REVIEW BY: Christie & Alexander
TITLE: Frat Boy and Toppy
SERIES: Theta Alpha Gamma #1
AUTHOR: Anne Tenino
NARRATOR: Nick J. Russo
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 5h 0m
RELEASE DATE: March 7, 2016
Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.
Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely—hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more—dare he admit the “L” word?—Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.
REVIEW by Christie:
“Okay, so any gay romance book that starts off with the main character watching a man bend over in the shower, thinking ‘I’d tap that’, is definitely one that I can predict will be awesome.” -is a direct quote from a text I sent a close friend of mine shortly after starting this audiobook. And unsurprisingly, I was right. It was great.
Brad is the typical jock frat boy with a reputation for going thru women faster than people change underwear. The thing is, they all basically bore him and it’s more of a show than anything else. That’s because (surprise, surprise), dude is attracted to men and only just comes to this realization while staring at his frat brother in the shower and thinking he’d totally tap that. So, after coming to this conclusion and accepting it, Brad decides he would like a bit more attention from Sebastian, the seemingly aloof, geeky, but smoking hot TA in his history class.
After devising a way to get Sebastian’s attention, Brad sets into action. Lo and behold, it works! Well, kind of. Sebastian still thinks Brad is your average straight frat boy jock with a penchant for anything in a skirt, and barely enough motivation to just skate by academically in order to keep his scholarship (and, to be fair, Sebastian is partially right),but, that doesn’t change the fact that Sebastian has the hots for Brad. Big time. Then Brad sees Sebastian at a frat party and decides to set him straight (well, not exactly straight, but at least come out to the man).
That’s all Sebastian needed. To find out the hot jock he secretly had his eye on is, in fact, gay? Yep, that did it. Sebastian took Brad home and devoured him, blowing his mind and confirming that yes, he was indeed quite gay. They decided to carry on this steamy little affair, in secret, so as to keep it hush-hush from the rest of his frat brothers. Because, y’know: jocks + frat + communal showers = potential homophobia and loss of scholarship, yada yada.
The problem here is that the more time Sebastian and Brad spend together (especially in between the sheets), the more attached Brad gets, and the riskier things get because people around him start finding out that he is gay.
Paul, one of Sebastian’s roommates just drives me crazy! He’s a big baby and bully, calling Brad fratboy and basically giving Sebastian a really hard time in regards to their relationship. I did find myself cheering out loud during one scene between Paul, Sebastian, Brad, and some delicious sounding pancakes. What am I talking about? Hmm… Guess you’ll just have to read it or listen to the audiobook then, won’t you? *snirk*
This was not only my first book by Anne Tenino, but also Nick J. Russo. They definitely make a dream team, for sure! With Anne’s wonderful writing style and Nick’s impeccable voice acting skills, Frat Boy and Toppy came to life in such an amazing way that it is easily in my top 10 favorite books of the year (and, according to my goodreads reading challenge, I have read 140 books so far this year). Nick J. Russo’s voice alone is fantastic, and I just love how he voiced both Brad and Sebastian. I’ll certainly be adding all of Nick J. Russo’s narrated books to my audible wishlist asap. As well as every Anne Tenino book I can get my hands on, both ebook and audiobook. Especially if they’re all narrated by Nick.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Really. If you haven’t read or listened to it yet, do it. Right now. Seriously! What are you still reading this review for? Go get the book! Scoot!
I definitely give this book 5 stars.
REVIEW by Alexander
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Frat Boy and Toppy for a few reasons. First, I have the paperback and have not found the time to read it and second, as you all know, I do love my audiobooks, hence a match made in heaven.
To be honest, the plot was not the most original, the frat boy jock and the TA, but the twists, turns, and depth that Tenino added to the basic storyline was what made it such an enjoyable listen for me. Brad’s gradual realization that men were more to his liking, and his subsequent fears and insecurities took him from a character to someone I could envision in real life. Brad experienced the most growth and exhibited the greatest depth of all the characters.
Now that’s not to say that Sebastian was this two-dimensional caricature, not at all. The thing with Sebastian’s character is that he was there to support and encourage Brad, and even with his own issues, he did exactly what was necessary to advance the plot and see us through to our HEA. Sebastian had some growing up to do, it just paled in comparison to what Brad was going through.
Although some of the topics had a rather serious slant to them, I found myself smiling and even laughing at times throughout the book. Tenino had some very cleverly written lines and scenes that made the story fly by, in my opinion. And while I am on the subject of the writing, I must address the superb narration by Russo.
To be honest, when I listen to books narrated by the same person, I find that I get tired of the same old thing. In this case, I have indeed heard Russo quite a bit lately, and to be honest, he really did a great job of differentiating the characters’ voices, making what could have been more of the same, and giving it a fresh twist. Quality would be the word I would use for the performance all the way to the mastering, not perfect,mind you, but pretty darn close.
Overall, I would call this a “must listen”, with good world-building, excellent characters, character interaction and development, above average narration, and a totally engaging storyline.