Read Black Dog by Cat Grant Online


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 teenWhich 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.This book has been previously published.Warning: Tough guys with a long history beating the crap out of each other to avoid saying “I love you”. Heaps of sexual tension. More angst and emotion than deemed safe by the Surgeon General. Proceed with caution!...

Title : Black Dog
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780989694919
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 82 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Black Dog Reviews

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    2019-02-08 21:23

    I would have liked Black Dog so much more if it weren't HALF a book. This didn't so much end, as stop, with many plot points left dangling. Despite the shifting POVs (first-person for Eddie and third-person for Danny and Tom), the writing was strong. I really liked the three MCs, as well as Eddie's awesome mom, Gloria. Danny and Eddie were high school lovers, but following the death of Danny's brother, a death both Danny and Eddie feel responsible for, they've grown apart. Eddie left home, and his relationship with Danny is strained at best. Danny runs a boxing gym. Eddie runs his family's diner. One day, Eddie finds 18-year-old Tom, bruised and battered, fighting off a drunk in the alley behind the diner. Eddie offers Tom a job and place to stay. Tom has a natural talent for fighting and begins working out at Danny's gym. This is as much a story about Tom and his abusive past, as it is a story about Danny and Eddie. Indeed, it's more Tom's story. We have just a couple scenes with Danny/Eddie alone together, and there is almost no relationship development. This is the BEGINNING of a book; the middle and end are MIA. I would have liked to read much more about Danny and Eddie reconciling. I am still not clear as to the nature of their relationship in high school: Did they only kiss or do more? And why the hell did Eddie join a seminary? Did he leave or finish? Why was he still in the closet? Was Danny in the closet? So many unanswered questions! I felt cheated.

  • SueC
    2019-01-23 03:14

    3.5*So what do you think I said when I heard there was a book up for review about boxers?"LET'S GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMBLLEEEEEE!"*I was so damned excited that I think I became a little punch drunk.*I should point out that this story isn’t really about boxing per se, the sport is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and that only added to the enjoyment of the story. There is grappling and ground fighting between sweaty, fit and strong men...need I say more?That said, let’s get down to business. The first thing that struck me was the style of writing. It felt reminiscent of an old Bogart movie or some old comic where the narrative was dark and heavy with an air of skepticism. It’s fast paced, funny, gritty and quite often very touching. Dare I say it hooked* me in straight away.Next, this story hit me below the belt.* I think I was in heat for approximately 80% of the book 'cause lord have mercy, I was on FIRE! I was down for the count,* on the ropes*... I needed someone in my corner* cause dammit - it was incredibly sexy. The descriptions of these skilled men while grappling for each other was bloody(!) brilliant. Indulge me for a minute… I'm thinking (dreaming) of Tom Hardy and Eddie Redmayne wrestling and licking and playing and well, you get where I’m headed right? And jeezuz chrai one of 'ems a ginger. It was Off. The. Charts. Hot.It’s not all sexy groans and body slams though. There are struggles of the emotional kind. A push and pull between three characters (no ménage) who understand each other implicitly. They have bridges to build and get over. They have opportunities to 'pay it forward' and they even get a shot at their own redemption. Each of the characters were likeable but I really didn't get a sense of knowing the characters incredibly well. Maybe I'm asking too much from 130 pages. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe I just wanted MORE. So now the gloves are off.* My biggest bone of contention was in the alternating point of view. It was difficult to decipher who's point of view I was experiencing for a few paragraphs. Going back and rereading was frustrating and threw me off course. It was a low blow* but it didn’t make me want to throw in the towel*. In fact I won’t hesitate to read the next book in the Bannon’s Gym series.*Denotes boxing idioms. FYI, there were 8 in total. I’m such a lightweight!*. Make that 9.

  • JustJen
    2019-02-05 21:04

    Really enjoyed this one. It's as much about Danny and Eddie and their relationship, or lack thereof, as it is about Tom and his life issues. I loved how Danny and Eddie (and Gloria) took Tom under their wings and made him a part of their family. The guilt, etc. causing problems between Danny and Eddie seemed to drag on for so long, but I guess that was the point. They made a great match when they were both on the same page. Another well-written, interesting and enjoyable read.

