Review – Cat Escort by Melissa E. Costa

I chose this book after seeing the author post on Facebook (see? It sometimes works!) I’m a sucker for a shifter book which thinks outside the box, and I love cats, so a domestic cat shifter book was hard to pass by.

And it’s a bit like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You don’t know what you’re going to get. The cover, cute as it is, does not hint at the dark themes held inside. Self-hatred, poor attitudes towards sex workers, the mistreatment of animals are all themes within the books and for some, these might be disturbing. In a way, I wish the cover hadn’t been so cute and jolly as it doesn’t represent the story at all, even though the characters are well-represented in looks.

Did I enjoy it? Yes and no. I loved Nao, who genuinely loved his work as an escort, and the sensitive way he tries to balance that with a serious relationship. He seemed to get a rough ride, especially from his love interest, Seth, whom I couldn’t warm to. Nao was warm and loving, with a huge amount of empathy, as well as being sultry and alluring. His character was excellent and very believable, even when he was a cat.

Seth has deep-seated issues of self-loathing, and I know that doesn’t make for an easy person to live with at times, but he came across as whiny and manipulative, attempting to force Nao to give up a job he loved if he wanted to be with Seth. That smacked of emotional blackmail to me, and he didn’t seem willing to compromise. His toxic relationship with Sarah and Zach, with whom he had been in a polyam relationship before they decided to be a couple, was truly strange. They were portrayed as hideous, behaving in the most awful way and yet he consistently decided to listen to them instead of Nao. Sarah even “hired” Nao for the night, and there were constant references to him being a prostitute.

In the end, Seth had a stark choice; accept Nao as the person he fell in love with, or make him feel wretched about his profession and unworthy unless he gave it all up. There seemed to be no room for any kind of compromise and in the end, I just didn’t like him. I thought Nao was treated better by Sir Gary, if I’m honest.

All these elements served to leave a bitter taste on the palate, which was a shame. The writing was great, the pacing good and the plot a compelling one, but in the end it didn’t work for me. It wouldn’t stop me reading another book by this author though, and I’ll keep an eye out for what else she has to offer.

BLURB

A night of passion with a Cat Shifter escort becomes everything for a man with poor self-esteem.

To mend his broken heart, Seth purchases a date with a Cat Shifter Escort. The sex was so amazing, it let him forget his pain. Seth never expected to see him again.

Nao couldn’t forget the client who’d cried in his arms, so destroyed from love gone wrong. He wanted nothing more than to help the beautiful, broken man.

Their night was supposed to be a onetime thing, but six months later, everything changed when they met again.

Published by Lady J's Pawsome Readers

As well as reviewing books, I'm a writer of romantic suspense, MM fiction and LGBTQIA sci-fi. One of the original founders of WROTE Podcast, a medium for showcasing queer storytelling in all forms.

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