Romano and Albright, Book 2
Feisty New Yorker Caesar Romano has a knack for getting into a jam, and this week is no exception. When his pregnancy-hormone-buzzed business partner sweet talks him into working a solo gig for his famous ex, Caesar attracts the worst kind of attention.
It’s only the beginning. Hit on by a lusty German, stalked by the paparazzi, victim of an unexpected airbag attack—and desperate for some part-time help—Ce’s running out of time, staff and patience. But what’s really got him poised to run? A looming brunch with his sexy lover’s esteemed family.
PI Dan Albright is a man of many gifts: investigation, security, sex talk and driving Caesar nuts in and out of the bedroom. Hired to protect an outrageous soap star from a deranged personal assistant, Dan’s got his hands full refereeing rival actors, locating one four-foot-eleven woman…and convincing Ce that he’s playing for keeps.
Hey, nobody ever said taking a relationship to the next level was a waltz in the park.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book in the Romano and Albright series and also the second book of LB Gregg’s I’ve read. I really like her writing style and think I appreciate it even more after reading the second book in the series. Trust Me If You Dare reads like a comic romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s not much to the story actually, outside of the accidents, coincidences, public groping, and emotional denial but that’s ok since the story is just so much fun to read.
Trust Me starts where the previous book left off. So much so that I went back and skimmed the last few chapters to get a feel for what had happened. You can read this book on its own but I wouldn’t suggest it. Caesar Romano is happily ensconced in a relationship with one Dan Albright, Private Investigator. The accident prone Caesar starts the book off with a bang as he gets into two accidents immediately. Caesar manages to damage a BMW while waiting for Dan at a nearby dealership, which starts a sequence of unfortunate events unbeknownst to Caesar. Now his life is about to get busy, complicated, sexy, and painful as the Caesar navigates an increasingly dangerous world where random things just happen to him. It’s not his fault, really.
If you’ve read the previous book or others of Gregg, her style of comic romance is really quite deft. There is humor in every situation and while it’s quite over the top, it manages to be subtle enough to appreciate. The light, easy feel to the story drifts from one incident to the next without overwhelming the reader or making Caesar out to be a Darwin award winner. Instead he’s an inherently likable, sympathetic, and entertaining character with a propensity for stuttering while lying and accidental mishaps. Caesar’s large, near mob like family adds a good contrast to Caesar’s antics and more entertainment without being too cliché or obvious.
This is perhaps the real charm of the story and writing in that the over the top, nearly ridiculous antics combine with a flimsy plot that makes little to no sense to give a story that may not be deep but entertains from beginning to end. There isn’t heavy angst and the characterization is peripheral at best with more unanswered questions than answers, yet the entire cast is engaging and warm, with charm simply radiating around them. The plot surrounding Dan’s job with Gunter is pretty weak with many holes, however I couldn’t quite bring myself to care since I enjoyed watching Caesar get into trouble and figure his way out almost despite himself.
The romance between Caesar and Dan feels fresh as well. They are heavily into public sex and almost all the sex scenes, which are really very tame, occur in semi public places. There’s just some delicious frottage and groping, the occasional blow job thrown in that shows two people can manage to get their kicks in while attempting to work. I’d still like more development to Dan, who feels mysterious at best, and the progression of their relationship is taken for granted rather than shown. They’re simply together and in love yet their dynamic is interesting and could be shown much more than told.
Overall this is a delightful sequel in a good series. It may not be angst ridden and filled with deep meaning, but it’s a frothy pleasure you won’t want to miss.