created with his staff at the Bronc. They trust him to lead them and they’ll follow but of course they need to give Glenn shit about certain things because that’s what you do when you’re family. You tease the hell out of them because you love ‘em.

I am not going to go into more of the story, you can always read my review regarding the plot/romance etc. here, but I do want to say that this audio, the narrator has me so damn happy right now. I went and looked at his backlist and realized he’s done the whole Timing series. With just small bits of Stef and Rand in this, I need to hear certain things from the first two books and maybe I won’t blush at desk sex?

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

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