For the third installment of Anne Tenino’s Theta Alpha Gamma series she definitely made an impression. Although I despise the title, Sweet Young Thang (link to publisher’s website – semi-NSFW, but if you’re reading this blog at work you’re probably okay) was an enjoyable read and had me laughing out loud and saying ‘awwwww’ on more than one occasion. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in response for my honest opinion and received nothing in return.
Overall, I felt this was a great addition to the series and I enjoyed reading it. I loved learning more about Collin and felt Eric was a great addition to the TAG universe. In addition I loved the hilarity the other frat brothers provided under the guise of sensitivity training! (Plus who doesn’t love a Project Runway/Tim Gunn reference.) I’m assuming the next book will focus on Jock, openly gay, or Noah, potentially gay, two characters introduced in this novel.
I didn’t even mind the rapidity of the romance this time, even if it did happen super fast, so Tenino clearly did something right with the story and the way she shaped it. I even had a bit of a fit when the action concerning the frat house and what happened to it came to a crescendo even though I guessed who the culprit was many chapters before, she wrote it in such a way I could appreciate it.
The biggest problem I had with this book was the title. It made sense why she used it, but I didn’t like its usage in the book in the first place. You can see both of my previous reviews of Tenino’s works about pet names, but this one in particular bothered me for an additional reason and not just because it was a pet name. To have Eric constantly refer to Collin as his ‘sweet young thing’ and even ‘thang’ occasionally really bothered me. I’m not sure I know many 36-year-olds who would use that terminology unless they were seriously struggling to come to terms with their age and their place in gay society. I did not get the sense that Eric had these problems. He came across as confident and mature, neither of which I could see using that phrase unless in jest or sarcasm.
Recommendation: Of the three books in this series so far, this is the strongest. There was a bigger plot outside of the romance, but I was definitely left wanting at the end. It felt like there were many loose strings even though they were tied up in one off sentences.
Opening Line: “I’m probably going to die aren’t I?”
Closing Line: “They had hearts all over them.” (Whited out.)