Saturday, August 15, 2015

Taking Pole by Catherine L. Byrne: #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway @CatherineLByrne

Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
Taking Pole
by Catherine L Byrne

Length:32,000 words
Genres: Gay (M/M), Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Two bitter racing rivals have fought since their teenage years to beat each other to the championship title. When they are both caught up in a serious accident, however, their plans and conflicts fall apart. Thrown together to make sense of what happened, the aftermath forces them to wonder what they are actually fighting for.
“The sofa pulls out into a bed—I—I mean—you could sit with your leg up on it so you are comfortable,” said Javier.

“Oh, okay.” Glen nodded.

They arranged the sofa into a bed and switched the television on. Glen wondered what the other rooms were like. One door obviously led to the kitchen because it was half open and he could see the oven, the others must be the bathroom and bedroom. Would Javier sleep like a king in a vast four poster bed with curtains? How would he sleep? Curled up? On his front? On his back? Glen sniggered. Javier lying on his back. Now there’s a thought. I must stop fantasising.

“Why do you laugh?”

“Oh—er—no reason.”

“What would you like to drink and eat? I have my family’s own wine.”

“You make wine?”

Javier drew himself up and puffed out his chest. “Si! For centuries now, the Diaz family has been important players in the wine business. My father, and his father before him, and his father—we have all been connoisseurs of wine and producers of our own finest vintage, House of Diaz. When I give up racing—”

“Give up racing?” Glen’s stomach dropped. “So you decided to give up after all? After all we talked about the accident not being your fault?”

“No—listen—I meant after I win the championship, I can give up and continue my wine making.”

“But—but—who would I race against?”
3 of 5 stars
I loved how the tone of the story was set right away. I immediately understood why Javier and Glen's personalities conflicted so sharply. I don't know much about motorbike racing but the way Catherine described it sounded authentic to me.

As the story progressed Javier and Glen's private lives are introduced. Learning about their families, goals and interests outside of racing changed my initial impression that they were rather immature and unsportsmanlike.

I found myself starting to like these guys... then the accident occurred. This is where things started to fall apart for me. The intense emotional impact that I expected simply wasn't there. The attention to detail I appreciated in the beginning tapered off and the changes to the foundation of their relationship are glossed over as the story rushes from enemies to reluctant partners and sometimes friends. Their initial concerns about being involved are legitimate but seemed to drift off in the wind. I wanted details, drama, as they began to reach their breaking point but instead of savoring the journey they raced to the end. I enjoyed the story but was disappointed that it ended up being okay when it could have been great. 
Catherine L Byrne writes stories about relationships which push buttons and provoke reactions from readers. She writes about both gay and straight relationships, depending on which characters in her books shout the loudest to have their stories told.

An inquisitive author, she prefers writing about different situations in each book rather than writing a series about the same one—her stories range from 10th century Viking Britain, to modern educational settings and from mystery to romance.

As she was born and bred in England and lives there with her family, this infuses her books with a distinctly English tone. She has been writing since as long as she can remember and Extasy Books have published her novels since 2014.

Tour Stops:

Parker Williams, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Jessie G. Books, BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly, Carly’s Book Reviews, Christy Loves 2 Read, Happily Ever Chapter, The Jena Wade, Ogitchida Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Mikky's World of Books, 3 Chicks After Dark, Andrew Q. Gordon, The Hat Party, Up All Night, Read All Day


  1. Thanks for featuring my book today :)

  2. I love the cover. I also like the rivals to lovers type of story.