  • Elizabetta
    2019-01-26 03:27

    3.5 starsBlack Dog takes place in a small, California coastal town and is divided between Bannon’s sports gym and the diner owned by Eddie and his moms. When eighteen-year-old Tom shows up in the diner alley beaten, bruised and fighting another homeless person for his belongings, Eddie steps into more than just breaking up a fight. He sees a lost boy and takes him in, offers him a job in the diner to get him off the street. Tom carries hurts deeper than his bruises though, and it’s clear he has an inner anger that he needs to burn off.Eddie, an ex-Marine, used to train at Bannon’s gym but he and Danny, gym owner and trainer, had a falling out a few months back. When Tom gets interested in training at the gym, this brings Eddie and Danny back together. Maybe they’ll clear up the guilt and anger they’ve both been carrying. Maybe three guys in need will be able to help each other out. (I have to add that this is not a menage story, Ed and Dan have a long history and Tom, who is gay, is purely under their mentorship.) It becomes clear that Tom has a talent for mixed martial arts and with good training, he could amount to something in the sport.This is well written. The depiction of the constant damp, gray days colors the mood, and the action moves along at a good pace. Eddie and Danny are the typical communication-phobic guys, and Eddie comes off as a bit melodramatic at times. If you can accept that they pretty immediately focus on helping Tom, then the story will work from that viewpoint -- they are two nice guys who know about life’s knocks and want to help someone in need. Basically, this is a story about domestic abuse (some violence is depicted) and as it unfolds we find out alcohol abuse factors in too. It is about the fight to overcome the stranglehold of these abuses. It is about making a family where you can. For these issues, I’d recommend this. I did have some problems though… the changing POV’s between Eddie’s first person, and Tom and Danny’s third person is… weird. I can’t figure why the author chose to change Eddie’s vantage, the first person didn’t really help things, imho, and it all just felt awkward. Eddie’s and Danny’s romance is not really central to the story though they have their hot moments; there is a lot going on in the plot. Also, the plotting is fairly pat, everything is sketched out neatly and there is a predictable (and welcome) resolution at the end. But, this is a feel good story with some cool martial arts action thrown in for good measure. I like how the training is shown to teach confidence and control; fighting for it’s own sake is not condoned. This is a lesson that Tom has to learn as he deals with his anger. I’m rounding my rating up to 4 stars for this alone, but this is really somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me. A good start to a series based around Bannon’s gym, I’ll gladly return for more. For this review and much more:

  • Leanne
    2019-02-06 00:11

    This started with lots of promise...a bout of angry, martial arts-type sex and two broken, guilt-ridden men in need of healing. I wanted the angst. I was ready for it. Practically salivating. But it sort of fizzled like a damp squib and the story became Tom's (the young runaway) he finds martial arts and a new family. Blah. The characters stayed pretty two dimensional (except Tom, perhaps) and I wish the author had invested in a bit more time with the two MC's- especially Eddie. I felt the way he got closure, riiight at the end, after a brief talk with his mom (view spoiler)[ and a ghost giving him the thumbs up(hide spoiler)]....rather simplistic and quite disappointing. This is no fault of the author though. I was just hoping for something a little darker and deeper.

  • Ije the Devourer of Books
    2019-01-30 22:17

    This story gives us two older main characters (Danny and Eddie) who have a shared history and a previous somewhat closeted relationship. They are estranged from each other but begin to get closer to each other when Eddie gives Tom (a young runaway) a job. Tom is interested in martial arts and boxing and starts training at Danny's gym. Eddie who is a retired boxer reluctantly agrees to coach Tom at the gym and the stalemate between Eddie and Danny eventually comes to an end. The two men find themselves drawn to one another once again as they work together to train and support Tom through some tragic circumstances.The story is told from the perspective of all three men. I enjoyed the fact that the main characters are older men but I found the story a bit difficult to follow at times mostly because of the parts told from Tom's perspective. I felt that Tom was given too much focus and this watered down the romance. I wanted to focus a lot more on the dynamics and history between Danny and Eddie. I felt there was a long story there and a rich history between the two which could have been given more focus.There was a strong anti Roman Catholic feeling in this story. Eddie had trained for the priesthood in his past but then joined the marines instead. This is interesting but we aren't given any story about this and what might have happened to support the anti RC feelings which come across in the book. The reader is left with the 'religion is bad' trope which does get overused in the mm genre. In the end I felt the story was good and this is why I have given it four stars but at the same time it isn't one of my favourites from this author. It felt as if there was a lot more going on under the surface which wasn't yet being told. Hopefully since this is a series we might get to explore some of this in future books. I think as a first book in the series there is enough here for me to want to read the next one and i did enjoy the story, but I do wish a bit more had been explored in this one.

  • Gina Grant
    2019-02-12 21:18

    This book made me cry. In a restaurant. Over pancakes. It takes a lot to cry while eating pancakes. But this book did it. Which is not to say it's a sad book, it just has one or two sad moments. In fact, it runs the entire emotional spectrum from sexy to angry to joyous to hopeful. Cat Grant takes her readers on a real thrill ride. It's m/m, but if your expecting a bunch of sex scenes tied together, this isn't it. It's a real story. It's hot and it's fun and it's meaningful. But it's been a very long time since a book made me cry. I can't wait for book 2 in the series. Thanks, Cat!

  • ⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣
    2019-01-20 22:28

    4 StarsI picked this mainly because it was relatively short and I needed a sport-themed book for a challenge. Well, imagine my surprise when I found myself actually liking the story quite a LOT.Despite the length, we get a lot of characterization for not just 2 MCs but also an additional character, Tom. Loved the emotional turmoil, the angst and guilt, the pain and fear. Made the resolution that much more enjoyable.That said, I really wish there'd been more explanation for Eddie joining the Seminary & later the Marines. Reading between the lines could lead the reader to think it was guilt and self-hatred...but I would have liked to read that, "hear" it from Eddie, maybe explaining to Danny, why he left.I'm hoping more of that will come out in the subsequent novellas...

  • MLE
    2019-02-12 02:13

    Look who read a real book.Yeup, that's me.A really great story about family, love, friendship, and forgiveness. The characters were well developed, and the relationships strong and relatable. I love when a story is about more than just two people falling in love, and when friendship, and the family you make for yourself are just as important. A nice read for a rainy stretch of days. Pretty sexy too, which never hurts in my book.

  • Thomaidha Papa
    2019-02-15 00:18

    4 HeartsReview written forMM Good Book ReviewsWhat a peculiar book this one was. I think if someone would read my mind about what I like in a contemporary romance this would be the result.Here we have a book that has not one or two, but three main characters – and no it’s not a threesome. Danny and Eddie are in their thirties. They’ve been friends, they’ve been lovers, they share a past that haunts them for fifteen years. As much as they love each other – that is a given here, there is no search for love or romance – they cannot reconcile with the pain their relationship has given them in the past. A ghost stands in between them, a memory so strong that every time they get together, their resulting break up gets stronger and the aftermath more painful.Each tries to amend on their own, Danny turning to drinking himself stupid, becoming more and more the person he mostly hates, and Eddie trying to save the world while wallowing in a pit of guilt.In the picture comes Tom, a homeless kid Eddie finds around his diner and decides to do what he’s known for, help him stand on his feet. Tom is a frightened kid marred by abuse, but his will to prevail is so strong, it’s downright scary. Between Danny and Eddie they manage to create a fighter out of Tom, give him confidence and tools to get on his life without having to look around his shoulders like a scared rabbit every time. Add in the mixture the mother figure of Gloria and the kid gets a bit more than he ever expected, love and a semblance of a normal family. Until his real mother shows up and everything shatters once again.I really, really loved this book. It had this incredible balance between love and friendship, pain and hurt. The evil of the story was bad enough to want to make you kill him yourself, yet he still maintain such a wonderful grasp with reality, not being overwhelming and not engaging in incredulous actions. His profiling was simply perfect for me.The abusive past and the pain that came were also very well balanced. The author showcased the horrors of everyday living in an abusive family without making it overbearing for the reader. The character’s emotions were enough to grip you without dragging you into darkness.As for the blend of the romantic plot with the action part, you have a clear view of two stories moving in parallel, or should I say three, as there is the story between Danny and Eddie that origins from back fifteen years, there is the story of all three characters together as they move on, and there is the underlying romance between Eddie and Dannie that gets stronger the more they focus together into helping Tom. It was fantastic, one feeding the other and ending in the inevitable with such smoothness.I the end I was left with a most enjoyable read that entertained and challenged me at the same time. However this book felt as a standalone and I’m curious what the author will do with the next one? Will this trio continue or is it going to be Dannie and Eddie with a new charge? Will it be two completely different characters in the same setting? Normally I get a pretty clear idea from a series as to what to expect next, but this time I’m wondering, and that’s what makes it even more intriguing.As for this one, if you like strong characters, men who fight through their ugly and persist when things seem to be hopeless in a very realistic setting, and a romance that comes effortlessly without dragging the main plot under it, then this is definitely a book you will want to read. Strongly recommended!Tommie

