Monday, 21 December 2009

Review: The Courtland Chronicles -Bk 5 –Triad © Cat Grant

Title – Triad (The Courtland Chronicles -Bk Five)
Author - Cat Grant

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Main Characters: Eric, Ally and Nick Courtland

It's three times the pleasure - ten years on!

Eric Courtland, his wife Ally and husband Nick have been living the sweet life for the past decade, tucked away in their luxurious Tuscan villa. But when a family crisis brings them back to the States, blackmail and an unexpected revelation threaten the delicate balance of their marriage.

Weathering this storm may take everything they have - and still tear them apart.

 

Ally burst out in delighted laughter when Eric and Nick both jumped up to throw their arms around her. “Hey, take it easy. It’s not confirmed yet.”

“When will you know for sure?” Eric asked.

“As soon as I can get a pregnancy test done.”

Suddenly Nick was literally itching to find out. “I’ll drive to the pharmacy in Grieve and get you one,” he blurted.

Ally gaped at him. “It’s thirty miles each way!”

“Would you rather wait a month for an appointment with that overpriced obstetrician in Rome?”

Eric and Ally exchanged glances, then shook their heads slowly.

Most of the time, living beside a vineyard in the rustic Tuscan countryside was the next best thing to paradise on earth. But it could be a royal pain in the ass whenever they needed something in a hurry. It took Nick close to an hour to drive to Grieve and back, jostling and bouncing over the unpaved country roads in Eric’s beloved Lamborghini Murciélago. At last he swung back into the villa’s courtyard and charged upstairs, one precious home pregnancy test clutched in his sweaty hand.

Eric and Ally sat on the overstuffed leather couch in the living room waiting for him. But when he handed the test to Ally, all she could do was stare at it, swallowing hard. “Um... maybe we should wait,” she murmured. “If we do it now, it’ll be... final, and I’m not sure I could stand it if it wasn’t true this time.”

“Don’t you think it’s better to know?” Eric asked quietly, giving her hand a squeeze. “If we’re about to become parents, I’d like as much time as possible to get ready.”

“Oh, God...” She shut her eyes tightly, one hand flying up to cover her mouth. “I knew I shouldn’t have said anything until I was sure.”

With that, Nick fell to his knees beside her, more from sheer nerves than anything else. “Ally, I drove a long way to get this for you. So go pee on the damn stick and get it over with.”

She stared at him for a long moment before erupting in nervous laughter. “Okay, okay! Talk about shaming me into it!”

They followed her back to the master bedroom and waited while she disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door. Nick perched on the edge of the bed, cracking his knuckles. Eric paced so furiously, Nick was sure he’d worn a permanent trench in the carpet. They heard the crackle of foil being unwrapped, followed by a telltale tinkling, then ponderous silence.

Finally the bathroom door opened, and Ally emerged. She held the stick out so they could both see it.

The thing was blue.

“Congratulations.” She beamed. “Looks like you’re gonna be daddies.”

Triad © Cat Grant

Review

When a series comes to an end there is so much expectation and so much that you hope will happen, that you wish would never happen and all in all you want to know the final outcome but it is with regret that you see off a set of characters that you might have hated or loved in equal measure.

The Courtland Chronicles is that series for me. I love this series - I love the characters, I love the settings and more over I loved the fact that this was a series with a difference and it stuck right out of the pack like a toy that I must have. To begin this last review I must begin with the cover – the cover of a book for me says a lot – sometimes it doesn’t match but I still have my own preconception of what I expect are between the pages.

When I saw the cover of TRIAD – my first thought was how bright it was (colored), if you have seen the covers of the other books in the Courtland Chronicles there is a definitely mist over the books – right from there I knew the men were about to be separated from the boys… and I was not disappointed in my perception.

It’s eleven years after the last book and Ally and Eric have been legally married for all this time, but Europe have just lead the way in allowing marriages of three so Nick has just joined the other two legally instead of being the much talked about consort. I liked where I have found the three and I am happy for them as well as it has been a hard fought battle to get to this point.

As with all good writers Ms. Grant doesn’t let them stay happy for long, because she has a series to finish off and in this she must expose these three to some rather nasty business.

To begin the three has some rather pleasant news that they have been hoping for and praying for, for a long time. Because of this or rather in-spite of this when Nick has to finally face the bullet in terms of his career and Eric must approach the industrial market for a much needed lifeline they all three know they must leave their idyllic Tuscany home and forge into the mind field of American society that has still not come to grips with the fact that a leader of industry has not only chosen to acknowledge that he is gay but have the gall to be in an open ménage relationship.

Once they hit the airport in America they are immediately faced with the bigotry of small mined people. It doesn't however end there because someone is not only trying to destroy Eric's business and if possible Eric in the deal. Nick has his own share of issues that he has to deal with and Ally is left trying to be the peace-maker and the reluctant holder of secrets.

Rather than any of the  tangible things that befalls them it is the secrets, lies and omissions that  they have to work through and they are still the things that will make them only stronger as a unit or ultimately break them after coming this far.

