Tag: Cat Grant

Review: Doubtless by Cat Grant

Posted July 13, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Loving your best friend is hard . . . especially when he’s marrying someone else.

On the surface, Steve Campbell seems to have it all: a beautiful home, a snazzy car, and a dream job as one of the country’s top 3-D optics researchers. But underneath, he’s restless and dissatisfied, tired of empty encounters with leggy lab assistants and endless evenings alone.

A chance meeting with a handsome escort lifts Steve’s spirits and opens his eyes to his long-repressed attraction to men—and his love for his best friend and business partner, Connor Morrison.

Connor might’ve loved Steve like that once, but now it’s too late for their happily ever after; Connor’s about to ask his boyfriend to marry him. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn about yourself, and maybe Steve can find a happy ending on his own.
Steve Campbell made a huge mistake. He wanted his best friend Connor to be happy so he bought him a rentboy for his birthday (for that story read Priceless). Now Steve did a good thing but he basically shot himself in the foot on that one. He’s just now figuring out that he is actually in love with Connor and while Connor and Wes (former rentboy) are incredibly happy, he’s completely miserable. Steve tries to make himself feel better by going to have a drink and trying to pick up women, but none seem interested and frankly he’s not all that into it either.
Enter male escort. Dylan happens to be meeting someone at the hotel where Steve is hanging out. They talk and Dylan gives Steve a few pointers about his style of dressing. Steve likes Dylan and invites him to dinner – even though he knows he’s paying by the hour for Dylan’s companionship. Eventually Dylan takes Steve to a tailor and stylist who make him look and feel 10 years younger. Dylan also helps Steve to realize that he’s bisexual and that there’s not a problem with that. The problem is that as nice as Dylan is, he’s still a paid escort and Steve is still in love with Connor.
Matters come to a head when Connor asks Steve to be his best man when he and Wes eventually get married. Steve is despondent but realizes that his chance with Connor has passed and that he has to move on.
This was an interesting story. It’s not a romance but more of a coming into your own type of story. The whole short story was about self awareness, self-esteem and confidence – along with the emotional upheaval of having to understand that you will never have the person you love but that person is so happy, it’s ok.
Oh how I wish that this had been a love story. It would’ve had to have been significantly longer, but I would have loved seeing Steve work through his emotions, come into his own and move on with another man. I really liked Dylan, the paid escort in this story, even though we didn’t get to know him at all. He seemed to be comfortable in his own skin and though a minor character really played a major part in Steve seeing the light of day in his own life. I almost felt bad about for Dylan at the end of the book as he had served his purpose and was let go. I’m just a big softy. lol
In the end it was a good story with a satisfying ending.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 9, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Well it was an ever so exciting week in Tracyland this past week.
As I stated last Monday my new boss started and so far so good. She’s a very nice woman and though it was a pretty quiet week with her getting to know the place, etc. it was all good. Cross fingers that things continue to go well. 🙂
Then it was my baby’s 10th birthday yesterday. 10! How the heck did that happen? lol She was gearing up for the day and her party all week. We had the party at a local gym and the kids had a great time doing all the fun gym stuff as well as rock climbing & jumping into the pit of foam blocks. I called it the pit of doom because it seemed once the kids got in they had a damned hard time getting back out. lol  They all loved it of course. Here’s a few pictures:
The Pit of Doom
Her first time rock wall climbing
I think she wanted to stay in the pit forever
 We did have a bit of an OMG moment before the party when we went to pick up the cupcake cake. They, uh, spelling my daughters name wrong. Since the name was the only thing printed on the thing it was a bit obvious. My daughters name is KYRA. The cake said KRYA. Yeah, so much for spelling the name for the bakery worker and repeating it back and forth on the phone 4 times. They changed it while we waited but the colors were off and yeah, it was a bit disappointing. Thank God I just laughed about it – I mean, what could I do, right? 🙂 The saddest thing was that in the end the cupcakes were great but the frosting was horrible. Oh well – can’t have it all. 
Anyway, on to what I read last week:
I started off the week with Tempted by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham. This was a medieval story of a boy who has been a slave for most of his life and had been constantly tortured. The fiancé of the man who is doing the torturing helps the slave and they form a sort of bond that becomes unbreakable. You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5
Next up was The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands. Book 17 in the Argeneau story has us FINALLY getting Jeanne Louise’s story. She’s quite young in vamp years – only 102 – so she wasn’t expecting to meet her life mate for maybe hundreds of years. She meets hers, however, when he kidnaps her so that she can turn his daughter into an Immortal to save her from dying from cancer. It’s a great love story and was a bit heart-wrenching because of the daughter but also what happens between Jeanne Louise and her life mate Paul. I’ll post my review for this later this month. (releases 7/31/12) 4 out of 5
My next book was Larkspur Road by Jill Gregory. This is book 2 in the Lonesome Way series and it was a good book. The story focused not only on the love story between Mia and Travis but also the troubles Travis’s son was having, an issue with Mia’s great-aunt and Mia’s niece, Brittany. A sounds story but light on the romance because of everything else that was going on. You can read my full review here on Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5
Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle is the story of an English Aristo living in New York with her millions and her finding love with a man who lives in Five Points – one of the very worst parts of New York. They actually meet while both of them are in England and Matthew falls for Bernadette almost immediately. Bernadette never wants to marry again after living for 12 years with her now deceased husband who was 43 years older than her. The book was not only about their love story but Matthew seeing a new life for himself, moving in that direction and becoming the man he always knew he could be. I’ll post my review of this later this month. (releases 7/24) 3.75 out of 5
Doubtless by Cat Grant was my last read for the week. This story has to do with Steve who was a character in Grant’s book, Priceless. I’ll post my review for this one this week.
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: Priceless by Cat Grant

