You Never Know, Mary Calmes

 You Never Know by [Calmes, Mary]
Honestly this is 2.5 rounded up for me. I'm a huge fan of Mary Calmes and I read any book of hers as soon as my library gets it. Then I go back and read most of those repeatedly. This one, however, might get one more read to see if I'm just in a mood to not like it very much right now, but I think what I'm feeling might be lasting in this situation.

Mitch is just like most of Calmes' alpha men with confidence, arrogance, determination, irresistibility, and not a small amount of smugness. Hage is a bit damaged, a lot vulnerable, and determined to keep his past in the past because he can't trust his heart to be safe in Mitch's hands. And rightfully so! When we get the flashback to the breakup phone call and the reasons for abandoning Hage as well as the difficulties Mitch has with what's on offer in Florida I hate Mitch. There's not nearly enough groveling. I have a hard time when Calmes' men just give in because they come to terms with and accept the supposed inevitability. This book has that in spades and I'm not exactly cool with that.

Overall, this book is good, but not great and I'm not in love with any of the characters. No one gets enough page time except for Hage's constant stream of consciousness and the flashbacks. The support group of friends get one moment a piece of love and grateful sighs, but nothing that really builds that foundation. Ash is there and then it turns out that what should have been something real is actually something else and it ends off screen. The trauma that Hage went through as a POW gets glossed over even though it's insisted multiple times by Mitch, Jess, and Hage that the story will be told.

At the end I've become invested in no one, not even Hage. Calmes is true to her style and I respect that, I just had so much more hope for this second-chance romance. I rounded up because, while disappointing, the story had potential and I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

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