Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5)by Anne Tenino Published 21 Apr 2014
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It's all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.
After being outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, Jock figures he’s due for something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby, the hot grad student he meets at a frat party, seems like a great place to start, and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.
Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?
Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, turning him into an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France would be a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.
"Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5)" Reviews
I'm always the first to admit that I'm an Anne Tenino fan-girl. I have read nearly everything that she has written and love her blend of sweet and sexy. I do! Her stuff is light, silly, romantic, fun, and truthful. I really couldn't ask for more. However, this one... I struggled with it a bit.
My main issues with this book have nothing to do with the relationship between the MCs and everything to do with, well, everything else. The whole set up for this book- the TAG boys in Provence, the "beer terrorism", the frat-boy antics- they all struck the wrong note for me. It felt very forced, very outside the realm of reality. I honestly never understood the beer terrorism thing (were we supposed to??) and the whole concept of the college sending the boys to this remote location with no real lesson plan or anything felt so off for me. Usually, I love the banter between the frat boys, but in this story I couldn't quite get on board with the humor. (Sad face, because I usually love the humor in this series).
What I ended up liking a lot was the main couple. I understood Jock, more than most readers I think. I got that even though he was out, he has a hard time showing affection for Toby. I actually had similar experiences with men. There is something very vulnerable about showing that you care for someone in front of other people, more so than just the sexual act. Even though Jock was out and everyone knew he was gay, it was another thing for them to know that he was involved with someone and I understood that.
I liked the dynamic between Toby and Jock and I thought that their sex scenes were both hot and romantic. They were a nice couple and I enjoyed every part of the story that had them together, discovering their relationship.
Back to my issues- I think there was something off with the length and the pacing of this one. I had trouble getting into the groove of the story, much more than I usually do with one of Anne Tenino's works. I think that the plot got too muddled and detracted from the relationship with the main couple.
I will give the author props for accurately showing a bisexual character. Nicely done.
I hear that this book will be the last in the TAG series and, though I'm sad to see it go, I'm excited to focus on something else (hopefully the Romancelandia series- pretty please!!!!).
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
This fifth volume set in the world of the TAG frat boys was just as funny yet touching as the first four. It is the story of Jock, Tank’s little brother who got kicked off his hockey team when someone outed him, and Toby, a grad student who was a secondary character in some of the previous books. The two of them certainly have their issues cut out for them, both individually and as a couple. Add the setting of the sometimes hilariously ridiculous world that is TAG, and complications and drama are bound to ensue. Interestingly, there was just as much internal agonizing and touching romance as fun and games in this book, making for an interesting combination of emotions that kept me on my toes.
Jock, quite honestly, is a bit of an idiot at the beginning. Granted, he is only nineteen, is still trying to deal with recently having been outed, and just wants to have fun. His lack of sensitivity toward Toby adds to his internal issues and he spends a long time agonizing over what it means for him to be gay. As a result he has more neuroses and issues than some people twice his age. His learning curve is slow and steady initially, until he finally gets it—gets himself and what he really wants—and then look out, Toby!
Toby may be only a few years older than the frat boys he ends up supervising, no, advising, in France, but he is a whole lot more mature. For one thing, even though he doesn’t really want to admit it, he is looking for a permanent partner. He wants to be part of a couple, just like all his friends, and he was hoping Jock might be the right man for him. For another, his worries are around his thesis and what to do after college, where “the frat boys” are worried about someone blackmailing them over beer. And that leads to a whole other and very imaginative plot twist which had me laughing and worried in turn. But Toby is a nice guy and very patient, and while I loved watching him struggle to figure out Jock, I also rooted for him to be successful.
If you enjoy the world of the frat boys and all their confusion about how to be “sensitive” toward their gay brothers, if you’re curious how a pretty mature grad student deals with falling for one of those frat boys, and if you’re looking for a read that is as entertaining (and sometimes sarcastic) as it is sweet, then you will probably like this novel.