  • Jody
    2019-01-27 02:07

    Few authors excel at projecting mutual heartache as good as Cat Grant as many of her male couples end up being put through the wringer for years before they find their HEA. Danny and Eddie are no exception as mutually perceived guilt and blame have kept them apart for years. They were once extremely close but now barely talk until the day a belligerent and physically/emotionally scarred teen enters their lives. The teen, Tom, left home after years of being beat by his high-profile father and is full of pent-up anger that they direct into becoming an MMA fighter. As Danny and Eddie had a successful career in the fighting world they're the perfect pair to turn Tom into a successful fighter with their work together forcing them to revisit the past and heal old hurts.Through Catholic school and fear of disappointing others Danny and Eddie have kept their feelings for each other secret. The one time they gave into their feelings resulted in a death that ended their relationship before it even had a chance to start and has led to Danny following in his father's occasional drunken binges and Eddie working non-stop so he doesn't have time to think about his loneliness. Danny and Eddie both like helping the underdog. Even though Danny makes fun of Eddie for his habit of saving lost souls he's still the kind of man to go above and beyond to help a young man whose harsh early years remind him of himself. They're loyal men with kind hearts hidden behind stoicism and their journey towards a HEA is a satisfying and hard-won journey that manifests in lots of sexual tension and two richly rewarding sexual encounters.Along with an immensely likable main couple comes Tom who's been through so much in such a short life. The rage he feels towards his father could help him in becoming a good fighter or bury him in rage. As if it's not difficult enough dealing with an abusive father he's also dealing with questions about his sexuality that are subtly hinted at here and make me desperate to have more of his story told. Eddie's mother Gloria is another delightful addition to the story as she's a wise and sassy older woman who cajoles these hardheaded men into doing what's right. She's funny and her scenes with Eddie are particularly heartwarming. In some ways I saw her as Yoda as she would come on the scene when the boys needed emotional comfort the most as say just the right thing. Along with these realistic and immensely appealing cast of characters comes the vividly depicted world of fighting. I could feel the energy and excitement and became completely immersed in the heartpounding fight scenes drenched in sweat. Ms. Grant perfectly combined action with romance all the while emphasizing this testosterone-filled world featuring lots of sweaty and sexy men who wore their hearts on their sleeves. Tom has undertaken the first important step to having his own HEA and I greatly anticipate what Ms. Grant has planned for him in the future in this emotionally involving m/m novella.

  • Christy
    2019-01-26 01:06

    This was a great short story with fabulous characters and an interesting plot. Since it's book one in a series, I'm excited to read more when they are available. The concept of two men who share a history, albeit one fraught with tension, brought together in their care of a young homeless boy, caught and held my attention. The young man who comes from a lifetime of horrid abuse is struggling to survive and may have just found the people to help him live.Eddie owns a diner, is an ex-Marine, ex-seminary student, ex-pro boxer, and, yeah, are you seeing the picture here? Eddie has spent the past fifteen years running, but he's home now, taking over the diner after his pop died. Danny owns Bannon's Gym, trains fighters, and has a past tied to Eddie's although neither one likes or wants to remember that. Tom is an abused, homeless runaway, whom Eddie gives a job and a place to sleep. As Danny says, Tom is another in a long line of boys Eddie is trying to save. Danny isn't much better, though, because he takes over training Tom in mixed martial arts guessing, correctly, that Tom's abuse is from his father.Tom settles in and begins to make a new family with Eddie, Danny, and Gloria, Eddie's mom. Between work at the diner and heavy training at the gym, life settles into a routine. Even Eddie and Danny begin to get back to the friendship they had before disaster struck all those years before. When Tom's mom finds him and comes to see him at the diner, he's terrified his dad knows where he is, but his mom promises him she just wants to make sure he's okay before she leaves his father and goes somewhere his dad can't find her. Truer words were never spoken and now Eddie and Danny have the responsibility of dealing with the grievous repercussions.I really liked this story, a lot. The writing was wonderful, the characters were all strong and well developed, and the plot was great. I highly recommend it and I'm looking forward to book two.NOTE: This book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews

  • Crystal Marie
    2019-02-11 22:13

    I’m not usually a fan of MMA type books, however I decided that I was going to give this book a shot. And I am so glad that I did! Because while this book does have MMA talk happening in it, it’s not just completely about that. There is more happening in the story and that is what brought me into it and made me want to keep reading.One of the main things that I loved about this book was the characters. They were so extremely detailed in everything about them, yet it wasn’t overdone in the slightest. You were able to connect with everyone, no matter how minor of a role they seemed to have, they were all very important.I do enjoy that both Danny and Eddie were very strong male characters. They knew what they wanted, but they also both fought it. There were some times that I wanted to reach through the book and smack them because of how crazy they were both acting! But that is part of what made the story that much better. I also liked how completely different they were on the surface, but once you got to know them, you realized how completely alike they are.This story is one that will teach you about love, and the different types of love there is. The battles that people face when they are faced with a difficult decision, do they give up on the love they know they want because of what others may think, or do they fight for it?I completely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an extremely heartfelt book that will keep your attention, and leave you wanting for more.*Copy provided for review*Reviewed by Crystal Marie for Crystal’s Many Reviewers

