Book Reviews

Mist and Marrow (Breaking Tradition 2) by Mary Calmes

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Paranormal / Law Enforcement / Shifters / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 10-May-2024

Book Blurb

Linden Van Doren is in a strange position. He’s an emancipated omega holding down two jobs, so he should be out from under anyone’s thumb but in reality, there are still weird lupine rules to follow. For instance, if an alpha wants to court him, he’s not allowed to say no. If that same alpha asks for his hand in bonding, however, as there’s no contract that anyone holds but him, he can certainly say no to that. And would. He trusts no alpha to keep their word even though they’re the only ones who could make his dreams come true. It’s all very confusing and a bit ridiculous but until all omegas are free to do whatever they want with their lives, his odd circumstances are the norm. He’s also doing his very small part to help others—and that just became a problem.

Wade Massey is a homicide detective with the Chicago PD. He’s partners with Avery Davenport, which puts him in close, continual contact with Avery’s friend, Linden Van Doren. Wade isn’t sure what it is about Linden that drives him nuts. And annoying the hell out of the stunning omega should make Wade want to stay away from him. The problem is, he can’t seem to do that. Besides, Linden needs a keeper. Wade has never actually met anyone who needs someone looking out for them more and really, no one but Wade can be trusted to do it and keep their hands off the tantalizing man.

When the FBI comes knocking because omegas have gone missing, Wade finds out that Linden has been far more active in the fight to help other omegas than he imagined. When both men are drafted to help, they are suddenly thrown together in a situation where, for once, neither of them can walk away. Wade’s been great at making excuses and Linny’s been fantastic about hiding his feelings. None of that works anymore.

Linden knows he wants Wade—he knew the night the possessive human carried him out of hell—but loving someone who can never return his feelings is stupid and Linden’s finished with that. Wade’s never been attracted to a man before and perhaps it’s not desire or lust, but simply his protective instincts gone wild. If neither of them can be brave, there’s no hope for the future. But perhaps just winnowing through the mist of confusion down to the marrow where the truth lies will set them both free.



Trigger Warning: Discussion of repeated sexual abuse of a main character, including when he was a minor. No abuse occurs on page.


Book Review

A traumatized omega and a human detective continue this incredible series by Mary Calmes. By the end of the first book, I was salivating at the thought of Linden and Wade’s story. The author did not disappoint, and in fact, I may have enjoyed ‘Mist and Marrow’ even more than ‘Muscle and Bone’.


Linden’s life has been truer to what an omega’s reality is in this world than Avery’s life ever was. Linden has never been anything to his family except an opportunity to make money off him. From the time Linden was twelve his father has been selling him to alphas for days at a time for them to use him in any way they see fit. In this world, when an omega has sex with an alpha but doesn’t mark or claim them after, it very often, almost always, puts the omega in heat and then they’re vulnerable to being abused because they don’t know their own mind. They are literally a slave to their hormones until the heat ends. Linden is gorgeous and has been groomed to be nothing except arm candy for an alpha and bring the very best bonding price to his family in exchange for his contract. Unlike Avery, Linden has never had a say in anything. Well, not until Graeme bought his contract and, essentially, emancipated him from his family. Linden is amazing and I was crazy about him and the strength he has shown throughout his life.


I was saving omegas. Some people rehomed dogs. I did it with people. ~ Linden


No longer living under his family’s thumb, Linden has established himself as someone omegas desperate to escape their families or potential bondings, can come to and he will set them up with a new life far away. This is wonderful, but also puts him in the sights of the FBI. It’s tricky though because it’s not really illegal by human laws or shifter laws. It just skirts a few and can put a big target on Linden’s back for alphas to come after. Linden puts himself up as bait to draw out an unknown shifter who is trafficking in omegas and Wade is less than happy about this development.


I adore Wade. I fell in love with him as Avery’s police partner and I fell even more watching him with Linden. Avery has often said that he thought Wade had some shifter blood somewhere back in his family, but Wade’s mom has always denied it. It doesn’t matter to Linden and it certainly doesn’t matter to Wade. He just knows that Linden brings out all of his protective instincts plus feelings he’s never had before. Watching these two navigate their relationship is sometimes very funny, but most often it left me sighing and having another sip of wine over the sheer sweetness involved.


It was going to be like this every time. He would care for me, be both gentle and rough with me, and make love to me with abandon. No alpha, no wolf, had ever treated me like the treasure that Wade did. ~ Linden


I really loved this story. It didn’t deal as much with the history and politics of the shifter world, but instead focused on the friendship and love between Linden and Wade. I’m excited to see where the author is going to go at the end of this story, Avery and Graeme were able to convince the shifter council to give omegas the same rights as betas, gammas, and alphas. How that will happen and what kind of uproar that will bring is going to be something to experience. Thank you, Mary Calmes, for another incredible paranormal tale!




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 294 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-April-2022
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link