Title: Love, Hypothetically
Author: Anne Tenino
Cover Artist: L. C. Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Amazon: Buy Link Love, Hypothetically
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance / Comedy
Length: Novella/120 PDF pages
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Tightly written with a lively and funny focus on the inner life of Paul, a sharp tongued grad student, as he comes to terms with his first love- the jock who done him wrong in high school.
Hypothetical love can be a real pain in the ass.
Paul’s been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck.
Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.
There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.
This book follows on from Frat Boy and Toppy, reviewed here, and stars Paul, Sebastion’s stroppy, opinionated house mate, as an unlikely hero. Now dispossessed from the house due to his habitual rudeness to Brad, Sebastion’s boyfriend and unhappily living back in the dorm, his past catches up with him in the form of the new coach to the women’s softball team.
Trevor Gardiner’s hurtful disloyalty to Paul in high school helps provide mitigating reasons for Paul’s less than immediately appealing personality. He really grew on me. I liked his prickly attitude – his usually funny, defensive offensive comments were applied as much to himself as to his put upon friends. As Toby says,
“……your behaviour isn’t that bad once you’re used to it. Most of it’s stuff we all do. You just do it with more, um, shall we call it personality? “
” Let’s, ” Paul muttered.
Paul’s frequent and painfully funny heart to heart chats with a patient if amused Toby are a great way of externalising his problems and thoughts, other wise most of the book would be inside Paul’s increasingly confused head. The ” hypothetical ” conversation is fun, fun, fun….finishing with Paul’s ungrateful dismissal of Toby’s forgive and forget advice, ” You hypothetically suck. “ Paul’s interactions with his small circle of sometimes reluctant friends was the main way we learnt things about him. This added to the emphasis of him finally learning things about himself.
Like Frat Boy and Toppy, this story concentrates mainly on the ups and downs or ins and outs….small snigger…. of the main characters. Though to be serious, I really enjoy this type of concentrated and intimate focus on a relationship. However the downside with this uncompromising importance of the relationship is that there is an inevitability about the outcome that tends to dilute any suspense. The main conflict came from seeing how much Paul could screw up a sure thing….
Nevertheless Trevor’s determined if apologetic pursuit of Paul resulted in a justifiably good time. I thought the occasional touches of realism, Trevor’s declining hair line and his over enthusiastic physical response to Paul worked well with this particular unidealised couple. Because delightfully self centred Paul was very much the main character I didn’t feel that I got to know repentent Trevor very well. The sailing scenario was unashamedly seductive, I particularly liked that Paul’s well buried romantic side was finally rewarded, even if he just had to rock the boat afterwards….. Love, Hypothetically, with it’s remarkably unco-operative hero is another very enjoyable book from Anne Tenino.