Title: Strictly Business by Cat Grant
Courtland Chronicles Book Two
Publisher: Cat Grant Books
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance, Slight BDSM
Length: 80 pages (estimated)
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Author
Eric Courtland is hungry for revenge—at any cost—against the cold, unfeeling father who never loved him, and who drove his mother to an early grave. Tossed headfirst into the shark-tank world of big business, Eric soon learns it’s eat or be eaten, and has no choice but to throw in his lot with ruthless titan of industry Branford Crane.
Still reeling from his mother’s death—and the guilt of not being able to save her—Eric plunges into a dark spiral of self-destruction, rejecting his longtime partner Nick’s love and support in favor of the harsh tutelage Bran offers him, in and out of the bedroom.
But one night, when Bran finally pushes Eric beyond any reasonable limit, Eric realizes how far he’s fallen—and how desperately he needs Nick to help pull him back from the edge.
Note: This title has been previously published. This edition has been revised and re-edited.
Strictly Business, the second installment in Cat Grant’s Courtland Chronicles series, is a bit edgier than By Chance. It is full of emotions as Eric Courtland tries to exact revenge on his ruthless father. In the process, he pushes away his partner, Nick Thompson and enters into a punishing sexual relationship with Branford Crane.
The transition between Strictly Business and By Chance leaves a gap in time where both Eric and Nick have graduated from college and have begun their careers. It was a little disconcerting at first, but readers are caught up to speed pretty quickly.
Strictly Business is mainly Eric’s story and it deals with the aftermath of his mother’s death. There are a few scenes with Eric and Nick, but Eric quickly refuses the support that Nick offers him. Instead, Nick finds himself in a debasing sexual relationship with Branford Crane, a former one night stand. There are no emotions involved in their relationship; it is based purely on Bran’s sexual needs and desires. Nick is both repelled by and drawn to his sadistic lover and it takes a serious breach of trust for him to realize how big of a mistake he made getting involved with Bran.
Strictly Business is a darker novel as Eric gives into his self-destructive feelings. The sex scenes with Bran are intense and delve into BDSM. Eric’s self-loathing is the driving force in this unhealthy relationship but he does derive some sexual satisfaction from their encounters. It is heartbreaking watching Eric destroy what he and Nick have so carefully built and give in to someone who does not harbor any feelings toward him at all. Eric fully knows what he is getting into with Bran, but it is still difficult to watch him punish himself with this toxic relationship.
Despite the turmoil and gut-wrenching emotions, Strictly Business is a compelling read that ends with a happily ever after. Eric does achieve a measure of peace with his father and Eric and Nick do wind up back together.
I am anxious to see what Cat Grant plans for this couple in the future books in the Courtland Chronicles series. Somehow, I think we are in for a wild ride!
Read my review of By Chance HERE.