MtSnow reviews ‘There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by LB Gregg – 95 pages, released by Riptide Publishing November 10, 2014.
Why MtSnow wanted to review this book: The Author. Cover. New Series. Location. All looked good to me. Anything set in the Pacific Northwest has always been at least enticing for me, since that’s near where I live 🙂
Note: a copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.
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.
L.B. Gregg has always been a favorite author of mine. I most enjoyed her Men of Smithfield series, and the bits of humor she always threw into to each story. They were even more fun as audiobooks. Then there are her Romano and Albright series, which always made me picture Leonardo Dicaprio in ‘Catch Me If You Can’. Very fun series.
This particular book, though, was a quick, feel-good read that left me wanting for more. I felt like the blurb actually delivered a bit more background than the actual story did. I like the location set in the rainy Pacific Northwest, and the fact everyone seems to wear rain boots as regular attire, especially if you’re a local. I have to admit I have already read a few other Bluewater Bay stories, and they all can be read out of order easily. I’m late to the game on this one, even though it is labeled as #2 in the series.
What intrigued me most about this one was the potential for more ethnic diversity, which the name ‘Ari’ teased at. Note, I say ‘potential’, as it didn’t pan out like I’d hoped. What we ended up with was a fairly surface short story with two young boys that had been thrown together in their Cub Scouts/ADHD elementary school youth, become instant best friends, only to be yanked apart just as they were entering adulthood. Nothing about ethnic diversity. And nothing in the current day to explain what they enjoyed so much about each other.
The storylines following both characters had potential and would’ve played out better in my mind if they had been expanded on rather than thrown into this short story format, but the ending and the tiny bit of drama did make for a fairly happy conclusion. And I did like the little homeless kitten, Sunshine. It was sweet how she was thrown into the story, to be found behind the coffee shop, and how Buck had been able to raise his brother to be a kind, accepting and compassionate person who would want to care for such a little wee thing. I just wish the story had been expanded on rather than everything only hinted at.
The idea of Hollywood ‘star’ Ari coming back to Bluewater Bay, instantly buying a house next door to Buck with the hope to get back with the love of his youth was a little farfetched, but made for good hometown and rag sheet gossip material. And the promising young academic with a full ride scholarship settling into only working at a coffee shop to raise his younger brother, well, there was definitely a feeling of self-sacrifice going on.
I think, in my mind, due to the short number of pages, well it felt as if there was a compilation of tragedies conveniently allowing each of the MCs to ‘instantly’ forgive and forget rather than build on anything new, since they hadn’t seen each other in 5 years.
But, all in all, Bluewater Bay is a fairytale community full of happily ever after gay couples, and these two fit right in with the rest.
I’m enjoying the series and say this one adds another layer to the community at large. Recommended for those that would like a light, happy read with very little angst within a short number of pages.
7.5 of 10 pots of gold
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
LB Gregg (Lisabea) writes fun, fast-paced contemporary male/male romances for a variety of publishers including Riptide, Samhain, and Carina Press. Her wildly successful Men of Smithfield books feature hot, hunky men looking for love in small town New England.
Find more information about LB, The Men of Smithfield, and her fun series Romano and Albright at http://www.lbgregg.com.
You can also friend LB on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lb.gregg.
Like her author page at: http://on.fb.me/216EIiF
Or follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lb.gregg/