4.5 Stars, Cat Grant, Genre Romance, New Adult, Reviewed by Chris, Self-Published

Review: A Year in the Life by Cat Grant

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Title: A Year in the Life (Courtlands – The Next Generation)

Author: Cat Grant

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 284 Pages

At a Glance: This was a very well written story, with strong characters going through honest emotions, feelings, and life changing events.

Reviewed By: Chris

Blurb: A campus flu outbreak, complicated by a freak October blizzard, brings Cornell seniors Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori together. Three days spent waiting out the storm at Seth’s snowbound apartment leads to an unexpected mutual attraction—and a hot night under the covers, which quickly deepens into a true emotional bond…

Plus, a world of problems for Bilal, an Iranian Muslim. Despite his homeland’s harsh laws and even harsher punishment for homosexuality, Bilal can no longer deny who he really is: A gay man falling in love for the first time.

Seth’s gentle manner and passionate lovemaking bring Bilal more joy than he ever thought possible. Yet, despite the lovers’ growing happiness, Bilal’s haunted by guilt and shame left over from his strict upbringing, and the sad realization that he’ll never see his family in Iran again.

Speaking of families, it’s time for Bilal to meet Seth’s…

Eric, Nick and Ally. Ten years later, this committed triad is still as deeply in love as ever, but even commitment comes with challenges…

Is there room in this non-traditional family for Bilal? His future with Seth may depend on it.

Dividers

Review:  A Year in the Life is best read as a continuation of the original series due to the main characters being heavily featured in this book. You may be able to read it as a standalone, but much of the backstory for the characters will be lost.  A Year in the Life also contains the short story In From the Cold, which introduces us to Seth and Bilal.

Sick and oh so miserable, Seth Thompson ends up going to the campus clinic so he can make it through his upcoming exams. While there he admires the very handsome and also very sick Bilal al-Mansoori. Both see each other but don’t really acknowledge the other, until they end up meeting again at the pharmacy, and then again as Seth heads back to his apartment. He ends up helping Bilal, who is so ill he’s almost delirious. Seth brings Bilal home with him, where they end up stuck inside during a snow storm. Seth shares his home, medicine and eventually body heat with Bilal, which ends up as something more than just comfort.

Bilal, however, ends up scared because he’s Iranian and Muslim and can’t acknowledge his feelings or desires for another man. This drives Bilal away from Seth at the first break in the storm, and back to his own isolated side of campus. This doesn’t stop his growing attraction to Seth but because of Iran’s laws, it forces him to deny himself the possibility of more.  Eventually he ends up having to see Seth again, and their desire and attraction explodes.  Seth and Bilal end up seeing where their attraction will go, but still are fearful of Bilal’s father and the other students from Iran finding out about them.

The story, continuing into A Year in the Life, shows Seth and Bilal working through a relationship. Bilal comes out to his sister, and his sister ends up sharing her secrets with him in return. The boys share Thanksgiving together with Seth’s family, which ends up being more stressful then they expected. Seth is surprised by what he feels is opposition from his father, and pushes back at them a few times. It leaves them deciding to share Christmas alone in New York City together. Unfortunately plans ended up changing, and they ended up with Seth’s family again, which was a very interesting event.

I’d previously read the original Courtland series and wasn’t sure where this next generation might take the story. I’ll admit I loved Seth and Bilal more than Eric, Ally, and Nick’s story. There is something very honest, and even unguarded, in the relationship between Seth and Bilal. Part of it could be Bilal’s being frightened by what could happen if his father or the Ministry could do if they learn he’s gay. Another is just the natural exploration of the growing bonds between Seth and Bilal. Seth’s strength in standing up to his father, Nick, that Bilal is his future and his heart, is one of the best showcases of the character.

This was a very well written story, with strong characters going through honest emotions, feelings, and life changing events. The author created both characters as strong in their own way, and didn’t compromise on either characters’ development. A Year in the Life is definitely one of my top new adult genre books so far this year. I highly recommend it for fans of the author’s previous works. I would also recommend this for fans of the m/m new adult genre, and for those that prefer characters with more realistic relationship growth and problems.

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4 Stars, Cat Grant, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: The Only One Who Cares by Cat Grant

Title: The Only One Who Cares (The Only One: Book Three)

Author: Cat Grant

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 129 Pages

At a Glance: A solidly delivered epilogue to David and Josh’s relationship.

Blurb: Committed couple David Flint and Josh Walker are long past the injuries, separation, and chain-of-command issues that plagued their early years together as Navy SEALs. Now, with David embarking on a new career as a therapist, the future looms bright and promising…

Until Josh, now recovered from the post-traumatic stress that kept him sidelined for two years, goes back to active duty. David dreads the long weeks of sleepless nights and radio silence ahead—and wonders if Josh is really as recovered as he claims to be.

Counseling other traumatized vets fills David’s days and helps him find a new purpose, but it’s his act of kindness to a homeless teenager that may end up changing everything, for him and for Josh.

