Reviewed by Xanthe
Member of The Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Reinventing Cato is the third instalment in Barbara Elsborg’s Unfinished Business series and can stand alone. I haven’t read the previous books but will definitely be going back to them after getting some entertaining interaction with Devan and Jonty (book one) and really enjoying this book.
There is a lot that goes on for both MC’s in this book. Cato is currently having a little bit of an epiphany as to what he actually wants in life with his work and relationships. He’s not too sure if he actually wants to work with NASA, who are currently headhunting him, and his last relationship ended badly, leading to him going a little bit off the rails with meaningless hookups. Whilst trying to figure this all out he meets Vigge, a man who has shut himself off to relationships and is mostly closeted at work. They are really quite different in personality and how they live their lives so it’s an intriguing mix when you have fun, nerdy, slightly bratty Cato come up against quiet, reserved, determined Vigge.
Their interactions start up as pure chance brings them together at a car rental due to a snow storm. What follows is an entertaining ride of highs and lows with both men making mistakes but Vigge has never been in a relationship so has a lot to learn along the way. Everything to me felt real as the characters were experiencing emotions and moments in time. Even when one of them jumped to conclusions about something, you know that people do do that and the author has made this a really great story that just grabs your attention from the start as, individually, Cato and Vigge have quite poor New Year Eves. Their moments of joy together really brought a smile to my face and showed the possibility of what they could be together if both men learned to trust in themselves and each other. Cato’s intelligence with astrophysics has been well researched by the author with a lot of technical terms being used along with Danish culture and Scottish policing, all of which I find adds to the quality of the story as these details add to the realism, whether I know the official names for the stars or not.
However, alongside the relationship developments, drama and mystery brew as Cato is sent threatening messages and Vigge does his best to help and support Cato. The tension continues to build throughout the story as it’s a case of figuring out who the culprit is and stopping them before they have a chance to hurt anyone close to Cato. He continues to be nervous and under intense pressure whilst trying to play it calm and collected around everyone to show he is playing by their rules. Vigge also has his own stresses in his job with the police which comes with its own set of questions and an intense workload that takes a very dramatic turn that no one was expecting! I was very impressed with how this aspect of the story moved along and developed, dropping occasional clues but definitely keeping the MC’s and readers guessing as to who is involved behind several mysteries going on at once.
Cato and Vigge are very much the stars of Reinventing Cato but there are friends and family involved who all add their own little something to the story. Cato’s housemates are interesting in that you’re not quite sure what to make of them. Vigge’s parents are really quite standoffish with him and so I just expect the worst in that area for him. The star for me though was Jonty and his boyfriend (Cato’s brother), Devan. He is absolutely fabulous and just getting this glimpse of him has me rushing to find his book, The Making of Jonty Bloom.
Overall this is a fantastic read and one that I highly recommend. As I said, I will definitely be going back to check out the rest of the series and am interested to know if any other characters will be getting their own book in the future.