tasting ‘in and out’

The Blurb:

Former television sensation and renowned world explorer, Holden Worthington, is held prisoner by crippling agoraphobia. When a sexy young laborer arrives to set his property to rights, a ray of light glimmers in Holden’s dark and narrow world. A grisly discovery throws the two men together, and Holden finds his world turned inside out by his inappropriate longing for his awkward, young employee, Adam Morgan, and by a threat growing around them both. All of Smithfield believes Holden has something to hide, and Adam is determined to bring everything–including Holden Worthington–into the open.

Why I bought it:

It was an ARC. *Apparently I meant to do reviews occasionally. Did you know that? Cos I sure as hell didn’t.*

Dislike/like (ending on a high note):

Dislike~ More of a warning~ Fans of L B Gregg will be used to this author’s trademark wit and humour. Don’t worry; I’m not telling you it’s disappeared in In and Out altogether. It’s there; however, it’s been toned down in consideration of the more serious themes in the book, especially those associated with the main character’s, Holden’s, agoraphobia and anxiety as well as his relationships with love interest Adam, brother Porter, amongst others. So, more subtle, but still typical L B. πŸ™‚

Like~ Some of you can probably remember me ranting on about wanting more stories with characters who have a mental illness. Well, this was one of the books I was looking forward to reading because of this – and it delivered. Holden totally resonated with me. Or I did with him. Whatever. While I don’t have agoraphobia, my depression has caused me to spend days hiding out in my house (aka Kris’ womb) pretending the world doesn’t exist. Also, the anxiety Holden felt when trying to challenge the boundaries of his mental illness and the self-deprecating way he talked about it, including to himself, is stuff I do all the time. I read this thinking ‘finally, someone gets it’. It was both terrific and eye-opening.

Dislike~ More of a warning~ Further to the above, I imagine some readers may find Holden’s forays ‘outside’ to come a little too soon after the beginning of his relationship with Adam. I admit it gave me a bit of a niggle at first, but the reason why it ultimately worked for me was that it was Holden’s choice, thereby making it realistic. Even more importantly, there was no sign of ‘teh healing buttsecks’. Thank fuck. I hate that ‘twu wuv sex is a cure all’ shit with a passion.

Like~ I was quite surprised to find I enjoyed the May/December relationship. This pairing is more miss than hit with me so my expectations were, to be blunt, low. *Erm, sorry LB.* Anyways, two reasons why it didn’t annoy me as much as it usually does: (1) Adam was very mature for his age; and, (2) Holden was forced – not telling you why – to actually open up and explain what he meant and how he felt to Adam. Thankfully, there was none of the tired Big Misunderstanding Age Gap Angst in this story. Yet, another theme which apparently gets my back up. *I seem to have a lot of them.*


So, what I think: Me, I reckon In and Out is the best of L B Gregg’s work to date. As soon as I finished it I knew this would be a book; probably the one out of all her books so far, that I would be reading over and over again. Just terrific.


β€˜Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in contemporary, L B Gregg, m/m, m/m romance challenge 2010, mystery, tasting. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to tasting ‘in and out’

  1. Lily says:

    I'm looking forward to reading this one. Great tasting! πŸ™‚

  2. Mandi says:

    Awesome…can't wait for something a bit different from her!!!

  3. Tam says:

    Looking forward to this one. Great job.

  4. God damn, is it Friday yet? Wait, don't answer that b/c I'm a day behind you.

    I'm muy excited to read In and Out I love that LB went a little more serious & also, the may/december angle.

  5. Kassa says:

    Don't hit me but I haven't read this series. Tell me where to start? Please? I've only read one other book by this author and it was a bit mad cap crazy but I like the humor a lot and want to read this series, just not sure where to start.

  6. Sweet says:

    I've been looking forward to reading this one also. I wasn't a big fan of the last Smithfield book. I'm glad that this one seems to be very different from the rest in the series.

  7. nichem says:

    Great review, Kris! I can't wait to read this one.

  8. I'm liking your tastings. πŸ˜€ This sounds like a good read for me.

    And whenever I hear about M/M May/December romances I get a visual of my coworker and his hubbs… 24/48…. no, not the best mental image. But it seems to work for them.

  9. Tam says:

    Kassa: Gobsmacked is the first one, then Happy Ending, then Cover Me which was my favourite to date.

  10. lbgregg says:

    Hate commenting on reviews. Hate it because it inevitably stops the flow of reader/blogger conversation. But you said this…and I had to butt in.

    Also, the anxiety Holden felt when trying to challenge the boundaries of his mental illness and the self-deprecating way he talked about it, including to himself, is stuff I do all the time. I read this thinking 'finally, someone gets it'. It was both terrific and eye-opening.

    I have never had a more difficult time writing a book (except the one I'm writing now ::cough::)–and it's because every time I really looked inside Holden, my own anxieties threatened to choke me.

    Anywho. I'm so glad you liked it, Kris–even if you don't like May/December. I am a HUGE May/December romance fan because I'm icky. Apparently.

    THanks for tasting my book.


