For some reason, this novel just felt more real and better developed than Tenino’s first novel in this series. Frat Boy and Toppy wasn’t bad, it just annoyed me and could’ve used a better copy editor. This novel seemed more polished and a bit more developed. I’m not sure if this had to do with the (seemingly) fewer sex scenes, the (seemingly) more emotionally intense battles or if it’s because the author progressed as a writer. I like to think it was a mixture of the three.
I received a copy of this from the publisher and I received no compensation for my honest response.
The fact that this was a continuation of a love story between two of the characters that broke off fora reason you find out pretty early in the book really helped this be a better novel than the first in the series. The history between Paul and Trevor provided the crucial emotional turmoil for this book to succeed and made it more believable. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for first-love and second chance stories and this one was definitely a good one. In addition the past history of the two main characters lessened the need for lovey-dovey nicknames that really rubbed me the wrong way in the first novel. There was one used but (and it was my LEAST favorite – babe), but since it appeared only once I just let it go.
This is a brief aside paragraph about my opinion on lovey-dovey nicknames – you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I’ve never been a fan of lovey-dovey nicknames and to be honest I don’t know many men who are regardless of their sexual orientation. Maybe it’s me and the people I hang out with, but it just seems strange to me. I do have a few male friends who have a pet name for their significant other but I swear they don’t use it as much as in the first novel of this series or as often as some other series have used it. Perhaps this comes from the large number of female authors who write MM romance/erotica and their preference for nicknames? I don’t really know, but every time I read one I cringe a bit. So back to the great things about this book.
In addition to the history between the characters, it definitely helped that Paul, the main character, appeared in the first novel. It provided the reader with plenty of background on his character (get it?) and allowed him to grow as a character. This worked in the authors favor allowing him to develop more depth and to go through major changes as a character without using the coming out archetype. You could also say that I enjoyed this novel more as my opinion on people is rather similar to Paul’s (talk about making me want to change), and can be rather abrasive sometimes, but his emotional/social-etiquette journey, though incredibly short and fast, really added to the story.
If there was one thing I didn’t like about the book, it was its brevity. Even though this worked in the author’s favor, it was just a bit too short. The quickness which everything happened romantically was surprisingly believable due to the character’s history, but the rapidity with which Paul was able to change was almost unbelievable. However, the ‘true love/first love catch-all saved this.
Recommendation: This is one of the better M-M romance/erotica novels I’ve read and I didn’t expect that. I’m glad I gave the series another try; and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. They’re fun light escaping reads which I generally desperately need after struggling through a major classic novel like Middlemarch.
Opening Line: When Paul showed up at work on Tuesday morning, he discovered his carefully nurtured routine had been disrupted.”
Closing Line: “As long as I’m the frat boy, you can do whatever you want with me. I’m yours.” (Whited out.)