Posted May 11, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

This book is part of the Riptide Rentboys 2012 Collection
Connor Morrison is a 3D optics pioneer, the star of the UC Berkeley physics department, and a socially-inept workaholic. And with his dear friend and business partner, Steve Campbell, handling their investors, he’s content to remain in the shadows. That is, until he meets the gorgeous and starry-eyed physics student Wes Martin.

Wes is brilliant but broke. Ever since his scholarship fell victim to the financial crisis, he’s had no choice but to sell his body to stay in school. Already half in love with Connor, Wes initially resists Steve’s offer to be Connor’s thirty-fifth birthday present. But in the end, Wes is too broke—and too smitten—to say no.
Wes is a guy who just wants to get through school without having to head back to his home in Indiana and work at a minimum wage job. He’s brilliant and does well but when his scholarship ended he had to figure out how to make money to pay for tuition, rent and food. He becomes a rent boy and that’s how he meets Connor.
Connor has no idea that his friend and business partner paid for Wes as his birthday present. The night of the party things don’t really work out but at a conference things heat up and Wes and Connor find themselves in Connor’s hotel room letting the sparks fly.
Unfortunately Wes can’t let himself get attached to Connor. He’s had a crush on Connor for years but knows that if Connor found out about his “job” he’d never be able to look him in the eye. Connor was shocked that Wes ran out of the hotel room while he was sleeping as he truly felt a connection with Wes. When they run into each other because Wes has moved in to an apartment just three doors down from Connor it’s a bit awkward. Connor still has burgeoning feelings for Wes but feels rejected. Wes is ashamed but still has feelings for Connor though he knows he can’t act on them.
In the meantime Wes has gotten a regular john who likes to spank him. When the john gets violent with Wes Connor manages to step in and save the day – but where does that leave Connor and Wes now that Connor knows the truth?
*sigh* I just love rentboy stories. In this one it’s the connection of Connor and Wes even after the truth comes out about Wes. Connor could have so easily judged and kept on judging but he saw something in Wes that he couldn’t deny and decided to give him a chance. That’s just so appealing to me!
In this story I felt for Wes. He’d really not had an easy life but it was pretty good. Then his senior year comes along and bam – no full ride scholarship any longer and he’s stuck with all those bills that he never had to worry about before. I can’t imagine how horrible that must have been for him. He’d had a pretty good time of it once he started the rentboy gig but then along came “Tom”. Tom was a pig and liked to spank. That’s not too bad and frankly Wes made a bunch of money off of it – even though he hated it. Tom then resorted to blackmail and the real Tom showed up – physical abuse and getting off on someone else’s pain.
Wes was physically as well as emotionally hurt but Connor came through for him in many different ways. The caring and attention that Connor gave to Wes was just what he needed to make it through and I think it solidified the feelings swirling around both of the men.
This was a great book and one that I would definitely recommend.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 23, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 7 Comments

