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Once a Marine

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  986 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
"Love is a battlefield."

Discharged under Don t Ask Don t Tell, former Marine major Cole Hammond is struggling to find a new identity. But PTSD casts a pall on everything, and his hard-nosed, homophobic father can t even bear to look him in the eye. To top it all off, he s pretty sure he s flunking out of law school.

Marc Sullivan is a kind, sensitive romance author-slash-wa
ebook, 197 pages
Published October 30th 2011 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 27th 2011)
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Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: various-romance
3.5 stars Enjoyable story about an honorable marine who was discharged under the DADT laws and the cute and kind-hearted waiter who wins his heart. I really enjoyed the first part of this novel, great start to their relationship and steamy physical scenes, but it seemed to slow down towards the end. I found the different POV's (Marc in 1st person and Cole in 3rd person) a little confusing.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Five Stars - no hesitation.

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Once a Marine was so good!
Cole and Marc are perfect together, their relationship was so believable.
Cole's southern hospitality, charm, and accent, really just won me over.
The fact that he was a marine, just made me fall even more for him.
Yes, okay, I am a total tag chaser.
But not really.

"Men! Can't live with 'em - and if you shoot 'em, you have to find a place to bury the bodies. Too much goddamn trouble either way."

*For a second I thought he was going to le
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

Let’s skip all my hubbub and get right to Cole Hammond—shall we? The beautiful, hot, sexy, gentle souled man that will star in my highlight reel of sexy daydreams for a loooong time! :)

“But when Cole started to yank his t-shirt over his head, I grabbed hold of his wrists to stop him. Not so fast, marine. I’ve been fantasizing about that gorgeous bod of yours for the past week and a half. The least you can do is stand there and let me unwrap it.”

Yes, yes please! Unwrap this--Blond, broad, blue-ey
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, romance, gay, ebook, done
Very good m/m romance about a waiter who's always been really attracted to Marines, although it's never turned out well for him. But when an extremely handsome guy (obviously a Marine) sits in his section, he's drawn to the guy despite himself. There's more to both of them than what meets the eye - will either of them be able to overcome their previous bad experiences to find love this time?
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
This story felt a little anti-climatic for me, because Cole, who's discharged from the Marines under DADT (he told), and Marc, a writer waiting tables to make ends meet, get together very early on and the rest of the book follows their struggles (Cole's family drama, Marc trying to make it as a writer, Cole struggling in law school and dealing with PTSD, etc.). There was no sexual tension, because the MCs sleep together early on, and move in together a month (i.e., a couple chapters) later.

I li
Awilk -never sleeps-
This was a sweet story, but parts of it didn't really grab me, but there was nothing that I really disliked either. I liked both Cole and Marc, but I really don't think there was anything about either of these characters that grabbed my heartstrings.
There was a few dramas from the outside for this couple, but most of the drama for Marc was internal. For someone of his age, I found it strange how he hadn't learnt not to judge people as much as he did. Just because Cole was a Marine, I felt it un
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, m-m

A sweet story that had some really good pacing until the end. I liked how this story just unfolded and brought you into the relationship that was developing between Marc and Cole. The reader became a part of the ups and downs associated with a new relationship. I appreciated the family component of the story and was excited to see Cole's family become a part of the story. I think that this component became rushed and if the story was just a little longer, this could have been paced a little b
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
More of my reviews and ramblings at PANTS OFF REVIEWS

I really enjoyed this book, which came as a surprise because I had read some reviews that made the characters out to be horrible people. Maybe I read a different book but I really liked both Cole and Marc. They were just too freaking sweet for words.

Marc is an M/M romance writer (oh yeh) and waiter at a diner. He is just living a simple life making ends meet. Until in walks Mr sex on legs. Looking all edible and shite, Marc almost drops the tr
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was ok

I enjoy books with the military PTSD theme. This was an interesting and readable book but in the end it didn't really work for me.