NOTE: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Tootsie reviews Poster Boy by Anne Tenino
REVIEW: Want a fun and enjoyable read? That’s what you will get with Anne Tenino’s newest release in the Theta Alpha Gamma series, Poster Boy. For those of you not familiar with the series, this is the fifth book, in the line-up. I don’t think it is mandatory that you read every book, in the series, to get the full enjoyment of this one. However, there is an incredible back story that leads up to this one, with lots of details and events that you would be missing out on. There are past characters that make an appearance, more than once, in Poster Boy, which IMO, add much enjoyment to this story. The author done an amazing job with the timeline, merging this release into the ongoing plot, never missing a beat, giving you a smooth transition.
The story opens up with the guys at a party, which is very appropriate considering these are college boys in a fraternity, with Toby and Sebastian, in the kitchen, mainly observing. Toby is supposed to be working on his thesis, but he can’t seem to get in the groove to get anything accomplished. He feels a little left out since it seems all of his friends are now in relationships, even Collin, who he had a “friends with benefits” relationship. Things are about to change though since Tank’s little brother, Jock, has now joined the fraternity. Everyone knows Jock is gay since he was kicked off his college hockey team, for that very reason, and came to TAG.
Toby, sex extraordinaire, needs to get his life together. He has no motivation to finish his thesis for his Master’s, he’s going to have to ask his parents for more money in order to stay and finish, if he doesn’t get kicked out first. An opportunity opens up for him to supervise some of the TAG boys on a trip to France. This will be perfect for him as it gives him a roof over his head, food, and some extra time to complete his school project. After a one-night stand with Jock, he feels even worse, when Jock pays him no attention. This trip could not come at a better time. What will happen when he finds out Jock is coming also? The one person he was trying to put some distance between, will be in close surroundings with him, for three months.
Poor Jock, he’s had a rough time lately. He got kicked off his hockey team after he was ousted by a video on-line showing him in an awkward situation with another guy, on his knees. If that wasn’t bad enough, his brother Tank, has broken confidentiality, and told all of the TAG members. Just when things were starting to quiet down, the video reappears and everyone at his new fraternity, has now seen, as well. Sounds like the perfect time to take a school trip to France for a few months, hopefully, when he gets back, everyone will have forgotten or, at least, moved to a new topic. There is just one problem – Toby. Jock knows that Toby has experience when it comes to sex. Something that Jock has very little of, and quite frankly, he is scared to death that Toby will want him to bottom. So to avoid the issue, he avoids Toby. Once the trip gets underway, Toby and Jock, can’t stay away from each other. They are good together as long as Jock can keep taking the lead. The rest of the group, on the trip, adds much excitement, as well. They are a great bunch of guys who get into a little mischief, pulling Toby in with them. What will happen if Toby gets kicked out of school? What about the other guys in the group? It is a very entertaining three months, with lots of hanky-panky, a few surprises that you will not expect, new friendships and close bonds are formed
This is a long story, with many different situations and new developments, always occurring. The author moved the plot forward showing much character growth and maturity. The story never felt weighed down, due to the length. I prefer the longer books as they allow you time to get to know your cast of characters, become part of them, without skipping relevant pieces, and continues to move ahead. Ms. Tenino has done all of those things and more. You will find yourself very invested with the guys and the shenanigans they get themselves into, and before you know it, you are approaching the end. This story has many amazing side characters that kept the story very interesting and funny. There will be surprises that you don’t expect and I think the author has left the storyline open enough that if more books were to follow, there will be many different and interesting characters to pick from. If you have not read the TAG series, I would recommend it to anyone who likes to laugh, loves humor, likes a little mystery and suspense, and loves college age boys getting into mischief. Above all, there are some amazing relationships built with the Theta Alpha Gamma boys.
Jock (yes, that's his name) has recently transferred to Calapooya (college) after being horrifically outed as gay and kicked off the hockey team. His big brother, Tank is a member of the Theta Alpha Gamma (TAG) fraternity and Jock becomes a member, too. He's still feeling a lot of anger and shame about how things went down at his previous college, and he's also feeling a little lost about being openly gay. However, he's looking forward to getting the hang of this hooking up thing now that he's not trying to hide anything. That's easier in theory than it is in practice, and he's still not had that first encounter he's looking for. So, seeing Toby, who is known for sleeping around, and ridiculously attractive to Jock seems like a situation meant to be.
