Title: His Hearth
Series: Warders, Book 1
Author: Mary Calmes
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy from publisher
Published: July 28, 2010 by Dreamspinner Press
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.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Once I got passed the slightly odd genre pairing of contemporary and paranormal, I liked this light romance even with some minor flaws.
The Set Up: Julian finds his date cheating on him hours before his big promotion celebration. Ryan Dean is a model and TV personality with an account at Julian’s PR firm and Ryan agrees to go to the celebration as Julian’s date. Though Julian doesn’t want a superficial sexual relationship, Ryan calls to him as no one else ever has. But Ryan as secrets that Julian can’t possibly imagine.
Why I Read this Book: I’ve been catching up on this author’s backlist and enjoying them.
What I Liked: Julian’s narration is humorous and engaging. I really liked his voice and his witty, quirky observations. As a reader I understood his desire for a deeper emotional connection before he began a sexual relationship.
I also enjoyed Julian and Ryan’s emotionally open relationship. Yes it happens uber-quickly over a weekend, but both men discuss their desires for long term partnership and how they feel they’ve found that in each other. This makes for a strong relationship full of emotional and sexual exploration that I liked.
What I Also Liked: Julian’s friends, Cash and Phoebe, are fun characters as well with plenty of laughs and love. I loved the flashback to how they became best friends and business partners.
I don’t want to spoil the book so I will just briefly mention the paranormal aspect. I’m a sci-fi fan so this hit me just right with how Ryan and Julian play into the world building.
What I Didn’t Like: First, I have to say that this was a straight contemporary for a long time and suddenly turned paranormal. This left an odd tone to the book that I just couldn’t get over.
Two, a big deal is made about Julian never wanting to jump into bed with a man but that’s exactly what he does with Ryan. This contradiction made me doubt who Julian was presented to be and I never like that in my books.
Third, I need firm emotional declarations in my romance. This one does have relationship closure but not the declarations that I like in romance. Little quibble I know but big to me.
IMO: Even though I had some issues with His Hearth I still enjoyed it and will continue with the series.