Cat Grant – Bannon’s Gym 01 – Black Dog

Black Dog (Bannon’s Gym 01), by Cat Grant

Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance

Stars: 5

Note: A new edition of Black Dog was released today (April 1, 2014), by Samhain Publishing. While this review is based on the formerly available, self-published edition, the blurb and book info (including purchase URLs) are for the current version.

 Cat Grant - Bannon's Gym 01 - Black Dog

Blurb:
Which dog wins? The one you feed.
Danny Bannon and Eddie Roscoe have been fighting, in and out of the ring, for more than fifteen years. Mutual attraction and small-town ties hold them together, yet they’re haunted by a shared tragedy that still hangs between them.
Their tenuous, on-again off-again relationship takes a hard right cross with the arrival of Tom Delaney, a teen on the run from his punch-happy father. In no time, the kid shows himself to be a boxing prodigy.
But Tom’s politically influential father isn’t yet down for the count. When his mother shows up at Eddie’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’s rage has him ready to turn his new fighting skills to a deadly purpose. Revenge, or die trying.
Unless his surrogate big brothers can put their painful past behind them to keep history from rising up for another round.

Review:
I love the way this story is written. It is as if I was reading Eddie’s mind most of the time, with occasional glimpses into Danny and Tom’s thoughts. Cat Grant brings their interactions to life with a style that had me almost mesmerized to the point I kept reading and reading until the last page.

I also love that this story has 3 main characters. In the beginning, I had to guess, in the best possible way, about whose love story I was reading, whose internal pain I was feeling, and whose grief I was crying for.

Despite the heartache, Black Dog does not leave the reader wallowing in misery, thanks in part to the detailed information and events about Martial Arts. I now find myself wanting to watch Martial Arts competitions! This part of the story is really entertaining; to the point I was visualizing the action that took my breath away.

The story is also written tactfully; it’s very mindful of those who suffer, or have suffered, from domestic violence. It has a heart felt message as well as an empathetic description of Tom’s healing process following a tragic event. This tragedy caught me so unaware that I felt a total shock. It left me shaken, but my compliments to the writer: this part did not turn into a melodrama.

I am doing my very best not to give away any spoilers about this story so you get to experience this amazing roller coaster of emotions and events just like I did. To do otherwise, I think, would be unfair to the reader and the writer.

The flow of Black Dog is just so smooth. Honestly, I was left in awe of the writer’s skills until the very end. The ending was not clear enough for my liking, so I was left wondering whether this is a standalone story or not. Until I figured out Black Dog is the first book in a series, I was a little frustrated. I am aware that some readers like this feeling of frustration and intrigue, and will wait patiently until the next book is published…me? I am not really fond of spending a sleepless night to read a book, only to find the end did not feel like an ending and I have to wait for the next in the series for resolution.

But still, this story is beautifully written and even though I am not into series’, I shall wait for the second part because I really loved Danny, Eddie, Tom, and the wise old mother Gloria. So…I want to know what happens in the next story!

I highly recommend this book to those who like wounded alpha males who need some loving.

 

Publisher and Original Publication Date: Samhain Publishing, April 1, 2014 (re-release publisher and date, originally self-published in August, 2013)
Purchase URLs:

Formats Available: epub, mobi, pdf
Length:  145 pages
Reviewed by: Lily
Author’s Website: http://catgrant.com

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