Greetings Earthlings
It wasn’t too busy of a week this week. Now that Easter’s over the office has calmed considerable so it’s kind of business as usual. I like the super busy times but I also like when my days are just “normal”. That doesn’t happen very often as I never know who’s going to walk through the office door but when it happens it’s great. 🙂
The fam and I managed to get to a (very small) carnival yesterday that they had in town for a few days. The girls had fun riding the rides and I managed to win them a couple of toys to take home. Yep, I’m mean with a water pistol. lol
I just had to share this picture of our kitten Echo. She was just so cute hanging out below the window as we have a mother bird nesting under out back patio cover. I was zooming in and she turned around right when the flash went off and this was the result. LOL Too funny.
Have you ever seen the movie The Iron Giant? Great movie but this picture reminded me of the giant when he turns his eyes “on”.
Anyway, on to what I read this week:
I started off the week with Deadly Nightshade by Victor J. Banis. This was my TBR Challenge read for the month and it was really good. Gay cop gets partnered with a straight cop to investigate a series of murders and it looks like a drag queen’s the murderer. Stanley and Tom investigate the murders and kind of end up investigating each other. You can read my review here. 4.25 out of 5
I liked Deadly Nightshade so much that I immediately started on Deadly Wrong by Victor J. Banis right after. This had Stanley headed from San Francisco to Bear Mountain in Southern California to do a childhood friend a favor. Stanley’s supposed to see if he can figure out any info about a supposed manslaughter case. Unfortunately Stanley apparently asking the wrong questions and gets himself into trouble. Tom finds out about Stanley heading south and isn’t thrilled at all – to say the least. This was another great story. I love how Banis seamlessly weaves the relationship portion of the book with the mystery so that it’s all just one great story rather than 2 portions of the same book. I can’t wait to read book 3! 4 out of 5
My next read was North of Heartbreak by Julie Rowe. This story took me to Alaska where Willa has been living and running a clinic. She meets the new pilot Liam who takes her to other villages and to the hospital when needed to deliver a patient. Liam is attracted to Willa right off but she’s leery of men as she was horrible abused by her previous husband. You can read my full review here. 3.5 out of 5
Next was Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant. This story was about a multi-billionaire who wants a man he’s met to play his submissive for 6 months in exchange for 3 million dollars. You can read my full review here. 3.75 out of 5
Priceless by Cat Grant was next up. This story was about a professor who gets sent a rentboy for his birthday by one of his friends – only the professor has no idea that the guys a rentboy and starts having feelings for him. I’ll be reviewing this one this week so keep your eyes open.
Natural Evil by Thea Harrison is a novella in the Elder Races series. This story was about human Claudia Hunter who is driving through Nevada and sees a large dog by the side of the road. She decides to stop and help the animal but starts to think that he may not be a regular dog. He isn’t, he’s a Wyr shifter by the name of Luis who definitely would have died if left on the side of the road. The story follows Luis’s recovery – the reason for his almost demise as well as Claudia and Luis getting together. I really liked the story even though it was to terribly deep. I didn’t care for the fact that it cut off without a HEA but it did give us a Happy For Now ending. 4 out of 5 (Is it just me or does the guy on the cover look like Antonio Banderas?)
A Gentleman Says “I Do” by Amelia Grey was a book I read for The Book Binge. This is the story of Iverson Brentwood who is pissed off because a man wrote a parody about him and his twin brother that basically made his deceased mother look like a loose woman. He goes to the man’s house to knock some teeth and instead of the man finds the man’s daughter Catalina. Iverson and Catalina are instantly attracted to each other and have some great conversations.. But Catalina is keeping secrets from Iverson and isn’t quite sure he’d like her too much if she told him what they were. This was a cute story. It started out slow and got a bit too dramatic at the end but I very much enjoyed the middle. The intelligent yet witty banter between the h/h was pretty darned good. 3.5 out of 5
Under the Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands – another book read for The Book Binge – is book #16 in the Argeneau series. This was about Christian Notte, Marguerite’s son, who heads to the Caribbean on his mother’s request. There he meets his life mate, Carolyn, but she is not going to get close to Christian because she’s 42 and she believes Christian to be around 25 (he’s actually about 500). Christian’s cousin comes up with a plan where she tells Carolyn that Christian is gay and needs a Beard – that way Carolyn can hang with Christian and get to know him without feeling guilty. I like this series – it’s just fluff and humor and just hits that spot for me every time. 3.75 out of 5
Last for the week was a short called Realize by Kerry Freeman. This was about a senior in college who “takes care” of his roommate who is 3 years younger. He has feelings for his roommate though he’s never acted on them. This story has to two getting together. It was a good story but too short! lol I would have loved this to be longer but oh well. 🙂 3 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Review: Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant

