His Hearth (Warders #1) By Mary Calmes

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Julian Nash should be excited: he's just earned a huge promotion at work and is going out to celebrate. But his happiness fades when he discovers his date cheating on him an hour before. Suddenly alone when everyone knows he's supposed to have a plus one, Julian is set for a long night until longtime acquaintance Ryan Dean bails him out of the embarrassing situation.

During dinner, they discover they have more than just friendship between them: there is mutual admiration and heated attraction. But getting to know Ryan better-and finding a place in his life-will bring Julian surprises and danger he never expected or dreamed existed. His Hearth (Warders #1)

Or should I say, BOOK CRACK! (SRAL says no to drugs, yo!)


Um...WTF was dis? I am still confused. This was Mary Calmes...urban fantasy? *squints*

Why did the paranormal aspect happen at 75%?
What da fuck is a warder? Are they human? Alien mutant paratroopers that love butt sex? Stealthy magic ninjas that fight crime at night?
Does the baddies sleep during the day?

I love Mary Calmes. Badly. Dearly. Madly? I dunno but she's my chicken soup for my reader's soul. She is my balm...she's Mary Calmes.

I don't give a flying shit if she has the same ingredients in her stories (for the most part--sometimes she can surprise you, ex. Mine) that shit works for me.

Doesn't work for you? Okay! More for me!!

But this must have been beginning Calmes because this was clunky like a motherfucker. The excessive repetition about the same shit the character just said like every other page, the weak paranormal/Buffy-like plot device thrown in and the domestication of well, just about everything.

The title is His Hearth I should have known something was going to be homey, right?

I think my biggest problem is being stuck on the characterization of the main characters. Julian is 6'3, believes in monogamy, doesn't do one night stands, kisses like he's fucking your soul and his tongue is a monster dick.

Basically he has it going on. (And he doesn't know it...of course)

So he got cheated on by this guy he was seeing on the day of his promotion, he goes out drinking to celebrate the promotion and try to forget the cheating. And he meets a client, high profile male model/ reality TV star Ryan Dean.

Ryan Dean is like a walking erection. His whorish ways are LEGENDARY. Our boy likes to fuck. (Nothing wrong with that) So like a predator that smells rebound prey, he's on Julian/Jules' jock. My issue is--you know what? Let me summarize it and you can maybe see my conundrum.

Julian drinks his Patron, knocking it back, feeling nice. Hottest mofo (Ryan) on two legs presses against him with a stiff dick, wants to bone. But Julian believes in monogamy, likes to get to know who he has sex with, wants a relationship. So...Ryan basically invites Julian back to his place to slap skins.

Julian's all no...I don't do that. Thanks anyway, Ryan.
Ryan's all let me just stick the tip in [or something to that effect]
Julian's all no, no. I'm not like that. You have a reputation for fucking and leaving.
Ryan then changes the game, I like to pump butts BUT lemme invite you over for brownies.
Julian's all no no. I'll kiss you and that's it. M'kay. Monogamy forever.
Ryan proceeds to ply this guy with more drinks (standard I want in your drawers behavior), Julian continues his monogamy spiel.

And then you know how the night ends?

Ryan - 1 ; Julian - 0

Why drag out the inevitable? I couldn't get over it. Just fuck him already and be done! The first 40% was this dragged out back and forth and he still boned him anyway!

Raspberry cheesecake brownies (FROM SCRATCH) were consumed, along with cocks. It was a mix of mixed signals, weaker fantasy and over explaining.


I got possessive mine-ing, consuming kissing and buttsex. Oh and everlasting monogamous love.


This is probably my lowest Mary Calmes rating.


I want to read the rest of the series.

Fuck it. Long live Mary Calmes! Romance, Gay Lesbian My Review Of His Hearth, or, How Mary Calmes Got Me Drunk

I blame What Can Be. I really enjoyed it, but more than ever it was apparent Calmes uses one cast of characters and one setting, with just a slightly different twist each time. I know it and I no longer care. She's like toasted marshmellows: over-sweet, no substance, but a delicious guilty pleasure.

So, I'd had a hard day, I was away from home, and I had a bottle of Baileys.

I did something that may have been ill-advised. Before reading His Hearth, and based on previous reading experiences, I wrote a Mary Calmes drinking game.

I'm only grateful I decided to put the Baileys into hot chocolate. I'm not going to share the number of Baileys hot chocolates I went through, but I went to sleep fully dressed and lying the wrong way around, clasping my net book. If it had been straight shots I'd be dead.

Should you be foolish enough to follow suit, I include the rules below. Should you buy an audio edition this could actually be a fun group activity, rather than a solitary first-sign-of-alcoholism. Just FYI, I am definitely not an alcoholic: that was my first drink since January. Admittedly the binge aspect looks bad, but how could I know!!?

