Tag Archives: L.B. Gregg

New Release! With This Bling (Romano and Albright #3) by L.B. Gregg *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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With This Bling (Romano and Albright #3)
by L.B. Gregg

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released December 7th 2015

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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.

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—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.

But then again, 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.

 

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Review

4 stars

Caesar has the uncanny ability to put himself right smack in the middle of trouble, especially if it pertains to one of his lover’s cases. This time around it’s no different, only he’s also trying to help his cousin with a wedding proposal, making his debut on TV and realizing just how much Dan means to him.

LB Gregg’s ability to bring together a mix of different elements has to be my favorite aspect of this story. The humor, the heat, the intrigue and the romance are all present in this story and worked in together so that that they complement each other without dragging the story or making it feel overwhelming for the reader. There were even some subtle emotions there towards the end, which were an added bonus in my opinion. Yes, finally! 😉

The author did a wonderful job of keeping the reader intrigued and riveted to the story. This I attribute to Caesar’s voice. His ramblings were a thing of beauty and added to my enjoyment of the story. Add to that Dan’s participation and I could not help but love these two together. Their flirty banter, their bickering and those stolen moments when their attraction for one another took over were just the icing on the elaborate turn of events Caesar finds himself the center of.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Romano and Albright series, it can be read as a stand alone. the author does a fantastic job of bringing the reader up to date in regards to Caesar’s previous adventures while still bringing to the page a new case for Caesar to (unknowingly) be involved in.

All in all, an intriguing and enjoyable read!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

As an ex–law enforcement officer, Dan took precautions. Locks secured every window and door, and he’d wired the place to the hilt. I’d worked in the gallery world for years, and I’d grown familiar with the ins and outs of various alarm keypads. My own family didn’t bother with fancy security companies. We relied on brute strength, intimidation, and the local neighborhood watch. More like a witch hunt than a watch, but effective nonetheless. And, when pressed, Romanos were swift to drive intruders away with the swing of a Louisville Slugger. There wasn’t a bat in Dan’s home, so I opted for his alarm.

I retrieved my cell from the dresser as the jerk on the roof did whatever asshole thing he was hell-bent on doing. I should have checked, but something—call it intuition—had me moving with haste to the stairs, phoning Dan as I descended. Having had my fair share of incidents in the past two months, I knew to call, but first I’d have to deal with Dan’s I don’t fucking believe this.

“Hey,” he panted, and he wasn’t the only one gasping. My lungs creaked from all the exertion.

“Question.” I swallowed. “Do you—”

“What’s wrong with your voice? Did you do something to your rib again? You’re making that kicked-puppy sound. The one you make when you’re in pain but you won’t tell me and I have to slip Vicodin into your milkshake. What are you doing?”

“What makes you think I’m doing anything? I’m doing nothing. I’m fine.” Just winded from the stairs. “Did you maybe schedule the cable company and forget?” I peered through the peephole again. Empty step, sprinkler sprinkling, birds slurping worms, kids on scooters, fishbowl suburbia. Check. Nothing had changed.

“Negative. I don’t have cable.”

“Huh. That’s unnerving, because there’s a guy on your roof.”

“What roof? Who’s on the roof? My roof?” A sharp inhale told me his jog had ratcheted to a flat run. “What do you mean?”

“I mean the cable guy climbed onto your house after I told him to leave. I’m just letting you know.” A thump from somewhere above and I flipped the plastic lid on the alarm panel, revealing the keypad. Pretty straightforward. P for police and the * sign together and I’d scare any prowler out of his pants and onto the lawn. “I have the situation under control.”

“The hell you do. Is he still there? You’re not kidding, right?”

“No. I am not kidding—you always ask me that. Why would I kid?” It was difficult keeping exasperation from my voice, but I managed valiantly. “How do I know what he’s doing? I’m not watching, although I can see his van from the window. It’s on the street. I’m hitting the alarm. Heads-up. Also chop-chop. I’m going to be late for work.”

“Yes. Hit the fucking alarm.”

An earsplitting eeeeeeee breached the peaceful splendor of Chez Albright.

I scurried to the kitchen as Dan yelled, “I’m two blocks from the house. You still there?”

“Yes, of course.”—eeeeeeee—“Where would I go? He’s out there. So I’m in here. Dial it down. I’m fine.”

“You need to leave the house.”

“That’s not going to happen.” I checked the window. “There are kids on the sidewalk. I don’t want a scene.”

“I think that train left the station—”

The cable guy fell from the roof in a flutter of green shirttails. He landed catlike in the grass directly in front of the kitchen window. “Holy crap.”

