SPOILER ALERT!

All Kinds of Tied Down (Marshals #1)

All Kinds of Tied Down - Mary Calmes

3.5 stars. Well, it took me awhile to get into this book because there really wasn't any central plot/case tying all this stuff together. Once I let that expectation go, I enjoyed it more. This was more day-in-the-life than case of the week (or book), and it was character driven as a result. I enjoy character driven books as much as plot driven ones, so it was just a matter of shifting perspectives.

 

Things I liked:

 

-The banter between the two MCs (nitpick on the dialogue, as it was hard sometimes to tell who was saying what) was refreshing and fun. You can tell right away that they just get each other. And I really liked that Miro was so careful to not let his feelings for Ian show, instead of going down the Friend Zone path.

 

-Everyone knows but Miro. I really had to laugh at this poor guy. Everyone knew how Ian felt about him. It was obvious from the beginning (though I have to wonder why Ian was keeping up this charade of being of straight if he knew all this time he wasn't). His lady friends knew and they rarely see the guy. His coworkers knew. The witnesses knew. The other chief in that one town knew. But nope, not Miro, lol.

 

-And Miro's gaydar needs to be taken in for repairs, because all the flirting by various guys aimed at him that he never picked up on was too funny. He was getting better by the end though.

 

-Everyone assuming Ian and Miro were already an item long before they became an item, lol. (Though they really need to be careful with that, given law enforcements stance on nepotism. The wrong person finds out, they'll be reassigned to different teams before they can blink.)

 

-Kage - just everything about Kage. I'm not saying more than that.

 

-Miro's lady friends - I wanted more of them. They just sort of popped up from nowhere and then went back to nowhere when they were no longer needed, except Rhuna.

 

-The sex scenes - HOT! All of them.

 

Things that could have been done better:

 

-Flashbacks really shouldn't be written in the same tense as the regular narrative. When you're writing a book in past tense, flashbacks should be written (or at least start and end) in past perfect tense. This way, it's easier for the reader to tell when the flashback starts and stops and when the "present" narrative picks up again. The flashbacks were important to learning more about Miro and his partnership with Ian, as well as how he managed to create a hodgepodge family for himself over the years, so I'm really glad they were there, but it got confusing at times.

 

-There were some weird transitions going on, which often made it difficult to follow what was happening from point A to B to C.

 

-The action was over the top. Miro breaks his wrist and is back at work in no time. Then he's flying out windows and over balconies. Then he's being shot. And that's not even the climax of the book, which is even more over the top.

 

-Ian is ex-military but that doesn't mean he can be hired by a law enforcement agency and not have to go through basic training to get a POST certification, especially for a job as top priority and specialized as the US Marshals. Then he'd still have to go through his probationary period to learn everything else the training didn't cover and prove he knows how to do the job. All being ex-military does is give him an edge in the hiring process. Making that he never was trained and didn't know procedure and was given a rookie of all people to teach him the ropes, when the rookie wouldn't even know the ropes because he's a rookie? Nope. Sorry. That's all kinds of wrongs.

 

-The ex-boyfriend, Brent: his introduction was just awkward. And what an entitled prick. I had a theory, back when I was still expecting this to become a case of the week, that Brent was somehow working for Hartley (another accomplice than the one he named) and that's how Hartley was going to follow through on his threat to Miro, but both those plots ended up going nowhere. Brent was really unnecessary to the whole book and his scenes added nothing. Actually, a lot of the characters are unnecessary, and the ones I liked didn't stick around very long to matter.