4.5 Stars, Carina Press, L.B. Gregg

Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony by L.B. Gregg

Meet Mark Meehan and Tony Gervase: my new addiction. Actually, I suppose that will apply to all the men of Smithfield, Connecticut, once I’ve had the opportunity to meet the rest of them. No, not all. There are a few resident dirtbags there, but for now, I’ll focus that addiction squarely on Mark and Tony.

If ever there has been a couple doomed to poor timing, it seems it’s these two, as life and circumstances continued to wear away at the very foundation of their connection—a friendship that could’ve been so much more if Mark hadn’t been too young and Tony hadn’t been too scared, and if there hadn’t been another man standing in the way (see: dirtbag) who ended up causing no small amount of trouble for both Mark and Tony, and kept Mark so utterly oblivious to the obvious—the fact that Tony has been and always will be there for him because, hello, Tony loves him. I guess there’s a reason they say love is blind.

Albert Einstein once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once,” but boy, does Mark put that theory to the test because as soon as he walked into church and concussed the hell of out his suddenly ex-boyfriend, Jamie Dupree—with a Bible, no less (which is also the precise moment I started loving hard on Mark)—it seemed like that’s when time and trouble tangled into a big ball of Mark not being able to outrun or out-think any of it. But he did discover one thing in the whole process: he had Tony, and that’s really all that mattered in the end. Well, that and the fact that he survived in spite of it all.

I loved this book, loved Mark’s voice, L.B. Gregg’s humor and style and the way she provided just enough backstory for Mark and Tony’s relationship to hook me without getting bogged down in too many flashbacks to build the foundation for their romance. I love exposition as much as the next person, but sometimes I need it more than others to buy into a connection. With Mark and Tony, that bond was almost tangible and in this case, seeing really was believing, so I didn’t feel at all as if I’d been deprived of anything that’d come before. All I know is that what happened during was fun and manic and sexy, and now I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the Smithfield men. I don’t know if I’ll be seeing Mark and Tony again along the way; if I don’t, I sure will miss them.

L.B. Gregg is re-releasing the Men of Smithfield series with Carina Press, beginning August 6, with Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony. There is no Pre-Order/Buy Link available at the time of this post.

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