Dan panted, “What? Talk to me.”

The man popped effortlessly to his feet and hiked a rather utilitarian black backpack over his shoulder. Anyone else would have broken an arm or an ankle falling from that height, but no. The bastard didn’t even bother to check himself. Far less fatigued than he first appeared at Dan’s doorstep, he was nonetheless sopping in sweat. His gaze caught mine and he fucking bowed—the dick—then he flipped me off, mouthing, Fuck you, and darted under the clothesline. “I . . . don’t believe this guy.”

He vaulted the fence like a goddamn superhero. “My God. He’s like Batman.”

“What the— Did you say Batman?”

Eeeeeee!

I shouted over the alarm, “He looked right at me! That asshole, but holy crap, he’s totally parkour. I’ve never seen anything like him. I don’t think you can catch him.”

“Thank you for the vote of confidence.”

The guy cut through the neighbor’s backyard and disappeared around the corner of a garage as the house alarm clanged my head like a gong. I pressed a finger against my ear. “He’s gone. Wow. Where are you? If you come through the back—”

Any hope the intruder would run smack into Dan coming from the opposite direction was dashed as the front door burst open and my hero announced, “I’m here. Where is he?”

“Gone. I told you. Jesus, the guy could move.” I tossed my phone on the counter. I wasn’t sure what my next move should be, so I let Dan lead. He braced one hand against the wall, gasping for air—which didn’t seem entirely heroic—and stabbed at the keypad with his index finger. The alarm ceased and, thank God, I could hear myself think again. Summer heat met AC, and a wave of tepid air blew through the living room.

“FYI, I move too.” Dan sucked wind. “I sprinted up that fucking hill.”

He swiped his forehead and joined me in the kitchen, his Shakespeare in the Park T-shirt soaked to his skin. Unlike the intruder, he wore his perspiration very well. Face flushed, hale and hearty in loose-fitting black running shorts, he flipped the backdoor locks and disappeared down the steps.

I followed a few paces behind, watching as he scoped the backyard. “He’s not here.”

“I can see that.”

He glared at the kitchen roof where two stubby dormers were connected by a thin outcropping of architectural tiles. One dormer held the bath window, the other the guest room window. Bolted between the dormers? A long-nosed satellite dish.

Dan looked ready to scale the brick and poke around for clues, or climb for a better vantage point of the cable guy’s escape route, but his outdoor inspection lasted two seconds. He stared at me briefly, dark brows knitted together, before stomping back into the kitchen. He scrubbed at his damp hair, leaving finger-wide furrows. At least his breathing was somewhat under control.

His gaze raked me, head to toe, and he stalled for a second. “So, you look fine this morning.”

“Of course I do.” I answered stiffly because I was indeed fine. What had he expected? That I’d faint over a possible break-in? Please. “I’ve dealt with intruders before. I’m not a novice.”

“All right, Mr. Not A Novice.” I swear to God his eyes twinkled. His jaw definitely twitched. “Tell me exactly what happened, and don’t stop talking until you get to the part where you realize you’re still bare-ass naked.”

I glanced south and found an unencumbered view to my toes. Not a stitch covered me, not even my Hugo Boss underwear. I’d just exposed myself to his entire neighborhood and, while I’m sure they were impressed—because who wouldn’t be?—I was also mortified. I dashed through the kitchen, resisting the natural urge to clap both hands over my crotch. “That explains the breeze.”

“I’m not complaining.”

– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/with-this-bling#sthash.oPUezXl7.dpuf

 

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Email

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of With This Bling, L.B. Gregg is giving away a Romano and Albright mug with swag, and a $40 gift card to Amazon! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

Follow the Tour!

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Tour: There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by L.B. Gregg *Review, Q&A and Giveaway*

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BWB_SeriesCoverWelcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by ten award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, and G.B. Gordon. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

L.B. Gregg kicks off the second half of the tour with There’s Something About Ari, the second book in the multi-author Bluewater Bay series.

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 16th, and winners will be announced on November 17th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

 

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There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2)
by L.B. Gregg

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Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed.

But then Buck’s mother dies, changing everything, and five years later, his future is still on hold. It’s a struggle to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and Charlie on the straight and narrow. Buck can’t afford any temptation, especially in the form of the newly returned, super hot, super confident, super successful television star Ari Valentine.

