Narrator: Finn Sterling
Length: 7 hours, 18 minutes
It has been 13 years since Jory Harcourt met Sam Kage, and the men are now married with two young children. Sam is working as a U.S. Marshal while Jory takes care of the kids and works with his partners at his graphic design firm. The men both finally have everything they have always wanted — kids, a home, good jobs, and of course, each other.
But as always, Jory is a trouble magnet and he somehow finds himself in the middle of a traffic altercation that totals the car and leaves him headed to the hospital. There he meets Dr. Kevin Dwyer, a man who, as it turns out, dated Sam when Sam was in Columbia back during their break up years before. Jory had no idea Sam had any kind of relationship while he was gone, and it is clear that Kevin still is in love with Sam. But Sam reassures Jory the relationship meant nothing, and even though the lie/omission about the relationship is hard to get past, Jory accepts that Kevin never had a place in Sam’s heart.
Sam’s family is headed to Phoenix for a family reunion, and while there, Sam’s job gets in a the way. It turns out a witness had gone missing the year before from Witness Protection and now they have a lead in the area. But while Sam is out investigating, trouble comes to find Jory and the kids. Sam is determined to keep his family safe and they head back to Chicago while Sam continues to investigate the drug lord and the missing witness. Even locked up tight in Dane’s condo, things are still dangerous however. Between Sam’s case, Kevin’s interest in Sam, and Jory’s predilection for finding trouble, the men must once again fight for their lives and for the family they have built.
But For You is the last Sam and Jory installment of the fabulous A Matter of Time series. As recently as Bulletproof, the previous book, we saw Jory impulsive and making bad decisions. Here we see Jory mellowed and more mature. He is a doting father. He thinks through his actions (at least most of the time) before charging ahead. And he has learned to accept Sam’s need to take care of him and the kids and to follow along. It is really rewarding to see these guys together here. They are still a sexy as ever, but it is also lovely to see them so settled and happy. These guys have always fit together, but finally they have found contentment in their lives in a way we haven’t seen before.
That doesn’t mean that trouble doesn’t find them, of course. Here we once again get a great mystery and thriller plot. There are a lot of different pieces in play and over the course of the story we start to see how they all come together. It is exciting and engaging and a really great combination of the relationship angle and the thriller angle in this book.
I will say there were a few plot elements that I think could have been tightened up. I think it is partly a factor of listening to the audiobook as it takes a lot longer to get through the story. So I felt like we spent a lot of time at the family reunion, especially with Jory hanging around with a newly met cousin, that didn’t seem to add anything to the larger story. Or a side element where Jory helps out when two police officers are attacked. Again, I think this is partly due to the perceived length from listening, but I never quite felt like these things added to the larger plot. We also spend a lot of time with the kids, which is very important as it shows the growth of their family and the changes in both Sam and Jory. But again, I felt like there were a lot of small side plots that were used to illustrate Jory’s role as a parent that didn’t all move things forward. Then again, I am not a big “kids in my books” person so you may find this doesn’t seem like too much at all.
Speaking of the audio book, I really liked this new narrator, Finn Sterling. I was not so thrilled that this is our third new narrator, but given how much I disliked the narrator of Bulletproof, I was very excited to get someone else. Sterling really does a great job with the voices, especially Sam’s. He has that perfect growly rasp that is so hot and sexy, especially when he calls Jory “baby” and gets all possessive and horny. I mean it is a total panty (or boxer) melter. Jory’s voice is also well done, and though I missed Dane’s drawl from the Matter of Time recordings, I do think Sterling did great with the secondary characters as well. I was particularly impressed with the kids’ voices as they are very hard to do well. It was clear it wasn’t children speaking, but the voices sounded childlike and I think they were done quite well and Sterling shows a lot of range. I would definitely seek his books out again. We have also thankfully lost the “intermission” music that some of the earlier series recordings had between chapters, and overall it was a really enjoyable listening experience.
I think this was a wonderful end to the series and may be my favorite book of them all (so hard to decide!). Just to clarify, this is officially the 6th book in the series, but the first four are all called Matter of Time and released in 2 volumes so this is the 3rd or 4th actual release, depending on how you count it. The next story, Parting Shot, is listed in some places as part of this series as well, but as far as I can tell, this is the last Sam and Jory book unless more are written (pretty please Mary Calmes?). For me, this is a really fitting ending for these guys. We can see their growth, their strong love, and their incredible passion for one another. I just loved it.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.