Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review for Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino


Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.

Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely—hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more—dare he admit the “L” word?—Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.


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It takes a very talented writer to perfectly balance humor, sexiness, and sweetness all in one story but Anne Tenino does so nicely in her latest release Frat Boy and Toppy.  As a reader who doesn't normally enjoy rom-com stories, Ms. Tenino totally won me over and I found myself complete drawn into the lives of these collegians and their teachers.

Brad has always tried to live up to the image of a playboy athlete since he doesn't want to disappointment those around him, but as he gets older he can't keep fighting his true desires any longer.  Enter sexy and self-confident TA Sebastian who Brad can't keep his eyes off of and who becomes the catalyst for a major revelation and a new chapter in his life.  Brad's extremely sweet with a nice bit of snarky thrown in to bring some wonderful humor to the story.  He's struggled and been miserable for so long keeping up his facade and you could see how it weighed on him.  He hated himself for using women and alcohol to ignore his real inclinations.  As he started accepting the truth of himself and slowly let others know you could sense that weight lifting off him.  He became even more light-hearted and more self-confident.  Brad seemed so much younger at the start of his relationship with Sebastian but things felt more equal between them later on after he came out.  He became a man at that point, not so obsessed over other's opinions.

Sebastian was a complicated character that had been hurt by love before and shied away from it now.  He was sexy and caring and was the perfect person to be Brad's first since he understood the seriousness of what their being together would mean for Brad's life.  But whereas I could see the evolution of Brad emotionally, I can't quite say the same for Sebastian.  I never felt like we learned as much about Sebastian's life to fully become as connected to him.  This story was definitely about Brad which left Sebastian on the back burner a bit. 

To help Brad get through this most important time in his life, he was lucky to have a wonderful group of people around him.  From his extremely supportive family (who frustrated him by their complete and easy acceptance of him) to his best friend Kyle (who had many humorous reactions to Brad's coming out) to his new roommate Collin (who's struggling with his own coming out), Brad couldn't have been luckier and it's a shame that in real life this large of a support group isn't always the case.  These secondary characters were wonderful and lit up the page and I would especially love to see more of Collin as he deserves a happy ending of his own.

This was an engaging read with a deep depth of emotion liberally sprinkled with humor.  From the witty dialogue to the smoldering sex scenes I was completely drawn in and hated to see it come to an end.  This was my first time reading a book of Ms. Tenino's but it definitely won't be the last.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog. You might like this poem about matters of the heart. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/marge-piercy-poem-that-appealed-to-me.html

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