Title: A Fool For You
Author: Cat Grant
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella/125 PDF pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: An unlikely romance between two protagonists who made each other a lot better after navigating the relationship waters.
Book three in the Icon Men series.
Sexy Chase Aubrey plays blues guitar like nobody’s business. One look at him performing at a New York nightclub, and twenty-year-old keyboard player Brian Barclay’s smitten.
However, Brian remains true to his boyfriend Kit—until Kit cheats on him and steals all the songs they’ve written together. With nowhere else to go, Brian turns to his estranged father, Trevor, and Trevor’s partner, Cameron. But even Cameron can’t smooth over the tension between father and son.
Brian’s in need of a friend, and Chase fills the role nicely—and quickly heats up the sheets with him as well. The passion between them is mind-blowing, until Brian discovers Chase’s secret past. A past he’s run from for years. And when the past threatens the present, Brian can’t help wondering if the love of his life has played him for a fool.
I met Brian in The First Real Thing. At the time he was 15 years old and going through a tough time with his parents’ divorce especially since his dad Trevor was living with a man, a former escort named Cameron. Fast forward 5 years and Brian is all grown up, gay, and finding out that life is even tougher if you’re trying to make a living as a member of a band just starting out. One night while waiting his turn to go up on stage at a bar where his band had a gig, blues guitarist Chase Aubrey who was the act before his band was just finishing his set and Brian was blown away by his talent. Not only was Chase a terrific musician but he was also hot – the full package. Although Brian was attracted to him, Chase was off limits because he was in a committed relationship with Kit.
Later he found out that Kit didn’t feel the same way about monogamy and was cheating on him with their new agent Clive, and he had also stolen all of their music. Brian was shattered because he had trusted Kit implicitly. Kit had been the one constant in his life since they were 15, first his friend and then his lover and he had stood by him through his parents’ divorce. Now he was just like everyone else, out for what he could get and he didn’t care if he had to literally screw Brian in the process. The night got worse as Brian ended up in jail for punching the manager of the club where they were playing and he had to be bailed out by his father who was not thrilled. The next evening he went back to the bar and waited outside to see Chase because he felt that he could pursue their tentative friendship as Kit was no longer in the picture. Long story short, he and Chase went to his place and set fire to the bed. The attraction that had been simmering since the previous night led to some pretty hot, raunchy sex and Brian ended up spending the night with Chase. Weeks later they were still having great sex and playing wonderful music. Could Chase be the key to what Brian needed to turn his life around, or would this be another wrong turn? But before they had any chance at happiness they would have to navigate Chase’s dark past and misunderstandings that threatened to end their relationship before it had even begun.
In The First Real Thing Brian was a bit of a brat, and initially in A Fool For You even though he was almost 21, he didn’t seem to have grown much. For example he didn’t grasp the fact that being bailed out of jail and the cost of his legal defence was a burden on Trevor. Maybe he thought he was entitled and Trevor was supposed to pay since he was his father. Cameron offered Brian a job at The Icon until he found something else but Brian made it clear that menial work was below him and he quit after an hour or so on his first day, despite the fact that he had no money or other job prospects as he was basically unskilled at anything but music. However, he did return the next day after realizing what a prick he had been to Cameron. As for his relationship with Chase, he jumped into bed with him shortly after they met when he was dumped by Kit, but again he realized that there was more to him than being good in bed and he started to see Chase as someone other than a fuckbuddy. Chase also was the only person who recognized that Brian had a learning disability, (he was dyslexic, which was the reason Kit was able to steal his songs) and he helped him overcome his feelings of inferiority through learning to read music.
Chase at 28 had had an awful life as a child star and he wanted nothing to do with “starfuckers” who went to bed with him and then boasted about it to the tabloids afterwards. He was a complex character and his past was a bit murky but he had to grow up quickly after being let down by his parents. He didn’t bemoan his fate, he just did what he had to do to survive. However at times he appeared to still be a scared little boy who didn’t think that anyone could want him, and he envied Brian having a father and stepfather who loved him – something he never had. I wish there was more about Chase’s life in the book so that I could have known him much better but the story is told from Brian’s third person POV.
Over the weeks after jumping into the sack together, Brian and Chase evolved from just being interested in sex to a professional and emotional partnership. I love it when the characters show growth and in Brian’s case he had a lot of room to grow when he realized there is no free lunch.
It was wonderful to see Cameron and Trevor again. Almost six years later they were still together and very much in love. Their relationship had matured and having Trevor assume the role of Brian’s dad showed a different side to his personality as well as Cameron’s. Brian at first had a difficult time with Cameron and there was no love lost between them after the divorce and Brian’s feelings that his parents failed marriage was Cameron’s fault, but they managed to find common ground for Trevor’s sake and eventually became friends. There were even appearances by Ryan and Mike (co-owner of The Icon) from Appearing Nightly, a little older and wiser but just as fiesty.
Although A Fool For You can be read as a standalone I would strongly recommend that you read The First Real Thing which introduces Brian. TFRT was Trevor’s and Cameron’s story and I must admit that it’s my favourite book of the series with Appearing Nightly next. If you don’t like insta love you may not feel that the romance worked in AFFY but I thought that in the end Brian grew up from a selfish brat and he and Chase made me think that it was the real deal. A Fool For You is also funny and I think you will like the story as well as the supporting characters. The music in the book was a plus for me and I think that Cat Grant either did a lot of research or is in the business herself.