(Previously published in the Unconditional Surrender: An M/M Military Bundle anthology.)

Dividers

Review: The Only One Who Cares is a short novel in Cat Grant and L.A. Witt’s successful The Only One series, which tells David Flint and Josh Walker’s story and leads readers from the beginning of their relationship, through the turbulent times of service to their country, through injury and post-traumatic distress, to the time where they are now—settling into a solid and committed relationship. I’ll confess that I haven’t read the first two books in this series but will also say that I don’t feel as if I was denied the full scope of what these men have been through together to get where they are. While that’s not at all a recommendation to read this story out of context, I will say Cat Grant does readers the favor of detailing just enough of David and Josh’s background to make this chapter of their lives stand well on its own.

Told in the alternating first person, the story succeeds in allowing readers to connect with both of these men as they’re beginning to adjust to the changes duty has instigated. This grounds us firmly in a place of empathy for what they, and all military couples, must face when one is deployed. The stress of separation, the long days and weeks of missed phone calls, if not complete silence, and the danger Josh faces as a Navy SEAL all serve to throw into sharp focus not only how much courage it takes to serve but how much courage it takes to be the one left behind. All of these changes and challenges, however, are contrasted by the one thing that marks a brighter future for both of them, and, considering the cover image, I don’t believe it’s a spoiler at all to say David and Josh are given one very important reason to count their blessings by story’s end.

David’s injury has forced him to embrace a new way of serving—of counseling men who’ve come home from war with psychological scars every bit as crippling as the physical wound David himself suffered, which means he will try to move forward after a bullet causes the nearly twenty years he’d served to become a quick footnote on his past. Meanwhile, Josh is at the end of a leave of absence and is set to return to active duty, even though he is still tormented by fears and doubts. The Only One Who Cares is not only a Men in Uniform romance but is also a statement book that takes to task the government’s and military’s shortcomings when it comes to caring for our men and women who are failed by Veterans Services. It’s a true and sad testament to how much is owed to those who have and are suffering, and I loved the dose of reality it leant to David and Josh’s story.

I’m not sure if there are more books planned in this series but can say that The Only One Who Cares reads very much like a solidly delivered epilogue to David and Josh’s relationship. For fans of this series who’ve been waiting for this couple’s HEA, it appears this may be it.






You can buy The Only One Who Cares (The Only One: Book Three) here:

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4.5 Stars, Cat Grant, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lana, Samhain Publishing

Double-Header Review: Takedown and Tap Out by Cat Grant

Takedown Tap Out

Title: Takedown and Tap Out (Bannon’s Gym)

Author: Cat Grant

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 188 Pages/168 Pages

At a Glance: Score a KO and well worth reading

Blurb – Takedown: Home may not be what he remembered, but it might hold what he needs.

Bannon’s Gym, Book 2

An abusive father drove Tom Delaney away from Lincoln Beach. Now that he’s back to settle his family’s affairs, he’s finding that not even the good things he left behind are the same. The old neighborhood is a dangerous slum. Eddie’s diner is on its last legs. Gloria, who looked after him like her own son, is seriously ill.

His only refuge is Bannon’s Gym, where Danny Bannon nurtured his talent for mixed martial arts. Bannon’s also harbors Travis, his ex—as in ex-sparring partner, ex one-night stand. The man who, the last time they faced off in the ring, left Tom with a broken jaw and a concussion.

The sparks are still there, in the ring and out of it. But when Travis’s own troubles quite literally explode, their only chance to build something solid on their broken past could go up in flames.

Buy Links: Samhain | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

Dividers

Blurb – Tap Out: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

Bannon’s Gym, Book 3

As a child, Tom Delaney did the best he could to protect his mother from his abusive father, but her eventual suicide left him a guarded and wary man who’s still carrying around a metric ton of baggage.

aAt Bannon’s Gym, Tom learned how to take back his power, and found love with fellow mixed martial arts fighter Travis Gallagher. Yet Tom can’t bring himself to take their relationship to the next level. Not if moving in together means leaving behind Gloria, his surrogate mom, who’s desperately ill.

When Gloria’s son, Eddie, hires an out-of-work nurse to care for Gloria, Tom is out of excuses—and afraid he’s being pushed out of his family of choice. That fear explodes in a violent sparring session that leaves Travis with a broken nose and Tom on the brink of getting booted out of Bannon’s Gym for good.

When tragedy strikes, Tom realizes it’ll take more than fists to conquer his fears, or he risks losing everything—his fighting career, his family, and the man he loves.

Pre-order Links: Samhain | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

Dividers

Review: Takedown and Tap Out are the continuation of the Bannon’s Gym series, a story about an MMA gym and the fighters that call it home, and their personal struggles and public fights. To get the full effect of the story, I recommend reading the books from the beginning, and in order. I was a big fan of the first one, and these two did not disappoint. A couple of hot boxers, lots of angst, tragedies, and hot sex make for a perfect story that takes you on an emotionally entertaining ride.

