Title: Sultry Sunset (Mangrove Stories #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Mary Calmes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 15, 2015 – 62 pgs
Hutch Crowley is well-liked in the small resort town of Mangrove—he’s got friends in his new neighbors, he’s the owner of the town grocery, and he’s building a community center—but he’s still unlucky at love. Every man he’s attracted to is either taken or simply not interested, including his best friend, Mike Rojas.
When Mike came to Mangrove two years ago, Hutch gave him a job and a place to stay in his guesthouse, where Mike has remained ever since. Despite the rumors circulating about them, Hutch knows Mike is straight and looking for the right woman. But his friends disagree, and after some hints to the contrary, even Hutch finally has to admit that maybe the rest of the town sees something he’s been missing. If Hutch wants to spend each sultry sunset with the man of his dreams, it might be time to figure out what’s going on with his best friend’s heart.
Hutch is a likeable character. He seems to be the most honest, nice person in his small town. Having not read the previous stories in this series, I was unsure if the issues within the town hall and the town itself stemmed from previous books, so when Hutch’s issues in this book sprung up, I found it slightly difficult to understand them. Although it was funny to hear of him running, chasing people down the street, I didn’t really get the issues.
Then you have the adorable Ivy. I loved her right from the start. Calmes captured what it truly is to be a teenage girl in a new place. The run on sentences, the snarkiness, the sweetness and how she attaches to him and Mike made her such a likeable character. Then you throw in her hot dad – the fire chief… whew!
Finally, you have Mike. Now, while he was not my favorite character in this story, he did have his qualities that I enjoyed. I liked how he was able to joke with Ivy right from the start and I also liked how he was always there for Hutch. However, he did have some racist tendencies in this story and, since the story was more from Hutch’s point of view, it was hard to have Mike’s turn around so abrupt.
I enjoyed watching Hutch’s realizations though. He was surrounded by great friends and it was refreshing to see that he was able to help his neighbors out as well. Even though a tiny part of me wanted him to find happiness with Ivy and her dad, I was glad that maybe there will be a book for Essien in my future.
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.