Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: Black Dog by Cat Grant

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Black Dog (Bannon's Gym #1) by Cat Grant
Novella: 130pgs
3 Pants Off

Danny Bannon and Eddie Roscoe have been fighting in and out of the ring for more than fifteen years, held together by mutual attraction and small-town ties, yet kept apart by a shared tragedy that continues to haunt them. Their steady on-again off-again is shaken up by the arrival of Tom Delaney, a teenage runaway trying to escape his tense home situation and his punch-happy dad.

In no time, the scrawny homeless kid has shown himself to be a boxing prodigy, and building him up brings Danny and Eddie closer than they’ve been in ages. It seems that the three of them, plus Eddie’s mother, Gloria, are forming a new family unit, much tighter than anything Tom experienced in his difficult past.

But Tom’s politically influential father isn't the only person he left behind. When his mother shows up at Eddie and Gloria’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 is ready to turn his new fighting skills to a deadly purpose: get revenge on his abusive father or die trying.

It’s up to his surrogate big brothers, Danny and Eddie, to put their differences and their painful history aside to prevent another tragic ending.

Not what I was expecting when I read the blurb for the book, however, still an interesting read. Tom really stole the book for me. He was this kid who was running for his life and that just broke my heart.

The story starts when Eddie Roscoe meets Tom Delaney behind his diner as he’s fighting with a homeless man for his things. And thus our story begins. As you read the story you get to meet who these characters are. Eddie-heartbroken and guilt-driven. Danny Bannon-fueled by anger and guilt. As you get deeper into the story, you get a sense of the Push-Pull, On-Off Relationship that Danny and Eddie share.

You will get lots of angst and miscommunication in this book. You will also see the guilt that these follow these two around. The abuse and hurt that all of these characters carry around. The fear of stepping out of the roles that they each placed on themselves. How they overcome them is really sweet.

Tom comes with problems of his own. Abusive Father. Abused Mother. Anger. Lots of anger from Tom. But his strength of character comes through. That he’s a survivor.

I found this short story had such an amazing premise. I loved the idea of people who haven’t had the easiest life, find a way to make a life for themselves. To find the strength to know that where you come from can’t be changed, but that they can change their future. How they feel and how they deal with the past and look forward to the future. I just felt that the execution of the story didn’t really hit the mark for me.

The book shows the three main characters POV. I have to say, at first I wasn’t sure about this, but as I read along it grew on me. I loved hearing how they thought and what they felt. I felt that the book was rushed. Very rushed. The ending came to quickly without a real sense of closure. I understand that it’s part of a new series. I hope that with that comes more. Just more. I would like to see how the characters develop. I would like to see how this family that they have become flourishes.

3 Pants Off

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