All the action takes place at Bannon’s Gym, in a seaside California town. The gym is owned by an ex boxer and trainer, Danny Bannon. He’s also a mentor to up-and-coming fighters like Tom Delany. Eddie Roscoe is Danny’s partner and also an ex-fighter whom Danny trained. The first book was their story, and I highly recommend it because it will give the background to everything that happens in the next two books.

We meet Tom Delany in the first book. He is a runaway with an abusive father and an alcoholic mother. Danny and Eddie take him under their wing in the gym. Tom is a naturally gifted boxer, and the two men recognize this. The gym is also a way to keep Tom off the streets and out of a bad home environment. Takedown takes place a couple of years after Bannon’s Gym, as Tom comes home after finishing college to tie up familial loose ends. He hates the town and feels like whenever he’s there, something horrible happens to him or to his loved ones. He’s got a major guilt complex.

Bad memories rear their ugly heads, and one of them is Travis Gallagher.
He’s not exactly that, but is an ex-sparring partner and lover. Lots of complications arise when the two are thrown together again in the ring, particularly those pesky lusty feelings. Both still are hot for each other and after they pound each other in the ring, they pound each other in the bedroom. All that aggression leads to some steamy grappling.
There are complications with Travis’s junkie ex, Aaron, and Tom’s commitment issues, but everything works out in the end.

In Tap Out the story continues but this time it’s told from Aaron’s point of view. Last we left him he was trying to get clean and get back on his feet. Tom and Travis are working on their relationship. Travis wants Tom to move in but as usual, Tom has issues which create tension between the two. Gloria, Eddie’s mother, takes a turn for the worse, and Aaron is hired to take care of her. As her health deteriorates, things come to a head. But all is not lost and the ending works perfectly in the story.

Takedown and Tap Out are character driven, emotional stories. They also give an insight into the world of MMA and what kind of mental and physical resolve is needed to get to the top. I had a love/hate relationship with these characters because I was totally drawn into their lives, and some of their actions made me smile while others pissed me off! LOL. I love complicated characters because just like in real like, nothing is black and white; there’s a lot of gray.

Takedown and Tap Out score a KO and are well worth reading. They will not disappoint!






You can buy Takedown here: Samhain | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

You can pre-order Tap Out here: Samhain | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Three – The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway

2014

Greetings, everyone!

The Best of the Best continues today in our selections for top reads of 2014. Just in case you missed them, Sammy’s and Tina’s choices can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s and Jules’ choices can be found HERE, and just like those, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win e-copies of any TWO of the titles in today’s selections, winner’s choice. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cat Grant, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Chris, Self-Published

A Transwoman Finds The Courage To Become Her True Self In Cat Grant’s “Breaking Free”

Title: Breaking Free

Author: Cat Grant

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Richard Carr has the kind of life most people would envy. Partner in a major Los Angeles law firm, married to the man of his dreams, Richard seems to have it made – except for the lie he’s been living for the past forty-odd years. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cat Grant, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Kim, Samhain Publishing

Cat Grant And L.A. Witt Know “The Only One Who Matters” – Reviewed by Kim


“The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” ― Ellen Glasgow


Title: The Only One Who Matters (The Only One: Book Two)

Author: Cat Grant & L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 183 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: No man—and no heart—left behind.
Continue reading

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Welcome Cat Grant And L.A. Witt And The “Guarded” Blog Tour


Cat and Lori: Hi! Thanks for joining Cat and Lori on this blog tour/giveaway celebrating the release of our first joint self-published book, Guarded. We know you’ll enjoy this super-hot, super-kinky tale of a rock star and his bodyguard. Leave a comment for a chance to win a special Guarded swag pack, featuring an exclusive T-shirt and signed paperback! Each comment counts as an entry, so follow us on all of our stops and rack up more chances to win!

TNA: Hi, Cat and L.A., thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourselves, hobbies, interests, things we might not know about you but should?

Cat: I have a bed linen fetish. (Seriously – my credit card SHRIEKS whenever I walk past Pottery Barn.) You could call me a TV and music junkie too – I’ve got over 80 gigs of music in my iTunes library.

L.A: I’m a music junkie too, and my debit card hyperventilates when I get anywhere near a bookstore. Especially a used bookstore. If they have used CDs, I’m really screwed. I’m also a photographer. Used to be pro, but then realized how much I hate working weddings. So now it’s just a hobby.

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What is it that drew you toward exploring gay relationships in your writing? Do you enter a different mindset when writing M/M as opposed to M/F? Or, for that matter, M/M/M, M/M/F, and all the other relationship variants?

Cat: I wrote slash fan fiction for, oh, twenty-odd years before I turned my hand to pro-fic, so I’m pretty comfortable writing all the colors of the rainbow. I tend to concentrate on M/M these days, but I’ve also written a TON of M/M/F.

No, I don’t really enter a different mind-set when I switch sub-genres. Writing is writing. Love is love.

