Ce and Dan are back in full force! I’m not gonna lie. I fell head over heels for both guys immediately when I read Catch Me If You Can, then fell further in love with Trust Me If You Dare. Truth be told, after so many years, I wondered if there would even be another story in the Romano & Albright series. But this author has totally assuaged my doubts and given me a true Ce and Dan fun-loving, hilarious, dramatic, cozy mystery to die for.
Cesar Romano’s day is not starting well. First, there’s waking up in Staten Island, which isn’t bad per se, just different. Then a sweat-stained cable man who was obviously not a cable man tries to gain access to Dan’s house and when he doesn’t get past Ce, he nearly scares Ce to death when he’s caught climbing onto the roof. An encounter with a rookie cop later and Cesar is finally—finally—headed to work.
Things would be all good if that’s where it ended, but getting pulled into his cousin’s insane need to propose to Poppy—Ce’s best friend—in an extravagant way, odd, wi-fi dawdling customers, and a stalker in the form of the creepy cable guy put Ce in the middle of another case he didn’t ask for. Not only that, but Ce finds himself engaged… well, fake engaged for the sake of his best friend. Then he’s confronted with a woman who so obviously has her sight set on Dan.
In the midst of his own drama, Ce has to prepare for Jean Luc’s party at The Albright. Things come to a head and Ce ends up finding help in an unexpected place, but now he has to save Dan without ending up dead himself.
With This Bling is the third book in the Romano & Albright series by L.B. Gregg, and the books should be read in order.
Okay, yes, I know there’s a lot in that summary, and it likely doesn’t make a lot of sense if you don’t know Ce and Dan or if you haven’t read the story, but here’s what you need to know about this book: Read it. This is classic Ce and Dan—funny, exciting, adventurous, damn sexy, and witty. There is never a dull moment, and did I mention sexy?
Cesar Romano has a knack of winding up in the most bizarre situations and finding his way out (mostly) unscathed. He’s the ultimate amateur super-sleuth, although he’d never call himself such. Dan is the sexiest, toppiest, most patient private detective (and boyfriend) ever. And mostly he has a knack of getting Cesar out of whatever mess he’s gotten into. He also has the ability to talk Ce into just about anything—and mostly those are the sexytimes. I love how, after three years, Gregg stays completely true to these characters.
Cesar’s internal (and external) dialogue is so freaking fabulous. Like laugh out loud funny. The things he comes up with are classic Ce. I like that he’s one hundred percent vested in this relationship, but he still has his doubts and insecurities. I love the give and take between Ce and Dan. Dan’s willingness to be who Ce needs him to be in exactly the moment he needs to be (You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you read the TV studio scene).
I love how this story not only shows the level of growth in the relationship between Ce and Dan, but individually as well. They’ve found their niche with each other and in life. Not only that, but this story advances the world that Ce and Dan have created. We get a deeper look into Dan’s life and the reason for his privacy. We also get some insight into an ex, as well as seeing Ce’s jealous side in full force. The author did a fabulous job with all of this.
This series brings cozy mystery to a whole new level for me. I mean, I would have never pictured something so… cozy… in the center of the Village. Not only that, this author has a way of telling a story that keeps me enthralled and flipping from page to page never knowing what I will find next. I loved everything about this book, just like I loved everything about the previous two.
With This Bling is… everything. Gregg took Ce and Dan to a whole new level and now I’m dying for the next book and crossing my fingers that it will not be another three years, but if it is, at least I know it will be worth the wait. This book certainly was.
I highly, highly recommend With This Bling by LB Gregg.