Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review: The Definitive Albert J. Sterne by Julie Bozza

The Definitive Albert J. SterneFrom the blurb:

 Albert Sterne, forensics expert with the FBI, is so obnoxious on the surface that no-one bothers digging deeper. When he's sent to Colorado to investigate what turns out to be the work of a serial killer he encounters Special Agent Fletcher Ash and they end up reluctantly joining forces to unravel the case. It's only a matter of duty, though; it can't be more, because Albert doesn't do friendship - and he certainly doesn't do love!

Rosa's rating:

I was hesitant to buy this book. It’s 628 pages, people.

628. PAGES.

That’s not a book, that’s a major commitment. That’s like a marriage: Is this the man I want to divorce?

But much like my first engagement (ha, ha, ha – actually I’m completely serious) I said what the hell, sucked it up and opened my screaming wallet. It was $7.95.

I lost you at $7.95, didn’t I?

Oh, c’mon, people, it’s not some NOOB. It’s Julie Freakin’ Bozza. The author of such wonders as The Apothecary's Garden (love), Butterfly Hunter (I haven’t read it, but I OWN it) and Homosapien ... a fantasy about pro wrestling. Which is about wrestling, fer chrissakes. It’s not my favorite of her books, but it’s at least awesome in its singularity. (It’s a gay romance novel…about wrestling. It bears repeating.) That’s what I love about Julie Bozza; each of her books is so different. She’s eclectic and it shows.

Now. Albert J. Sterne. He’s kind of a jerk. He’s isolated and he likes it that way. No, he’s not isolated because he has social anxiety and he’s waiting for someone to notice that his rose has not yet bloomed and love him into friendliness. He really doesn’t like YOU. He’s a genius and he isn’t afraid to tell you he’s a genius. Not to mention that your intelligence is just a micro-drop in the Waterworld-like ocean of his intelligence. If it ever occurred to him to care, he would be confused as to why a simple statement of fact would bother you. Then he would totally dismiss you from his mind.

Somehow, however, he becomes friends, whether he likes it or not, and later more than friends, with rising FBI talent Fletcher Ash. Fletcher is intelligent, handsome & likeable. He has a supportive family. He’s also chasing a serial killer, with Albert's help, that completely changes his idea of himself.

This is my experience while reading the book:

It's a little...dry.

I like it.

I wish Albert would unclench his asshole, for, like, FIVE MINUTES.

I like Fletcher (or Ash).

I really like this book.

I really like Albert, even if he still needs to unclench.

This is definitely leaning more toward police procedural than romance, but that's cool.

I HATE THAT FLETCHER ASH. I saw it coming, but he really PISSES ME OFF. His major mistake is similar, but different, to Tornado’s in Bareback.

I HATE this book.

Do I even want to finish it?

I guess, but I am never reading THIS BOOK again.

I am really liking Albert.

I could understand Ash’s reasoning.

Okay, maybe he’s not such a dick and Albert’s not a total shit.

The serial killer is super creepy. He’s in some way relatable and that makes him scary as SHIT.

The FBI part is awesome. I don't care if it's factual or not. What do I know from factual?

This book is fantastic.

I love Ash & Albert.

I love this book but I may never read it again ‘cause it’s such an emotional roller coaster.

I love this book and I’m going to reread it.

But Albert still needs to unclench his asshole.

Then today: Some jerk on Lendle wants to borrow it? But I need it. FINE. Read it. I need to share the love anyway.

I think this is a love it or hate kind of book. It's a bit dry in the beginning, but once you push though that and kind of go with the flow of the novel, it's awesome and singularly different from other MM books.

Also fantastic? This is not the story of how grumpy Mr. Sterne is healed by the powers of Ash's magical penis. There's hope for him at the end, he's changing -- and that makes me happy even if I won't be there to experience it. Bravo, Ms. Bozza!

I highly recommend it. I want to hug it. And, hell, if you don’t want to spend $7.95 I’ll let you borrow it. I GUESS.

(If you read and like this book, please read Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect, which is also fantastic.)

Get the book:

     Manifold Press

Thanks for reading my review!


  1. What a fun review, you have sold the book to me :) I love epics and this does sound like an epic read and I hope to add it soon to my ebook, when I get my long wish down a bit and when I have finished quite a few books :)

    I wonder if the author will write again, to let us know if Albert ever learns to relax and unclench, yes just relax and unclench, breath and unclench, or maybe not, what do you think?

  2. Thank you! :) Oh, man, my list of books to read never ends! If they were real books I'd have to find a mansion to live in.

    As for Albert, there's more stories about him, Ash and Garrett (the creepy bad guy) in "Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect." There's at least one story that takes place after Definitive Albert which shows Albert unclenching or, to put it in other terms, opening himself up to new possibilities. It's a very satisfying read. But I would love, love, love it if Bozza wrote more about Albert.


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