ADHD poster-child Ari Valentine left for Hollywood and lost everything, including his bad reputation. Then the breakthrough role of his skyrocketing career lands him back in Bluewater Bay, to the stunned disbelief of, well, everyone. But there’s only one person Ari longs to impress—the only person who ever really mattered to him, the person he left behind: Buck Ellis.

 

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Q&A with L.B. Gregg

Since you’re writing in the Bluewater Bay Universe how was your writing experience different for this story than others you’ve written?

I’ve always created my own characters and set those stories in real places, so finding my footing in Bluewater Bay was a challenge. Once I settled into Buck’s point of view, the story flowed and the town felt more like home. I had to keep checking our bible to remember where things were, or who the other characters in town and on the show are. We worked together to create a map—but these are stand alone stories. Love interest Ari Valentine plays a character on the show, but the POV is a Buck’s and he’s a barista. He’s not tuned in to Wolf’s Landing—the show. He doesn’t even watch it! He’s just a young guy, trying to figure things out.

Was this story something you already had planned to write or did you come up with it solely as an addition to the Bluewater Bay Universe?

A little of both, actually. I planned to write a New Adult this year and I really wanted to do another book with Riptide (because yay), so when they asked me to climb onboard I said yes.

I unearthed a scene I wrote years ago from a book that later became Mistletoe at Midnight—and that chunk was my jumping off point in creating both Buck and Ari. I boiled those pages down and extracted about two paragraphs. They became a turning point moment in Buck and Ari’s shared history and the last memory Buck had of Ari when they were teenagers.

How hard has it been for you, research-wise, to bring this series to life?

A lot of email flew back and forth! There’s now a map and a bible we can refer to, but the big kicker for me was never having been to the Pacific Northwest. It’s on my list of places I want to go. I researched, and asked lots of questions. In the long run I focused on my strengths—character building and dialog. Sharing an editor is a huge part of keeping the series vision cohesive, and Sarah is simply fantastic.

How would you describe this series to someone who has not read any of the books but is intrigued by the concept?

The most intriguing part of Bluewater Bay is that the series is set in one place, revolving around this amazing new TV show, but each author is free to create their own story, characters, places, and we build on that world together.

I love this concept. It reminds me a little of the Rhode Island School of Design bicycle requirement. Do you know it? Freshman applicants must submit a pencil drawing of a bicycle on plain white paper, measuring 16” x 20”. It’s amazing to see how each artist interprets a bike. You can see the results on google images.

I felt like we had that same opportunity in Bluewater Bay. Each of us has a unique point of view, voice, and style and we’re able to share our vision of Bluewater Bay with readers.

That’s pretty cool.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a new Christmas story—for the Comfort and Joy anthology with my friends Josh Lanyon, Harper Fox, and Joanna Chambers. My contribution is Waiting for Winter. Set in Vermont, my two guys are ex lovers, stranded alone together on Christmas Eve. That’s coming out in early December.

 

Review

5-stars

Buck Ellis leads a simple life–taking care of his younger brother, going to work and merely going through the motions. His sole focus is making sure to keep his brother at his side, regardless of his dreams and aspirations. But his ordinary existence is about to get a bit complicated when his teenage crush and one time best friend, Ari, moves in next door.

Buck never forgot the young man he spent his youth with or the feelings he once felt towards him. But Buck hasn’t allowed himself to feel anything in years and having Ari popping in his life at every turn soon has him a complete mess.

The one thing I loved most about this story were the characters. At just a little over 90 pages of content, L.B. Gregg does a fantastic job of bringing these characters to life. We get to know Buck and Ari’s history as young men, how their connection grew through the years and the pain their sudden separation caused in both of them.

I came to understand Buck’s hesitancy in letting Ari into his life once again, but it broke my heart to see him so conflicted. Especially since his feelings towards Ari ran so deep. I would have loved to experience Ari’s side of the story first hand since I believe that his turmoil over leaving and keeping his distance would have added a lot more to the story. However, the author managed to give me more than a glimpse into his personality and his feelings towards Buck, which quelled my curiosity.

Through the use of honest and often heated interactions, L.B. Gregg provided insight into the connection Buck and Ari shared and how deeply their feelings for one another truly were. I enjoyed Ari’s easy manner and charming personality but I loved it when he was direct and confronted Buck about his actions and feelings. I especially enjoyed it when they both just let go and gave in. It was hot and sweet and in my opinion, way too short of an encounter.

All in all, a sweet second chance story and a great addition to the Bluewater Bay universe.

*I received a copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Email

 

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 Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 16th, and winners will be announced on November 17th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Starstruck by L.A. Witt

There’s Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg