Title: Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma #3)
Author: Anne Tenino
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Amazon: Buy Link Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma #3)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Comedy / Mystery
Length: 108,400 words
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A tremendously fun age difference and college romance with generously added giggle value courtesy of the TAG fraternity.
Blurb: When Plan A fails, turn to Man A.
Thanks to Collin Montes, Theta Alpha Gamma now welcomes gay and bisexual students. Persuading his Uncle Monty, president of the TAG Alumni Association, that the open approach won’t adversely affect TAG’s reputation is Collin’s own first step toward coming out. As long as there are no repercussions, he’ll escape the closet by graduation.
Enter repercussions, stage left: someone rigs the TAG House water heater to launch through the ceiling, then plants a bomb—thankfully unsuccessful—in the fraternity’s basement. Now Collin has his hands full not only trying to convince his uncle that this might not be the work of homophobes, but also dealing with a fratful of brothers worried about their kegger fridge.
Paramedic Eric Dixon can’t stop thinking about the kid he met during a call at his former college fraternity house. The age gap between them is trumped by sexy eyes, so when Eric sees Collin again at the bomb scene, he pursues him. Soon, Eric is dreaming of being a househusband, fighting to keep Collin safe from whoever’s trying to destroy the fraternity, and helping his sweet young thang realize that repercussions sometimes have silver linings.
This title is part of the Theta Alpha Gamma universe.
Theta Alpha Gamma Series
Why didn’t I give this five stars, I asked myself as I wrote this review, because let’s face it I had a huge amount of fun reading it. Anne Tenino’s affectionate and sweetly over the top development of the college fraternity TAG was a joy that had me laughing enough to disturb the cat. I reviewed the first novellas here and here, but this full length novel really takes the college setting and runs with it.
I loved Collin’s voice, his slightly bemused but questioning thoughts translate his fellow student’s idiosyncrasies with a mellow acceptance. Even though this is a strongly comedic novel by the end he grows up substantially and pleasingly. I liked that he resolved the pressures others had inflicted on him and those he had put on himself without having to be rescued by the ‘older man’. Eric is a great, well established character with some background depth to his life. His experiences as a paramedic gave a touch of grounding reality to the general lightheartedness of the main story. I thoroughly enjoyed that he knew what he wanted and just went for it.
The instant attraction theme is smartly developed and never felt facile, but instead convinced me of a righteous heat. It may all start at a far lick of speed but the development is tempered by some moments of thoughtful reflection. There were a few little internal relationship hiccups to add a hint of tension, but the main injection of such came from the external plot. Collin has to come to terms with the pressures his Uncle Monty’s expectations put on him, which leads him to slide away from being open about his sexuality. However the problems with the attacks on the fraternity building provide an added and nicely balanced mystery to the main romance theme. The mystery is not particularly mysterious but the motive and method is nicely constructed and helps the story hang together.
Some of the fraternity scenes had a fabulous over the top farcical quality that really stole the book. The mixture of young adult self involvement, their unexpectedly determined acceptance of ‘sensitivity’ training and the general chaos of a beer obsessed frat house was wonderful fun. I really liked that we got to know more of the guys; Jules with his entrance way….I kid you not….obsession, clever organising ‘Plant’ short for Fernando, Danny of the aforementioned sensitivity fame, Kyle, (and his ever helpful on gay issues girlfriend Ashley), Tank and his brother Jock who I hope we see more of in later books. There were also a couple of interesting visits with Brad and Sebastian from my favourite, Fratboy & Toppy. However I think Anne Tennino somehow managed to outdo herself with Collin’s coming out scene, which even beat Brad’s efforts.
Now back to my reason for not giving this book the full five stars, this came out of the the age difference trope, which was overall very enjoyable, sexy and heartfelt. However Eric’s overuse of calling Collin in various manifestations his, ‘sweet young thang’ was just irritatingly bad. He did it far too many times in different ways. Yet I guess when set against the great romance, fun characters, good plot and particularly the crazy frat guys that is a trivial quibble. So I can really recommend everything here but the sweet nothings.
( Riptide Publishing are revamping their website so links are unavailable I will add them later. )