Review: Seizing It by Chris T. Kat

Title: Seizing It
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Novella

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Kit Hall, veterinary assistant, leads a life of strict routine that his epilepsy and physician requires of him. Kit has also isolated himself by choice from others, with the exception of his sister and the veterinarian he works for. A victim of domestic abuse from his ex, Kit finds himself unwilling to trust others to the extent that he has walled himself off from most personal interactions. When Kit is attacked outside his home by a crazed admirer, his sister and a good looking stranger come to his aid. The attack puts him off balance. When he learns that Alan, his friend/boss, is moving and someone else is taking over the clinic, Kit becomes even more unsettled. The next day at the clinic Kit is horrified to find out that his new boss is none other than his rescuer from the day before.

Dale Miller is on his way to his new veterinary clinic when he chances upon a young man being attacked. He intervenes, restraining the attacker until the police arrive. He is not the only one surprised when he meets the young man again at the clinic he is taking over. It turns out his assistant, Kit Hall, and the victim are one and the same. A fact that Kit is clearly not happy about. But Dale finds Kit attractive and becomes determined to be the one to make Kit lower his defenses and take one more chance at love.

Several days later and this book still has me confused about my feelings towards it. Mostly they are of the “not so good” type. Add to that column, “flashes of talent,” “great idea,””kind of creepy,” and “downright annoying,” and I think you all will begin to get my drift. The author had a great idea for a protagonist here but never brought the main character up to snuff. I was really looking forward to a thoughtful exploration of a life lived with epilepsy, the proscribed limits, and how a full life could still be achieved within them. That is not what I got in any way, starting with that title. Seizing It? Really? Should I say it had me fit to be tied? *that was sarcastic, people – shakes head*

In addition to epilepsy, the author has burdened Kit with being a victim of a shattering domestic abuse attack from his controlling and mentally ill ex, a temper that should see him in anger management classes, and a family that treats him as though he is twelve (and sometimes rightfully so). I think we are supposed to find him one of those endearing prickly main characters, slight in stature, with a shock of red hair and green eyes. I generally like those characters. I didn’t like Kit Hall. Mostly I wanted to send him off to intensive therapy sessions which he clearly needed, not to be seen again. The author endowed Kit with a temper which as victimized as he is I could understand, but apparently he has always had a temper that he directs at all close to him while acknowledging that he may be a brat. This got very old as it would in real life and Kit comes across as a bit of an abuser and bully himself.

Further complicating the story is the other main character, Dale Miller. He is older, finds Kit incredibly attractive, and wants to rescue Kit from himself. In one section when Kit is freaking out over Dale restraining him (???) during an argument, I started to get that squicked out feeling. I remember seeing adult handlers forcibly restraining out of control children (mentally and physically challenged) in the same manner until they calmed down. To see it used here between “potential” lovers hit quite a few wrong notes. Especially when Dale then picks up Kit and put him in his lap. Am I the only one thinking child abuser not lover here? And then Kit falls in love with him immediately in a couple of days? Never has a case of “instant love” seemed so wrong.

What I did find realistic is that Kit is ashamed he is epileptic and doesn’t tell Dale about his condition until a Grand Mal seizure forces him to. I had a childhood friend who felt the same way. He moved away in elementary school so I never knew how the adult Tim dealt with it. The author does a good job talking about stress being a trigger, as well as how Kit uses medication and a regulated life style to control his epilepsy. I wish she had done as well with the issue of domestic abuse which loomed as a larger subject here. Male victims of domestic abuse represent a huge sector of people for whom it is unreported and unaccounted. Kit’s issues that stemmed from his years of living with a domestic abuser are never really dealt with in the same manner his epilepsy is. A missed opportunity the book never recovers from in my opinion.

I won’t even get into his father issues and a family determined not to let a 28-year-old grow up and make his own decisions. Let’s leave that one alone. It’s overshadowed anyway by all the problems I have already remarked on. Seizing It is the only book I have read by Chris T. Kat so I don’t know if this story is typical of the author’s work or not. I hope not. There are some good ideas here but in the end raises far more questions about her protagonists and their relationship then is resolved in the book.

Cover: The artist is Anne Cain who I love but where are the dogs? Another missed opportunity as one main character is a vet, and the other is his assistant with a dog who is also a main character within the story. It remains a beautiful cover of two men in a fall setting.

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