  • Ariadna
    2019-01-24 23:26

    This is the story of Eddie, a guy who co-runs his family's diner with his mom. An ex-Marine (who also went to seminary at one point), Eddie keeps a very low-key existence. He's got an on and off thing with his childhood friend Danny (who owns a boxing gym). Their relationship, however, is complicated by a tragedy that occurred when they were both teenagers. In comes Tom, a young runway with a natural talent for fighting. Wary, queer, and carrying a lot of scars (mental and some physical), Tom becomes Danny's protegee at the gym. The story features dudes with a LOT of baggage, some very tender and sexy-sweet moments, and MMA fighting talk.I bought this book one day when it was on special for 99c. FTR, I tend to avoid novellas because I like lengthier books, but the narrative pulled me in. The characters had great dynamics and I even liked the fighting scenes! There is a bit of narrative shift because all of Eddie's chapters are in 1st person while Tom and Eddie's are in 3rd limited.From what I know, the 2nd book will focus on Tom while the 3rd will be about someone who is a background character in book 1. I was thoroughly (and happily) surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

  • Elisa Rolle
    2019-01-24 05:14

    Considering that I'm not really a sport fan, I find odd to always like so much stories with a sport theme. Moreover this novella was interesting cause the love story wasn't center stage, but the spotlight was equally shared with the story of Tom, a runaway gay kid who finds shelter at Eddie's place, a old-fashioned diner, and soon after starts training at Bannon's Gym, owned by Eddie's former lover, Danny.Danny and Eddie didn't really split, but a tragic even parted them. Plus, Eddie had a strictly catholic upbringing, arriving even to study in seminary to become a Catholic priest, and that isn't helping with the sense of guilt that haunts both of them. But Eddie and Danny will find a way to collaborate to help Tom, and in helping Tom they will find a way also to patch their hearts, not healing them completely, but enough to be able to admit there is still something between them.The story didn't really have a closure, actually it was more like an appetizer, but it was a really good appetizer enticing the reader to go for the full meal.

  • The Novel Approach Reviews
    2019-02-09 21:13

    The realism (!) Ms. Grant injects into these characters is what makes this such a good story. Their feelings and reactions to those feelings are real and realistic. Their relationships with their friends, family, lovers are real. They seem like people you would meet if you wandered in to Anytown, USA.I don’t know how many more books are planned for the “Bannon’s Gym” series, but I will fight my way to the top of the reviewer pile to get to them first! A knockout recommendation.You can read the rest of Tina's review at The Novel Approach

  • Lisa
    2019-01-24 02:20

    Eddie finds Tom behind his diner. Hed been living on the streets since running away from an abusive father. He offers him a job in the diner and also starts him on the road to training.This was a good book. Focusing on Tom but also Eddie and Danny, childhood sweethearts whose relationship was damaged with the dearg of Danny's brother, Jimmy.I enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading further books in the series.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-29 23:10

    Black Dog was a good, gritty story. Unfortunately, it lacked the romance I was looking for and it's ending was abrupt - too abrupt. I would have bee okay with leaving things with Tom and his father open-ended so that it could spill over into his own book, but the MCs of this story - Danny and Eddie - barely got a HFN before the story fades out. It was a pretty unsatisfying end to an otherwise good book.

  • Fleur
    2019-02-06 05:28

    I really liked this. It was raw and honest. Love Cat's writing style. This is what I'm talking about. Give me more. xxx

  • Susinok
    2019-02-15 05:07

    This book was fantastic. Short and intense story about a young man dealing with physical abuse. Danny and Eddie also had some past problems to resolve. I hope there will be more of these!

  • *~*~*Kael*~*~*
    2019-02-05 02:21

    The tagline in the blurb is - I believe - loosely borrowed from the parable: 'Tale of Two Wolves' ..."A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed."

