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Publisher's Summary

You belong to me and I know it down deep, in muscle and bone, where my wolf lives.

Avery Rhine isn’t an average homicide detective with the Chicago PD. In fact, Avery isn’t an average anything. Sure, as an omega he knows he’s at the bottom of the food chain, but that’s never slowed him down. He’s got a great life, complete with a loving family and a best friend who’d take a bullet for him, so what more could he possibly want or need? Except, maybe, for the world to change. And to find someone to spend more than one night with, but that isn’t high on his list of priorities. He’s never been one to believe in destiny or whatever else the fantasies sell about there being someone special out there meant just for him.

Then a chance encounter at a party changes everything.

Graeme Davenport has no delusions about finding his true mate. The consensus is that if an alpha doesn’t find their other half by the time they’re 30, the chances of it ever happening go from slim to none. He’s not a mere alpha, though; Graeme is a cyne who sits at the pinnacle of lupine hierarchy, so he’s obligated by tradition and duty to choose an omega now, sign a contract, and bond with him. Love is not part of the equation.

When Graeme and Avery meet, their fierce attraction to each other flies in the face of reason and logic. Avery’s intense physical reaction to the alpha is something he’s never experienced before, while Graeme, who has always been the soul of discretion, loses all his inhibitions to desire for the man he wants to possess. They are two very different men trying to navigate expectations, separate reason from innate primal drive, and do it while working together to solve a murder.

It will take everything they are to find a middle ground, and to learn to trust in a fated kind of love.

©2021 Mary Calmes (P)2021 Mary Calmes

What listeners say about Muscle and Bone

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a Calmes-ing breath of fresh air!

The premise of this sounded good to me, but if I’ve said it once (I’ve said it a thousand times, blah blah…), Mary Calmes and I have a volatile relationship. Whether or not I like one of her books depends on how frustrated I am with her MC’s and the common theme with them: seemingly perfect, loved by everyone heroes that are completely clueless in the most asinine ways. Also, the level of ridiculousness surrounding the MC’s plays a part, as well. I can count on one hand the number of her books I would consider revisiting and still have a finger or two left. But this book? I am 100% impressed. While the MC is beloved, he isn’t overwhelmingly perfect, completely blind, or constantly putting himself in stupid situations where he should know better. It’s also not a tale of “will they or won’t they,” which I appreciate more than anyone knows, and contains a very original storyline, as Calmes is wont to do. It’s also intriguing enough that, should this become a series (Lynnie and Wade, anyone?), I will happily continue on as long as a) the next book isn’t a continuation of these MC’s and b) it doesn’t devolve into such ridiculousness as Sam and Jory’s relationship that makes me want to lob off my head. This was exactly the kind of book I’ve been needing from Calmes and I’m thrilled to have found it. And really, can anyone say anything bad about Greg Boudreaux? Not me, for sure. The man is a rockstar behind the mic! Definitely worth a blind credit!

28 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • t
  • 06-17-21

Both good and bad

I'll state that I'm not a fan of Mary Calmes' books for the most part. There's only one of their books that I actually liked. However, I liked the description for this one and I love the narrator's ability to give different characters voices, so I gave it a try.

I'm still confused on whether I liked it or not.

First off, the majority - and I'm talking all but the last 5% - took place in 24 hours, which was good pacing for the story. As long as you realize that this is a true mates book, as in the two characters meet and know instantly they're mates. I've read all sorts of those and most are unbelievable - this one was believable the way it was written.

However... there are a couple issues with the plot points that annoyed me. First, our alpha was acting bipolar at times. First off "All omegas need rights" and the author made sure we saw how much he wanted that. Then, suddenly, he had an omega mate and the idea of omegas needing rights was GONE. One could say he was crazed by the fact his omega had walked away and he hadn't put his mark on him yet, but the way it was written, it was more like he had two personalities. The next time he saw his mate, he was all for "all omegas deserve rights" again. That was confusing.

Second - The climax. It felt like the author couldn't really figure out who to blame for the murders, so they blamed several people instead. And their reasoning was poor.

Third - Graeme is a syne, right? Which means his word is law. And we had heard many times that IF an alpha had sex with an omega without a contract, that alpha was dead wolf walking. Then suddenly they're at an omega/alpha sex party where alphas everywhere are taking omegas in heat. The cops were incensed. But Graeme? For all of what he'd said through the book, he should be incensed and come down on the party. Instead, he takes it all with a grain of salt "the omegas asked for it" when he was the one who understood about omegas in heat. That plotting was bad, deplorable. the author needed to make the party okay, even though it was against wolf law, so suddenly Graeme's all "The omegas are adults. It's their choice." Uh what? Total 180 degree turn from everything we'd learned so far about this universe.

The plot points really dragged the story down (just like they do in all Calmes stories). If they had stayed true, if the author had found another way to get where they wanted their characters to be without breaking the plot and giving it major holes, I could have enjoyed this story. Instead, I"m left ambivalent about it.

I liked the characters, especially Avery's partner and family. But the holes really ruined the tale for me.

Greg Boudreaux's performance was wonderful. I loved how he made the narrative from Graeme's POV different from the narrative in Avery's POV. The characters voices were wonderfully diverse.

So a 5 star rating for the narrator. 2 stars for the author. The author isn't getting better at their writing (plot holing) style. They need to take some classes on plot. Because they've got great ideas. They just need to get better at making sure the plot carries through.

