Late In The Day

Late In The Day - Mary Calmes Review originally posted at Sinfully.

3.5 stars

Our main protagonist here goes by many names, but he’s finally at a point in his life where he is starting to take back the name he started life with, Darius Hawthorne. Fans of Mary Calmes will recognize a number of the aliases, especially Conrad Harris, who was a mysterious and dangerous presence in Mine. In the previous book, [b:A Day Makes|34568448|A Day Makes (The Vault, #1)|Mary Calmes||55713122], we were introduced to Darius in his newest role, the Vault, recruiting for his team. Being chosen as the Vault has enabled Darius to make a lot of changes in his life and he finds them both disconcerting and pleasant.

No spoilers, but there are plenty of names here that die-hard Calmes fans will recognize (there’s also a handy note at the back in case you can’t remember just where you heard the name before). Let’s just say that when he accompanies a friend he is protecting to a meeting with a crime family, it results in Darius coming face-to-face with the first man he trusted and the only man he has ever loved, Efrem Lahm, who he hasn’t seen in more than 15 years. Neither has recovered from their sudden parting all those years ago, but picking up the pieces of that relationship may not be so easy, especially when the paranoia that has served Darius so well in the past, leads him to make assumptions and question whether he can trust Efrem’s words and motives. He surmises that so much time has passed, they don’t really know each other anymore.

The story, like the previous one, is told in both present time and flashbacks. This didn’t work as well for me here as I found myself occasionally losing track of the original conversation, since most flashbacks occur in the middle of a present day meeting or conversation. I noticed it most during the conversation about Darius taking on the role of Vault where there is so much information provided on the organization and why Darius was chosen, I admit to not only being a bit jarred out of the narrative once or twice, but to still being a little bit hazy on how the whole vault thing works.

What I did like was seeing Darius find his way into a bit of a life he has long been denied. This includes realizing he has friends and neighbors (I’m positive most readers will love Sousanna) and making peace with colleagues. There still may be some danger, but he now has people he can trust looking out for him. We are also introduced to Darius’ bishop, Lee Tae San (who I hope we will see in a future story), and a few of Darius’s contract killer colleagues. I had to laugh at the “politics” of contract killing – it’s just another day at the office for these guys.

While the story is more a study of Darius, the man, there is romance to be had even if it is not the main focus of the story. I did adore Efrem’s and Darius’ second-chance love story. Their relationship was easy from the start way back when, but the circumstances surrounding it were not. In fact the incident leading up to their long separation was pretty horrifying. This is a romance that was intense from the start and that intensity hasn’t died, but is maybe now being channeled the wrong way. While the present day romance takes a while to get into, we get to see enough of their past to know that they will find a way to get back to each other.

I did miss a bit of the Calmes crazy rollercoaster that the last book was, but enjoyed learning more about the men involved in the vault and especially Darius who has been lurking about the Calmes universe for a while now crying out for his own story. I wouldn’t go into this without having read the first in the series, and I kind of wish I had re-read [b:Mine|13455726|Mine|Mary Calmes||18984209] as well. Even though it was a bit uneven for me, I think most Mary Calmes fans will devour this story.