L.A.: I started out writing epic fantasy, then switched to erotic romance when I started writing full-time. A few books later, I was dared to write M/M, and… well, here we are. I can’t even put my finger on why it clicked as well as it did, but writing about two men was almost immediately easy. It just made sense, I guess.

As far as a different mindset, no. As Cat said, love is love.

TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing your first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?

Cat: Enjoy the relative peace and quiet, ‘cause once you get published, the roller coaster never stops.

L.A.: OMG, Cat hit that one on the head. Also probably something to the effect of “it’s okay to reject advice that doesn’t sound right, because there’s a good chance it’s not right for you.”

Cat: Yes! That too. I often tell new writers to ignore the naysayers. Sure, your early work will suck – everybody’s does. Just believe in yourself and work hard, and you’ll get there. Above all – don’t give up!

TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? What’s your idea of a great protagonist?

Cat: Cat & Lori books usually feature one or more alpha males butting heads. Or in Jordan’s case – an alpha in the streets, a total submissive pain-slut in the sheets.

A great protag—whether you like him or not—engages the emotions and takes you on a roller coaster ride with him. Them. (You all know what I mean!)

L.A.: LOL @ Cat’s description of Jordan. Right on the money. So far, our books are definitely big on alpha males butting heads. And pulling hair. And shoving. And—

Cough. Sorry. I’d say our characters are generally alphas but not assholes, sweet but not pushovers, and intelligent but somewhat prone to doing stupid stuff in the heat of the moment. And maybe that last part’s not even accurate. Maybe the better way to say it would be that our guys aren’t stupid, but they’re very, very human, and sometimes when emotions run high, people make mistakes.

TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about the reason you’re both here today, your new book Guarded. First of all, rock stars: what made you decide Jordan Kane needed to be a rock star, and what is it, do you think, that makes him particularly sexy?

Cat: What isn’t sexy about him? He’s hot, he’s talented, he’s got a volatile temper. He’s kinky as hell. Everything about him screams “DANGEROUS!” Who wouldn’t want to write about a character like that?

But yes, as Lori points out below, he has a heart. In fact, it’s his love for his best friend that very nearly undoes him.

L.A.: Jordan was one of those characters who came along and said “You bitches are writing my story, so sit down and grab a pen.” He’s dangerous, he’s impulsive, he’s demanding, but he’s also got a huge heart, desperately wants to save his best friend from himself, and craves the kind of love Jase is offering. I mean, we basically had to write this guy if either of us was ever going to sleep again.

TNA: You explore dominance and submission in the book, something it seems Jordan very much needs from his bodyguard/boyfriend, Jase Hewitt, if I’m reading the blurb correctly, to cope with the stress of life in the spotlight. Was a D/s relationship always a part of the plotting process, or did the characters lead you there once you started writing? What would you each say is the most difficult part of writing a really good BDSM scene?

Cat: We were shooting for kinky from the get-go, but we had no idea HOW kinky until the characters decided to go full-tilt-boogie on us. It really was a case of them whispering their darkest fantasies into our ears, so of course we had no choice but to give our boys (yes, Jase too!) what they needed.

Writing BDSM’s really not that hard once you find the emotional core of the scene. It’s not all about toys and costumes. The connection between the characters is what’s most important, IMO.

L.A.: We’ve both written quite a bit of BDSM before, so that was nothing new, but the dynamic between Jase and Jordan was certainly an intense roller coaster. We never knew when one of them would pull out all the stops, and when the other would get overwhelmed because it was too much, and how they’d eventually find a happy medium. Basically, every time we pushed Jase and Jordan deeper into the D/s relationship, we were dumping an entire bucket of fireworks onto a bonfire and then standing back to see if the result was an amazing show or a disastrous explosion.

Cat: WOOHOO! *lights a firecracker, waits for it to go BOOM!*

TNA: In a few sentences, what would you each say about the character you didn’t write that complements and makes him work with the character you created and wrote?

Cat: One of our betas called Jase “the ultimate service Top,” and yeah, that describes him pretty well. He’s a protector at heart. A calming, even nurturing influence on Jordan, who is – let’s face it – intense and stressed and veering out of control.

L.A.: Jordan is a firecracker. No two ways about it. He’s not only the kind of man who wants someone to rein him in, but the kind who needs it. He needs someone who’s willing to push him right to the edge of his limits, but is also safe and sane enough to know when to stop pushing. Essentially, Jordan is a sports car with way too much horsepower, and Jase is the foot on the brake. And as much as Jase is a protector, kind of Mr. Play It Safe, Jordan is basically the wild yin to Jase’s calm yang. Just the right amount of dangerous to keep things interesting, but willing to be pulled back to safety before things get too far out of control.

In other words, Jase seriously has his hands full with Jordan, but that’s how he likes it.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from the book with us?

Cat: Of course! Here’s a tantalizing scene from Jordan’s POV, where Jase takes him to his first play party.