The list seemed harmless! I figured maybe five or six of these in any one book. Maximum!

I was wrong.


The Mary Calmes Drinking Game

If one character hosts a TV show, take a drink.

If one character caresses another character's cheek, take a drink. If they only just met and they're basically strangers, take two.

If there's an Hispanic best friend (m or f,) or best friend’s partner, take a drink.

If there’s a pregnant character, take a drink. If there’s a birth, take a drink. If the MC is the birth partner for a pregnant character, take two.

Take a drink if someone is kidnapped.

Take one drink if the MCs name starts with a J.

Drink on each mention of the word “dessert,” or on consumption of a dessert (this includes pie).

If there’s a surgeon or doctor character who does not perform a medical procedure on the MC, take a drink. (If they’re a neurologist or neurosurgeon, take two.)

If the story mentions Chicago, take a drink. If the story is set in Chicago, take two.

One drink for each mention of a jazz club.

Every time you encounter waggled eyebrows, take a drink.

Take a drink if the MC entertains a small child. If they're 6 years old, everybody drinks.

When one MC dances with a woman, take a drink. If he dances with multiple women at a work event, or a partner's work event, take one drink for each dance partner.

Every time one MC calls the other “baby���, take a drink.

If there’s a festive family party or special occasion, take a drink.

Every time tongues are tangling, take a drink.

On the word “peacoat”: everybody drinks.

If someone makes a newspaper swan, take a drink.

One drink if there’s an ex-boyfriend who wants to get back with the MC (double if he’s batshit crazy).

One drink if one MC is/has been literally or effectively an orphan.


Remember, read Mary Calmes responsibly!
Romance, Gay Lesbian 3 Stars

Soooo…. I didn’t read the synopsis before diving in. Whoops.

I literally just saw the name 'Mary Calmes' on a new release in my libraries digital app and I swan-dived into the crack-y goodness without delay.

Basically, I was going along thinking this was another one of Calmes’ classic contemporary romances, only to be blindsided by some sudden supernatural madness right towards the end there. And, yes, the supernatural elements literally just popped up out of nowhere around the 80% mark and turned this story into a whole other thing. That’s on me, though, because like I said, Meags didn’t do her research like a good little reader.

However, I’m not complaining, because I love me some paranormal fun with my romances. Although the introduction to the supernatural world of the Warders was only very briefly touched on here, and I honestly could have done with more structure and exploration on the topic, because I honestly don’t really even get what they are or why they do whatever it is that they do. Maybe it had something to do with protecting the world from demons or some such? I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the deets because I felt so blindsided by the ninja warriors (AKA the Warders) when they suddenly appeared in the story. But I’m sure my confusion will be fleeting and an info dump is on my horizon in the sequel. That’s how these things go, right!?

Aside from the unexpected paranormal themes, this story has all the elements I’ve come to expect from a Calmes romance, including the good, the bad, and the ridiculous.

There are intsa-feels and some crazy intense passion between the MCs.

There is some scorching hot man-on-man loving, full of possessive growliness and declarations of forever on the first night.

There are a bunch of rando male characters popping up at every turn, looking to get with the insanely desirable MC who doesn’t know how insanely desirable he is, because, duh!

There is even a bunch of incoherent dialogue between the MCs that hurt my head in so many ways that I found myself just staring off into nothingness until I could regain my equilibrium (or regenerate some of my lost brain cells, perhaps).

It’s crazy, but it’s the fun kind of crazy.

I’ll probably check out the rest of the series just to work out what the heck is up with these Warders and their world protecting ways. Romance, Gay Lesbian
Where do I start with this?

It’s been sitting around on my ipad for awhile.
Originally, if I’m being honest I struggled with this authors books. I found that (for me anyway) the crazy OTT plots and the endless fashion descriptions were just too much.
But she won me over. Having just re-read A Matter of Time and the Marshalls series I decided it was finally time to give this ago.
And since I love paranormal reads I was almost giddy with excitement.

Hot mess is how I would describe it.
The characters are all good and likeable but...

Julian doesn’t sleep around. In fact he hasn’t even had sex with his boyfriend yet. So I understand why he’s reluctant to go home with Ryan. Although this was dragged out and annoyed me no end. But it seems that while he struggles with easy sex he accepts all the paranormal stuff straight away.

I liked Julian, I really did but I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden he seems irresistible to everyone.

I’m going to try the next book Tooth & Nail and see how I go with that. Then I’ll decide if I’m going to continue with the series. Romance, Gay Lesbian 3 Stars

Here’s what I expect in the world of Mary and this was really no surprise...

Assholes be assholes
No is never taken for an answer
Obliviousness is a forgone conclusion

Eyebrows waggle
Channels clench
Holes flutter

It’s baby honey, forever and ever love you, you’re mine

For this series, toss in demons and the hunters who go after them, and this is a setup for what I’m sure will be a mind boggling world of complicated rules and laws where haters gonna hate and the good guys are going to be put through absolute hell on their way to finding lurve.

