Rating: 5 stars
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Homicide Detective Duncan Stiel is who he is. He’s a homicide detective who loves finding the bad guy and bringing closure to families. And he’s a gay man who can’t come out of the closet because it may affect the rest of his life in a negative way. He’s always known that and it makes it hard to have any semblance of a relationship. But everything changes when Duncan meets billionaire CEO Aaron Sutter. Aaron is a bold, scary businessman and playboy with a vulnerable side, but that side only comes out with Duncan. Aaron has never come out of the closet because his position as CEO of Sutter, Inc. has never allowed for it.
Things between Duncan and Aaron heat up quickly. When Duncan is healing from a near death experience and Aaron’s father threatens to ruin Aaron by telling his big gay secret, Duncan bows out of the relationship as gracefully as possible…seeing as Aaron couldn’t be bothered to talk to him in person, instead sending his little brother.
Four months later, Duncan and Aaron cross paths again when Duncan is assigned a murder in which the victim has connections to Aaron’s brother. When Duncan is assigned to an FBI task force to find the killer, he is forced to find a well-known millionaire civilian willing to go undercover as well. Enter Aaron Sutter. Aaron is determined to get Duncan back and will not take no for an answer. After working through their misunderstandings, Aaron and Duncan face an undercover assignment – complete with spoiled rich boy drug dealers, a BDSM resort, and overinflated body guards – that may threaten their relationship as well as their lives before they even have a chance to really find out what they could mean to one another.
You know when you’ve built characters up in your head so much that when they finally get their own story, you hope and pray not to be disappointed? Well, I have always had a soft spot for the arrogant, overbearing, confused Aaron Sutter. And I’ve been waiting for his happily ever after for a while. I was so afraid of being disappointed. I should have known better. Mary Calmes always takes care of her readers.
I love this book. I love this book. I LOVE this book! I could not be happier with the way Aaron’s story turned out. It’s perfect. If you’ve read Calmes’ books before, especially her A Matter of Time series, you’ve seen her feisty little guy characters. And you’ve most likely fallen for them. Well, there’s none of that here. In Parting Shot, Calmes presents readers with two mentally, physically, and emotionally strong characters. Duncan is a homicide detective, hero to the broken. Aaron is the CEO worth billions of dollars. He’s been known to be manipulative and mean. But outside of what they are seen by others in their lives, this author makes these men into real, relatable, lovable characters. The vulnerability that shows in Aaron is a breath of fresh air; it makes him human. The fears that keep Duncan looking for a way out, always looking for a way to run, makes him realistic.
I always adore reading a Mary Calmes book. There are many reasons that I love them, but first on that list is the writing style. I’m professed to be not the biggest fan of first person, but Calmes has pretty much cured me of that issue. In her writing, I find myself lost in the words, in the story, and in the characters. I take a trip on an emotional roller coaster that has me wanting to yell at Duncan or cry with Aaron. Her ability to create characters that are so believable I can imagine them passing me on the street is just about second to none. This book has all that and then some. The storyline is gripping and exciting. It’s fast paced, emotional, and adventurous. The world of billionaires, drug dealers, and law enforcement is one I was enthralled in from the very beginning.
I do have to say how much I love the little snippets of Sam and Jory and of Nate in this story from her previous books. I love that Jory is the reason that Duncan and Aaron got together. I adore Sam and Duncan’s friendship. And I absolutely loved hearing about Nate and his family. It was all so perfect.
There is so much that happens in this story and I want to tell you guys everything, absolutely everything, that I loved about it. But then I’d be giving away the story and you’d be mad at me. Just know it’s a great read. The family dynamics, the struggles, the romance – it’s all perfect within the pages of this book.
I was so excited for this book to hit the shelves (so to speak). I’ve waited so long for Aaron to get his happy ending. And then there’s Duncan, first introduced in Acrobat and then seen again in But for You. Parting Shot crosses the boundaries and is actually part of two series – the seventh book in A Matter of Time series and the second in, what I assume would be called the Acrobat series. It’s a book that can be read as a standalone. But I recommend you read them all. They are all fabulous stories. And Parting Shot is icing on the series cake. I highly, highly recommend Parting Shot by Mary Calmes.
Cover: I am head over heels for this cover. The clothes thrown haphazardly about the floor, speak to the urgency that is felt between Aaron and Duncan. And the sexy turnaround kiss, it’s absolutely perfect. I love, love this beautiful cover.