Posted April 22, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Brandon McKinney has scraped and sacrificed for what little in life he’s ever had. Though it’s been fifteen years since he escaped his father’s abuse, the damage remains. Trust seems as far out of reach as his dream of becoming an architect, and though he’s come to accept being gay, he can’t deny the shame and confusion he feels at other urges—the deeply-repressed desire to submit.

Jonathan Watkins is a self-made Silicon Valley billionaire whose ex-wife took half his money and even more of his faith. Comfortable as a Dominant but wary of being hurt again, he resorts to anonymous pickups and occasional six-month contracts with subs seeking only a master, not a lover.

When a sizzling back-alley encounter cues Jonathan in to Brandon’s deep-seated submissive side, he makes the man an offer: Give me six months of your life, and I’ll open your eyes to a whole new world. Brandon doesn’t care about that; all he wants is the three million dollars Jonathan’s offering so he can buy the construction company he works for. But he soon learns that six months on his knees is no easy feat, and shame and pride may keep him from all he ever wanted—and all he never dreamed he had any right to have.
The blurb pretty much gives you a background on the story so I’ll start with Jonathan offering the contract to Brandon.
Jonathan wants Brandon as his submissive for six months. At the end of the six months Jonathan will give Brandon the three million dollars he needs to buy the construction company that he works for. Jonathan really likes Brandon’s ideas about building and very much wants to help him out – while getting what he wants as well. Brandon has to think about it for a while – especially after Jonathan shows him his dungeon – but agrees. Jonathan asks Brandon if there are stipulations he needs to make in the contract before they begin. This is where I had my first issue with the story. Jonathan basically has told Brandon nothing about what being a submissive is all about. Though Brandon is consenting to it with the one stipulation that there be no blood involved – he truly has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Yes, he consents but in BDSM if it’s a completely uninformed consent is it truly consent? I’m nowhere near an expert on BDSM but it seems like Jonathan should have told Brandon what he would expect from him – even if he didn’t go into complete detail he should have been given some clues. Would Brandon have consented then? I have no idea. In my mind BDSM is for both participants enjoyment and in this case Jonathan crossed a line as Brandon enjoyed very little of what he got.
Jonathan shames and humiliates Brandon and borders on torture to get him to be submissive. What started as a possible relationship between the two men really turned into a master/slave relationship immediately and at some points it was incredibly hard to read. This is a very graphic book with beatings, cage imprisonment, taser shocking and much, much more. When Brandon finally gives in to Jonathan on a certain level (and strictly for on the surface – not truly in his mind) Brandon is rewarded with Jonathan’s attention and caring. I think Brandon was so exhausted from the treatment he had been getting that any show of affection was something he wanted to soak up.
After 3 weeks Jonathan finally realizes that the situation with Brandon isn’t going to work. Since Brandon refuses to leave – he needs that 3 mil – Jonathan does everything in his power to force Brandon’s hand so to speak. The BDSM play got more forceful, ugly and angry. Though I was near the end of the book and definitely wanted to see how it ended I almost stopped reading for good. Jonathan had the power to break the contract – in my eyes he should have just told Brandon flat out that he was done and left it at that. I know he wanted it to be Brandon’s choice but the way he went about it was all wrong.
In the end the two actually talk and work some issues out and decide to move on. Unfortunately this is where the book ends and we’re left not knowing how matters are handled from that point. Jonathan does admit that he handled the situation all wrong but can an old sadist learn new tricks? IDK. Though I want to see how their relationship goes I don’t know that I can read the next book when it comes out. The BDSM was a little too hard core for me in this one and it took me several weeks of putting this book down and taking a break in between readings for me to get through it.
Despite my misgivings about Brandon’s consent and subsequent BDSM scenes the story between the two men was strangely compelling. The book wasn’t what I expected at all from reading the blurb but it was well written and that was a big plus for the book. The romantic in me wanted more of an interpersonal relationship between the two men and less BDSM but, there it is.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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