Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5), Anne Tenino
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, College, Series
Length: 375 Pages
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.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Theta Alpha Gamma series. Frat Boy and Toppy (and Brad and Sebastian from that story) will forever be one of my favorite comfort reads and couples. We were introduced to Toby, one of the main characters in Poster Boy, way back when. I liked him right off so I was very eager to read his story.
Toby has been kinda/sorta/not really working on his thesis for awhile. There is a lot of pressure from his mother to get it done and to pretty much do what she wants him to do. Unfortunately, Toby is having a difficult time with both the thesis and the expectations of his mother.
Then there is Jock. Jock was introduced in Sweet Young Thang when he was forced to leave his other college due to scandal. Not much is known about Jock – or the scandal – other than he is the brother of fellow frat boy, Tank. Tank is very protective of his kid brother and this protectiveness is not always a good thing, like when Jock is interested in hooking up for instance.
The first time Toby lays eyes on Jock at Brad and Sebastian’s apartment, he wants him. Brad does a quick introduction and there are instant sparks flying between the two men, but only later do they actually get to hook up, only for Jock to disappear. It’s sad really, because Toby had really hoped there could be something between them. Jock plays around a bit while avoiding Toby, only to be forced in close proximity when the scandal from back home rears its ugly head in a big way.
The other ‘fratbros’ (as the author refers to them often) from TAG (Theta Alpha Gamma) are going to France the next semester for international studies. When Toby is called on the carpet by his adviser over his lack of progress on his thesis, he is strongly encouraged to be the chaperone on this trip. This would involve driving the frat boys back and forth to campus and basically keeping them inline. For those who have read the series up to this point, you know that keeping Jules, Danny, Ricky, Noah, Turbo and Gomer inline will be a huge job. Throw in the fact that they are working on creating a Beer Terrorist Response Team (BTRT for short) and Toby knows it won’t be easy. These guys are a handful but Toby knows that he has to go to France and babysit or be screwed academically.
When Jock’s scandal catches up with him, he manages to secure a spot in France with the other boys in order to get away from the states until it blows over. This, of course, means that he can’t keep avoiding Toby as he has for the past few weeks. He knows there was a connection between them and that it wasn’t just about sex, but he’s terrified. He’s terrified of Toby finding out the real story behind his being forced from his last college and he’s scared of specific things sexually. Brad has given him some good advice but that advice doesn’t take much of his fear away.
Once in France, things get interesting and I’m not just referring to Toby and Jock. Danny finds himself enamored by a much, much older female. Noah is all over Turbo, who is most definitely straight and not too thrilled about having the gay boy (who ultimately turns out to be bi) wanting him. That kind of comes to a head at one point and leads me to believe (hope) that Noah and Turbo’s story is coming up real soon. Jules, Ricky and Gomer are all about acting less than their age and keeping Toby on his toes. I found myself laughing at their antics more than once.
And then we have Toby and Jock –
Toby has to work hard to get Jock in his bed. He ultimately does with the help of his ‘fratbros’ and circumstance. Jock still has to overcome his fears before he can really go far emotionally with Toby but he eventually does and does it well. I will admit to being a little disturbed over the way Jock felt in regards to certain sexual situations but once it was explained I was okay with it. Did I agree with his attitude? Not even close, but I do understand how you can believe certain things because of the way you have always been taught. I totally get that so Jock was forgiven for his ignorance in my eyes.
Jock and Toby are a sweet couple. Granted, Jock is quite young (he’s nineteen) but I can easily see these two guys going the long haul. The frat brothers are all entertaining, if not a bit annoying sometimes, so I smiled a lot while reading this. I love how the author threw Brad and Sebastian in there so I could once again visit with one of my favorite couples. Granted, I wasn’t overly pleased with them in the last two books, but I got over that and now it’s all good. There is much more I could say about Poster Boy but I don’t want to spoil it for other readers. I will say that it’s a very good addition to the Theta Alpha Gamma series.
Overall, this is a really good story. A tad long, but worth it in the end. France is described well and I found myself really sucked into the descriptions of some of the tourist attractions. But I have to say that Danny and his much, much older woman really did it for me with this story. Very often I fall in love with stories going on in the background. I totally fell in love with Danny’s. I wanted to cringe a few times but I definitely found myself smiling more often than not.
I love the cover and as a woman who totally loves a man in glasses, the descriptions of Toby wearing his? Hot!
Update 04/18/2014: I have just discovered that Poster Boy is most likely the last book in the TAG series. So, as a reviewer and a reader who loves this series, I have to ask – what about Turbo and Noah? There was definitely something there and I believe there were things left hanging between them. Will we ever see them have their story?
This book was provided by the publisher, Riptide Publishing, in exchange for a fair and honest review.