Blurb: On the surface, rock star Jordan Kane has it all. His band No Rules is burning up the charts and headlining a world tour. His bodyguard doubles as a hot, kinky boyfriend who knows just how to push all his buttons. But behind the scenes, he’s suffocating.

Jase Hewitt never imagined he’d have a shot at bedding the larger than life rock star – never mind dominating him – but now he’s worried he’s in over his head. Jordan’s kinks run deep, dark, and sometimes dangerous, putting Jase’s desires to both pleasure and protect him at odds.

They might have a fighting chance at finding the safe, happy medium between what Jordan needs and what Jase is willing to give, but there’s one problem: Daniel, Jordan’s childhood best friend, the band’s talented guitarist — and a volatile, hard-partying drug addict. Jordan is determined to save Daniel from himself, but Jase has been there, done that, and desperately wants to protect Jordan from the inevitable heartache of watching an addict self-destruct.

When Daniel goes off the rails again, Jordan calls off the tour to get him help. Tension within the band skyrockets and pressure from the record label sends Jordan into a dark spiral. Now his band — and his life — are balanced on a knife’s edge, and Jase is the only one who can pull him back… but only if the echoes of his own tragic past don’t push him over first.

Excerpt: “Jordan.” Jase’s voice cut through the resurgent buzz of conversation. He stood next to Robert by the unlit fireplace, turning something long and black over and over in his hands. A piece of ribbon?

No. A length of black leather with a shiny, open padlock dangling at one end.

“Come here,” Jase said, in that command tone that never failed to make every part of me stand at attention—including the part trapped down the front of these skintight leather pants.

I was used to having thousands of eyes on me when I performed, so why did eight people watching me now send every last drop of blood flooding my face? Licking my lips, I padded across the carpet, ten steps that felt more like half a mile, and dropped to my knees in front of Jase.

Renee gasped. Jase almost did too—at least, I could’ve sworn I heard him inhale. This wasn’t anything we’d planned or rehearsed, it just seemed like the right thing to do. The thing Jase would’ve wanted me to do.

“Look at me, Jordan.”

I lifted my chin slowly, meeting his gaze. We hadn’t rehearsed this part either, but I had a good idea what he intended.

“Do you accept my collar for the evening?” he asked.

“Yes, Jase.” I bent my head and let him put it on, practically swooning as his fingers brushed my throat, every touch as intimate as a kiss. Probably the only time he’d be touching my throat all evening, and everyone was watching.

He finished buckling it on, the lock sliding in place with a soft click, then ruffled my hair and cupped my cheek. His warm, sweaty skin was too tempting to resist. I kissed his palm, savoring the salty taste, and heard Renee murmur, “How beautiful.”

“Stand, Jordan,” Jase ordered. I don’t know how I managed it with the weight of all those gazes on me, but I swayed to my feet, pulse tripping when Jase looped an arm around my waist. “Relax,” he murmured.

“Would you like to see the dungeon?” Robert asked. “I’ve made some improvements since you were here last, Jase.”

“Love to,” Jase said.

I followed several paces behind, like Jase had told me to, as everyone picked up their bags on their way to that amazing wrought-iron staircase. Down we went, into the room I’d thought was the basement, but instead of a musty hole in the ground, the door at the base of the stairs opened onto a generous, moodily-lit space with various toys and implements either hanging from or propped against the walls.

A pair of leather-upholstered X-shaped crosses stood side by side. A matching table, upholstered in the same oxblood-colored leather, stood in the center of the room, eyebolts for easy-access bondage decorating all points. A sturdy wooden frame with multi-colored rope woven through it in a chain-link pattern took up an entire wall, right next to a double-tiered rack of floggers and whips.

Jase walked up to the rope web and ran his hand over it. “I don’t remember seeing this before.”

“That’s one of the improvements. The others are…” Robert pointed up, indicating a collection of hooks and O-rings bolted to the ceiling. “We’ve had the ceiling reinforced for suspension.”

“Very cool. Although I don’t think Jordan’s ready to be hoisted fifteen feet in the air, are you, Jordan?”

God, he actually expected me to talk standing here in the middle of all this? Breathe, dammit. I glanced up at the suspension points, my insides going as wobbly as fresh Jello. Heights didn’t usually bother me. I spent most of my life playing on elevated stages where my likelihood of falling was nil. But if anyone lost their grip on the suspension rope, I’d end up with a broken neck, if I survived at all. “I, um, I’d rather not, Jase.”

“Try the web, darling,” Renee said, coming up behind me. I thought she was about to lay her hands on my shoulders, but the possessive glow flickering in Jase’s eyes warned her off. “It’ll hold you up beautifully. Just fall into it and drift off to that lovely forever place.”

Jase held out his hand, and I went to him. I let him shove me up against the web, my fingers threading through the rope, holding tight. It had enough give to hold my weight, and if I shut my eyes and let myself go limp, it was almost like falling face first into my mattress at home.

Jase pushed his hard cock against the small of my back. Why did he still have his jeans on—and that fucking decadent leather coat? “Shirt off,” he said. “Don’t turn around.”