    My wv is: reallnes

  11. I'll keep the flow going…
    Kris, dang, teasing us a day before release day with your review. It's just mean! And how can you not like May/December romance?

  12. Oh, and very nice tasting review! πŸ™‚

  13. Jenre says:

    Great tasting, Kris.

    I'm glad to see that the psychic link has been restored. πŸ™‚

  14. Eyre says:

    Nice review! From what you and Chris have both said, I can tell I have to read this one.

    veri word = inflamb

    Can one be inflambed with desire, or does it have something to do with sex with sheep?

  15. Chris says:

    I have to confess, Kris, I breathed a sigh of relief when there was not sign of “teh healing buttsecks” (ie, sex can cure your mental illness)! πŸ™‚

  16. Kris says:

    Lily: Thanks Lily. Hope you enjoy it. πŸ™‚

    Mandi: I'll be really interested to see what you think of it. You'll be doing a review, right?

    Tam: It's great, and cheers.

    KC: “God damn, is it Friday yet? Wait, don't answer that b/c I'm a day behind you.”

    Party pooper. 😦

    It will be interesting to see how readers react to this more serious book by LB. I think, hope, they'll respond really well.

  17. Kris says:

    Kassa: What Tam said. πŸ™‚ What you notice particularly with the MoS series is the way that LB's writing develops from book to book. Well, in my opinion it does. I'll be interested to see if you think the same.

    Sweet: I hope you enjoy it. I think this one is the best in the series. I could be a bit biased though given the theme. πŸ™‚

    Richelle, thanks! I'm also getting the feeling that there is a whole heap of LB fans out there hanging out for this book. LOL.

    Miranda: Glad you like 'em, hun. Oh, and, yeah, the May/December visual can be a bit… scary. Not in this book, but in RL… Erm. Yeah.

  18. Kris says:

    LB: Thanks for stopping by. *Okay, I'm emailing you and responding to your comment at the same time. It's weird.*

    I think it's because you understood/stand what Holden's is going through that you were able to write him so realistically. As I was reading it I kept thinking to myself 'God, I do that'. As I said in my tasting, it was both terrific because it felt so believable and eye opening for me to see some of my own behaviours laid out before me. Thank you for writing it so honestly.

    PS – You are icky. But in a good way. πŸ™‚

    Janna: “Kris, dang, teasing us a day before release day with your review. It's just mean!”


    May/December?? I dunno. Maybe because I've been burnt out from reading historicals? Or because there has been some really crappy m/m versions? Really crappy.

    Jenre: Thanks, hun.

    PS – What am I thinking?

  19. Kris says:

    Eyre: Ta mate. πŸ™‚

    You should always listen to Khris. Resistance is futile.

    “Can one be inflambed with desire, or does it have something to do with sex with sheep?”

    *snort* Shit stirrer. BTW, it's what happens when you get caught hanging with the lambs. Not pretty.

    Chris: Me too, hence my 'thank fuck' response. πŸ˜€

  20. Eyre says:

    Kris and Chris, what do you mean sex doesn't cure mental illness?!?!? There goes my excuse for being absolutely, positively bonkers. I can't blame that on lack of . . . oops TMI!

  21. Kris says:

    *pats* There, there, hun. Don't worry. Getting yourself off still counts.

  22. Eyre says:

    Why, Kris, I can't believe you would imply such a thing!

    I'd never . . . where are those damn batteries . . .

  23. Kris says:

    Invest in a recharger, Eyre. More cost effective in these economic times.

    Oh, and don't forget that important saying: “If at first you don't succeed…”

  24. orannia says:

    I read this thinking 'finally, someone gets it'.

    I love books like that. That's exactly the reaction I had when I read By Degrees.

    I really like the sound of this book. Fantastic tasting – thank you! (I know I shouldn't read books out of order, but I think I might read this book before the others in the Smithfield series.

  25. Kris says:

    Orannia: *starts twitching* You'll read a series out of order… NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    *deep, meditation breathing*

    “I love books like that.”

    Yes. I find it's the books you really resonate with that stay with you for a long time. It's a truly wonderful experience and I'm always thankful for it.

  26. Kassa says:

    Ok confused…. is LB Gregg the same author as Lisabet Sarai?

  27. Chris says:

    Kassa: No! πŸ™‚

  28. lbgregg says:

    Kassa. It is I. Lisabea. Famed blogger.

    Who is Lisabet Sarai? That's CONFUSING.

  29. Kassa says:

    Oh ok. Thanks! It *is* confusing… I keep going back and forth thinking they are one and the same so now I know. Ok …

    Lisabea is not Lisabet.

  30. Kris says:

    “Lisabea is not Lisabet.”

    She better not be because she's meant to be getting rid of some of her online personas, including Lisabea – Famed Blogger.

  31. Tracy says:

    Awesome friggin book. Loved it so much. Might have babies with it, I'm not sure.

    Great taste!

  32. Kris says:

    Tracy: “Might have babies with it, I'm not sure.”

    I'm guessing probably not. There might be some, err, difficulties conceiving. But, yeah, it was a terrific read. πŸ™‚

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