Hi. My name is L.B. Gregg and I’m here to celebrate the release of my latest Romano and Albright book— With This Bling. I’m excited for the series to find a new home with Riptide Publishing, and even more thrilled (and relieved!) to have finished book three. Phew. Took me long enough, right?
Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour.
I have a few series under my belt, two of which I won’t tout because this is Caesar and Dan’s moment to shine, but I’m often asked by readers if my books have to be read in sequence.
Generally speaking, my answer is no.
My other series are really great stand alones—although the upcoming The Buck Stops Here is a sequel within a stand alone series, which makes this conversation complicated. So, putting Ari and Buck and life in Bluewater Bay aside, you can definitely pick up any Men of Smithfield book or either Cornwall Novella and read them independently. Those stories are of place rather than character. There is overlap in the Smithfield books, and there’s even a vague chronological order, but it doesn’t really matter which comes first, because the individual stories are complete and offer a satisfying HEA.
When I began writing Romano and Albright, I hoped to write a series similar to one written by Janet Evanovich. The Stephanie Plum books—all gabillionity of them—can be read in any order. Or at least, I think so. They’re funny and dark and snappy, with great situational comedy, and lots of hilarious one-liners and memorable characters. There’s love and some sex and lots of laughs played around mini- crimes and a bail bonds office in Trenton New Jersey.
I haven’t actually read past number fourteen, but Evanovich created what feels like a sitcom, and each book a new episode. Crazy adventures, filled with potheads and old people and mob bosses and funeral home directors and delis and big hair. There’s always a car that blows up, a big dog shitting on a lawn, and some sexy times with one or the other of Stephanie’s love interests.
However. The series is flawed. Many readers complained that Stephanie’s relationship(s) fail to develop. She hasn’t grown (or aged), and she hasn’t made a choice to be with either of the men she’s in love with—Ranger or Joe.
Actually, that’s a bit misleading. I personally perceived change. There’s an admission that Steph loves both men, and she states a lack of desire to commit to either of them, and eventually the guys are aware of Stephanie’s who should I pick dilemma. However, without some sort of maturation on Stephanie’s part, the reader’s complaint that they’re left emotionally unsatisfied is a valid one. Evanovich is funny. The books are sexy and addictive, but Stephanie remains in limbo.
Again I haven’t read the latest books, so perhaps that’s changed? I hope so. I truly hope Stephanie made a choice (and her choice was Ranger) and that they’re making sexy, slutty progress together in some black SUV parked under a parking garage in Trenton. I believe the potential for a real HEA or even a HFN or, hell a ménage**, is there.
In my own work, I wanted Romano and Albright to be a different sort of thing. I hoped to find the series sweet spot. Create a story that lay somewhere between a stand alone and a sequential book. I wanted Ce and Dan’s love story to progress and for both characters to grow, but I also wanted readers to enjoy the books in any order.
That’s just crazy talk! But I believe I’ve done the impossible.
If you haven’t picked up Catch Me If You Can or Trust Me If You Dare, and you want to know if you can read this latest book first—I offer you a confident yes. With This Bling is complete and Ce and Dan’s history understandable, without any dreaded info dumping or heavy exposition (and believe me, that’s a skill). There are highs and lows and the story fits neatly into Ce and Dan’s world, sort of episodically. You can read this one and love it, I hope. Or you can enjoy this story, and then go back and read books one and two and make this With This Bling really sing.
Romano and Albright are my funniest, most fun books. I love these guys. They challenge my creativity, and make me giggle and laugh when I’m writing. I hope to deliver more emotionally satisfying glimpses into the wild and crazy life of Caesar Romano—a guy who just so happens to be falling well and truly in love with the smoking hot, dirty-talking, sexually adventurous Dan Albright.
Thanks for stopping by!
**The ultimate happy ending for Stephanie, Ranger and Joe would be f/m/m.
With This Bling
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 7th December 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
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.
Meet L.B. Gregg
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, Facebook. You can also e-mail L.B. at lbgregg at lbgregg dot com
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!