One of the main things:

(view spoiler)
MsMiz (Tina)
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pdf, glbt-all

So, I liked this book even though it may seem like my rating does not reflect that. We have a character who is struggling being a law student after being discharged for being a gay Marine and serving 5 tours. Then we have a character who is a writer working in a dinner who has always had male relationships with Marines that do not end well. This book was full of insecurities and real life issues with PTSD. When you get to know these two, you will find that this book feels very honest what yo
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on my blog Joyfully Jay.

Marc Sullivan is working in a diner, making ends meet as his romance writing career takes off. One day he almost drops a load of plates when tall, muscular, and gorgeous Cole Hammond walks in. Everything about Cole turns Marc on, right down to the high and tight hair cut. But having grown up in San Diego and dated (and hooked up with) many a Marine, Marc is wary about starting up something with yet another military man when so many of hi
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really conflicted with what to rate this book. This lies somewhere between three stars and four stars, but I chose four because the author did really well with some aspects of the book, particularly the conflicts and challenges the two characters faced.

The characterizations were good, with well-rounded and believably flawed characters; both main characters acted like men with their mannerisms and dialogue. The small misunderstandings were easily cleared up with communication, and I definite
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
I was debating between a 3.5* and a 4* rating, but I decided to round it up because the strength of this book is probably the missing of the "wow factor".

Cole and Marc are ordinary people with their own aspirations and insecurities. At the beginning I didn't really like Marc, because his tag-chasing seemed a bit childish and paired with his writing career I had the impression he was living in his own world. Page after page I was able to see that he was instead pretty grounded and also that he wa
Oct 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, military
I have mixed feelings about this one. The characters were interesting and likeable. The plot, about a Marine with a dishonorable discharge due to DADT who is also suffering from PTSD and a writer who has had one too many bad experiences with marines, was enjoyable enough. There was enough drama and angst to keep the story interesting. But something in the writing and flow of the story just didn't work for me on all levels. I'm not sure what it was. It just didn't WOW me, and I didn't fall in lov ...more
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: snowman
I give this a solid three stars. It was a good read for me and it kept my interest. Sometimes I felt like Marc and Cole weren't on the same page within their relationship, but that kept it interesting.

Thanks for the recommendation G! Thanks to Sandi and Mish for reading with me! :)
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, pdf
3.75 rounded up to 4. I've read a few other Cat Grant stories, and I've liked all of them.

This one is about Cole, a former Marine who has been discharged under that stupid DADT. He's now a law student at Boalt (man his LSAT must have been KICK ASS). He's having a difficult time adjusting to all things civilian - especially after 5 tours in Iraq and the dealing with PTSD on top of it. He meets Marc at a diner where he has dinner one night. Marc returns his phone that he's left at the diner and t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I’ve read a couple of Cat Grant’s books now, and I’ve enjoyed every one, this one was no exception. I found it well written, the characters fully developed and engaging, and the story well paced. It was light enough for a nice weekend read, without being fluffy and had just enough angst without being overdone. It was all a good balance for me.

The writing was a bit different in this one as the POV switches between a first person with Marc, and a third person with Cole. I rather liked it.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: will-read-again
I really enjoyed this Book once I started reading it I could not put it down. It was My first Cat Grant book but It won't be my last.

What I liked.

1. From the First scene with Marc and Cole in the diner I was hooked.
2. The dialog was seemed like things that real people would say.
3. I really enjoyed how the writer switched the Point of view between Cole and Marc it allowed Me to see what each was feeling as the story and relationship progressed.
4. The relationship came across as very real the ups
Becky Condit
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars

There was one small detail about this book that surprised and confused me. The POV switches back and forth between third person and first person, and sometimes that caused me to have to stop reading and figure out why the POV just changed and who the pronouns were now referring to. It wasn’t a show stopper but it was distracting.
This is a good book that is a very up-to-date look at the lifetime results of a policy that is still front page news. Ms. Grant did her homework, not only abo
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mandy*reads obsessively* by: Anke! :)
Enjoyable story of a ex-marine Cole, who was kicked out because of DADT and writer (moonlighting as a waiter) Marc.
It was a rocky start, both with some baggage from past relationships on Marc's part and PTSD and coming to terms with family issues and changes in careers for Cole.
It was nothing new or groundbreaking but simply a nice story about the progression of a love between two really nice guys! I thoroughly enjoyed watching it enfold.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: healing, coming-out
A well-written relationship story with two likable and realistic MC's. It is a refreshing change from too good to be true- over the top- cartoonish characters. It is the story of an evolving relationship and the decision points that make a partnership. Well done and very enjoyable!
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I have family members proudly serving in the Marine Corps, I have no problem admitting that I wanted to read this story because it involved an ex Marine with PTSD having served during DADT. Luckily for me, there was a lot more to this story and to the character of Cole than just him being an ex-Marine. Plus, Cat Grant is an author I enjoy so it was certainly no hardship to jump into reading this.

Marc is a waiter in a diner and a writer the rest of the time he's not slinging hash. He has a
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: darkdivasreviews
3.5 stars.

Cat Grant’s Once a Marine needs to be broken down into two parts for this review: What Worked and What Didn’t Work.

First up, What Worked: the characterizations. As with her previous books, Ms. Grant’s characters are realistic, flawed and fully developed. I especially was drawn to former Marine Cole Hammond and his back-story. (He served five tours in Iraq and was discharged for violating DADT and was now suffering from PSTD.) Cole was a character, even if you’ve never served in the m
Vanessa theJeepDiva
I loved everything about Once a Marine! Marc and Cole have such a beautiful, sweet, and complex love story. I also enjoyed the way the book was written. It was something new for me and I honestly could not have imagined reading it any differently. Marc’s point of view is written in first point of view. Cole is written third person point of view. I could not have handled Cole and first person point of view. The author does the character and point of view swaps in a way that never left me confused ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devo confessare che, come Marc, ho anch’io un debole per i militari e le divise. E non lo si può certo biasimare se sbava dietro a Cole, anche se la loro prima interazione è pessima e la loro storia è tutta in salita, perché entrambi hanno un ingombrante e doloroso bagaglio che si trascinano appresso, sebbene per motivi diversi.
Ci vogliono un secondo tentativo e la realizzazione che, insieme, potrebbero riuscire ad aiutarsi vicendevolmente, sostenendosi, offrendosi amore e conforto mentre ognuno
3.5 star. Nice story. I liked both Cole and Marc. Cole was so easy to fall in love with. Such a sweet guy who was going through some very real struggles in adjusting from his military life. He was symphathetic, easy to understand, and had a big desire to love. Marc was frustrating at times but I understood his issues. He had been burned in the past so had put up some walls around his heart to protect himself. It was hard for Cole to get that at first because Cole was so clearly willing to give h ...more
Crys Harris
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a quick and enjoyable read. The characters were alright and the tension made all the sex more palatable. (Who'd have thought I would get borderline tired of reading about sex?)

I have some quibbles. The story was too condensed. The ending felt rushed. Marc was rather a hypocrite and his turnabout was sudden and not well described. The POV switching felt abrupt.

Finally, there is NO PACIFIC SUNRISE. I was thoroughly snatched from the story when Marc took Cole to the beach to watch... the
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this book but didn't love it. I can't even put a finger on what was missing. It was a nice, steady story and the characters were likable. I think I was waiting for some huge climax that never came. Yes, there were some family dramas and the potential of ending the relationship but overall it felt a bit anti-climatic.

The to and fro between first and third person was ok but I was very aware of it each time it happened. The first person gave an opportunity to see into the thoughts of Marc b
*** 3.5 Stars ***

The plot of this book about an ex-Marine and a waiter/writer was a little messy and meandered a bit, but did so in the same way that life is a little bit messy and meanders a bit (adding a sense of realism through some pretty wishy-washy decision-making). I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Plus, a southern gentleman who is also an ex-Marine!? Yup. That had my lady parts standing at attention. ;)
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The Backlot Gay B...: Once a Marine by Cat Grant 3 17 Apr 23, 2013 06:31PM  
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