Title: Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden
Series: Men of Smithfield, Book 4
Author: L.B. Gregg
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley
Published: November 2012 by Carina Press
Holden Worthington's globetrotting days are over. Once the host of a popular adventure show, he hasn't ventured past his own front door in more than a year. Then the arrival of a sexy new gardener sparks something Holden hasn't felt in a very long time—an interest in the world outside his window.
Holden tries to resist the attraction. But painfully shy yet definitely interested Adam Morgan has Holden longing to conquer his debilitating anxiety and live again. After a grisly discovery on the grounds of the estate, the town of Smithfield turns a suspicious eye on the reclusive Holden—and the two men must trust in each other to bring the truth out in the open.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Very good MM romance with a strong mystery and stellar characters.
The Set Up: Holden is the former host of a popular television travel show but now he’s agoraphobic after his public humiliation by his ex-boyfriend. Adam is his new gardener and Holden loves to fantasize about him. Before Holden can act upon his attraction a mysterious corpse is discovered in his garden and their relationship may end before it can start.
Why I Read this Book: Gorgeous sexy cover!
What I Liked: This is a well-balanced, quick and enjoyable read. The romance and the mystery are balanced so well that neither suffers and both entertain. Typically in a mystery romance one element suffers to progress the other but that isn’t the case here. I consider myself a fairly sophisticated reader and I honestly didn’t know who the murderer was until near the novel’s conclusion. But this mystery doesn’t take so much of the story that the romance is shortchanged. The novel allows plenty of focus on Adam and Holden’s developing relationship, both the sexual and emotional intimacy.
What I Also Liked: Adam and Holden’s romance is mature as both men admit to wanting each other but also liking one another. Because of Adam’s disability the men have to have an honesty that is rare in most romance and I simply adored that. Holden’s humor and self-described charm is perfectly balanced with Adam’s serious nature. They’re desire to protect each other comes from pure emotion and I loved this tender and sexy romance.
The secondary characters are also great in this novel. Holden’s menagerie of semi-friends and family enabled him to live without stepping foot outside his home but they also allow this behavior to continue. They’re flawed people but very entertaining.
What I Didn’t Like: I thought I’d dislike the first person narration by Holden but I ended up liking it. Again, I think this was because the leads had to communicate openly so Adam wasn’t a mystery like sometimes happens when one lead narrates the story.
IMO: I haven’t read any of the other books in the Men of Smithfield series but this one convinced me I need to!