I kept my grip on the web with one hand while I unbuttoned my shirt with the other. Slid it off my shoulders—or rather, Jase did. He had his hands in my hair again, tying it back with a leather thong, and when he pushed me up against the web this time, all I felt was the soft rasp of cotton on my back. “Shall I tie you? Or do you think you can hold on?”

“I, uh…” I gave the web a couple of hard tugs. It wasn’t going anywhere. “I’m good.”

He buried his face in my neck, my hair, inhaling deeply. I let my head fall back, allowing him full access to my throat. He licked his way along the pulse in my carotid, got a piece of skin between his teeth, and bit down hard.

Hard enough to leave a mark—I hoped, I hoped.

I groaned when he moved away, darting a glance over my shoulder. He rummaged in his bag, drawing out a coil of long, sleek, deadly-looking leather. One of the singletails he’d shown me at his apartment the other day. “One more time—what’s our safeword?” he said.

“Violet.”

“Do you want this?”

How could he even ask, when I was already trembling, dying for him to touch me? To fuck me or flog me. To grind me into nothing and bring me back to life again. “God, Jase, just do it. Whatever you’re gonna do…”

“Say it,” he growled. “Tell me you want it.”

“I-I want it. Want you.”

“Good.” He nuzzled my throat again, then grabbed me by the chin, those icy eyes of his nearly melting me. “I’m gonna hurt you now. And yes—everyone is watching.”

And with that, he stepped back and laid his whip across me.

TNA: How is collaborative writing easier and/or more difficult than writing a book on your own? Do you find your style and character voices change at all when writing with someone else?

Cat: No, not really. In fact, I think Lori’s and my voices mesh pretty well. Most people can’t tell which of us wrote what, which is, IMHO, the highest compliment a writing partnership can receive.

And “What Lori said” about the perks of co-writing. Two filthy minds are definitely better than one!

L.A.: I’m just going to start putting “What Cat said” in every answer, because she nailed it. LOL As far as collaborative vs solo, the biggest perk of co-writing is when you get stuck, you have someone who knows the story/characters as well as you do who can help you get unstuck. Plus, with the way Cat and I write – alternating chapters – there’s a certain little thrill in getting a shiny new chapter in your inbox, and then saying “Oh, it’s gonna be like that? OH IT’S ON NOW…” and writing the next one. It’s kind of this playful back and forth thing, trying to pull the rug out from under each other, and in doing so, we create all kinds of tension between the characters.

So basically, co-writing rules.

TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve each written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?

Cat: I’ll have to go with Guarded. I got so swept up in the characters and the story, I got a little depressed for a few days after we typed “The End.”

L.A.: Oh man, I couldn’t choose between the books we’ve written. I love Jase and Jordan, but I love the SEALs too. DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!

TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you most like to spend time with, and what makes him/her someone you think you could be friends with?

Cat: Not sure I’d want to hang out with Jordan – he’s a bit intense for me. Jase, OTOH – yeah, we could do lunch. I’d love to pick his brain about his days as a submissive. (And actually, that’s a story Lori and I are kicking around – so stay tuned!)

L.A.: Jase is really laidback, so I could definitely hang out with him. Jordan, too, if he was duly restrained. Or occupied. By, say, polishing a pair of boots…

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?

Cat: I’m currently finishing up TAP OUT, the third book in my Bannon’s Gym series for Samhain, then Lori and I have a few new irons in the fire. *rubs hands together*

L.A.: I have…my God, so many things in the works, all of which I’m trying to wrap up so Cat and I can go on to our next project. I’m currently working on a Klondike Gold Rush era steampunk novella, a lesbian military romance, a contemporary bisexual ménage, and a sequel to Aleksandr Voinov’s Dark Soul series. Needless to say, it’s keeping me busy.

Cat: As usual, Lori makes me look like a slacker.

TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?

Cat’s Bio: Cat Grant lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California, with one persnickety feline and way too many books and DVDs. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her watching movies or TV (Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries are among her favorite shows), singing along to her favorite band (30 Seconds to Mars), or fantasizing about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender and/or Jared Leto.

Here’s Cat’s various hideouts on the Internet:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | You can contact her directly at: cat@catgrant.com

Subscribe to her newsletter here.

~*~

L.A.’s Bio: L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

Website | Twitter: @GallagherWitt | Blog

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Cat Grant, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published

There’s Heartache To Be Had In Cat Grant And L.A. Witt’s “Guarded” – Reviewed by Lynn


“It hurts to love. It’s like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.” ― Susan Sontag


Title: Guarded

Authors: Cat Grant & L.A. Witt

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 344 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: On the surface, rock star Jordan Kane has it all. His band No Rules is burning up the charts and headlining a world tour. His bodyguard doubles as a hot, kinky boyfriend who knows just how to push all his buttons. But behind the scenes, he’s suffocating.
Continue reading

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A.E. Via, A.J. Corza, Allison Cassatta, Angel Martinez, Cardeno C., Cat Grant, GayRomLit, GotYouCovrd, Hayden Thorne, Heidi Belleau, Heidi Cullinan, L.A. Witt, Mary Calmes, Nicole Dennis, Rebecca Cohen, S.A. Meade, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had an outstanding week, and are gearing up for another.

