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The First Real Thing (Icon Men #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  459 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
My name’s Cameron. And I’m a male escort. I’m the best, and most expensive, at what I do. I have one rule—never let anyone in.

In five years of hooking I’ve never picked up the wrong guy. But when I met Toronto ad man Trevor Barclay in a Manhattan bar, his soft green eyes and shy smile drew me right in. When I discovered the error I had made, I should have written it off
ebook, 123 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Ellora's Cave (first published January 1st 2010)
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Shattered Glass by Dani AlexanderThe Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie DeeSoul Bonds by Lynn LorenzEasy by Ally BlueBe My Boy by Casey K. Cox
Best Gay Rent Boys
14th out of 203 books — 343 voters
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Best M/M Romance Published in 2010
87th out of 305 books — 517 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 986)
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Feb 07, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
This pretty much followed the formula of the rent boy who falls in love, but there were just enough unique things about it to make it stand out. Cam was more towards the end his career rather than the beginning, he really made no apologies about his profession to anyone and didn't have miles and miles of drama that drove him to his career. To him it really was a career and he was a pro.

I liked how he met Trev, that was different and the story told through Cam's blog made the ultimate reveal to
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Wow, I'm totally shocked.

I kind of loved this one.

Usually rent boy stories don't do much for me, but I couldn't put this one down.

Sure, it is totally unrealistic, with a rent boy living the high life, with fine wines, fancy clothes, maid service... but I didn't really care!

*blinders to reality, engaged*

It was so sweet, and I fell hard for Trevor. Really, really hard.

Okay, so I have a thing for (view spoiler) that won't quit! So sue me, I have a type! ;)

Just adorab
Jun 09, 2012 Candice rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

After having this book recommended to me and reading the blurb, I really didn't know what to expect with the main character having a life as an escort. But from the beginning I absolutely loved Cameron, he had his faults, but deep down he was just a product of circumstance, but didn't blame anyone for where he was or what he was doing. Then he meets Trev and breaks his one rule of never letting anyone in. Trev may have seemed unsure in the beginning after being in the closet for 16 year
Erotic Horizon
It’s the wee hours of the morning and for some odd reason I decide to put my thoughts down about this book before I sleep on it. Why, because THE FIRST REAL THING rocks and I did not want to lose this euphoric feeling that I have with something as mundane as sleep, before I put my thoughts down.

Once again it was no hardship to drop everything to read this book when it hit my inbox and read it in one go I did. Literally from the first page I was drawn into the story, into the blog that Camero
Dec 31, 2014 Feliz rated it it was amazing
Mistakes happen to the best of us. That's how Cameron, professional male escort, happens to pick up Trevor instead of his intended client. When he discovers the mix-up, it's already too late. Cameron has done waht he's vowed to never let happen: he's fallen for another man. But how will Trevor react when he learns what Cam does for a living? Drawn deeper and deeper intp the torrent of lies and misunderstandings, Cam tumbles headlong into desaster.

This book is written in form of Cam's blog, so C
Jan 16, 2011 Ami rated it really liked it
While this story might not make me emotional BUT I must say that this one is better than a string of other M/M romances I read lately. Thus, I'm willing to give it a 4 star.

I always love the theme of rent-boy/whore. One thing I totally appreciate in The First Real Thing is that it is NOT over-dramatized. Often, story about rent-boy/whore maximized the drama and pain/torture/humiliation life. Not so with Cameron. He likes what he does and he takes full responsibility of the life he is living. I a
Elisa Rolle
This book was a little surprise since I’m not used to find pretty much classical romance in the Ellora’s Cave offer, erotica plenty, don’t get me wrong, but erotica not always equal to romance.

