Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review of Grayson's Surrender and Taking Cover & Interview with Catherine Mann

Today I have my first ever author interview with Catherine Mann.  I’m very excited!  I received a copy of the 2 in 1 release of Grayson’s Surrender and Taking Cover in exchange for an honest review, and Catherine graciously agreed to an interview as part of her blog tour. 

See how it all started with the first two books in Catherine Mann’s RITA Award winning “Wingmen Warriors” series!

***This 2-in-1 is available in print only. If you wish to order the books digitally, they must be ordered individually.***

Grayson’s Surrender (Wingman Warriors #1) and Taking Cover (Wingman Warriors #2)

by Catherine Mann
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Age category: Adult

  GRAYSON’S SURRENDER: Flight Surgeon Grayson Clark and NGO worker Lori Rutledge shared a passionate summer full of promise and ultimately heartbreak. After his turbulent childhood, Grayson knows well he’s ill-equipped to offer Lori the security she craves. But Grayson can’t escape Lori’s allure when they’re paired on a military rescue operation to an overseas orphanage. When one heart-tugging orphan charms her way into Lori’s life and Grayson’s heart, Lori and Grayson discover a new understanding of family – and a free-falling surrender to love.

TAKING COVER: Battle lines are drawn when Flight Surgeon Kathleen O’Connell temporarily grounds Captain Tanner Bennett from flying combat. No way does Tanner plan to watch his crew from the sidelines. Not that he has a choice, thanks to by-the-rules Kathleen and his ground duty assignment to investigate a crash. When Kathleen is teamed with him in the investigation, they’re both diving for cover as they battle an attraction ready to detonate!

You can find this 2-in-1 book Grayson’s Surrender and Taking Cover here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19084994-grayson-s-surrender-and-taking-cover

You can buy this 2-in-1 book Grayson’s Surrender and Taking Cover here:

You can also buy them separately. Grayson’s Surrender:

Taking Cover:

About the Author:
USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann and RITA Award winner, Catherine writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, With over two million books in print in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated five RITA finals, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. A former theater school director and university instructor, she holds a Master’s degree in Theater from UNC-Greensboro and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts: Theater (with minors in both English and Education) from the College of Charleston. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets). Catherine is an active volunteer with her local Humane Society, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering puppies and special needs dogs (she stopped counting at a hundred). She recently checked off a major item on her “bucket list” by completing the hands-on training for the Florida State Animal Rescue Coalition. Catherine enjoys hearing from her readers and can be found online daily.  To receive an autographed bookmark, send a SASE to: P.O. Box 6065, Navarre, FL 32566

You can find and contact Catherine here:

My Reviews:

Grayson’s Surrender:  I gave this one four stars.  Grayson and Lori are a great couple who had a really good thing going, but kind of messed it up.  They shared a summer of dating and a great relationship, but then decided they had different life plans and broke up.  They’re thrown back together during a mission to rescue orphans from a warzone.

Lori has ideas about what it takes to be a real family, and those ideas frighten Grayson, who has some ideas of his own about what family involves.  They end up spending a lot of time together after the mission and the spark between them is definitely re-kindled.

I really loved this book because Grayson and Lori seem real; they have problems that are real world – different ideas about marriage and children, different career paths, differing levels of willingness to pack up and move, and some baggage from their childhoods.  Together they work through all of that and compromise and learn to give and take on the things that really mater to both of them. 

There’s also a very strong message that family can extend beyond blood ties, and I really loved that.  Grayson’s fellow crew members and their families manage to become a second family for him, and Lori has no problems claiming an adopted child as her own.  I loved that about this book, and it really leaves you with a great warm and fuzzy feeling. 

Taking Cover:  I gave this one 4.5 stars.  It is the best contemporary romance I’ve read in a long time!  There’s romance, suspense, action, and adventure.  You can’t really ask for more than that in one book. 

Tanner and Kathleen have known each other for over ten years.  They shared one amazing kiss, and then went their separate ways, each building a life that didn’t involve the other one.  They’re thrown back together, and it’s explosive.

I like Kathleen and Tanner as a couple, but I also just really liked them both as individual characters.  They both worked really hard and overcame and put up with a lot to get where they are in the beginning of the book. 

There’s a definite chemistry between the two of them. There’s a lot of sweetness, and some great banter.  Kathleen and Tanner are both carrying some major baggage; Kathleen a failed marriage and Tanner a devastating loss.  They’re both wounded, but they find comfort from one another, even though they don’t seem to want to.  You just find yourself wanting them to have a happily ever after.

