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Good Boy by Anne Tenino

The Theta Alpha Gamma series:

  • Frat Boy and Toppy (book #1) – 4 stars
  • Love Hyperthetically (book #2) – 3 stars
  • Sweet Young Thang (book #3) – 3.5 stars – click here for review
  • Good Boy (book #4) – in this review

Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #4)Good Boy by Anne Tenino

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Brad “Frat Boy” Feller and Sebastian “Toppy” DeWitt have been together for nine months, and their relationship is as hot as ever. The only cloud Brad sees on their horizon is Sebastian’s stress over his thesis. And their uncertain future together after graduation. And how Sebastian sometimes takes Brad for granted. And Sebastian’s unwillingness to introduce Brad to his father.

Other than that, everything’s awesome.

All of Sebastian’s energy is currently devoted to his thesis, and getting into a top-notch PhD program. Fortunately, his boyfriend takes care of all the domestic stuff and Sebastian’s needs. Any minor strain between them will disappear and they’ll return to the status quo after Sebastian graduates. As long as nothing upsets their delicate balance in the meantime.

Then a friend Brad once had a small fling with is forced to take refuge with them, and Frat Boy and Toppy’s delicate balance topples like an elephant on a waterski. Now Sebastian has to face some truths about how he’s been treating Brad, what he wants for their future, and what he has to do to get it.

So what did I think?

I enjoy a book that allows us to revisit a couple we grew to love in earlier books in a series and that’s exactly what happens here with a quick look at Brad and Sebastian’s (Frat Boy and Toppy) relationship 9 months down the road.

It’s an interesting look at the dynamics between Brad, with his submissive nature, and Sebastian who has been largely focused on his thesis until a surge of jealousy hits.

I liked that the relationship had hit a rocky patch and they were forced to confront each other, admitting what they wanted, setting clear expectations and confirming what they meant to each other. “Maybe it was because Brad trusted him so completely or because Sebastian knew he could push things further now, but he thought it was more likely to be those words they’d said to each other. They’d said vows, regardless of whether anyone had heard them or they’d had a ceremony to aggrandize them.” Should I admit I actually had to look up ‘aggrandize’ to find out what it meant? 🙂

This is only a short book but packs in quite a bit however I still felt slightly let down. Things were resolved between Brad and Sebastian but I still felt something was missing. I’m not even sure what it was but somehow there was a lingering sense of incompleteness. But I guess wanting more is a good thing?!

To find out more about Anne Tenino and her books visit her website.

Buy Good Boy from Riptide.

 

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☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ At Piper’s Point by Ethan Day ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

At Piper's PointAt Piper’s Point by Ethan Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Ten years and many boyfriends later, Cassidy Winters finally returns to the ancestral home of his late grandmother, Sadie Hart, despite the best efforts of his father to prevent it. Cassidy’s plans of a quiet, seaside ceremony to wish a final farewell to Sadie quickly unravel. Interruptions run roughshod, beginning with Neil, who walks out of the ocean and straight into Cassidy’s bed. The dominos topple one by one when the little dog he rescues from the hounds of hell brings him to Ben, the hunky vet who rescues Cassidy right back. News of his arrival spreads faster than Cassidy’s legs, bringing his boyhood friend and first love Nate Sommers to his doorstep — leaving Cassidy spiraling into a multi-layered love snafu. As if the island wasn’t getting crowded enough for Cassidy’s good taste and bad decisions, best friends Ollie and Spencer arrive in time to witness the uninvited return of Cassidy’s most recent ex, Teddy, who’s refusing to stay dumped.

Fists fly and all hell breaks loose amid mojitos and martinis while Cassidy finds himself planning a huge party to celebrate Sadie’s life. Accusations are aimed as arguments and libidos boil over, but even through the chaos Cassidy knows exactly who he wants. While he’s certainly willing, he isn’t sure if he’s ready or able for love and life at Pipers Point.

So what did I think?

Perfection!

From the description in the blurb, I was looking forward to reading this book but what was delivered was so much more than I was expecting. This was a story about family and friends and fighting for love.

At Piper’s Point is the story of Cassidy, a man returning to his grandmother’s home for the first time in many years. Sadie had passed away years previously but it is only now that Cassidy is in a position to return. The first chapter is so evocative, filled with Cassidy’s reminiscences of his summer’s spent with Sadie. I almost felt like I was walking around the house with Cassidy as the sights and smells brought back his memories. From this moment I knew this wasn’t just a book about a summer of friends and fun but a book dealing with much deeper emotions.

Sadie, Cassidy’s grandmother, plays a large role in this book, as she did in Cassidy’s life and the lives of everyone she touched. Through memory, we get to know Sadie and the impact she had on Cassidy, how important she was to the young boy with uncaring parents. She gave him love and a home and was a huge influence on Cassidy and his actions.

The book explores Cassidy’s emotions, his feelings toward his parents and about the events of his childhood and most importantly how he finally makes the decision about his future. But through all of this there is a light-heartedness brought by the wonderful friends he has surrounded himself with and the very special love he gets from his grandmother’s friend and housekeeper, Natalie.

