The Only One Who Knows by Cat Grant & L.A. Witt
Series: The Only One, Book 1
Published by: Samhain Publishing on January 7, 2014
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Lieutenant Josh Walker knew training to become a Navy SEAL wouldn’t be easy. But what he didn’t expect was the hard-assed Chief David Flint to push him harder than anyone else in his class. And he also didn’t expect he’d develop a mad crush on Chief Flint, either. And when the two of them wind up at the same bar on New Year’s Eve, Josh learns that for Chief Flint–David–the feeling is mutual. They launch into a brief fling, cut short by Josh completing training and shipping out.
Fast forward a few years and their paths cross again. This time David–Senior Chief Flint–is under Josh’s–Lieutenant Commander Walker’s–command. And despite all of the reasons they know they should steer clear of each other, their attraction gets the better of them. The two find themselves going around in circles about whether they can truly be in a relationship; there are rules about these things after all. And when a member of their team overhears one of their conversations and uses the information to blackmail Josh right before they deploy on a dangerous mission to North Korea, they find themselves launched on another journey: one where they must decide what they mean to each other and what they’re willing to sacrifice to keep what they have.
When I finished this book, I went back and looked at the word count. I was surprised that the number of pages seemed so much shorter than what I read. The authors have done a great job of packing a lot of action into this 220-page book. It’s paced well, the character development follows a steady and believable arc, and the background characters help bring life to the world of the story. I enjoyed this and give it a strong recommendation, especially if you like m/m military romance…
Title: By Chance (Courtland Chronicles, Book 1)
Author: Cat Grant
Published: February 2, 2009 (Republished 2012)
Publisher: Cat Grant
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Many would think Eric Courtland has led a charmed life. After all, his family’s wealth has helped him to eliminate obstacles and get the things he wants (including a single room even though it’s not entirely in line with policy). But getting the things you want doesn’t mean you’ll be happy as he can see firsthand in his mother and the way she is treated by his father. And he prefers to keep people at arm’s length for that very reason. But everything changes when he has a roommate forced upon him despite his objections. And to make it worse, the new roommate just happens to be attractive (albeit straight) athlete, Nick. But just as Eric is forced out of his comfort zone by having to share his living space with someone, the arrangement serves to force Nick to examine himself and who he is at the same time.
This is the first novel by Cat Grant that I’ve read, and I’m really quite impressed with her storytelling. The way she developed these two characters and their journey through this book was both realistic and interesting. I certainly look forward to reading more of this series and more from this author.
Title: Once a Marine
Author: Cat Grant
Published: October 30, 2011
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (re-released in 2014 by Cat Grant Books)
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Marc waits tables at a diner to supplement his income as a writer. But his quiet life is changed when Cole, an ex-Marine-turned-law-student, comes in for a meal. Marc has always had a bit of a soft spot for Marines and Cole is no exception. Though they hit it off, things are a bit difficult for Cole who was discharged under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and isn’t used to being open about his feelings. Add to that Marc’s history with Marine boyfriends who always seemed to let him down, and there are more than enough complications for these two to try to overcome on their way to romance.
This was a cute story overall. The chemistry between these two is palpable (as is the frustration every time they seem to get in their own way) and the plot is realistic and easy to follow. I’ve seen many other reviews start off indicating this is a story about Cole who meets Marc, which is interesting to me considering that it’s Marc whose perspective we get in first-person. But I think that’s because we see more of Cole’s turmoil and it makes it easier to connect to and understand him.
I was a bit thrown by the author’s choice to write some chapters and scenes in first-person from Marc’s POV and others in third-person focusing on Cole. I understand that when Marc wasn’t present, it makes it difficult to tell Cole’s story if Marc is the one who needs to tell it, but sometimes the shift was abrupt and slightly confusing. Still a very enjoyable story, though.