  • Tina
    2019-01-22 02:21

    I am a huge fan of Cat Grant’s work, so when I had the opportunity to read Black Dog early and review it, I jumped at the chance. Now I regret that jump. Not because the book isn’t excellent, but because it is the first in a series. It is so good that it’s the kind of book you want to start after the whole series has been published so you don’t have to wait to see what happens. I’m impatient like that!Black Dog is the first in the “Bannon’s Gym” series. Danny Bannon owns the aforementioned gym and is one of the MCs in this installment. His counterpart is Eddie Roscoe who owns (along with his mother) “Eddie’s” a diner previously owned by his grandfather and father. Danny and Eddie have know each other forever. They have also been in love with each other forever. They have had a tumultuous relationship.Eddie used to be a championship boxer trained by Danny. Their relationship outside the ring led to a tragedy either one would give his own life to undo. At a point in their relationship where they have been estranged for months, along comes Tom, a gay teen whose father refused to accept his sexuality. A homeless teenager sleeping behind the dumpster at the diner. Tom attends the same high school Danny and Eddie did and obviously comes from money. Eddie’s savior complex shifts into high gear and he gives Tom a place to stay for the night.A night on the couch in the office turns into a job and a room at Eddie’s mom’s house. His mother, Gloria is a hilarious balance to the serious nature of most of the book. They by-play Cat Grant writes between Eddie and his mom proves that even a thirty something independent man can still be told what to do by his mom.Tom has run from a horribly abusive father. His father, a powerful man in the community, beat him before he came out, but the violence escalated afterward. His mother is also being abused, but she refused to leave. Tom recently turned 18 and decided he couldn’t take it another day. Eddie and Gloria encourage Tom to train at Bannon’s to learn how to protect himself if the need arises in the future. Eddie and Danny join forces when Tom shows amazing potential as a fighter. They become the big brothers, the protectors, the mentors that Tom desperately needed his whole life.Ms. Grant masterfully writes of the abuse Tom has suffered, while not being too graphic. The way she uses Tom’s suffering and healing to force Eddie and Danny together is so sweet. How could either of these men, as written by Ms. Grant not be moved to help a boy who appears to have been helpless up until now. The scenes in the gym are in turn snarky, sweet, sexy and sweaty. The kind of sweat generated when men pound on each other in anger that soon turns to something else entirely.Banding together to support Tom forces Danny and Eddie to confront the loss that has kept coming between them for years. These characters feel real, their pain in that confrontation is deep, and we the readers are able to see how greatly it has affected all areas of their lives. They have faults, weaknesses and what I call “-isms”, which are weird little flaws particular to a person. Not necessarily faults, just “-isms”. The realism (!) Ms. Grant injects into these characters is what makes this such a good story. Their feelings and reactions to those feelings are real and realistic. Their relationships with their friends, family, lovers are real. They seem like people you would meet if you wandered in to Anytown, USA.I don’t know how many more books are planned for the “Bannon’s Gym” series, but I will fight my way to the top of the reviewer pile to get to them first! A knockout recommendation.

  • Jenre
    2019-01-27 04:20

    I like Cat Grant's books, mainly because the writing is always smooth and her characters well rounded. They can sometimes be a little sweet for me, but that wasn't the case with this book.Eddie rescues a young runaway who is fighting for his possessions at the back of Eddie's diner. He offers the young man, Tom, a place to stay for the night in his office and the next day he offers him a job. Against his better judgement, Eddie takes Tom to the local gym to use the showers where he bumps into his ex-lover Danny. When it becomes clear that Tom would make a good boxer, Danny and Eddie have to set aside their differences to help Tom.This has been on my review pile for a few weeks so when I got round to reading I'd completely forgotten the blurb. As an aside, I don't mind this. I rather like starting to read a book without knowing anything about it. It adds to the excitement :). Anyway, because I had forgotten the blurb, the first part of the book surprised me. I thought that the main romantic pairing was going to be Eddie and Tom, and I found myself having to make a bit of a mental readjustment when Danny came into the book. This isn't a bad thing because I like to be surprised by a book and the first part certainly didn't go as expected. In the end, the pairing of Danny and Eddie made more sense and paved the way for a sequel with Tom finding his own man.The story follows two plot lines. The first concerns Tom who has run away from home. As the book progresses we find out why he left, and follow him as he rebuilds his life. This was the more sombre of the story lines, full of tension and some sorrow. Tom grows a lot as a character in the book and I enjoyed taking that journey with him.The second plot line involves the rekindled romance between Eddie and Danny. It wasn't hard to warm to Eddie who has a gentle personality and a desire to help others. He easily takes in Tom and overwhelms the young man with his kindness and generosity. However, he is also stubborn and blind when it comes to his relationship with Danny. Danny is equally as stubborn and the first part of their reunion is fraught with awkward conversations mingled with desire and sexual tension. I wanted to bang their heads together at times! Having said that, I felt that their emotions were genuine - two men who knew each other inside out, knew when to twist the knife for maximum hurt, but who also loved one another enough to let go of pride when necessary. Their romantic path through the book wasn't easy but it was satisfying.My only niggle with the book is more my problem than the book's problem. Danny and Eddie's issues centre around survivor's guilt and I'm starting to get a little tired of this type of story. You know the one I mean - X&Y are inseparable best friends/brothers, they argue/fall out, X dies before Y can explain/make it up to them, Y spends the next several years never forgiving himself. I've got to the stage where I'm starting to get a bit grumpy whenever this story crops up in a book. As I said, this is my problem and if you like this type of story then the plot in this book won't bother you at all. Overall, I found this book to be a easy and engrossing read. I liked all the characters and was interested and engaged in how the story progressed. I liked the book enough to want to read the next in the series, which hopefully will be out soon, and would recommend this book.

