Saturday, December 26, 2015

Guest Review by OJ: With This Bling (Romano and Albright3) by LB Gregg

 

With this Bling (Albright and Romano 3)
By L.B. Gregg

4 Stars
Reviewed by OJC



E-book
December 2015, Riptide Publishing
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Trade Paperback
December 2015, Riptide Publishing
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OJ -

So… occasionally I feel like taking a break from all the alpha-dudes, A-Type guys and the swashbuckling pirates and galaxy/alien/monster conquering characters and just enjoy a good, contemporary M/M Romance book, preferably something funny to lighten the mood and, always, well written. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a good comedy/rom-com, sometimes other things and then I saw that the Romano and Albright 3 had come out, finally!


Off I went and the rest is history, or so they say. Not sure who the ‘they’ is, but it seems ‘they’ are ‘everywhere’. Hmmm… I’m thinking there’s a whole conspiracy going on… just sayin’…

THE BLURB

Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.

Almost.

A break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano
.

Personal Tags: Rom-Com; Cops; Detective Story; Hot Angst; Older man/Younger man; Really funny; Exhibitionist sex.
THE CHARACTERS

Dan Albright - Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous. He’s hot, muscular, hunky, older than Caesar and a no-nonsense kind of guy. He’s been hurt and isn’t willing to risk it unless he’s sure.

Caesar Romano - Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far-too-beautiful wife. He’s handsome/cute, young, a cock tease and a typical New York gay guy. In other words, I can really relate to him in my younger years. Except for the New York part.

THE STORY

Hopefully you’re familiar with the Romano and Albright series, if not, then do yourself a favor and go get the other two episodes. Seriously. All of our beloved characters are back: Dan, Caesar, Poppy, Joey, Mallory, all of the Romano semi-mob clan (not really, but really), Shep and Jean-Luc.

In this third episode we have Dan and Caesar steadily living together, getting more and more intertwined and enjoying each other. Caesar is still his uptight self, pre-occupied with his job and Poppy and his clothes and fashion and Dan is humming along, all athletic and ex-cop persona shining brightly. It’s the difference between these characters and the ebb and flow of their relationship and the surrounding characters that makes this so much fun – along with relating to today’s real life experiences.

Caesar’s uptightness, even though he tries to be more footloose, comes out: I’d never broken a law in my life. I got light-headed even thinking about giving incorrect change, or failing to use a blinker when switching lanes, or, God forbid, making an error on my taxes. Order, Sharpies, calendars, truth: these were a few of my favorite things.

Dan’s opposite character, more self-assured and easy going, all muscular and masculine, wanting to claim what he wants (Caesar) is what makes the awesome spark between these two play-off: “Stay here.” Dan barked at me and morphed into an action figure. He strode across the lawn, his sneakers sucking up lawn clippings. His shorts fluttered around his muscular thighs. His thick hair stood crazily from digging his fingers through too many times, and when he swiped his forehead with the hem of his shirt, he flashed sculpted abs and whorls of dark hair.

It’s the interplay between all the diverse characters set upon the backdrop of today’s New York City and our infinite addiction to our cell phones, YouTube, Twitter, and all those time-sucking, obnoxious apps that makes this such a wonderful, relaxing, read.

THE WRITING

This is L.B. Gregg. She has this formula that really, really works well for her most of the time and this is an excellent example of it working and firing on all cylinders! It’s her highly descriptive writing that draws me in, and I’m a sucker for good writing: My phone buzzed on the kitchen counter, and I raced downstairs at full speed, haphazardly tucking a bath towel around my naked ass as I hit the landing. I was alone in Dan Albright’s sleepy house on Staten Island, while Dan—who had “nothing pressing today”—braved the late June humidity for his daily run. Sunshine poured into the kitchen, warming a row of spiny potted herbs on the windowsill. Outside, the neat suburban backyard burst with green shrubbery and midsummer flowers. A plump gray bird sat on the clothesline and a squirrel frolicked in the grass, both a reminder that I needed to get the hell back to the city because, honest to God, it was like the country out here.

OK, when you start a book with writing like that I can’t help it. Ya gots me lock, stock, and barrel. I’m OCD about the editing and spelling/grammatical errors and this is excellent. I got one – count it, one – spelling error in this book, and no, I’m not going to tell you. See if you can find it. Let me know if you find any others, K?

For a Rom-Com contemporary series with lots of action, laughs, and plot twists, this is about as good as it gets.  Highly recommended as a ‘palate cleanser’, as I call it, and as a great, entertaining read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, 
author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to 
Panama-- sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who 
love men.
For more info on L.B., because surely one can never get too much of a good thing, you 
can follow her on her preferred social media, FacebookYou can also e-mail 
L.B. at lbgregg at lbgregg dot com, be her Goodreads pal or follow her sporadic 
appearances on Twitter.

copyright 2009-15, l.b. gregg

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