Release Day Review by Rafa: A Day Makes, by Mary Calmes (+GIVEAWAY!)

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mary calmes a day makes

A Day Makes, by Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 19, 2017

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Instant Attraction/Love at First Sight

Warning for:
Morally Questionable but Lovable Hitmen

This book had me grinning from ear to ear from start to finish.

Yes, I know the main character is a mob hitman, but Ceaton Mercer is not your ordinary cold-blooded killer. The beginning of the book finds him alone and adrift in the world before he unexpectedly lands himself a ready-made, tight-knit family. Sure, the head of the family happens to be a ruthless Serbian crime boss and his new brothers are some scary-ass mofos, but all of a sudden he has a renewed sense of a purpose and a place to call home. But even then, he feels that love, especially romantic love, is an alien thing that’s meant for other people, never him.

I never stopped dead in my tracks, overwhelmed by another person’s beauty or allure. I noticed men, but no one made my whole body go still in anticipation of the next words out of their mouth. I’d never stood transfixed in another person’s glow.

The first part of the book spans several years and offered us some wonderful and amusing insight into the kind of man Ceaton is, as portrayed by his relationship with his brothers in arms. The author wove story after story of their exploits, and I loved their banter and their hilariously disturbing and unexpectedly philosophical talks about life and death.

“I think it’s a good thing that you don’t want to kill everyone,” Luka clarified, indicating all of us. “But I also think you shouldn’t take this all on yourself, like the second you die you are going to hell or something. Because if everything is God’s plan, aren’t you part of that as well?”

“No, no, no,” Marko said, stepping in close to me, hand on my shoulder. “We are all going to hell, make no mistake. We kill people, we all go to church, we are not stupid men. We all know how it will be.”

“I don’t go to church,” I chimed in.

“See, that is sin as well,” Marko passed judgment.

“Now I’m depressed,” Pravi teased.

“But what is hell?” Marko asked. “Some place you never leave, where all your friends are?” He shrugged. “So really, how bad can this be?”

I glanced around at the men I spent all my time with. “So you’re saying lighten up?”

Marko clapped me on the back. “Da.”

“Okay, then,” I said, exhaling, letting the tension drain out of me. “I’ll try and not let all the murder get me down.”

Despite the morally questionable MC and often violent scenes, I would call this book romantic and sappy. And despite Ceaton’s insistence that love had no place in his world, deep down he was a romantic at heart and longed to be swept off his feet. I loved the way the story built up over the years to culminate in one remarkable, eventful life-changing day during which – amidst other happenings – Ceaton meets Brinley Todd. Brin shows up like a hurricane and turns his whole world upside down.

“Do you even know what you’re saying?”

He set his glass down and then took mine and did the same before leading me quickly away from the rest of the crowd to the other side of the room where it was quieter. When he rounded on me, I saw the intensity on his face, how he was searching my eyes even as he maintained eye contact. “You saved me, right?”

“I did, but—”

“I think I’m supposed to save you right back.”

Brin is… effervescent. He’s a brilliant, bubbly airhead and I happen to be a sucker for that combo when it’s written well (although maybe not so much in real life, as the flakiness might prove too much for me to handle). Brin together with Ceaton remind me very much of Sam And Jory in the author’s Matter of Time series so this definitely played a part in me rating this book with ALL THE STARS because, well, you either hate them or you love them and I fucking love them.

Their worlds collided and the attraction is instant. Their exchanges were both thrilling and ridiculous and I couldn’t help but be swept away by the madness. As the day progressed, it became clear that they shared a deeper, more meaningful connection beyond simple instalove and I finished the book with a giant grin and a goofy sigh. It was a whirlwind ending to a frenetic day – in an already fast-paced book – but I was completely convinced that our two heroes were perfect for each other. The HFN ending felt very strongly like a new beginning for everyone involved and I really really hope this is a start to a new series.

The author has been hit or miss for me in the past, but this one was definitely a hit. If you generally like Mary Calmes’ work – or, like me, flat-out adore Sam and Jory in particular – this book is an absolute must-read.


Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into the work. She can even tell you what her characters smell like. She loves buying books and going to conventions to meet her fans.

You can purchase A Day Makes at:
Dreamspinner Press

I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

To celebrate the release of A Day Makes, one lucky winner will receive a $5 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press!  To enter the contest, leave a comment below along with your email address. Entries close at Midnight (Eastern time) on Monday, April 24, 2017. Contest is open worldwide. Don’t forget to leave your email address, and good luck!

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13 thoughts on “Release Day Review by Rafa: A Day Makes, by Mary Calmes (+GIVEAWAY!)

  1. Never read reviews on books I plan to read until after, but I did see the comment that it made you laugh😊 That’s enough for me! Can’t wait to read this (then I’ll let you know how much I liked your review😊)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww yay ❤ Yes, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Also, there's a giveaway, so don't forget to reply with you email address (so we can contact you if you win)!


    • Thanks Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Don’t forget to leave your email address if you’re entering the giveaway!


    • CONGRATS Trix! You’re our giveaway winner! El with Just Love will be contacting you at the email address you provided with your $5 gift code to Dreamspinner Press. Thank you for participating 🙂


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