Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Spotlight for Flawless by Cat Grant

Cat Grant's Irresistible Attraction series comes to an end with Flawless and she's ending things in an engaging way.  So keep reading to discover more about this book that's in the spotlight today.....

Steve Campbell used to be a player, until a mid-life crisis opened his eyes to his long-repressed love for Connor, his soon-to-be-married best friend and business partner. Coming out at thirty-eight means learning how to date all over again, and this time, Steve’s not willing to settle for empty one-night stands. He wants the real thing.
Gil Alvarez has never had it easy, struggling through childhood and rejected by his family for a body that didn’t match who he was inside. A skilled driver and mechanic, he’s working hard to make his auto shop a success. The last thing he needs is a rich white guy in a candy-apple-red Ferrari tempting him, but Steve’s ready smile and easygoing manner prove irresistible.
One brief, intimate encounter leaves them both hungry for more. Gil’s not ashamed of who he is, but he’s terrified that Steve will reject him—or worse—when he discovers what Gil can’t find the courage to tell him.


Gil strapped on his own helmet, then helped Steve with his. “You ready?”
“Shouldn’t I be asking you?”
“I’m good.” And, amazingly, he was. His hands had even stopped shaking. “C’mon, it’ll be fun.”
They got in and buckled up. Gil flipped the drive mode switch over to “race,” hit the starter, and gunned the engine. It howled like a lion with its ass on fire, the car’s entire frame pulsing with power. Gil grinned. Yeah, baby. Purr for me.
“This is what this car was built for,” he shouted over the roar. “Speed, and plenty of it.” Then he put it in gear, hit the gas, and hurtled onto the track.
They sailed out of the pit lane and into a wide turn, down a stretch of straight road, under a sign bridge and into another turn. The car started to slide—and Gil’s heart jumped into his throat—but he corrected in time, though a black Alfa Romeo coming up on their tail nearly sent them spinning again.
Shit! Bastard probably did it on purpose.
Down another straight stretch with the speedometer creeping up to one-forty. They sped past the Alfa Romeo—suck on that, asshole!—under a bridge, and around another corner, banking hard to the right. Up a hill, then around another hard corner, with a dip in the road that sent Gil’s gut into free fall.
They passed two more cars as they charged up another hill and over a blind crest. Gil braked at the very top as the road corkscrewed hard left, then hard right, the altitude dropping like a stone. Barely enough time to catch his breath before they headed into a downhill sweep, the car picking up speed. Another hard left—slow in, fast out—then back into the pit, gliding to an easy stop.
“Whoa! That was a rush!” He pulled off his helmet while Steve just sat there, staring straight ahead. “You okay?”
Steve’s mouth opened, but nothing came out except a dry wheeze. Gil reached over and helped him tug his helmet off, fingers carding gently through the sweat-damp strands at the back of his neck.
So much for not getting cocky. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “I should’ve taken it easier. But it’s like a roller coaster, you know? The first time’s a little scary.”
“And I thought you were the one who was scared.” He exhaled, arms sliding around Gil’s waist. Gil’s eyes drifted shut at the steady thump of Steve’s heart against his chest, Steve’s soft lips brushing his ear, then trailing down his cheek.
He froze, breath hitching for a split second before he remembered no one could see them through the tinted glass. Then Steve’s lips closed over his, and he was tumbling into freefall again, heady exhilaration flooding his veins. All they needed was to relax and enjoy the ride.
Just like the bulge in Steve’s pants told Gil how much he was enjoying this. “Want to go again?”
Hell, yeah.” Steve beamed. “Let’s see who wants to race us.”



It's been a long and emotional journey to reach this final book in the Irresistible Attraction series and it's a memorable way to wrap things up as it deals with an issue not dealt with very often in as a transgender individual.  Ms. Grant deals with the issue in a straight forward and realistic way making the character of Gil both sympathetic and heroic.  It also brings back Steve who until recently has been playing the field but who has become older and wiser and now yearns for something more permanent.

Steve hasn't always been likable, but since admitting his sexuality he's become a more thoughtful and caring individual and seeing him so concerned about another person warms my heart.  The feelings Gil inspires in him caught him off guard and seeing a bumbling Steve try to woo him was a sweetly endearing sight to see.  Everything else has come so easy to Steve it's about time that he's had to work for something, that makes their relationship more worthwhile.

Gil's life has been one betrayal after another.  First it's his body that betrays him as he knows he's been born the wrong sex, then it's his family who turns on him and casts him out, and the final betrayal is that of a former lover whose addictive lifestyle almost dragged him down completely and whose return again sets him up for more hurts. Steve is the first person in a long time to make him feel special and to want him as is though Gil fights him every step of the way out of fear of being hurt again.  Gil is a truly inspirational character to have gone through so much hatred early in life and still be willing to put his heart on the line.  He's truly deserving of the man Steve is now and the happiness Steve longs to bring to him.

The majority of the story is a slow build-up of trust to a final sexual interlude that is more about acceptance than sex.  There's a sense of hope at the end after so much heartache.  While this ending isn't a true HEA, there's a definite HFN conclusion that's just as satisfying.  Leading to this conclusion is one or two things that dragged this story down for me.  One of those was the sudden appearance of Chas, the ex who again brought heartache to Gil through his lying and cheating ways. He has no redeeming qualities and his sole purpose seemed to be to hurt Gil yet again and drive a wedge between him and Steve.  Considering how short the story is, valuable time was wasted on such a despicable character that should've been spent on advancing Gil and Steve's relationship.  Another thing that felt out of place was the street racing angle that was included and just as quickly excluded.  Barring these issues I still found much to enjoy and admire in Flawless and though there are some flaws I still recommend this story for its unique theme and for a truly memorable character in Gil.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


Cat Grant lives by the ocean in beautiful Monterey, California with one persnickety feline and way too many books and DVDs. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably catch her singing along to whatever’s on her iTunes, or fantasizing about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender.

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