Reviewed by JenI wouldn't call my love affair with the Men of Smithfield "over," but I think maybe this installment took a little blush off the rose. I didn't really dislike it, but I don't have the urge to gush over it the same way that I did with the first two books. I didn't laugh nearly as much and the romance was a little less my cuppa tea.
The story centers on Holdon, a rich 40 year-old agoraphobic living in Smithfield. He's a popular writer with a successful tv show under his belt, but his life fell apart a few years back when his lover outed him on national television. Now, he sits at home with only his brother and housekeeper for company. Well, that is true until he hires Adam, a sexy new gardener.
Adam is beautiful --and 24. Holden thinks himself a dirty old man for wanting him, but he can't help it. Adam has a troubled family history and trouble making connections with people, yet it doesn't take very long for something to spark between him and his boss.
As this new attraction plays out, a body turns up buried in Holden's backyard --and his dubious reputation makes him the town's prime suspect. Especially when the rumor starts flying that the corpse is Holden's ex. The story follows the romance between Holden and Adam, the murder-mystery, and Holden's struggle to overcome his fears and deal with his past.
I didn't love Holden. I can't really wrap my brain around his agoraphobia, but even worse, I just didn't like his voice. The fact that he kept belaboring the fact that Adam was an innocent kid --that he was hired help-- just kind of squicked me out a little. The fact that Adam looked young enough to be in high school while Holden was 40 bothered me, even though he was legal. And though I know he had an illness, Holden just felt like a skeevy wuss to me. --As for Adam, I never really felt like I knew him, or what it was about Holden that attracted him. The love declarations came way too early. And the murder caper was a bit over the top.
I'm not giving up hope on the series, though. I thought the first two were fabulous. Maybe the next one will ring my bell.
*ARC Provided by Carina Press via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holdenby LB GreggRelease Date: November 26, 2012Publisher: Carina Press