Table of Contents

Reinventing Cato by Barbara Elsborg :: Unfinished Business #3 :: Review :: Excerpt

Book Info

Author:
Series:

Unfinished Business by Barbara Elsborg

Series Type:
Individual Stories
Number In Series:
3
Publisher:
Barbara Elsborg
Published:
24 March 2021
Book Type
Pages:
324
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

Being headhunted by NASA might be his ultimate dream, but Cato’s life still sucks. He’s tired of anonymous one-night stands. He’s tired of being lonely. And, frankly, he’s tired of himself. As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, he realises the only thing to do if he wants to be happy is to reinvent himself.

Persuaded by his sister to spend New Year’s Eve in Scotland with his parents, Vigge can’t escape the memory of why their family fractured eighteen years ago, and his part in it. He’s channelled the guilt he feels into finding truth and justice for others, but his own life is empty and cold.

A chance encounter at a snowbound airport has Vigge and Cato colliding in more ways than one. Someone seems to have it in for Cato, and as Vigge gets drawn into the mess of Cato’s life, he finds himself falling for the sexy scientist. If only Vigge can make peace with his past and step away from the darkness, they just might have a chance at a future as bright as Cato’s beloved stars.

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Review

Reviewed By: Josh Dale

5/5

Where do I start?

Well this is the third book in the unfinished business and as such has a very high bar to beat the first two books, especially Jonty’s story in book one.  You only need to follow the MM book community on Facebook to see just how popular Jonty is.  Reinventing Cato is a little darker and has suspenseful nail-biting moments, compared to the previous books.

Well we have a Cato, a top scientise, Vigge is a Detective inspector, Snowstorms, Cato’s two Ex’s, Murder’s, Death Threats, Trapeze act, Violinist, a flat mate that wants into Cato’s pants. Grumpy vs Funny guys stuck together for a long car journey. Suspense, tears, and lots of funny chats.

So, let’s look at Cato, who has featured briefly in the previous books as Jonty’s boyfriend’s brother. Cato is at a crossroads in his life.  He has recently come out of a bad relationship and is lonely and hungers for someone to love.   He is also at the top of his game in his career, head hunted by Nassa.  But as the new year draws in, he decides he needs to reinvent himself, stop the one-night stands and seriously search for the guy to have a meaningful relationship with that desperately wants.

Vigge carry’s a lot of baggage from his past and especially the death of his brother. He barely has a relationship with his parents since that fateful day when he came out to his parents, and his brother ran out of the house.

Both characters are at a crossroads in their lives, and when they are thrown together in a attempt to get from Scotland to the south of England after a severe snow storm closes the airports and train stations. Vigge reluctantly agrees to give Cato a lift in his hire car.

It is soon obvious both characters are attracted to one another, and when they stop at a roadside motel, they get it on.  But it is only the start of a very bumpy relationship.  Vigge must decide if he can honestly have a relationship with Cato and he knows that to do so would eventually require him to come out at work.

And Cato has to decide whether to go to work at Nassa in the US or try for a relationship with Vigge .

Barbara has such great skill in creating interesting characters that you soon feel like they are a part of your friends /0r family circle.  They are always colourful characters that you can not help but feel their emotions good and bad.  She is also skilled at balancing those emotions of light happy moments and darker moody and in this book fearful emotions.

The tension builds almost from the start as to what the threats mean, who they are from and what is the motive.  As we get deeper into the book the darker and more dangerous the threats become.

Of course, Cato is beside himself, and won’t allow Vigge to call in the threats in case it causes the person behind them to follow through on his threats.

Vigge of course must battle his police training to keep his promise to not call in the threats.

I am usually quite good at guessing the ending of stories and solving the who done it before I read the end of the book.  But I was guessing right till the end any changed my mind several times before we find out.

Barbara’s sneaky writing gives us hints of who it might be then she kind of throws a curve ball and makes you think, no it can not be that person, or can it?

I really enjoyed getting to know Cato, after the glimpses of him in previous books.  He is like a milder version of Jonty.  I can not imagine what would happen if Jonty and Cato were in the same story all the way through, like if Cato an Vigge, and Jonty and Devon were on holiday together.  Not sure the world would be able to cope, but we would defiantly die laughing.

Excerpt

Cato

Cato curled his toes into the carpet. “I…collect first kisses.” He didn’t, but he liked the sound of it, so why not? “I want us to kiss outside in the snow, not in here.”

“You want to pretend this isn’t a convenient hook-up?”

