Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Once a Marine by Cat Grant

Title:  Once a Marine
Author:  Cat Grant
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Marc and Cole
Release Date: October 2011
Publisher: Riptide
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
"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 Review:
I've had this book on my kindle for a while, but I finally pulled it up to read last night. It was good, but that's probably because.... like the character, Marc, I have a thing for soldiers. ;o)

Cole was a Major in the Marines. He spent 12 years as a Marine and did 5 deployments to the warzone. The Marines were his life, until a disgruntled soldier out'ed him.  Rather than lie, Cole did the honorable thing and confessed he was gay...after basically ignoring that side of himself for the last 12 years. He was kicked out of the Marines and now is starting law school. 

Marc has a thing for soldiers so he's had a couple of past relationships with them. He has enough experience to know that he doesn't really trust them with his emotions. He tends to get hurt and that's left scars on his ability to trust. Marc is an m/m romance novelist (I loved that fact) and he also works as a waiter at the local diner even though he's earned his Master's in English and used to be a professor. For the most part, this is a guy who's comfortable with where he's at in life. 

On the other side of that is Cole, who's having to find a new identity. He's ALWAYS had to hide his sexuality so has real hang-ups about PDA's and sometimes reacts really poorly when Marc makes certain moves on him. Added to that, he has horrible PTSD and is struggling to find his way through law school after so many years of not being in school.  He's basically estranged from his parents, his father especially, who has issues with the fact that he lost his career in the Marines over something as "awful" as being gay. They don't agree with his lifestyle or choices and have been very vocal about it.

Their relationship was interesting just because Cole has been so far in the closet, he's never ever had anything close to a real relationship. This is totally new to him and as a result, a lot of times, he simply doesn't react the way he should. For Marc, this is tough though because it triggers all his warning systems that he's going to get really hurt emotionally in this relationship. It keeps them both from committing the way that most people normally would in this situation.

Overall, I found it to be a good read. I liked both the characters although I did get impatient with their inability to communicate at times. I enjoyed it though.

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