Michael Finnegan has been called a lot of things in his life: unorthodox, lax, a slutty nonconformist, which, when you’re standing in a man’s office with your fly unzipped and your naughty bits exposed after you’ve just thrown yourself at him and he’s just taken you over his desk…then fired you… Yeah, those are difficult character definitions to overcome. But Maxwell Douglas does something to Finn, makes him feel things he’s never felt before—namely, Max makes Finn feel humiliation and regret, more than anything at times, for his attraction to the cold and imposing Marine-turned-security-specialist. But Max also makes Finn feel alive in a way he’s never felt before, and Finn will stay alive if Max has anything to say about it.
Hemmi Sparks is one of Finn’s privileged students at a tony prep school in Smithfield, who, it appears, might be in some danger from a fan who’s been creeping on Hemmi’s celebrity father. Enter Max, who has been hired to make like Hemmi’s shadow at school, and what you get is a fair amount of friction between two men that seem determined to be little more than the thorns in each other’s sides. That is, if they could keep their hands and lips to themselves long enough to discover there’s something more going on between them than just sex and conflict.
There’s also much more going on at Dalton Prep High School than a celebrity stalker, and it soon becomes evident that the threat to Hemmingway Sparks may be a home-grown kind of danger that’s targeted at someone other than just Hemmi. It’s a danger that will drive the typically unshakable Max Douglas to distraction, and is a danger that’s so impossible for Finn to imagine that he makes the near-fatal error of underestimating the power of crazy. But, as they say, that’s show biz.
Men of Smithfield: Max and Finn is dependably good entertainment from L.B. Gregg. 99% of the fun of this author’s books is the witty banter, the comedic internal dialogue of her first person narrators, the frequently hysterical situations her characters find themselves in (everyone knows the toaster is the kitchen’s bravest appliance, after all), not to mention the sizzling sexual chemistry between her heroes. The other 1% is just everything else a great read can and should be, and those are the things that make me burn through her books, while, at the same time, wishing they’d never end.