Disappointment curled in Cato’s gut. “I know what it is. But obviously it’s more romantic in a motorway service station car park than in a motorway service station motel bedroom.”

“Obviously.” Vigge smiled.

“I also want this to be spontaneous and we’ve lost that. Me having a shower, putting my lenses in so I look less of a dork, you having a shower, not that there is anything wrong in showering. But then we’ve eaten and watched the news and…” The moment wasn’t right. “I want to find the perfect spot outside to kiss. Shouldn’t take us more than an hour or two.”

If Vigge said no, Cato would accept it, and that would be that.

Vigge chuckled and pushed to his feet. “Get your boots and coat on, Father Awkward. You better make this kiss worth it.”

That Vigge was going along with this meant more than he could say. Cato loved kissing, but he couldn’t remember feeling this excited about kissing anyone. Even Max. Please be a good kisser.

When they stepped out of the motel into thickly falling snow, the blast of cold air made Cato suck in a breath. “No longer than an hour to choose a spot.”

“You have ten minutes.”

“Does that include the kiss?”

“Eleven minutes including the kiss.”

Cato laughed, grabbed his hand and dragged him across the car park. They slipped and slid through the churned-up lorry park and over the snowy ridges of the service road that led to the fuel pumps. There was a picnic area in front of a snow-laden wood, the tables and benches heaped in snow, no footprints anywhere. As Cato pulled him further on into a children’s playground, the sound of vehicles receded, as did the smell of diesel.

“Here,” Vigge said.

“We can still see civilisation.”

Vigge sighed but went with him towards the trees. Cato was already cold, and getting colder, his toes, fingers and ears tingling. But the longer they walked, the more the noise, sight, smell of the service station receded, and the fainter reality became until it felt as if they were in a world of their own.

“Whose woods these are I think I know,” Cato recited.

“Yeah, Robert Frost’s. His house is in the village though.”

Cato turned delighted eyes on him. “He will not see us stopping here to hug and kiss in the falling snow.” He looked round. “Where’s our little horse to think it’s queer?”

Vigge chuckled. “He’s run off. Here is perfect. We’re going to freeze.”

“I think that patch of snow looks better.” Cato pointed a metre away from where they

 

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Barbara Elsborg

Biography

Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Thirteen facts about me

1. I’m blonde, but after having spotted one grey hair - I now dye my locks with mixed results. I know I should read the packet but hey, what can go wrong? My nicknames – badger, skunk (purely the look!!), snowball and pinkie. Yes, that time it really did go wrong.

2. I hate milk. Can’t drink it, smell it or even look at it.

3. Writing. I really do love that. I started by making up episodes of TV series with me as the heroine. You name it, I’ve been in it. My range is from paranormal to suspense to contemporary to erotica but everything I write has a touch of romance and humor. Well, I think I’m funny. My family laugh at me all the time.

4. Former life – a sad cautionary tale. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Grand title of export manager. There was just me in the department. Had kids. Ughghghg. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)

5. No I didn’t, dear. Husband is financial whiz. Met at university when he was bringing a sack of potatoes to my flat mate. Romance is his middle name. Gifts to me include – supermarket vouchers, hedge trimmer and a hammer drill and reduced flowers past their wilt-by date. He spent most of his life in the aerospace industry making missiles. He’s atoning for his sins by doing my shopping.

6. Two children. Daughter a lawyer. Son has escaped to live in Texas. Enough said.

7. Books – I ADORE. I read at least one a day. I have thousands as I can’t stand to part with them. I read at lightning speed. 70-80 pages in 20 minutes. That’s fast? Right?

8. What do I do all day? Write. All day if I can. It’s my world and I love it. Start at 8.00 and finish late. Interspersed with journeys on the internet and satisfying needs of husband. No, not those sorts of needs. Really!! I was thinking of making coffee.

9. Worried about – possible visit from FBI. Research for one of my thrillers did involve some investigation into how a fetus would decay under a boat shed. Research into plastic handcuffs brought a deluge of porn. Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I find I need to keep checking dubious sites. I might be addicted.

10. I’m very tall. 5’10 and a bit. I used to be very self-conscious about my height. Now I don’t care. I’m far more worried about other bits of me.

11. I won the prize at school for ‘Good Conduct and Example’ It was the worst day of my life. Well, one of them. I so want to be bad. Sigh.

12. I am incapable of telling right from left at crucial moments. Won’t be flying jets anytime soon.

I’m struggling now. I’m really not interesting.

13. Ohh, I was once kicked by a giraffe.

Phew, made it.

 

 

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