Moreover The First Real Thing is also a classical theme, the hustler who fall in love of his/her customer. What probably gave me the nicer contrast it was the cold and detached description of Cameron’s life as whore and instead the sweet romance of his relationship with Trevor. And in a way it’s better th
Nov 15, 2011 Td rated it liked it
I did like this book. What's not to like about Cameron, he's a slut! I love sluts! He said it! "There's a reason I've been so successful in this business. I'm a slut." I love when characters are honest about themselves, but there was something that prevented me from loving the whole book and I have no idea what it was. It wasn't Trevor, I liked him too. Again, no idea. Now I want to know what happens with Michael and Ryan.
Feb 21, 2013 Nic rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, series, zz-amazon-yes
Slightly different take on the theme of a male escort hiding his true profession. Cameron mistakes Trevor for his client and they share one night together. Trev is unaware of the mix up and wants to see Cameron again. What follows is a romance between the two men as Cameron struggles with how to tell Trev the truth and how to leave the business while Trev deals with his own issues.
A nice story with a happy ending.
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Oct 28, 2011 Mandy*reads obsessively* rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, ebook-owned
This is a nice story about Cam, a high paid male escort and Trev, a newly out of the closet man.
It's cute to watch Trevor discover his sexuality and Cameron discover love.
Of course the path is not easy, and when Trev discovers Cam's real job, he is understandably upset!
But it's an easy, nice and a pretty angst free read that I enjoyed.
Sep 21, 2010 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, gay, done, 2010, ebook
Good m/m romance about a male escort who picks up the wrong guy in a bar and finds himself in an actual relationship... with a guy who doesn't know what he does for a living.
Feb 12, 2014 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance

I really liked this one. I loved the plot, the characters are believable and the story is heartwarming.

Cam is a rent boy who accidentally sleeps with the wrong man. Then he can't forget the guy who stole his heart in an instant.

I loved Trev and the way he is able to get under Cam's skin. Both of their lives are going through huge changes and the different ways they handle these changes were very interesting to watch.

I enjoyed that this story is told as if Cam was writing a blog about his life an
2.5* rounded up.

This was... pat.

Very slick prose, m/m-speak with way too many brand names thrown about (the author might wish to remember that a) not everyone is impressed by brand names and that b) many brands are culture-specific and pretty much meaningless abroad) and sex the kind of which I've read so often, I found it boring. At the same time it was better written and plotted than many other m/m romances I read lately, so I round up rather than down.

I will read the author again, though in
Aug 18, 2011 Alina rated it it was amazing
Wow! I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did!
Rent-boy is one of my favorite cliches, but I'm usually a little wary about 1st person pov, but here it was done really tactfully and beautifuly!
I absolutely loved Cameron - he's a 3-dimentional very likeable character with his flaws and his goodnesses. Trev's a nice guy too and I loved the supportive cast as well, especially Mike and Charles. And Ryan :)

Now I'll go and read the sequels!
Predictable but I love escort/rent boy stories. This was a short, easy, angst free read, which is just what I needed right now. Love how Trev found out about Cameron... embarrassing!
Feb 06, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it

A Sweet story that I enjoyed but wasn't unputdownable. Will check out other works by this author.
Christy Duke
Mar 07, 2014 Christy Duke rated it really liked it
'The First Real Thing' by Cat Grant is book one in her new series 'Icon Men'. I was intrigued by the description and Cameron's voice. The book is written exclusively in Cameron's point of view, with the added fun of his voice being his blog he's just started about his life. I have read many books by this author and always enjoy them so I jumped right in.

No matter how professional you are, having sex with strangers is still an intimate act, and hiding yourself from that for years will, eventually
Oct 07, 2010 Tam rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Cameron is a high end escort and one night he meets his client in the bar and is strangely attracted, but when he leaves with his envelope of money it contains a plane ticket. Ooops, he picked up the wrong guy, not his client. Trev is from Toronto and when he comes back to town invites Cameron out thinking he’s just a guy. Cameron is a bit freaked, he doesn’t have a private life but he really likes Trev and he starts to think maybe it’s time to get out of the business. Just as he’s about to buy ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Arthur rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pia Veleno
Sep 08, 2012 Pia Veleno rated it it was amazing
I had put this off for a long time simply because I have horrible luck with stories written in 1st person POV. This was not the case with this one. Grant did a wonderful job with this POV, showing the story where others would resort to telling. The MC, Cam, mentioned this story was his blog, but I kept forgetting because I was lost completely in my suspense of disbelief for each scene, feeling his feelings and (just as rare in 1st POV) understanding Trev's as well.

