Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Once a Marine by Cat Grant

Once a Marine by Cat Grant

eBook release: Oct 30 2011
Word count: 57,000
Page count: 175
Heat Wave: 5 - Very explicit love scenes
Erotic Frequency: 3 - Moderate
Type: Standalone
Blurb: Love is a battlefield.

Discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, former Marine major Cole Hammond is struggling to find a new identity. But PTSD casts a pall on everything, and his hard-nosed, homophobic father can’t even bear to look him in the eye. To top it all off, he’s pretty sure he’s flunking out of law school.

Marc Sullivan is a kind, sensitive romance author-slash-waiter with a thing for men in uniform. Cole’s not wearing his anymore, but there’s no mistaking the warrior Marc meets in the diner one rainy afternoon. Cole’s sexy smile and Carolina drawl prove irresistible, but Marc’s played this game before, and he always loses. Once a Marine, always a Marine, and if there’s one thing Marc knows about such men, it’s that they all leave him in the end. It doesn’t help that Cole’s practically closeted in public, or that he refuses to seek treatment for his PTSD.

But like any good Marine, Cole’s willing to fight for what matters. And like the characters in Marc’s stories, he’s certain that if they try just hard enough, together they can find their own happily ever after.

My Rating: 4.5/5 
Characters:  5
World building:  4
Plot:  4
Writing:  4.5
Premise:  4

Heat Level:  4
Sexuallity:  M/M

I’ve read a couple of Cat Grant’s books now, and I’ve enjoyed every one, this one was no exception. I found it well written, the characters fully developed and engaging, and the story well paced. It was light enough for a nice weekend read, without being fluffy and had just enough angst without being overdone.  It was all a good balance for me.

The writing was a bit different in this one as the POV switches between a first person with Marc, and a third person with Cole.  I rather liked it. I’m not a big fan of books done in first person POV, I usually struggle to get into the other characters in the book. This worked for me, giving me a break from the first person and allowing me to fully engage with both characters.

I liked both Marc and Cole in this, although, being a Marine lover, Cole won me over pretty quick.  He was portrayed very accurate to some of the Marines I’ve known throughout my life, and with the stories of PSTD they’ve shared with me, I’d say Cat nailed it. I enjoyed watching these two, both flawed in their own way, struggle to find their HEA.

Bottom line: Recommended

Side note: I received this book as an ARC, but I’d also helped to beta read this one, so I’ve actually read it 3 times now, twice as Cat was writing it, and this 3rd time post Riptide editing process. I just have to say, I enjoyed this one the first 2 times, but the 3rd time… big thumbs up.

This week’s giveaway… Choice of Cat Grant’s Allegro Vivace, Sonata Appassionata, The First Real Thing (Icon Men #1), Appearing Nightly (Icon Men #2), A Fool for You (Icon Men #3), or Entangled Trio

The fine details...
  • This week’s giveaway is for an eBook copy as listed above.
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post.
  • All commenters will also be entered in end of tour giveaway of AP 3 prize packages. Details here.
  • All comments will also be entered in the year-end Riptide grand prize giveaway of an ereader; Kindle, Nook or iPad. Each post commented on counts as an entry.
  • Backlist book giveaways do NOT include books released in the last 3 months.
  • This week's giveaway doesNOT include Riptide releases.
  • Winners will be selected at random using
  • If the chosen winners do not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
  • By entering the contest, you are confirming you are at least 18 yrs old.
  • eBook giveaways open worldwide. 


  1. Awesome review as always, Amara! Now I can't wait to read it, it's gone to the 'I NEED'-mode.

  2. Great review, Amara; I enjoyed reading it.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  3. Glad to see this got such a great review :-)  I'm really looking forward to reading OAM!

  4. Great review, Amara!  And how lucky are you to have gotten to read this so many times!  I love soldier stories, especially soldiers who are damaged in some way.  So this one is definitely on my Santa wish list.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  5. You're so lucky to be able to see the difference between early drafts and the end product! Brings a whole new level of appreciation. :)

  6. Nice review ;) It's already on my to-read list, but I like hearing good things about them anyway.

    (No need to enter me into Grant's giveaway.)

  7. Thanks for a great review. Now I have one more book looking forward to.:-)


  8. Thanks Oleg. Twas a vera good book. And was just right coming off of the really dark stuff I've been reading. :)

  9. Thanks Alex :)

    I enjoyed it. A lot of people seemed to have a prob with the switching POV, but it worked just fine for me. Curious to see what you think when you read it. :)

  10. Thanks Joder. :)

    I'm a huge sucker for the soldier stories. I pretty much go weak in the knees for Marines especially.  LOVE them.

  11. It was really cool to see how that process works.  :)

  12. Hi Oasis. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  13. Hi Sarah :)

    Thanks for stopping by. OAM is definitely worth the read. Twas a good one. :)

  14. Thanks for the review. You've done a great job.
    mariaml254 at yahoo dot com



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...