Book Reviews

No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession 1) by Mary Calmes

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 25-March-2019

Book Blurb

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caregiver to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too. 

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

Book Review

A love story set in a very small town in Montana revolving around a retired Navy SEAL and a widowed father of two had me eagerly anticipating their actual story. What I found was a conundrum, at least for me. Brann is ridiculously easy to fall for – he’s practically perfect in every way and I completely mean that in a Mary Poppins reference. Emery is the boy next door and also extremely lovable. The little girls are cuter than any two kids have a right to be and the rest of the inhabitants of Ursa are just as fantastic. So where lies my conundrum? Well, let me try to explain.

Brann grew up with a single father (his mother died when he was a baby) and his father was less than sober for his childhood, often taking his anger out on Brann. As soon as he was able, he joined the Navy, became a SEAL, and proceeded to make his own family. He did the smart thing and recognized when it was time for him to retire and after a referral from a friend, he took a job with Torus Intercession in Chicago. I had anticipated this company as being very different from what it actually was and I was seriously happy about that since the author brought something new to the table.

“Basically, we were intermediaries. We interceded on a client’s behalf, and by the time we left, their life would be, or should be, in order…. When Jared hired me, he gave me a whole speech about positive energy and good karma and crap like that, but for me, it was all about helping people out…. What we did was never the same. We operated as assistants, instructors, contractors, everything from seeing someone through the first few days of an acrimonious divorce to checking on kids living across the country from their separated parents to overseeing a home renovation to plain-old standard protection.”

Emery lost the love of his life three years prior to a sudden heart condition that was unknown, leaving him with five-year-old April, and two-year-old Olivia. His wife was the sole inheritor of her grandfather’s company that owned massive amounts of land that she protected from being mined or forested. Emery inherited her portion of the company and her place on the board along with continuing his job as a high-school English teacher. Fast forward three years and Emery has agreed to an arranged marriage – business and practical reasons only – to Lydia Cahill whose father owns Cahill Lumber which basically employs the majority of the town. I think it’s obvious where I’m going with this so I’m not going into any more detail. However, where’s my conundrum?

I love Mary Calmes. She is among a handful of authors that I would like to live in their heads and listen to what they think up. Not in a creepy, stalker way, of course not *grins*. So my issue lay in that I really struggled for more than half of this book because Brann is PERFECT – he’s perfect with the girls right from the start even having no real experience with kids, within his first twenty-four hours in town he saves Emery from the town bully at Olivia’s soccer game (don’t ask, just read), and then he saves the neighbor and her daughter from being killed by her drunken ex-husband. Brann is oblivious to his own worth or appeal and is almost like a superhero. The little girls are too stinking adorable for words and that’s saying something from me because I’m not a big fan of kids. The sheriff loves Brann and, in fact, starts a sneaky agenda of his own to keep Brann in town. The bad guys are super easy to spot and the good ones shine. Hell, even the dog is freaking perfect.

So, what’s my problem? Turns out, nothing. I had a different idea of how this book was going to go based on the blurb and the cover. When it didn’t follow my preconceived notions, I got irritated. Then I woke up, slapped myself upside my head, and realized I was doing a huge disservice to the author and her writing. ‘No Quick Fix’ isn’t what I was expecting – it’s better. It’s not bogged down by a ton of angst although there’s just enough to keep the senses sharpened, and it’s an actual, honest-to-goodness love story with a huge emphasis on finding home and family. It turns out that when I opened my mind up to what was right in front of me, I loved it and everything about it.

“You changed my whole life when you came through the front door,” he confessed, sitting up, taking my right hand in both of his. “And it sounds like overly romantic drivel, but I swear to God, it was like the sun came in with you.”
It turned out that drivel was my thing.”

This author really knows her way around a good love story and she certainly did it right with Brann and Emery. The attraction between them was instant but them acting on it took a long time, and not until Emery had straightened out the other parts of his life. No pun intended. This is a wonderful book and a fabulous beginning to a new series. I can’t wait to read more and I honestly hope I can get a glimpse of these guys again. Thank you, Mary, for showing me what I was too dense to immediately see.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 289 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-March-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link