Very well done. Definitely buy
Deanna Wadsworth
Nov 30, 2010 Deanna Wadsworth rated it it was amazing
So far I am enjoying it. The style is smooth and easy. And for a story about a male escort not to graphic in the sex, its more sweet. But definitely sexy!

Okay, now I am done and I must say I really enjoyed this book. The sex was steamy but not over the top for the subject and the romance was what won me over. Believable and great. I will read Cat Grant again!
Jun 10, 2014 Jenni rated it did not like it
The brand name dropping, the over-the-top (read: unrealistic) lifestyle of a rent boy and the insta-love have crushed my soul. The sad thing is, the writing's not half bad: good structure/organization, decent editing, okay chemistry between the MCs. The story though. Meh.

Don't mind me, I'll be out there searching for my lost reading mojo...
Nov 21, 2010 Carole rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Cat Grant book so far... different and more mature than her previous offerings, which I quite liked. I'm usually not caught up by 'hooker with a heart of gold' sort of stories, but here, Cameron was such a well-drawn, thoughtfully characterized person, that I slipped into his mind and fell in love right along with him.
May 07, 2011 Lacey rated it really liked it
This is one of the few m/m books I've read where I thought the "big misunderstanding" was realistic and believable. I understood Cam's reasons for not wanting to reveal his secrets - unlike in other books where I thought that the 'secret' was no big deal and couldn't understand why the MC didn't just tell his love interest.
Sep 11, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
This was a strange one for me to rate. A prostitute (Cameron) manages to not meet up with his 'client' for the evening but some random guy in a bar instead (Trev - who is in town on business) and Cameron doesn't realise this until after the deed is done. They develop feelings for each other and start relationship while Cameron continues arranging appointments around Trevs' trips into town. I liked the story but I didn't believe the two MCs felt anything for each other. There was no chemistry bet ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Sadonna rated it liked it
Shelves: pdf, mm
I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The MCs were both interesting to read. The story is told from the POV of Cameron, a high class escort in NYC, partly as series of entries in his blog. He mistakenly goes out with a man one night thinking he is his client and really likes the guy. Trevor is a newly divorced, visiting from Toronto, deep in the closet guy who then subsequently goes home and comes out to his family and friends. He then calls Cameron when he is coming back to ...more
Mar 04, 2011 LynnMarie rated it it was amazing
Ren's Review

The First Real Thing tells the love story of Cameron and Trevor. This is the prequel to Appearing Nightly, of which I have already reviewed.

This is told by Cameron’s point of view. He’s a male escort who loves what he does and he knows he is good at it. A chance meeting with Trevor changes everything for him.

I really enjoyed Cameron’s story simply for the fact that he tells it like it is. He claims that he doesn’t believe in that hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold stuff, that real life is
Dec 28, 2012 Jody rated it it was amazing
Early on in this story Cameron claims that his life of being an escort is nothing like Pretty Woman, there's no silver lining or HEA. Once he meets Trevor though, that initial statement proves to be wrong. From that first mistaken meeting what follows is an intensely emotional story where Cameron tries desperately to leave his old life behind as he sees nothing but loneliness ahead if he keeps going down his chosen path. The death of a close friend really hits home the need for having someone in ...more
Missy Jane
Dec 29, 2013 Missy Jane rated it it was amazing
I'm iffy on m/m romance because a lot of times they're over the top on graphic sex that makes me wonder about the humanity of the characters. Not so with this wonderfully romantic story. It's first person POV, different from many I've read, but I loved it. Cameron is a male prostitute who accidentally takes the wrong man to bed. Then he can't get Trev off his mind. I loved the plot. The characters are realistic and the story is heartwarming. There is hot sex, but it wasn't overwhelming or too ac ...more
❂ Endless
Aug 03, 2012 ❂ Endless rated it liked it
Shelves: erotic-m-m
It was nice. I loved the way the story developed and the characters grew. It was all really nice.

The only thing i would've liked more was if the author devoted a little bit more time/pages to the big reveal and climax at the end (and no i'm not talking about sex here which was great!).(view spoiler)
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If you're looking for epic sci-fi, fantasy, or historicals, that's not me. Contemporary all the way, baby!

However, if you're looking for down to earth, complicated characters dealing with real-world problems (and the occasional comfort read!), I might just fit the bill. :)

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