Cassidy seems to draw men to him and is surrounded by admirers from his first day at Piper’s Point! Between his newest conquest, his first boyfriend Nate, an ex-boyfriend who unexpectedly arrives, the local vet and his ex-lover best friends, this was not going to be a quiet summer. The tension between Cassidy and Nate is palpable as they cautiously deal with their simmering feelings while surrounded by a houseful of ex-lovers. The secondary characters are totally fabulous, particularly Ollie and Spencer. Between this group of men there is drinking, humour, flirting, fighting, sex and friendship.

Mixed in with all the partying is the emotional turmoil as Cassidy comes to terms with his true feelings and what he really wants out of life, leading to a beautiful conclusion that Sadie would have been happy to see.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in return for my honest review.

5 Stars

To find out more about Ethan Day and his books, visit his website.

Buy At Piper’s Point from Amazon.

Buy At Piper’s Point from Wilde City Press.

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The Texas Soul series by Sara York

The Texas Soul series:

This review is for the series and as such, does not contain a lot of detail about the plot because it would be way too spoilerish! If you want to know more about the specifics of each book, check out the blurbs.

  • Texas Rough – (book #1)
  • Texas Hard – (book #2)
  • Texas Twist – (book #3)
  • Texas Branded – (book #4)
  • Texas Desire – (book #5)
  • Texas Legacy – (book #6)

Texas Rough (Texas Soul, #1) Texas Hard (Texas Soul, #2) Texas Twist (Texas Soul, #3) Texas Branded (Texas Soul, #4) Texas Legacy (Texas Soul #6)Texas Desire (Texas Soul, #5)

The Texas Soul series consists of six books which I pretty much read back to back.

The series starts with Texas Rough which focuses on one couple, Lane and Gresham, and is largely set on Gresh’s family ranch where Lane is the foreman. It also introduces another main character, Riley, who falls hard and fast for Lane. This first book is fast moving with lots of multiple story lines. There are themes of coming out and comfort/hurt with large amounts of drama and even larger amounts of sex!

The second book, Texas Hard,  focuses more on Riley as he deals with his feelings for Lane but meets and falls for Connor who is a Texas Ranger. This story brings in some elements of bondage as Riley takes a more dominant role in his relationship with Connor. Falling in love happens so quickly, as in the first book, that it is hard to believe that Riley really knows his own heart and it is amazing how open these men are in discussing their feelings! Once again, lots of drama, largely driven by insane amounts of jealousy as the story and relationships get complicated. I liked the story but did find the edition of the book I was reading had some annoying editing/spelling issues. There was also reference to speaking “Brazilian” in Brazil. I thought they spoke Portuguese.

Texas Twist sees things get even more complicated. We are introduced to a new romance as Connor’s Texas Ranger partner moves to the ranch to recover from the trauma of his abduction. He falls for Sterling, one of the ranch hands. Sterling finally acknowledges he may be gay as he has such as strong reaction to Erick. The believability is a bit lacking as his actions don’t seem those of a reluctantly gay man. He is pretty physical with Erick, demonstrative and once again discussing feelings. This new relationship is not the primary focus of the book. The Lane/Gresh/Riley/Connor relationship plays a really key role in this book.

The soap opera feel continues as Jung-Hwa “Jump” joins the story in Texas Branded.  Jump comes to the ranch in search of his father. He not only finds family but finds love with the local deputy. The love in the story is sweet and gushy with poetic language and once again this couple are very open with their emotions, articulating their feelings for each other. The relationship development also continues the theme of fast, fast, fast – love and proposals all happening really quickly. The relationships of all the previous couples continue to weave in and out of the book and things really ramp up with a cliffhanger ending! Luckily I didn’t have to wait and could launch into the next book straight away. If I’d read this book when it was first released and had to wait for the next book I would have been really annoyed as I don’t have the patience for this kind of thing!

Texas Desire is the fifth book in the series and the drama hit new heights. Lots of heartbreak and angst, hospitals and deathbeds, emotional declarations, rejection, pain and loss. The new couple, Kip and Jamie, play a role but largely take a backseat to the more emotional story line being played out between the original four characters.

And finally, Texas Legacy concludes the story. Once again, there is very much a soap opera feel to the story with the overlapping stories of each of the characters. There is lots of heartbreak but also happiness as new love is found and families started. It was nice to see the final conclusion and know what happens to each of the couples. The epilogue jumps ahead ten years and provides closure. My main issue with this final book was the resolution of the story line introduced in the prologue. The prologue deals with the previously unknown and unrelated Wild Bluff Ranch and then the character from the prologue turns up later in the book in a relatively stand alone fashion with a story line that is unresolved. I now understand from the author’s blog that this will be a spin off series but when I first ended the book the inclusion of the story line seemed a complete mystery to me.

So overall I actually enjoyed the series. It was pure escapism and really over the top at times. I have mentioned a soap opera feel but I think I must have been in the mood for reading something like this and I quite enjoyed the drama, the romance and the complications. Probably my main complaint (not that it is really a complaint as such) was that it was too full of sex. There seemed to be sex on every second page! The guys just seemed to alternate between sharing deep emotions and then doing each other.

I was also totally impressed with the price point, each book in the series only being $0.99 from Amazon.

3.5 stars for the series

To find out more about Sara York and her books visit her website.

Buy the Texas Soul Series from Amazon.