Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony

L.B. Gregg
Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony
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Carina Press
Release Date
August 2012
Book 1 of Men of Smithfield Miniseries
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Coming home from work to find my boyfriend banging our hairy, married landlord -- in our bed -- was bad enough. Discovering Jamie had also cleaned out my bank accounts made it officially the worst day of my life. I think I can be forgiven for wanting revenge, even if a few little laws (and possibly Jamie's nose) got bent in the process.

Fortunately, the law is on my side in the form of my oldest friend, Tony Gervase. I've tried to deny my attraction to the sexy trooper for years. After all, he made it clear long ago that he wasn't interested in me that way. But if the hot encounter in his kitchen is any indication, he is now. At least the day is ending a whole lot better than it began...

But the morning after, the Jamie situation goes from bad to seriously messed up. The jerk's in more trouble than I could have imagined. And as it turns out, I don't know Tony as well as I thought I did either...

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Sep 03, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
69 people found the following review helpful
I'm so happy that Carina Press is re-issuing L.B. Gregg's series. It gave me the chance to get acquainted with this fascinating town and the colorful characters who inhabit it. This book was refreshingly different and a fun read from start to finish, and I am really eager to get to spend more time in Smithfield!

It doesn't seem that Mark Meehan's day could get much worse. Having come home to find his boyfriend, Jaime, in bed with their rather unpleasant (and very hairy) landlord, Mark let his rage get the better of him and gave Jaime the punch he had coming to him. Only he did it in Church, in front of most of the population of Smithfield, Connecticut. To make matters even worse, Mark comes home to learn that his rent is months overdue and his bank account is empty—courtesy of his banker, and ex-boyfriend, Jaime. Utterly bewildered, Mark turns to his best friend, Tony Gervase, a local cop, and the star of nearly all of Mark's fantasies since he came out years ago. Though Mark has always believed that Tony has never seen him as more than a friend, the sparks that fly between them following Jaime's betrayal certainly provide Mark pause for thought, and reasons to dream once again of a life with Tony.

But before he can think too hard about such things, Mark first has to deal with Jaime, whose anger and sudden violence makes Mark realize that his ex has gotten involved in some genuinely dangerous financial schemes. And when the men with whom Jaime has been dealing begin to pose a serious threat to life and limb, Mark realizes that unless he can save Jaime, he might not have the luxury of a life with Tony—or a life at all.

While it took a while for Mark to grow on me as a narrator, I had to admire his determination and guts in the face of all the awful hand he was dealt in this story. From Jaime's betrayal to the financial conspiracy he must suddenly uncover, I might not have agreed with all of his decisions, but I don't think I would have been strong enough to do all that he did. Through it all, he manages to keep a sense of humor—or at least one of self-deprecation—and keep his tone light and snappy. Throughout it all are flashes of truth and feeling that gave the story an emotional impact as well, rounding out the story very nicely.

His relationship with Tony was ambiguous enough to keep me flipping pages as quickly as I could, desperate for a resolution to their best-friends-make-the-best-lovers quandry. The arguments that went along with their unexpected bursts of passion proved several times that there was more to their relationship than mere lust, and that they still have a ways to go to find a happily ever after. After seeing them in action, however, there is little doubt in my mind that they will find it together, and I hope that we as readers have a chance to see it.

The secondary characters, most notably Mark's family, were very well drawn, and Smithfield itself plays its own part in the development of the story. The narrative was well-paced, building from Mark's stunned revelations to his bungling detective work, speeding up to an exciting and surprising climax. Even better, watching him and Tony navigate their way through their feelings, fears and needs, made for compulsive reading. All in all, this was a fun read and the beginning of a series I can't wait to follow.
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