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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....
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.
One of Brad's frat brothers bent over naked in the locker room showers early one Thursday morning, and he thought, "I'd tap that."
He stood there frozen, skin stinging from the pelletized water, soap suds streaming down his chest while his world made a ... What did they call that?
Dammit, dammit, dammit. He'd been trying to avoid this.
Admitting it to himself. Consciously. His subconscious had been admitting it for a while in his sleep. Emitting it.
Brad flicked another quick look at Collin. Yeah, he still had a delectable ass. Dammit.
Brad had spent years trying to avoid the "G" word, but denial was suddenly circling the drain. He stared at the water pouring down at his feet, and thought about hanging on to the security that came with telling himself he wasn't into guys. But it was pointless, right? It wasn't going to go away. Trying not to know it now was like trying to make the soap suds go back in the bar.
He'd tried girls, lots of them, alcohol (even more of that), and running himself ragged. Waited to grow out of it. Looked like maybe he'd grown into it instead. He'd been doing all right his first couple of years at college, but this last year things had gotten difficult.
He'd started having dreams again a few weeks ago, like he'd had when he'd started high school. About naked guys and hard dicks and touching skin. Waking up with sticky sheets. Lately nothing helped with the dreams, not even tequila, but he could sort of ignore them. If he worked at it. Blame it on a fucked-up childhood or something. Pheromone poisoning from spending too much time in the locker room.
Lusting after a guy's wet, hairy, naked ass while awake? Not as easy to avoid noticing.
This isn't the first wet, hairy, naked male ass you've checked out in the shower.
Shit. It wasn't.
Brad heaved a sigh. Water ran from his temples to his chin like a curtain of tears. Except not. He didn't really feel like crying about it. He sort of just felt like ... dealing with it.
Somehow, a while after Collin and the other guys had finished up and wandered out of the showers and back to their lockers to dress, Brad finally made himself move again. He rinsed off—he wasn't sure what he'd washed and what he hadn't, but who the hell cared? He made it to his locker, but once there, he sort of stalled out, standing there in his boxers and a clean T-shirt, staring blankly at the pair of jeans in his hands.
"Brad, you all right?"
Brad startled when Collin asked that from behind him. "Yeah," he answered automatically. "Fine. Just ... thinking about a paper."
That was a lame excuse. He never thought about homework unless he had to and everyone knew it. He started pulling on his jeans like everything was normal, and after a few silent seconds, Collin went on his way.
Brad didn't actually know what he'd been thinking about. His brain had mutinied, and he couldn't make sense of all the things swirling around in there. On autopilot, he got dressed and went to his history class.
He hated history. He never would have taken it, but he needed one more humanities class to graduate next year, and his roommate Kyle was taking Classical Greece and had promised to help Brad through it.
In spite of the fact that Professor Whitehall was just as annoying as every other humanities professor out there—fake semi-British accent, amusing little stories about summer trips to Europe, peppering his lectures with foreign phrases—Brad found himself in every class. Even when Kyle didn't go. Wanted to just ... be there.
It wasn't until Brad was sitting in history that morning, on the south side of the room in the first third of the auditorium just like always, that he even realized he could deny his revelation. Just pretend it had never happened. He wasn't attracted to guys. Couldn't be. He was a jock.
Although there were pro players out there who were gay. They all came out after they retired, but they came out. He was nowhere near pro caliber. No auto-out for him by being a jock.
Maybe he wasn't completely gay. Was that possible? Could he be bi?
Brad looked at the table in front of him from between his forearms, tunneling his fingers through his buzz-cut one more time. He rested his forehead on the heels of his hands and closed his eyes.
He needed to think. Just think. Slow down the brain tornado and focus.
He was still trying to get his head to settle down when Ashley Waylon sat down next to him. He could tell it was her even though she didn't say anything. Her perfume, for one thing. It would choke a horse, she laid it on so thick. Brad had dated her for a few boring-as-hell weeks, so he was pretty familiar with it.
I used her for cover. It made his stomach churn. If someone did that to one of his sisters, he'd kick the guy's ass.