  • ScuttlebuttReviews
    2019-02-14 02:04

    Review by Lily, posted at ScuttlebuttReviewsI 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.

  • FV Angela
    2019-02-08 22:12

    Featured on What-To-Read-Wednesday at www.fictionvixen.com Dog is the first book in Cat Grant’s new Bannon’s Gym series. What intrigued me the most when I read the blurb was the fact that the couple featured in this installment was one that have been in and out of each other’s lives for the past fifteen years. In love with each other, but unable to stop letting a past tragedy come between them. This was an older couple, with a lot of history between and behind them. Danny and Eddie are both masculine, strong men and I love romances where these type of men are my main characters.Eddie has been a soldier, a boxer for a short time and now runs his family’s diner in town. Danny owns Bannon’s Gym and still lives in the house he grew up in. When Eddie finds a homeless runaway behind his diner one morning, he immediately takes him in and gives him a job. It’s obvious from his skittish, untrusting nature and the scars on his body that Tom hasn’t lived the easiest life. Between settling in with Eddie at the diner and finding a place to stay with Eddie’s mother Gloria Tom discovers Bannon’s Gym. Danny starts to train him in boxing and mixed martial arts and figures out pretty quickly that the kid is a natural fighter and has the ability to make it to professional bouts. It’s not too long before Eddie and Danny are spending more time together than they have in years, both helping Tom overcome his fears and settle in to a secure life.Eddie and Danny have a quiet passion. It’s rich and you can feel the emotion between the two men, but there are no drama filled scenes or loud declarations of love. There is a lot of guilt and regret, intensity and emotion, but it’s subdued. The first person POV switches between them and Tom giving the reader a look into both of their thoughts, but also an outside view as them as a couple. Tom brings them together and it’s through his personal dramas that they figure out how to get over the past and be with each other.This was one of those stories that was just easy to read. At only 82 pages in the kindle version it’s short, but is written is such a way that it feels like a much longer story. I adored Eddie and Danny’s story and will absolutely be putting the rest of the series on my TBR list.Quote:“Only thing that could make it right was if it never happened at all. Which means we wouldn’t have…” He cupped my cheek and kissed me full on the lips, with such passion and intensity it left me shaking. “That’s a memory I don’t want to give up.”

  • Vanessa theJeepDiva
    2019-02-01 03:28

    I seldom remember the name of a book. The same can be said of the author’s name. I always remember the characters though. After beginning this book I immediately thought of Cole and Marc. Not because these characters reminded me of them, it was the way the book was written. As it happens Cat Grant also wrote Once a Marine. Eddie gets to tell his tale via first person point of view. Danny and Tom are in third person point of view. I’m not a big fan of first person point of view so this really works for me. I liked the fact that Tom’s point of view allowed for an outside party’s thoughts towards the tension between Danny and Eddie and all of their many issues. Danny and Eddie have been fighting (quite literally all too often) each other for more than half of their lives. The attraction is there. The love is there. The closet is also front and center. The teachings (preachings) of a Catholic school education can leave an impression for a long time. Add onto that an misunderstanding that leads to a life changing horrific accident and the walls that are put up are nearly impenetrable. This is just the tip of the iceberg on Danny and Eddie’s issues. Their lives cross paths again when Eddie takes in a stray teen, Tom. Tom has his own set of problems and in trying to help the kid get a roof over his head, food in his stomach, and out of trouble Eddie is forced to see Danny more than he ever expected to again. I am pleased to see that Tom will get his own story in the Bannon’s Gym series with Takedown. My disappointment was in the romance. Danny and Eddie fell in love a long time before readers ever meet them in Black Dog. This could have worked as a rekindle, but I just never got that feeling. I felt that they just both had to put the past behind them and pull their heads out of their butts and then enjoy each other. I suppose for two bull headed men that is the impossibility that builds this book. Eddie and Danny are certainly both tough alpha males.

  • Inked Reads
    2019-01-22 01:09

    4.5-5 StarsI find this book very hard to rate. Part of me wants to rate it lower, part of me wants to add plus signs to the rating.Danny and Eddie have this tense relationship from the past... because they'd kept it a secret it caused someone they both loved to make a life ending mistake. They both have held it against the other for many years. I wanted SOOOOOOOOOO much more about this relationship. We get little snippets, but never really get what their relationship was or wasn't in the past except a one time hook up, yet it is hinted that there were other times so I was a bit confused on their past. Their current time was quite lovely though. Albeit, I do wish we'd have gotten to see the Surgeon in action more and gotten to see that side of him more, I did feel the gym/boxing side of things was pretty well covered.Then we have Tom, the run-away with a wicked past and a powerful, influential family he's hiding out from. The story is mostly about finding out who Tom is and what he's been through and continues to deal with. While we get closure of sorts with him, we aren't entirely sure where he'll be going in the future. Will he go on to bigger and harder boxing matches or will he go to college?While I wish I had more answers, I fully understand that this is a book one in a series and many of those answers very likely will come from the follow up books. So even though I felt like we had a couple story lines with different characters going on and I wanted more from some of them, I didn't feel like the story itself was bad. I did wish to see more naughty scenes between the pair since they were so hot and fired up for each other, then again that might be a personal preference.I can't wait to read the next book in this series.I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads.~Renee

