Title: By Chance by Cat Grant
Courtland Chronicles Book One
Publisher: Cat Grant Books, 2nd Edition
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Length: 38,000 words
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Author
A life of wealth and privilege doesn’t equal happiness—just ask Eric Courtland. Growing up with a cold, unfeeling father and unstable mother has taught him exactly what he doesn’t want out of life or love. The troubled young man prefers a solitary life and is content to keep it that way until a campus emergency saddles him with an unwanted roommate.
Popular, wholesome, straight Nick Thompson is far more temptation than Eric’s prepared for, but Nick’s warm, easygoing manner gradually cracks through Eric’s prickly protective shell.
After Eric suffers a traumatic attack, their friendship gives way to an intense passion. Eric’s no stranger to casual sex, but what he feels for Nick is something deeper, and more fragile.
Independent Eric doesn’t know the first thing about being in a relationship, much less with a lover who can’t even admit he’s gay. But conservative Nick can’t seem to find his way out of his own personal closet.
Rock, meet hard place.
Note: This title has been previously published. This edition has been revised and re-edited.
By Chance is the first book in Cat Grant’s Courtland Chronicles series. It is a sweet and sexy romance between two college roommates, wealthy Eric Courtland and football player Nick Thompson. It is a quick read that provides readers an intriguing introduction to what promises to be a fascinating series.
Eric and Nick are young, so it is easy to understand there will be a little immaturity when it comes to their burgeoning relationship. Eric brings the emotional baggage from his somewhat dysfunctional, albeit privileged, family. Eric’s relationship with his mother is complicated by her emotional fragility and he is often thrust into a caregiver role as she goes through crisis after crisis. He shies away from relationships of any kind and that includes friendships. But Nick slips past Eric’s defenses and they quickly become close friends.
Nick is a pretty typical student who is attending college on a football scholarship. Nick’s best friend is his ex-girlfriend Ally Taylor and there is no hint that he is anything but straight. Much to Eric’s surprise, he discovers that there are many layers and hidden depths behind Nick’s laidback exterior.
The romance between Nick and Eric takes both men by surprise. While Nick is an eager participant in their passionate lovemaking, he is not willing to publicly admit to their relationship. Eric has long been out of the closet and he has no intentions of stepping back in despite his feelings for Nick. Add in Eric’s propensity to close himself off emotionally and it is not surprising when their relationship falters under the weight of their conflict.
By Chance is a novella, but Cat Grant packs quite a bit into this story and she lays a good foundation for the upcoming books in the series. There is enough background given for both characters that readers to get to know them and understand what motivates their reactions to the situations facing them. I am looking forward to their growth both as individuals and as a couple.