Title: Too Stupid To Live (Romancelandia #1)
Author: Anne Tenino
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Amazon: Buy Link Too Stupid to Live
Genre: humor/contemporary gay romance
Length: 315 pages
Rating. 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: While I thought this was a very funny and romantic read and I enjoyed the main characters, I still found characterizations to be a little on the thin side.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong…can they?
I wanted to read some light hearted fluff and of course I could not pass on a book which has the title like this one does. I do not need to tell you what this title means, right? Us romance readers, especially those of us who used to read het romance know perfectly well the idiotic heroine type who is worthy of this name. If you do not know what this means, this character type is usually noted for doing the things which she really should not be doing – like going right in the middle of danger when everybody tells her not to for example. Of course we meet this type in mm romance as well, unfortunately. I did love however how the author used this title here, very clever IMO.
As the blurb tells you one of the main characters Sam has an addiction to romance novels, which I think many of us will easily understand :). Sam though takes his addiction to hilarious new levels (new to me anyway :)) – he keeps comparing his love life to the romance novels and sometimes tries to navigate his real love life according to the rules of romance novels. Well, you have to read the book to find out how well it worked out for him. I know one thing – I was amused a lot when Sam popped out the various tropes and cliches from romances and applied them to his own life. I did not laugh out loud that much, but I giggled and smiled almost the whole time. Here is by the way how Sam explains what Too Stupid To Live means or more precisely why he was Too Stupid to Live:
“And that’s when it hit Sam. If Ian was a TGH, that made Sam…
Too Stupid To Live.
Sam closed his eyes in resignation. He was TSTL. Stupid enough to investigate the locked fourth story of the manor house, where the human screams originated; stupid enough to run out onto the moors at night to find the howling wolves. Stupid enough to want to suck Ian’s cock again. And the whole time, he’d be thinking he could somehow further the plot via his stupidity”
Of course there is also the question whether the reader would agree with Sam’s comparisons and whether the reader sees Sam the same way as he sees himself. I thought it added a lot of fun to the story.
I personally liked Sam a lot. He has trust issues, but he is also so vulnerable and so honest with his affections. I liked Ian too, I thought his character growth was beautifully done, but at the same time felt just a tiny bit rushed.
I really loved sex scenes in this story – they were full of fun and joy, and passion. I really liked them. I thought Ian doing a special research (no, not saying 🙂 resulted in one of the most romantic and hot sex scene I have ever read about in mm romances. But here I come to the issue I often wonder about, especially in erotic romances.
Some of you may know that I am a reader who more often than not prefers less sex in her romances. This preference however has nothing to do with not wanting to read about the guys having sex. It has everything to do however with often finding the characterizations lacking and wondering whether the sex took over the characterizations.
Now, it is true that I often find sex scenes in mm romances to be boring and repetitive, but this was so not the case in this story. I thought that every single sex scene was hot, beautiful and necessary to the story. I enjoyed it, but at the same time when I finished the story I still wondered why I did not have clear pictures of who the characters were in my mind. Yes I will remember that Sam has an addiction to romance novels and tried to model his love life on them. I will remember that he and Ian love each other very much. Besides that I am really not sure I know much about them as people. I know that they are two people in love, but is that all? I mean, I get that romance is about two people building a relationship, but I still want stronger characters. Sam goes to graduate school, he teaches to students. I am not saying that I wanted to be treated to the lengthy discussion about his graduate school, but maybe something? How he likes it, does he want to do it all his life? At least with Ian’s we know who he did not want to be, but why he does what he does now I was not sure at all.
Bottom line, as much as I enjoyed those two, I wanted to know more about them when I was done with the book and not in “I do not want to say good bye” way. They were not one dimensional characters, far from it, but I wanted more.
It was still a good story. Definitely recommended.