For his part, Toby is surrounded by happily committed couples and is starting to think maybe it's time for him to look for something more permanent. Jock pushes all the right buttons for him and he's hoping to actually get to know the guy before having sex. However, when one thing leads to another, he's happy to proceed straight to sex with Jock. This leaves his feelings pretty bruised, though, when Jock thanks him for a great experience and walks out the door looking for other guys to hook up with. Toby understands, but was hoping for more. The two of them manage to avoid each other pretty well until circumstances push them together on a semester abroad in France, where Toby is basically an RA and Jock is one of the TAG students he's supervising.
I loved this book and I didn't want to put it down! It's really funny, but the issues Jock is facing are real and given the weight they deserve. Once I was done and thought about it, I realized there were things that should have bothered me, but really didn't. The biggest issue is that Jock is young - young enough to need a fake ID at a bar - and Toby is not. Toby is a grad student working on his masters thesis. Jock is also just barely out of the closet and Toby has been out for years. It didn't bother me while I was reading it, though. Other than his new sexual freedom, Jock comes off as pretty mature. I also felt like the ending really addressed this age difference and resolved any issues I might have had.
Besides the humor, my favorite part of the book was how Jock and Toby actually talk to each other. Their road isn't smooth, but they acknowledge hurting each other when it happens and they work to fix things together. That was a joy to read. Their relationship is sweet and hot, and the background of the hilariously immature TAG brothers kept me smiling and rolling my eyes through the whole book. Seriously, it's hard to explain how funny this story is! Beer terrorists. Testicle poems. Toby feeling like a babysitter for a bunch of fratbros. A very unexpected May/December romance. (Actually, that was more sweet than funny.) I highly recommend this book, and it's going on my Best of 2014 list!
I can't wait for the next book in the series, and I'm hoping it will be about Turbo, one of the TAG brothers they are all sure is straight, but seemed a little confused to me. Here's hoping for more TAG fun soon. In the mean time I'm checking out Anne Tenino's backlist!
I received Poster Boy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I have to admit that I’m kind of sad about finishing this book. I’ve kind of enjoyed my time with these Theta Alpha Gamma boys since they were first introduced in Frat Boy & Toppy. Anne Tenino’s characters are smart, funny and so much more than I expected. It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to them in the last book in the series, but I have to admit, she couldn’t have ended on a better note than Poster Boy.
Toby has been around since the series began, but Jock just showed up at the end of the last full length book, Sweet Young Thang. He’s the little brother of one of the boys in the frat house and Toby’s attracted to him as soon as they meet. Turns out the feeling is mutual, but nothing’s ever that easy. Jock has a lot to come to terms with and Toby gives him the time and space he needs… to an extent.
I’m really glad that Toby got his HEA in Poster Boy. I ended up liking him a lot more than I expected when the series began and it was kind of fitting that the series came full circle with his story. There were some pretty serious aspects to this one, but it was all laced with the fun and wit that readers of Anne Tenino have come to expect. Toby turned into an unexpected ‘den father’ to the overly sensitive crew of frat boys. These guys stumbled over themselves trying to be as ‘politicly correct’ and sensitive as possible, but most of the time they were totally clueless. Their attempts and Toby’s reaction were as heart warming as they were comical….
Noah’s face fell. “Isn’t that a little harsh? I mean, the internet told me most straight guys will actually…”
“Porn is not reality!”
Noah scrunched up his forehead. “But I read it on Facebook.”
Toby grabbed Noah’s biceps, making the dude pay close attention. “Facebook is not reality, either. Anything that glows, chimes, chips, pings, or rings to get your attention? Not a reliable source of information.”
… it just made me love them even more. *sigh*
So yes, Poster Boy marks the end of a fun ride. I suppose I can’t complain too much because Theta Alpha Gamma started out as a trilogy and ended up being a five book series. I guess we have the frat boys to thank for begging to have their story continue. ;) It’s sad to see their story end, but I can’t wait to see what Anne Tenino has in store for readers next.