Book Review: After the Sunset by Mary Calmes

After the Sunset by Mary CalmesTitle: After the Sunset
Series: Timing, Book 2
Author: Mary Calmes
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Published: August 17, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press

Two years after riding off into the sunset with ranch owner Rand Holloway, Stefan Joss has made a tentative peace with his new life, teaching at a community college. But the course of true love never does run smooth. Rand wants him home on the ranch; Stef wants an exit strategy in case Rand ever decides to throw him out. Finally, after recognizing how unfair he's being, Stef makes a commitment, and Rand is over the moon.

When Stef gets the chance to prove his devotion, he doesn’t hesitate—despite the risk to his health—and Rand takes the opportunity to show everyone that sometimes life’s best surprises come after the sunset.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: I liked this even better than book one because it was a great exploration of what happens after the HEA.

The Set Up: It’s been two years since Stefan moved in with his rancher-cowboy partner, Rand and their life is never dull. Rand’s family is fighting and Rand may lose some of his grazing land if Stefan doesn’t step up and help.

Why I Read this Book: Enjoyed book one greatly (my review) and picked this up immediately after.

What I Liked: I liked this book even better than book one because Rand and Stefan are a committed couple so the relationship tension is even more nuanced in my opinion. Rand has watched Stefan try to live with one foot in his old world and one foot in his new. This pains Rand but it’s nothing he can “fix”. As Stefan’s mother says, Stefan has kept his parachute in case something happens to his and Rand’s relationship. This offered more depth of emotion for me than in book one as Stefan had to make peace with his past and accept his love for his future with Rand. It also sets up good tension with Rand because it’s nothing he can fix, he just has to give Stefan the space and love to deal with his past hurts. How this happens is what this book is about so I can’t spoil more but I really enjoyed the relationship exploration here. Stefan finds a balance between remaining true to himself and making a place in Texas for himself and his relationship with Rand.

What I Also Liked: I adored the gentle times these two had and how they reacted to tough times. The scene on the book’s cover is lovely writing and showcases a relationship that will steal MM readers’ hearts. I also enjoyed the somewhat contrived tough times in this book. Sure, the set-up of Rand possibly losing his grazing land was contrived, but it made Stefan take a big step and do something that accidently gets him injured. Rand’s reaction was predictable but Stefan’s desire for comfort and his absolute conviction in Rand’s love were lovely to witness. I love when Rand shows Stefan that he’s a full partner in the ranch, both because it illustrates his love for Stefan but also because it’s a public declaration.

What I Didn’t Like: Okay, in book one it was only people who fell for Stefan’s near-perfection but here it extends to dogs. I couldn’t help but laugh a little at how this author has Stefan so irresistibly attractive to all living beings. But it was just a little eye roll, nothing to diminish my enjoyment that much.

IMO: I’ve enjoyed this two-book series and hope we’ll get more of Stefan and Rand, as well as some of Rand’s hot cowboy cousins!

J9’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Was waiting for this one ;) Great review.

  2. Now, if everyone loved him, he wouldn't have been given the black eye.


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