Not that he'd done Ashley—he'd managed not to have sex with any girl in quite a while. He'd been telling himself for years he didn't like girls that were "easy." Maybe that should have been a clue, numbnuts. He closed his eyes in disgust, rubbing his head. He'd asked out Ashley when she'd refused to sleep with his frat brother Julian because (according to Julian) she was a "good, Christian girl who was saving herself for marriage."
Virgin girls were rarer than unicorns at Calapooya College and twice as hard to catch. Finding a girl who didn't expect him to try to sleep with her was gold. Brad had heard Julian bitching about Ashley and known she was the girl for him. At least, she would be until she got sick of his unenthusiastic attitude toward her and dumped him. Which was what usually happened.
That hadn't worked as planned with Ashley, though. When Brad had discovered she indeed did want to have sex, very much so, he was forced to do the dumping.
Brad stilled when it hit him. That's when this all started up again. Right after the beginning of winter term, when he'd broken up with Ashley. He'd felt restless and trapped and bored and he wanted out of what could barely be called a relationship because, whenever he saw Ashley, he felt like he was wearing wool long-johns: itchy all over.
After they'd broken up, he'd started having the dreams again.
Brad remembered Ashley's actual presence when her pink-lacquered nails wrapped around his forearm. "Brad?" Her voice was the practiced honey of a boyfriend-hunter. "Sweetie? Are you all right?"
"No. I'm gay." There, he'd said it. His heart tried to gallop right out of his chest. He heard sudden rustling in front of him. Like someone was turning around to stare. Brad's stomach swooped down low and balled itself up tight. Whoops, guess that guy knew now, too.
Ashley laughed. "Oh, Brad!" She hit him softly in the shoulder. "You're so funny! I swear; always kidding."
No. Not really, actually. He wasn't known for his sense of humor. He dropped one arm and turned to look at her, temple on his palm now. "You think I'm kidding?" He could hear the slight snarl in his voice.
Ashley began to look unsure, losing her smile and sucking her lower lip into her mouth. "Of course," she answered. She nodded for emphasis.
Brad opened his mouth, but came to his senses just in time. "Well, yeah, course I am." He rustled up a fake smile for her. Then he straightened up and eyed the guy in front of him, who was eyeing him right back. Brad stared. The guy turned around.
Being a big, imposing football player had its uses.
"Brad, I was thinking maybe we could get together for coffee sometime." Ashley was twirling her finger in her hair. Didn't girls know that was a dead giveaway? "Hang out, you know. Just friends." She was leaning toward him, keeping her voice down. Brad glanced at the guy in front of him again. He was leaning as far back in his chair as possible. If his ears were on stalks they'd be waving in Brad's face.
"I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet." He kept his voice gentle. "It's only been a couple of weeks since, you know, I told you I needed some alone time." Brad looked away, overcome by being a lying sack of shit. He turned back, putting on his "brave" face, and shrugged. "You're a great girl. If I were ready for a real relationship ... but I'm not." He gave her his broken-hearted smile.
That "real relationship" line was so useful. He didn't know what the fuck it meant, but his older sister Ellie told him to use it, and it worked. She'd said if he was going to go through girls like toilet paper, he should at least try and mitigate the damage. "You bastard," she'd added.
Ashley was all overdone sympathy. She shook her head sadly, looking soulfully into Brad's eyes. "Oh, Brad," she said in that sugary way. "I understand. You just let me know when you're ready for the next step."
Brad groaned internally. He was in a fucking soap opera. "I can't even think about it. I'm not ready. Gives me anxiety attacks." He rubbed his chest, as if he had a tightness there and could massage it away.
She finally subsided. Looking troubled and a little bit pouty, but trying to hide it. "Well, you know if you ever want to try it again. Or, you know, if I can do anything for you ..."
"Man, Ashley, thanks. I really need someone to take notes today. I kind of have a headache. That's what I was doing when you sat down."
If there was a hell, he was headed there.
"Sure!" She was like an annoying little bird. Feed the damn things once and they just keep coming back.