Was this fifth and final book worth the wait - yes it definitely was. If you have not read this series before - you need to go catch up on the other four books to make sense of anymore of this review.  If you have issues with ménage relationship back away from this review now and come back later.

Highlights

The trio has changed yet they remained the same. Eric has mellowed he is not as uptight and structured in his ways as I have always known him to be and is a bit more compromising when it comes to his relationship and those he care about - which if you know Eric the word compromise does not exist for him.   

Nick is still the one I love the most – and I was pleased to see a bit of spine in him, however the things I hated in him from past book like his roll over attitude I find does not grate me so much now, As it’s just Nick being Nick and without that element to his personality he could not fit into this relationship.

Ally still also remains my least favorite character in this trio – but hats off to Ms. Grant for growing her to the level that I accepted her for the guys’ sake and I can see her ultimately making them happy.

One of the more realistic aspects of this book is that Ms. Grant does not insulate this trio – she tosses them out into the real world and the real world attacked. It makes a difference to see them struggle, she made them cry, and she made them fall and allowed them to pick themselves up and get on with making that thing that they have together work.

Old faces make an appearance and not all of it good. I can’t say I was happy to see or hear from a few of them but I needed closure on certain aspect of this plot. Some characters I loved, I was pleased to see their timeless grace still in evidence and they made for some rather nostalgic and emotional moments of this book. Other characters came in to close not only chapters of their life but give me closure on Eric's past and ultimately laid the groundwork for his future. These were all gut wrenching and dramatically tense scenes … but really some of the better scenes of the book in my opinion.

I can’t say enough about the dialogue of the book – between the trio, between antagonist, employer and employee, loved one and new players – it was perfectly done and with a book just a little over one hundred page, the dialogue made the difference to this book.

Other than the improved dialogue - the three made time for each other and themselves as well, which not only shows the development of their relationship as a whole, but just how comfortable they were with each other...

I had some issues with the last book that there was no true ménage scene at all, in TRIAD this was quickly rectified... and I got my happy smutty grin moment…

There is a full circle feel to this book although it took my heart a while to catch up with the facts that I knew in my head. None of these three were ready for some of the things that unfolded in this last book especially Eric, but I was very pleased at how they tackles each and every situation with gusto and knew that they could rely on each other.…

Bottom  Line..

If you have not read the Courtland Chronicles you have been missing out on a great series.  There is a lot to be said about an author that does not sugar coat her romance and writes about what and who she likes, it feel real, it feel possible and as much as I might not like some aspect of it – I ended up loving it all.

Writing, pace, scenes and storylines all did it for me… I watch these three grow from student to adult who have overcome a hell of a lot, from friends to lover and at the core of them they were still the same passionate trio that would do anything and everything for each other.

TRIAD is a perfect finish to this series – the author does not play around with a lot of back history if any to be honest and this gives her page time to show me the best of what Eric, Ally and Nick Courtland had to offer….

 

This is what you have missed….

 

 

 

By Chance - Review

Strictly Business - Review

Complication - Review

The Arrangement - Review

In Conversation – Eric Courtland

 

11 Speak To Me:

Chris on 22 December 2009 at 02:08 said...

Not a reader of menage, so I'll just admire the cover. :)

Chris on 22 December 2009 at 02:23 said...

My goodness, how many contests have you won today?! Lucky you! Congrats. :)

Cat Grant on 22 December 2009 at 03:07 said...

Aww, thank you, EH, for the lovely review. You actually made me tear up a bit!

I'm so happy the book met your expectations. :)

Erotic Horizon on 22 December 2009 at 11:21 said...

@Chris...

I love my smut and a good story and don't mind how many people it takes to make that happen...

I agree with you though - I love looking at the cover as well....

Those men are packing some heat.....


*****Winnings all round for me - I might just have to buy the lottery, I'm on a roll here baby ***

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 December 2009 at 11:23 said...

@Cat...

I simply love this series and TRIAD I like the icing on the top...

Bran really does me in - he has a certain something about him that makes him a character that you can't overlook....

Thank for giving these guys a most suitable send off...

Congrats on the release my dear...

E.H>

Becky W. on 22 December 2009 at 15:20 said...

Wow!! This sounds like an awesome series! I'll try to pick up a couple of them today!

Happy Holidays!

ErotRomReader (Janna) on 22 December 2009 at 15:29 said...

Wow, what a wonderful review hon! I must admit that I love Nick the most too :)
Cat emailed me a copy of Triad yesterday, because I was the lucky winner of her contest *waves to Cat* I can't wait to start reading it!
:)
Janna

Patti on 22 December 2009 at 22:49 said...

This sounds like a great series with characters I'd like. I'm off to check it out....

Erotic Horizon on 22 December 2009 at 23:46 said...

@Becky W...

Hope you are good - All the best for the holidays...

I liked this one - no punches was hold in terms of content...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 December 2009 at 23:47 said...

@Janna...

TRIAD was such a gritty, pleasant surprise..... but a most suitable last book for this series..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 22 December 2009 at 23:48 said...

@Patti..

Hope it works for you hon... I have been following it all year - it's good to have the last book now...

E.H>