a day makesRating: 4.75 stars
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Length: Novel

After his discharge from the military, Ceaton Mercer was at loose ends. He missed the camaraderie and sense of direction he had during his service and he was adrift. When a chance encounter led him into the path of a Serbian mob boss, Ceaton ended up taking a job with Grigor Jankovic, becoming an mob enforcer. Ceaton has taken his move to the wrong side of the law in stride, finding a friendship and a connection with Grigor’s other top men. Ceaton’s responsibilities involve some shake downs, some assassinations, and generally taking care of whatever Grigor needs done. He knows he is only one wrong move away from danger, but he is satisfied with his life, even as he misses having a romantic connection with anyone.

In one day, however, Ceaton’s entire life changes as he is tasked with protecting a man whose father has ties to Grigor. In that one day, Ceaton meets the man who will be the love of his life, if only he can keep them both alive.

Oh, I love Mary Calmes and I think A Day Makes is one of my favorites in a while. I know my summary is kind of vague here, but this book holds some surprises that I don’t want to spoil. We have a bad guy hero and massive case of insta-love, but somehow Calmes makes it all work, and this story is fascinating, romantic, and suspenseful all at once.

The first portion of the book focuses on Ceaton and his work for Grigor. We know that down deep Ceaton is a good guy, but at the same time, he is also a criminal and does whatever Grigor needs done, even though it is on the wrong side of the law. We follow along here through a variety of Ceaton’s jobs, getting an inside look at the mob life, as well as the type of guy Ceaton is. This section also shows us the strong bond between Ceaton and Grigor’s other top men, Pravi, Luka, and Marko. There is a sense of camaraderie between them, a connection and friendship that Ceaton has been longing for since the military, even though they are all dangerous criminals. On paper this probably all shouldn’t have worked; this portion of the book does go on for a while before the romantic subplot is even introduced. But somehow Calmes makes it all really engaging and it is a great way to better understand Ceaton and what motivates him.

Things take a dramatic turn when Ceaton is assigned the job of guarding Brin Todd. The day starts out like any other, but suddenly everything that Ceaton thinks he knows about his life, his job, and his future is totally upended. Ceaton has always dreamed about having a romantic partner, but he can’t even imagine bringing someone he cares about into his dangerous life. But Brin defies everything Ceaton thought he knew. The attraction is instant between them, the connection intense from the very first moments, and suddenly Ceaton is determined to do everything he can to keep this man in his life. This portion of the book is suspenseful and exciting, and Calmes manages to take a plot that could have defied belief (and sometimes does) and make it totally work. I loved these guys together, adored the insane speed with which they fall for one another, and was rooting for them from the start. Brin is ridiculously engaging and he is such a perfect foil for Ceaton that you can’t help but love him, and the two men together.

Like I said, I am dancing around a lot here because there are a lot of potential spoilers that I don’t want to give away. So just trust me on this. A Day Makes is just fabulous. It is exciting, romantic, sexy, and totally captivating. I was drawn in from the start and couldn’t read fast enough here. So I loved this one, and highly recommend it to you guys.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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