  • Ren
    2019-01-31 22:25

    Originally reviewed on Words in a TeacupEver since Isa called it the "dog book by cat author" this book makes me giggle. It's actually a pretty sad book about a runaway kid with an abusive father who is taken in by the owner of a diner. Then the kid starts training with the same boxing trainer who used to go out with the diner owner, but of course there are Issues and Emotional Baggage to deal with before everyone can get their happy(ish) ending.What threw me most about this book is the three different POVs, one of which is in first person POV for whichever reason. That bothered me so much because it was like it made Eddie the protagonist in a way, while overall it felt as if Tom's narrative was the most important. Even though at the end Eddie and Danny are together so by M/M romance standards this is "their" book. I don't know, I felt as if my attention was being pulled in different directions without a clear focus. The ending too felt unfinished, like this is just a piece of a bigger story rather than a standalone book.Character-wise, though, I liked all three protagonists and quite a few of the secondary characters. I actually got emotional towards the end because I was so invested in Tom's story. To be honest I'm basing my rating almost only on feelings here; I might complain that the ending was predictable but it still had me worried sick over the fate of the protagonists.I'm definitely going to check out the next book, and hopefully with a longer page count every character's storyline will be tied together in a more cohesive way. For now I don't feel like recommending this book to everyone, but if you're looking for a quick read that first sucker-punches you in the feels and then pats you lovingly, this book is your book.

  • GayListBookReviews
    2019-02-07 05:20

     When can I get Book II, Mrs. Grant? I know we haven’t always clicked over the years, but this time, well this time was perfect!!!Black Dog is a fast book, the type that I like the most. There is no dwelling, no dilating the events, no unnecessary angst at all.It’s written from all three MCs POV’s, so you have to keep focus. The voices are clear in your head, the characters are amazing and so different from one another. Their take on life, their fears, their feelings, all their emotions are just out there.What I like the most about the switching between POVs is that the author does not revisit the events, she uses the change to move the story forward.The UST, Oh My God...honestly, I know Danny and Eddie love each other like brothers, but give us a break, all that sweat, all those are cheering for them to get a room as soon as they are in the same space. Even without knowing all the reasons why they can or should or won’t.As an avid MM reader, you are all probably aware of the ongoing argument about women in MM books, well here the argument is absolutely invalid as Gloria is one of the most amazing females I’ve read since the girls in I’ll be your drill, Soldier. She made me laugh and she brought tears to my eyes too.And then, there is Tom. Beautiful, frightened, broken, strong minded Tom. He has no idea the effect he has in all their lives. And how much he actually needs them, his new family.I don’t know where are we going from here, in the series, but I would like to read more Danny, he is such a complex character and it felt like a lot was left out. I want to know more about Jimmy and how they were when they were together.All in all, I LOVE IT, all of it, and I can’t wait to read more from this series.Reviewed by Connie

  • Rachael Orman
    2019-02-01 05:07

    4.5-5 StarsI find this book very hard to rate. Part of me wants to rate it lower, part of me wants to add plus signs to the rating. Danny and Eddie have this tense relationship from the past... because they'd kept it a secret it caused someone they both loved to make a life ending mistake. They both have held it against the other for many years. I wanted SOOOOOOOOOO much more about this relationship. We get little snippets, but never really get what their relationship was or wasn't in the past except a one time hook up, yet it is hinted that there were other times so I was a bit confused on their past. Their current time was quite lovely though. Albeit, I do wish we'd have gotten to see the Surgeon in action more and gotten to see that side of him more, I did feel the gym/boxing side of things was pretty well covered. Then we have Tom, the run-away with a wicked past and a powerful, influential family he's hiding out from. The story is mostly about finding out who Tom is and what he's been through and continues to deal with. While we get closure of sorts with him, we aren't entirely sure where he'll be going in the future. Will he go on to bigger and harder boxing matches or will he go to college?While I wish I had more answers, I fully understand that this is a book one in a series and many of those answers very likely will come from the follow up books. So even though I felt like we had a couple story lines with different characters going on and I wanted more from some of them, I didn't feel like the story itself was bad. I did wish to see more naughty scenes between the pair since they were so hot and fired up for each other, then again that might be a personal preference. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.