13 people found this helpful

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Too Good for Words

I know it's a long shot, but I would love a book 2 to this book!! It has so much potential to be a great series. Both main characters and even the side characters were great, and of course Greg Boudreaux was fantastic as usual. Not going to lie the world building had me a little confused when it came to the Omega laws and some of the words, but that could just be since this was an audible and I didn't have the books glossary to look at. Both Avery and Graham compliment each other and I would love to see their story, and well as everyone else continue. ❤

2 people found this helpful

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Can't wait for the next!

I really enjoyed this audio recording. I had read the book before and Greg Boudreaux is a rock star narrator. I hope we get Wade and Linden's book next. Recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok story, likable characters.

If your into Furrys or sub dom lovemaking with a little bit of story mixed in this a great book for you. I lost interest after the author tried to justify brutal sex. Even if it’s just a part of the world that was created. I don’t ever want to visit this one again.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing narration, good story!

As a fan of Mary’s “All Kinds of Tied Down” stories, I was really hoping this one would live up to that series! Let me start by saying I LOVE Avery. He’s a great protagonist. Gram I’m not as crazy about? I don’t dislike him, but he just seems a little too...perfect. And despite Avery’s supposed extreme independence, he seems to obey him way too well (and right away) to fit his character. There’s no friction between the two at all, everything is perfect between them. This is written off because they’re “true mates,” but that feels slightly like a cop out to me.

I would’ve loved more resistance from Avery to accept his new role, maybe a little less lecturing from Gram. It kinda irked me that we first met him as an alpha who thought the roles of omegas were backwards and antiquated, only to do a 180 when meeting Avery and demanding everything to go his way. I was like what? Where’s the man we met before? He sorta changes his tune later, but I could never shake off the feeling he only told Avery what he wanted to hear. It was just a bit of a character inconsistency for me and sorta soured the fairytale romance.

I LOVED Lindon’s character and his interactions with Avery’s partner Wade. Crossing my fingers for a book 2 featuring them? I want to see Lindon break out of the shell of what’s expected of him as an omega, as he seems more inwardly complex than he’s first made out to be.

I also felt the “mate” stuff was all pretty heavy handed. I would’ve liked more of the characters as wolves to get a better feeling that they’re truly beasts rather than just humans who do wolf-y things. I’m not a fan of biological fate and tend to prefer a/b/o stories where characters defy what’s expected of them, and I felt like Avery slipped a little too comfortably into what was wanted from him, just shy of quitting his job. The romance doesn’t feel too investing when it’s all fated, right? Everything will always go one way, because it’s how their biology defines them. I’d like a little more willpower, please!

It sounds like I’m harping, and that’s only because the writing itself IS good. Just some things plot wise I wasn’t a fan of. Mary Calmes is an author I look forward to seeing more stuff from, and I can tell she gets a little better with each series she puts out. If there’s a book 2 in the future, I’m 100% going to read it.

I hope this review is helpful to picky readers like me! If you’re a fan of the All Kinds of Tied Down series, I think you’ll enjoy this book. I will say her ability to write grizzled older men is definitely what draws me in!

For the narration- it was perfect. Exactly what this story needed. I hope Greg will voice the next installments if they come!

1 person found this helpful

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Book was outstanding, having Greg read OMG!!!!

I loved this as a book but lovedBen more with Greg Broudreaux read it! Thank you Ms Calmes for using a WONDERFUL reader!

1 person found this helpful

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A new world

Mary Calmes is the best at creating new worlds to visit. Her characters, not just the main characters, but even all of the secondary characters, are so well portrayed that you feel them all. This book had laughter, tears, and drama. I loved it! Now, take a wonderful book and give it to Greg Boudreaux, and you have magic. He brings another full color dimension to the written word. This was a good read and a great listen. Don't miss it.

1 person found this helpful

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Love this story

Love this story, An uncommon omega finds his mate ! great story , hard to put down hope she makes more! could be turned in to mystery that this omega cop and his partner solve . All kinds of twists and turns, in this story.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfection

Mary Calmes words plus Greg Boudreaux narration always equals perfection!

I thought this story was magnificent. This author has a way of bringing out a story that keeps you sucked in. I loved the paranormal aspect and the way she weaves the their shifter life into human life. The mystery and suspense kept me on my toes and the characters were wonderful.

Of course Greg Boudreaux nails it with narration as always and continues to be an absolute favorite of mine.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-22-21

OK

I liked the main characters in this book but my problem was with the storyline and the ending. even for fiction it seemed unrealistic that people who were caught committing crimes were not punished. I just didn't like the ending.

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  • Kiefer
  • 06-03-21

This was really bad! And I usually love this author.

Several times I checked the episode of the audiobook to make sure it had not jumped a chapter. The story is very jumpy and disjointed. The characters are really badly penned out and some of the background info is just strange - the cine not knowing that ALL omegas a vegetarian is just too stupid. Sorry, but honestly, that was just dumb.

I finished the book, but it is definitely not a repeat read.

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  • Avid listener
  • 08-23-21

Couldn’t stop listening

This was my first Mary Calmes novel, and shifter Themes story. It was hot and amazing. Gram and Avery sizzled together and lost themselves in each other whilst staying their own person at the same time. It was well written and I loved it. And I’ve heard Greg Boudreaux before and alway have loved how he can give each character their own personality. He brought them to life as only he can. Grams cultered accent was hot af. Thank to the Author and the narrator.