So Marshals… And easy-going story with thrilling plots and twist from Mary Calmes. The books of the series are listed below:
All Kinds of Tied Down
Fit to be Tied
Tied Up in Knots
Together Tied (it’s a ficlet taking place between book 3 and 4)
Twisted and Tied
This review contains the summary of my opinion regarding the first 3 books of the series (I haven’t read the 4th book so far). In my opinion the these books were in general good, but far from outstanding. And I have to say, I had my issues with the story and some of the characters. Like Miro to start with. Dear God! All that bitching. Sometimes I had to wonder if I’m reading the adventures of a 5 years old whiny girl or a kickass US Marshal. And to tell you the truth a lot of times I wasn’t so sure which one was it.
The other protagonist is the superhuman, perfect built bad-ass but kind Ian. Despite of his too prefect to be true character, I still preferred him. But due to the Miro POV storytelling, we will never get his side of the story. Even though his oversea deployments and under the radar adventures are more interesting than Miro’s marshal duties, we are stuck with his never ending ordeals accompanied by a lot of unnecessary bitching. Therefore Ian has way less “screen” time, than he deserves. It is especially true for volume 3, in which Ian is deployed to the other side of the word in almost half of the book. So yeah, I could do with more Ian-time and less Miro-whining.
And Miro’s lady friends. When the they were introduced in the 1st book after Miro gets shot, they were so annoying it was almost painful to read. They are loud and inconsiderate. Tell you what. If I were in Miro’s place laying in a hospital bed, forced to tolerate all their “good will” along with all their bullshit masked as advices, I would be embarrassed. But as the story progressed, I learned first to accept them, then started even like them.
As I mentioned above, the story was all around good, kept me hooked till the end. My absolute favorite is the 3rd book because of the story, the dynamics of the old and newly introduced characters. I think the 2nd one is the weakest, because it had weird pacing: although multiple storylines were unfolding (UC/DEA work and stuff) it felt really slow, and then the kidnapping storyline was solved superfast.
And this concludes the negative points.
I loved the WITSEC storyline through the 3 books, Drake and Cabot’s reprise, they were supercute. And Josue! He rules. Everytime he appeared, I couldn’t stop grinning, I even laughed out loud sometimes (it can be disturbing for fellow passengers, when someone on public transportation starts to laugh out of the blue while listening to the audiobook). Summarizing Josue’s character, the way he cared for Miro, was just adorable.
But speaking of caring too much, sometimes I missed the criticism towards Miro. He was liked by literally everyone despite not being that much likable. It was tiring to see the characters turning blind-eye when it came to Miro’s faults. I get it, he’s the protagonist, but it’s still unlikely to be treated by so much inexplicable devotion. What I’m trying to say is that every protagonists need people to keep them on the good track (with advices, bitchy remarks or sometimes with a slap in the face) to make them really believable or life-like.
Towards Hartley I have mixed feelings. On one hand he’s a sick bastard. When he cuts out Miro’s rib, and it’s implied he ate it… I really had to fight my nausea. But on the other hand in the 3rd book he actually saves the day! So WTF? He holds a speech about how sick it is to kill children or animals, but he actually killed 19 women for artistic reasons. He’s admittedly unable to watch tv shows with gore. But he has no problem with cutting out ribs or gutting someone. Only with this he earned a special place on the psychotic bastard pedestal. I somewhat like it. If someday I make a list of the best antagonists, I’ll make sure he’ll be in the top 3. He earned that place.
So summarizing all the above, despite of some problems, I loved this series so far, it really was a good read. I even consider to re-read it in the future.