Book Review – Dudleytown by L.B. Gregg

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance/Thriller
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press (November 12, 2010)

About the book:

“College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule.”

MY REVIEW:

Dudleytown is a short and sweet romantic thriller by L.B. Gregg, and I was surprised by how much this short story appealed to me. Usually, I get irritated by novellas since I always feel like so many threads remain unravelled, but I thought that L.B. Gregg successfully wrote a self-contained little story here, with pretty much all plot points tied down.

The story opens with three college friends (Ricky and the roommates Shannon and Alex) who are on the road for a weekend of vacation at Alex’s home in Goshen. After Ricky take an ill-advised short-cut through the woods that takes them near the titular Dudleytown, they get into a car accident that leaves Ricky injured – and in all the confusion – Ricky wanders off. Alex and Shannon team up to go rescue their friend, and they discover that they are all in more danger than they thought. Because someone else is also in the woods with them – and this stranger is bad news.

The tale is told from the POV of Alex, a slight 19-year-old premed student with an encyclopedic knowledge of scary movies AND porn movies, and who is also nursing a secret (and what he thinks is an unrequited) crush on his ‘straight’ roommate – the very buff & athletic Shannon. Alex is a pretty funny guy and prone to inappropriate thoughts even as he and Shannon get into some dicey & life threatening situations. I found the ironic commentary from Alex to be a good foil against the sinister enemy that Alex & Shannon have to face. It was a good mix of comedy and suspense.

I did find the erotic romance part of the story to be a bit awkward – yes, Alex and Shannon’s erotic interlude while they were hiding was hot – but I just found it hard to believe that the two boys could be so intimate while their lives (and their friend’s) were still in danger. I mean, really? really?

The story does end on a very sweet note (cheers for Shannon!) that made me very, very happy for Alex 🙂 I’ve never read an L.B. Gregg story before, and I was really impressed by the writing style. I could visualize the area well from the author’s descriptions, and even given the shortness of the tale, the personalities of Alex and Shannon (and even the third-wheel Ricky) came through clearly.

Check out Dudleytown and help support L.B. Gregg!

Other reviews for Dudleytown are on L.B. Gregg’s website and GoodReads.

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~ by RandomizeME on December 9, 2010.

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