Joint review with Lou originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/10/19/joint-review-men-of-smithfield-seth-and-david-by-lb-gregg/
Lou: I’m a fan of the Men of Smithfield series. I find the author’s voice engaging and I like the witty banter she creates between her characters. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that engaged with Seth and David’s story. I wasn’t keen on the character of Seth, and some of the plot I found to be too over dramatic for the length of the novel.
MinnChica: Gregg has quickly become one of my favorite m/m authors, and with the re-release of the Smithfield books, I’m loving her even more. I have to admit though, this wasn’t my favorite book in the series so far. While I enjoyed it, Seth and David just couldn’t compare to Max and Finn. But I have to give Kudos to Gregg, each new book in the series is so unique and they each have different themes and overall feel.
Lou: I’ve loved her previous books in the series, especially Finn and Max. With this book, Seth has become guardian to his niece after his sister passes away from cancer. Seth really doesn’t know much about parenting and children, and he relied on his sister’s best friend too much. When she cuts him loose and tells him he needs to step up to the plate, Seth is thrown into the deep-end, and the stress gets to him. Seth goes to his regular masseur, Linda, for his massage, but ends up getting David when Linda can’t make it. David ends up taking out the stress in Seth’s muscles, but Seth ends up aroused, so whilst David is doing his massage, Seth humps the table and comes.
I couldn’t help but think of Seth as a pervert because he felt no guilt, and I didn’t care that David was the other hero of the story. It’s downright creepy and verging on sexual harassment when you hump a freaking table and come in-front of someone you don’t know. I was so glad that David was terribly angry at Seth’s actions, and told him off. It was a bizarre beginning to a story.
MinnChica: It really was a bizarre beginning to the story, and that was probably why I wasn’t hooked immediately to the characters. It took me awhile to get into their romance, because I thought David had every right to call Seth a creeper and move on! LOL. I did like the way that Gregg explored the issue of parenthood in the story. Not only did Seth have to deal with taking over the care of his young niece, but he also had to deal with his niece’s father raising his sexuality as a huge issue. I liked that Seth’s friends really stood behind him and supported him 100% percent. It really added a likeable dimension to the story for me. Especially once secrets about David’s past are revealed. It also gave these two men a bond to forge their relationship on, which worked for me.
Lou: I do think family and friends became the central focus of the book. The romance between Seth and David builds, but somehow Seth manages to piss of David through out the story with his actions. Though the sex scenes were well done, I didn’t feel an emotional connection between them because so much was happening in the story. There’s blackmail, stalking, kidnapping, a determined ex, and there was Seth trying to bring up his niece and have some sort of relationship with David. It was too much for the length of the story, and each development ended up weaker as a result.
MinnChica: I agree that there was too much going on at times, especially for the length of this novella. It would have been a better read for me if not all of the external dramas were thrown into the story. I thought the slow build romance was enough tension in the story, and I would have liked to delve more into that. Because of the length and number of things that happened, I really didn’t feel the connection between these two, and wished we would have had more of a chance to really explore their relationship on page, instead of off.
Lou: This was an OK read for me. Seth and David’s romance felt very quick because of the extra sub-plots going on, and I couldn’t invest in the characters.
I give it a C.
MinnChica: All in all I enjoyed the 3rd Smithfield book, but it is definitely my least favorite in the series so far. David and Seth had a fun opposites attract romance, but it did feel as if much of it took place off the page. I enjoyed the parenthood aspect of the story, and hope we can see more of Seth and David in their father roles in the future.
I give Men of Smithfield: Seth and David a C