We’ve been busy as can be around here these days, booking more great authors and reading more great books, and we’re looking forward to more great fun in the months to come. We’re building up the GayRomLit Countdown Celebration roster of authors, which Rhys Ford kicked off for us last month. I’m sure we’ll be adding more as the months move along, but here’s a list of confirmed authors you can watch for here at TNA between now and October:

Charlie Cochet | Daisy Harris | Edmond Manning | Ethan Day | Jaime Samms | LE Franks | Lex Chase | RJ Scott | Sophie Bonaste | Z.A. Maxfield | Jordan L. Hawk | Katey Hawthorne | Jamie Lynn Miller | Brandon Witt | Zathyn Priest | J.K. Hogan

How about that for a lineup? We’ll keep you posted on additions as the tour continues. But, for now, here’s what’s on tap for the coming week.

MondayAllison Cassatta is our lead-off guest today with a RainbowCon Celebration and Giveaway

Riptide Publishing presents a Spotlight Stop on Heidi Belleau’s Straight Shooter tour today, and there’s a Giveaway

Pride Promotions presents the Not in the Stars Anthology Blog Tour. We’ll have Angel Martinez here to represent, and there’ll be a tour-wide giveaway

TuesdayHayden Thorne comes back for a visit to talk about her newest release Banshee, and she’ll be giving away an e-copy of the book

Rebecca Cohen is also with us today, with a Backlist Book Bump and an e-copy giveaway of her book Servitude

WednesdayNicole Dennis stops by to join in the RainbowCon Celebration fun, and she’s offering a giveaway

A.E. Via is also with us today on her Nothing Special Blog Tour, and she’s got a giveaway too

And A.J. Corza’s back with another great installment of Got You Covered

ThursdayHeidi Cullinan makes TNA a stop on her Tough Love Blog Tour and she’s offering a giveaway

FridayCat Grant and L.A. Witt pair up and come calling on the Guarded Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

SaturdayCardeno C. and Mary Calmes are here on their Control Blog Tour. They let me interview Robert and Vy, and they’re giving away an e-copy of the book

SundayS.A. Meade is our guest today with a guest post about her newest release, Tournament of Shadows, and she’s giving away an e-copy of the book

And that brings another week to a close. Until next time, happy reading!

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Cat Grant

Look Who’s Come For A Visit – It’s Cat Grant, A “Black Dog”, And There’s A Giveaway!

37307_mediumHello, all! Thanks for joining me on my blog tour for Black Dog, the first book in my new Bannon’s Gym series. (Hot mixed martial arts fighters – rawwrrr!) I’m giving away a brand new Kindle Paperwhite loaded with my entire back list. Follow along at all my stops on this tour – and leave comments on each. Every comment counts as another chance to win! I’ll announce the winner on my blog on Friday, August 30th.

I’ve never been much of a sports fan, but the first mixed martial arts fight I ever saw had me glued to the edge of my chair. If you’ve seen the movie Haywire, featuring Gina Carano, the former women’s middleweight champ, you already know what I mean. I sat there in the theater, completely agog as she kicked the crap out of her male co-stars with ease.

Not long after, I stumbled across my first all-men’s fight on cable and the blatant homoeroticism (it’s not called a full contact sport for nothing!) and feral intensity blew me away. This particular fight only lasted one round – with the victor winning by KO with a vicious roundhouse kick – but that was it. I was well and truly hooked.

I quickly grew addicted to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I couldn’t afford the pay-per-views (fifty bucks a shot is a bit rich for this author’s blood), but I never missed the weekly show on FX. I started rooting for up and coming fighters like Adam Cella and Uriah Hall. I usually can’t stand reality shows, but I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Then, inevitably, I started making up stories. I envisioned a gym on the less affluent side of a California beach town, run by a former MMA champion – a guy with a tragic past and an ex-lover who used to be a fighter himself. Then I got another idea, about a teenage runaway desperate to learn how to defend himself, and realized these were two halves of the same story. Angst and drama ensue (hey, it’s a Cat Grant book – angst and drama are my calling cards!), along with a fair amount of grunting, sweating and flying fists.

ZOOM ENABLED :-D

ZOOM ENABLED :-D

And here’s the hot trio I used for inspiration: Gerard Butler as Danny, owner of Bannon’s Gym. Michael Fassbender (naturally!) as Eddie, his on-again, off-again lover and James McAvoy (managing to look simultaneously adorable and badass) as Tom, the teenage runaway. Is it any wonder these characters kept me up writing ‘til 2 or 3 AM every night?