Or something close to that...
Romance, Gay Lesbian


Pretty much!! Romance, Gay Lesbian Okay so this was just strange. I love Mary Calmes. I love her OTT crazy stories but the paranormal stuff happening at the end was just, well, strange. It almost didn’t fit. Or at least it would have benefited from being longer. But I’ll definitely continue with the series. Romance, Gay Lesbian I saw this one in my feed because one of my GR friends recently read it...And since I am still going strong with my clean up your TBR-list new years resolution, I figured this one would be a good one to jump into and finally read...

It was just as crazy OTT as I expected and everyone just loves Julian (who of course does not know how loveable and handsome he is) :P

This story actually started out pretty great, I was hooked from the very first page...it's just that around 70 % things took a bit of a turn.

For such a short book, the paranormal stuff came into play very very late...as in when the book was almost finished. Therefore things went way beyond OTT. Everything but the kitchen sink was thrown in and things were not always clear... I still don't know exactly what a Warder is. I mean are they regular age...are they being trained somewhere, how many demons do they fight...and many many more questions...

That said, there are a lot more books in this series, so maybe I should read those first..before I start whining.

Not one of my faves by Mary, but who knows what will happen with the next book.

Romance, Gay Lesbian Okay, God, I CAN'T finish it. I'm sorry.

The moment that I read the words demons, like 3/4 part of a story that is supposed to be contemporary, I just had it. It started good, I actually enjoyed Julian's voice for once. I thought he was quite funny, I still enjoyed it until first meeting with Ryan, I thought it was cute. But then Ryan sort of forcing Julian to come home with him ... I actually counted 11 come home with me + 2 come with me + 1 coming home with me in about 50 pages ... I started wanting to pull out my hair. Then after pulling and pushing, Julian came home with Ryan, and Ryan practically told Julian that Julian was a good boy, who didn't sleep around, so he needed to get laid (I mean, WTF??), then yeah, do me bareback, seriously, it's okay, just trust me on this, and I thought I wanted to slap Ryan for not respecting Julian's wishes ...

and like I said, 3/4 quarter of the story DEMONS COME IN?? Not to mention, there are few distractions in the story, like suddenly a story of a client, in the middle of Julian/Ryan first interaction or a sudden ex appeared (WTH?), and I had no idea what they were meant to.

I just had it ... I don't want to finish this. Another disappointment story from her, and I don't think I'm checking her other titles anytime soon. Romance, Gay Lesbian Okaaaay...I'm not sure where to begin.

Currently, I'm about 3/4 through this novel, and pretty much nothing has happened except a bunch of meandering around, sans focus.

The novel begins with Julian, our main character, out for dinner in celebration of his recent promotion at the publicity firm where he works. Unfortunately it's not much of a celebration for him, since he just came from catching his boyfriend in the act of cheating on him. Then to make matters worse, said ex-boyfriend shows up at the restaurant and confronts Julian, blaming everything on him because apparently Julian wouldn't have sex in the 2 months they'd been dating. (Julian is really into long-term monogamy, and not jumping into bed, so he says.) But not to fear, just as the scene between Julian and The Ex is getting ugly, one of Julian's clients shows up to save the day.

Ryan Dean is one of Julian's past publicity clients. He's a world-famous model and has his own local TV show as well. So he's hot, famous, super awesome, blah blah, and also apparently has been harboring some secret crush on Julian and just so happened to be in the restaurant when Julian's Ex was yelling at him. (Okaaay...completely implausible characters and situations...check.) So then Ryan and Julian go home and have sex...bareback. This, of course, is right after Julian kept going on and on about how he doesn't like to jump into bed with people and just broke up with his boyfriend over the issue. (WTF?)

That's pretty much everything that's happened in the first 75% of this book. I'm thinking I'm going to skip the last 25%.

So there are lots of problems with this book, mostly having to do with the total lack of plot, lack of character development, lack of direction, lack of realism - you get the idea. I felt like I was reading someone's brainstorming ideas or something, because there's just nothing cohesive about this that I would call a story. I could go on, but I'm getting tired of even thinking about it.

Bottom Line: Seriously, one of the worst things I've read in a long time. Absolutely not recommended. However, I have read some decent stuff from this author in the past, so I think she needs to calm down and stop putting books out so quickly because this just isn't cutting it.

Un-freaking-believable. This story takes a total 180 turn at around the three-quarters mark. And not in a good way. More like a This is now officially the worst book I've read all year way. The supposed twist pretty much came out of nowhere and absolutely did not fit with the tone already set in the first 75% of the book. All in all, I found it to be completely unrealistic bordering on ridiculous. I quit reading, for real this time. Romance, Gay Lesbian