Title: Frat Boy and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma #1)
Author: Anne Tenino
Cover Artist: L. C. Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Buy Link: Buy Link Frat Boy and Toppy
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Comedy
Length: 50,000 words
Raiting: 4.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A funny, sexy and warm hearted college story with an individual take on self discovery and coming out.
Blurb: 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.
Theta Alpha Gamma Series
With a title like Frat Boy and Toppy, this book was always going to catch the eye. I was also really pleased to try another by Anne Tenino, as 18% Gray – in a very different genre, is a stand out reread for me. I love it when a writer displays real versatility and this romantic comedy is a great example of that skill.
Brad is a very appealing character as all his outward display of muscles and careful disinterest is revealed as protective camouflage and he comes clean- some significant moments in the shower in this book- about his real nature. The story starts with the brash and funny shock tactic of Collin’s ass triggering Brad’s moment of self awareness. However I really liked the way, almost immediately, his past denial and the thoughtless use of previous girlfriends upset him. His matter of fact, but self doubting voice is quite special………….but Brad had used up his emotional subtext allotment for the day. So he sighed and walked out. This is a sweet man with an active conscience and sense of honesty as he shows after his plagiarism incident and the wet scene with Collin. Brad develops very nicely throughout the book and grows into a very open, relaxed and more thoughtful person who is really fun to read about. Much to his often bewildered exasperation the timing of his attempts to come out are often spoilt by other people. One of the book’s high comedy points is actually when he tries to tell his fraternity he is gay…………
The college setting for this book was a concentrated symbol of the social pressure Brad felt. His jock persona had become his outward face for his friends and family. Not having more than a basic idea of what a fraternity means- in Buffy, the formative source of all my knowledge of US Y/A culture, it is always a bad demon worship thing- this book expanded my limited understanding. However I also enjoyed the glimpses we got of both main character’s families, which extended the closed circle of college society and made the characters that touch more interesting.
The relationship between Brad and Sebastian is developed from exploratory new world white heat sex, with some hot masterly control being shown by Sebastian, through to unexpected emotional truths. The difference in their personalities, their sexual knowledge and relative positions in college – Sebastian as a grad student TA – all somehow added to the real sexual energy. However Brad’s struggles with coming out are almost nothing when it comes to previously self assured Sebastian and his feelings. Any dramatic tension here comes from the interactions of this closely focused relationship and is subsequently quite low key which for me was a good deal.
This was a warm hearted, funny read with well developed characters displaying a nice feeling of real individuality outside their roles of Frat Boy and Toppy.