Black Dog is now available at Amazon, All Romance ebooks and Smashwords. Here’s a blurb to whet your appetites:

Danny Bannon and Eddie Roscoe have been fighting in and out of the ring for more than fifteen years, held together by mutual attraction and small-town ties, yet kept apart by a shared tragedy that continues to haunt them. Their steady on-again off-again is shaken up by the arrival of Tom Delaney, a teenage runaway trying to escape his tense home situation and his punch-happy dad.

In no time, the scrawny homeless kid has shown himself to be a boxing prodigy, and building him up brings Danny and Eddie closer than they’ve been in ages. It seems that the three of them, plus Eddie’s mother, Gloria, are forming a new family unit, much tighter than anything Tom experienced in his difficult past.

But Tom’s politically influential father isn’t the only person he left behind. When his mother shows up at Eddie and Gloria’s diner with a shiner and a haunted look in her eyes, Tom is hopeful for her future. But when that hope is snuffed out, Tom is ready to turn his new fighting skills to a deadly purpose: get revenge on his abusive father or die trying.

It’s up to his surrogate big brothers, Danny and Eddie, to put their differences and their painful history aside to prevent another tragic ending.

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Cat Grant lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California, with one persnickety feline and way too many books and DVDs. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her watching movies or TV (Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries are among her favorite shows), singing along to whatever’s on her iPod, or fantasizing about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender.

Here’s Cat’s various hideouts on the Internet:
Website: http://catgrant.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatGrant2009
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cat.grant
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1912055.Cat_Grant
You can contact her directly at: cat@catgrant.com

You can purchase Black Dog from the following e-tailers:




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All Romance Ebooks, Cat Grant, Self-Published

Lace Up Your Gloves, Cat Grant Is In Fighting Form In “Black Dog”!

“By running off to the seminary? Joining the Marines? Trying to save every street kid who lands on your doorstep? Who do you think you’re kidding? They’re all just substitutes for the one you didn’t save.” — Danny to Eddie in Black Dog



I am a huge fan of Cat Grant’s work, so when I had the opportunity to read Black Dog early and review it, I jumped at the chance. Now I regret that jump. Not because the book isn’t excellent, but because it is the first in a series. It is so good that it’s the kind of book you want to start after the whole series has been published so you don’t have to wait to see what happens. I’m impatient like that!

Black Dog is the first in the “Bannon’s Gym” series. Danny Bannon owns the aforementioned gym and is one of the MCs in this installment. His counterpart is Eddie Roscoe who owns (along with his mother) “Eddie’s” a diner previously owned by his grandfather and father. Danny and Eddie have know each other forever. They have also been in love with each other forever. They have had a tumultuous relationship.

Eddie used to be a championship boxer trained by Danny. Their relationship outside the ring led to a tragedy either one would give his own life to undo. At a point in their relationship where they have been estranged for months, along comes Tom, a gay teen whose father refused to accept his sexuality. A homeless teenager sleeping behind the dumpster at the diner. Tom attends the same high school Danny and Eddie did and obviously comes from money. Eddie’s savior complex shifts into high gear and he gives Tom a place to stay for the night.

A night on the couch in the office turns into a job and a room at Eddie’s mom’s house. His mother, Gloria is a hilarious balance to the serious nature of most of the book. They by-play Cat Grant writes between Eddie and his mom proves that even a thirty something independent man can still be told what to do by his mom.

Tom has run from a horribly abusive father. His father, a powerful man in the community, beat him before he came out, but the violence escalated afterward. His mother is also being abused, but she refused to leave. Tom recently turned 18 and decided he couldn’t take it another day. Eddie and Gloria encourage Tom to train at Bannon’s to learn how to protect himself if the need arises in the future. Eddie and Danny join forces when Tom shows amazing potential as a fighter. They become the big brothers, the protectors, the mentors that Tom desperately needed his whole life.

Ms. Grant masterfully writes of the abuse Tom has suffered, while not being too graphic. The way she uses Tom’s suffering and healing to force Eddie and Danny together is so sweet. How could either of these men, as written by Ms. Grant not be moved to help a boy who appears to have been helpless up until now. The scenes in the gym are in turn snarky, sweet, sexy and sweaty. The kind of sweat generated when men pound on each other in anger that soon turns to something else entirely.

Banding together to support Tom forces Danny and Eddie to confront the loss that has kept coming between them for years. These characters feel real, their pain in that confrontation is deep, and we the readers are able to see how greatly it has affected all areas of their lives.

They have faults, weaknesses and what I call “-isms”, which are weird little flaws particular to a person. Not necessarily faults, just “-isms”. The realism (!) Ms. Grant injects into these characters is what makes this such a good story. Their feelings and reactions to those feelings are real and realistic. Their relationships with their friends, family, lovers are real. They seem like people you would meet if you wandered in to Anytown, USA.

I don’t know how many more books are planned for the “Bannon’s Gym” series, but I will fight my way to the top of the reviewer pile to get to them first! A knockout recommendation.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy Black Dog (Bannon’s Gym #1) here:

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