I’m trying not to include any spoilers, but the mission in this book becomes very interesting, with a twist that I just did not see coming.  So many suspenseful romances seem to be a little short on the suspense factor, but this one had a great action/suspense element, and it really helped the romantic part of the story along. 

If you’re going to read one contemporary romance novel any time soon, I would definitely suggest choosing Taking Cover.  

The Interview:  

Catherine, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview!  You’re my first author interview, so I’m really excited about it.  Thank you again for the opportunity.  I loved Grayson’s Surrender and Taking Cover, and really loved the 2-1 release.  Two great books in one!  

Q: As I was reading them, I couldn’t help thinking what great movies they’d both make, so I was wondering, if they were made into movies, who would be your picks to play Grayson and Lori?  And who would be your picks to play Tanner and Kathleen?  

A: Wow, what a fun question! For GRAYSON’S SURRENDER, Colin Farrell (Grayson) and Kiera Knightly (Lori). For TAKING COVER, Charlie Hunnam with his hair buzzed (Tanner) and Amy Adams (Kathleen).

Q: Did you write the characters with those actors in mind?

A: Actually, since I wrote these books over ten years ago, the actors I chose are older than the characters now. Originally, for Grayson and Lori, I envisioned George Clooney and Paige Turco. And for Tanner and Kathleen, I envisioned a blond football player (whose name I can’t recall!) and Gillian Anderson (X-Files). It’s fun seeing the new cover up next to original covers. Some folks have commented the guy on the new cover looks like Adam Levine from Maroon 5 (yum!).

Q: Your website mentions your flyboy husband; was he the inspiration for your Wingman Warriors books?  

A: Absolutely! My husband’s Air Force career and all the military friends we made provided endless inspiration for plots.

Q: Do you have any writing rituals (certain time of day, must-have coffee mug, background noise, etc.)?  

A: I write using a laptop, rather than a desktop. So I’m fairly mobile as to the locale, but I do usually have a diet Coke by my side and the TV playing in the background.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?  Are there any authors who inspire your writing?

A: I have far too many favorite authors to list them all. I’m an avid reader. But to name a few of my auto-buy authors – Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Gardner, Teresa Medieros, Tana French, Jane Porter. And as for inspiration, Lori Foster, Suzanne Brockmann, Dianna Love and Sherilynn Kenyon have been tremendously inspiring and supportive over the years.

Q: I’m kind of a food person, so I have to ask, are there any treats you reward yourself with when you finish a tough scene, first draft, or any other milestone?

A: An Orange Dream Smoothie or a Mocha Madness Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie. They have a pick up window, so I can even pack up my dogs for a quick drive and some fresh air to clear my brain. And in colder weather I love a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte!

Q: I know Shelter Me is your next book, due out in August (which seems really far away right now); can you tell us a little more about Shelter Me?  

A: SHELTER ME launches my “Second Chance Ranch” animal rescue series. SHELTER ME features a military hero returning from war to bring an Iraqi dog to the family of his fallen commander. The book has been called reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks’ THE LUCKY ONE with a hint of MARLEY AND ME. Here’s a book trailer video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBfLiHsis3o  

Q: I have a feeling I’m going to love Shelter Me.  Is the next book in the series in the works yet?

A: Thank you for asking!  Yes, the sequel – RESCUE ME – is scheduled for February 2015. I just got an advance peek at the cover and it is absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to share it with readers. I also have an animal rescue Harlequin Desire coming out in November 2014 – SHELTERED BY THE MILLIONAIRE.

Thanks again for the interview, and for all of your work in animal rescue.  Animal rescue is very near and dear to our hearts here in the land of Sweet Tea.  

Thank YOU for featuring my books here and giving me the chance to visit!!


  1. Woot! Yay for your first interview! I've got these on my tbr pile. So looking forward to them :)

  2. Thanks bunches for the Sweet Tea interview!!!!! :)

  3. Nice interview! How neat that Catherine draws from her husband's Air Force career for inspiration.

    We *just* saw your comment asking about a guest post in June. We're flattered that you would think of us! What do you have in mind? :)

    1. Thanks! If you're willing to do it, I'd love a guest post (or posts) about the cats at PAWS, and/or any particular cat(s) you'd like to feature. Anything cat rescue related. :-)


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