Men of Smithfield: Sam and Aaron by LB Gregg

SamandAaronWhy I read it:  I’ve read and enjoyed the earlier books and was happily surprised to see a brand new story in the series.  I was provided with a review copy by the publisher via NetGalley.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  With our family’s legacy, Meyers B&B, in the flailing hands of me, Sam Meyers, and my sister Wynne, we’re determined to revive the place. We’ve started a series of blind-date cooking classes, and taken on our first boarder. Granddad is even now rolling in his grave.

Signed up for the class is our new guest, Aaron Saunders, a Californian transplant who’s distractingly handsome and clearly up to no good. I can’t quite figure him out. He blew into town and has been relentless in his search for…something.

The sexy sneak is intriguing. And we’ve had a steamy moment. Or two. But now I can’t stop wondering why he’s searching in secret. From the library, to the historical society, to my own backyard, Aaron leaves no stone unturned or record book unopened. He’s definitely gotten my attention. But that might not be the only thing he’s after.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Anyone who’s ever read a book by LB Gregg before will know she has a quirky sense of humour – so it ought not be a surprise that the “meet cute” here is when Sam, his butt hanging out of his ripped jeans (argument with a fence), has his arm stuck in the after hours book return slot at the local library, meets Aaron, who appears to be a thief and has a bag of handy lock-picks tries to get him out.  Until the police arrive that is.

The mystery about Aaron’s job and his “thievery” is solved fairly quickly but he has an ulterior motive for being in town and it takes a while for that all to come out.  In the meantime, Aaron inspires in Sam a desire to be unpredictable and uninhibited – things which he very definitely usually isn’t.

I enjoyed the humour (as I usually do with this author) and had to chuckle at the continuing medical disasters of “Date Night Cooking”.  Sam and Aaron have chemistry and… other things which connect them too (my lips are zipped).  It’s a story of one man searching for home and another coming to the realisation that what he always wanted is pretty much right under his nose, done with the quirky charm that is an LB Gregg novel.

It is short and I would have liked a little more of Sam and Aaron getting to know one another and I was left with concerns about the financial viability of the B&B as well.  The narrative did a good job of showing me that finances were tight and Wynne (Sam’s sister) was perhaps overly optimistic regarding their future prospects.  I would have liked more regarding that story to round out the happy ending – because a happy ending isn’t just about the romantic relationship – if there is some chance that the B&B will go broke, well that threatens the happiness quotient I think.

It’s a kind of comedy of manners, with unique characters and good humour. Good fun but perhaps a little too short.

Grade: B-

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