a day makesStory Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 5 stars

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 6 hours, 33 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

With one action, ex-Marine Ceaton Mercer puts himself on mobster Grigor Jankovich’s radar. Adrift and at a loss, Ceaton agrees to work for the Serbian mobster and finds a brotherhood with other men in the organization. Ceaton does his job well, takes care of the dirty work, and his loyalty knows no bounds. But after nearly five years of working together, things are shifting.

Ceaton is sent to serve as a bodyguard for Brinley Todd. What is surprising is that Brin asked for Ceaton, and would only agree if Ceaton is the one to come. There’s a whole history there that Ceaton knows nothing about. Even more than that, Ceaton finds himself drawn to Brin in a way he’s never been drawn to anyone before. And Brin is confident that he and Ceaton are meant to be together.

In one day, Ceaton’s entire life changes. It’s both the best and worst day he’s ever had. And as long as he can stay alive and keep Brin safe, it’ll be the first day of the rest of his life.

Mary Calmes has a smooth and flowing writing style that I enjoy. I also love how she brings in characters from other books; you don’t have to have read those books to understand what’s going on, but if you have, then it’s like an extra special treat. A Day Makes has both those things, which made it for an enjoyable story, even if there were some small issues for me.

What I really enjoyed here was the romanticism. Ceaton meets Brin and that’s it, his life changes. He knows he’s going to be with Brin forever, and that, coupled with the betrayal, has him ready to embrace a new life. All in the course of one day. While it was sort of unbelievable, it was also easy to kind of just…go with the flow. Jump on the train ride and just accept it. Calmes has the ability to make seemingly over the top story lines work, and this book is no exception.

The first part of the book is all about Ceaton, who his is, how he came to work for Grigor, and how those things are suddenly changing. I love the sense of created family, how Ceaton has come to rely on his closest friends at work, and how those guys (despite being part of the mob) had welcomed him into their own families. Created families are a particular favorite of mine, so I really enjoyed the whole thing. I loved how much we got to see about the kind of man Ceaton is, and really understood his relationship with Luka, Pravi, and Marko. This whole section totally worked for me, even if there was a part of me waiting for the love interest to show up.

I loved the connection between Ceaton and Brin. The chemistry burns hot and fast, and these guys are ready to go all in. For Brin, he’s has know about Ceaton for a while. But for Ceaton, it really is just that fast. Love at first sight. The life he’s built is sort of crumbling, but Brin has shown up in it at the perfect time. Ceaton has never been one to second guess his gut feelings, and so he has no doubt that jumping in with Brin is exactly what he should do. I loved that aspect of the story, even if I wished we got more page time with them.

And that’s my only real issue. There’s a lot going on here, and Brin doesn’t show up till more than a third of the way through the book. And then, even after all the connection they’ve got, a lot happens afterward that doesn’t have much to do with their romance. While I was engaged with the rest of the storyline, and honestly dug the over the top nature of it, I was missing something with the romance. As much as these guys spark, I wanted to see more of it. Seriously, I loved them together, but I’d have loved more conversation.

The majority of this book, however, does take place over the course of day though. So there was only so much we could see.

I listened to this one and oh my god, you guys. Tremblay is one of my favorite narrators, and he absolutely knocks it out of the park here. Honestly, I picked this audio simply because I wanted to see what he could do. As always, his narration is smooth and pleasant to listen to, immediately drawing the listener in and captivating them. He nails the emotion of every scene, whether it be danger or laughter, love or fear, tension or caring. Even more spectacular here are the accents. Several of the characters are Serbian, one is Russian, and there is no doubt Tremblay did his research, as the accents are perfect. Each character has a distinctive voice, whether they have accents or not, and everything about this works. This is an exceptional audio performance and takes a good book and makes it even better.

I really enjoyed the story on its own, but the narration is top notch. Absolutely, I recommend this to anyone looking for a stellar listening experience.

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

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