‘Forging the Future’ by Mary Calmes #LGBT #Audiobook #Review

Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Forging the Future’ (Change of Heart 5) by Mary Calmes. The book was released by Dreamspinner Press on June 29th, 2015 and is 200 pages long. The audiobook was released by DSP on October 9th, 2015,  was narrated by Sean Crisden and is 6 hrs and 59 mins long.

Why I read this book: 


Jin Church is back where he started, alone, wandering, and uncertain of his path. It’s not by choice but by circumstance, as he remembers he’s a werepanther…but not much else. He knows one thing for sure – he needs to find the beautiful blond man who haunts his dreams.

Logan Church is trapped in a living hell. His mate is missing, his tribe is falling apart, and he’s estranged from the son he loves with all his heart. His world is unraveling without his mate by his side, and he has no one to blame but himself.

If Jin can regain his memory and Logan can overcome the threats to his leadership, then perhaps they can resume their lives. The question is: Is that what they want? Back to the same house, the same tribe, the same troubles? They can choose from various roads leading to their future…or they can forge their own path.


Book Links:  Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble | KoboAll Romance eBooks – Goodreads: Add Book 

Buy the Audiobook: Audible | iTunes




The Title: I had no idea how fitting this title was, until I finished the book.With every decision we and others are making, we are forging the future. Since we left these characters in book 4 a few years have passed and a lot of things have changed. Now the time has come for the future to be determined and boy did I not expect anything that happened. Things are about to change…

The Cover:

A black and a golden panther will surely ring a bell, if you are a fan of the ‘Change of Heart’ series. This fifth book in the series returns to Jin and Logan Church, the main characters of the first three books. They did play an important role in the forth book, but the cover will make fans of those two very happy. The cover looks very different from the others in the series. We only see the MCs in werepanther form, arranged like a paragraph, a symbol of the law. I’m not quite sure what I feel about the cover, but I really liked returning to Jin and Logan and so it worked well to get me excited in any case. And in all honesty… new readers should start with book one, so targeting it to fans of the series makes sense.

The Narration: 

Sean Crisden is still one of my absolute top narrators, especially when he reads a story by one of my favorite authors like Mary Calmes or Amy Lane. And this is my favorite series by the author next to the ‘Matter of Time’ series. It HAD to be a great audiobook experience and it was.

The Story: 

Mary Calmes is one of my ‘comfort’ authors. I often know what kind of story and characters I can expect from her and she writes the stories brilliantly, in a way that almost always works for me. I’m pretty sure by now I could recognize her writing style blindly and she has been one of my favorite authors for a long time.

I couldn’t wait to return to two of my favorite characters, Jin and Logan, and my favorite shifter series, ‘Change of Heart’. I will honestly say, though, this book left all my expectations in the dust and dragged me through a rough ride, before presenting me a new and unexpected BUT HAPPY future for the boys.

It has been years since we left Jin and Logan as secondary characters in book 4 of this series. Jin is away from his husband and son and can’t remember anything about himself, except that his name is probably something like ‘Jim’. I’m not always a big fan of amnesia plots, but this manages to remind us who Jin is at his core, without everything that has happened.

We are also re-introduced to how differently the law works for panther-shifters in this world. I tend to forget that the law they live and breathe, even with the changes their new leader instituted, can feel very brutal, archaic and unjust.

Readers will quickly remember that this is not ‘our’ world, but the often merciless parallel world of panther shifter we have come to know from this series. That is important, because even though it does not take too long for Jin to be back with his family, things have changed from the HEA we were left with.

In the past years, since we left the characters, choices have been made by different characters that will shake up everything readers hold dear. Throughout this book, characters are forced to continue to make difficult decisions to ‘forge the future’. There is death, betrayal, blood, justice, revenge, love, trust, friendship.

This last book for Jin and Logan is a gamechanger in every conceivable way. You will be dissapointed by characters you thought were on a good path for redemption, you will be shocked at losses and injustice and if you are anything like me, you will want the MCs to commit mass murder and be convinced they would be justified.

However, everything is grounded by the love between the MCs and their small family of loyal friends who are sticking together, even in this epic tempest. There is romance, love, sex, friendship and beautiful moments and you will cling to them during this rough journey.

There are parts of this book that will not be easy to read for fans of the series, but you just need to close your eyes and trust Mary Calmes to lead you safely and unharmed to a new future for your favorite characters.

Even though I did not expect anything like this, the book was brilliantly written and had me at the edge of my seat. It made me happy and angry and shocked me and made me gasp in horror and laugh in relief. It is a rollercoaster ride, but one I really enjoyed in the end.

The Rating: 9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended). Compares to 4.5/5 Stars. 😉


Book Links:  Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble | KoboAll Romance eBooks – Goodreads: Add Book 

Buy the Audiobook: Audible | iTunes



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..

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