If someone thought that about one of my sisters, I'd kick his ass.CHAPTER 2
Brad was in a daze. He didn't know what was going on but he could hear Whitehall droning on, and pens scratching on paper. Someone typing on a keyboard behind him. He let it all wash over him. White noise. Eventually he managed some kind of zoned-out calm. More forgetfulness than Zen. His head on the desk, chin resting on his fists.
An hour into Professor Whitehall's lecture on Pallas Athena (whoever the fuck that was), Professor Whitehall's aide, Sebastian, walked in with a stack of papers—their last batch of essays, maybe—and set them down on the desk at the side of the room. Brad's brain woke up a little to watch; he always had a good view of Sebastian from this seat. Whitehall lectured from the podium on the stage, and Sebastian's desk was down low and off to the side. People probably didn't even notice Sebastian.
He noticed Sebastian. There was something about him Brad couldn't seem to stop noticing. Maybe it was the way he was always so perfect-looking. Not in a stuffy way. Just ... put together. His T-shirts never had stains, and they always fit him, and if he had holes in his jeans you knew they were there on purpose. His hair was always perfect. Not like he put a bunch of crap in it, but just there, and dark and kinda short, choppy, freshly brushed. It never stuck up in the back like he'd been drinking 'til all hours with the guys and rolled out of bed thirty seconds before he had to leave for class.
Sebastian had cool shoes, too. Like Vans or Chuck Taylor's or other sorta retro stuff. Today he was wearing his pink high-tops. His jeans were classic, almost too baggy, but his really tight T-shirt made up for it. Jesus, he had to work for abs like that, didn't he? That couldn't be natural.
Brad shrugged to himself, almost dislodging his chin from his fist. Maybe Sebastian's abs were natural. Brad was used to guys who went to fat if they didn't work out—that's how most of his frat buddies were—but Sebastian probably wasn't that kind of guy. He wasn't slim exactly, just not bulky. He was trim. Lame word, but whatever. Fit. Tight. Well made.
That's how come Sebastian had abs like that. Damn, they just looked so solid under that shirt. Maybe sometime Brad could get a better look at them. He let his eyes drift closed, falling into some kind of vision where Sebastian's naked torso was under his hands. He could trace those muscles, see just how cut the guy was. Did he have chest hair? In Brad's head, he did. Lots of it, all black and swirling in toward his sternum. Brad pushed his fingers through the hair, tracing the lower edge of a pec. A pinkish brown nipple peeked out at him. He let his hand fall slowly to Sebastian's abdominal muscles. Six-pack. Oh, eight-pack. And those muscles that cut in right over his hips that gave guys that beautiful V shape. He ran a hand down one of those, and whoa. Sebastian was naked.
Brad's eyes popped open.
He was gay. And hard as a railroad spike.
He'd kind of thought that might be the case.
It settled into him, coating him and soaking into his skin. Like metal filings on a magnet. Oil on plastic. Marinara on a white T-shirt. Homosexuality seemed to have taken a liking to him, and it wasn't likely to wash out.
* * *
Sebastian made no effort to learn the names and faces of the students in the lower-level history class he was the TA for. He knew the history majors from repeated contact, but the other people weren't going to feature in his life past these three months, so he didn't bother.
Which was why it surprised him when his brain automatically supplied the name of the hot jock who always sat next to Kyle (Medieval History, class of 2013). When Kyle bothered to show up.
Fucking undergrad history majors.
Sebastian's brain was kind of insistent on returning to Hot Guy, so he put Kyle out of his mind. Brad (a.k.a. Hot Guy) had turned in a paper this week. Smart. He'd be one of the people who wasn't scrambling at the end of term to write and hand in all the required papers during finals week. Probably Kyle's influence. In Sebastian's experience, frat boys and jocks weren't generally the kind to do the homework today that they could put off for nine weeks.
He watched Brad walk up to the desk and turn in this week's essay, shuffling along in the line of other students. Watched Brad fairly openly, but Brad never looked at him. As if he was trying really hard not to.
Whatever, it was fine. Because Brad was nice to look at, and Sebastian didn't need to deal with some pissed-off frat boy jock feeling like he'd been violated because the gay guy appreciated his muscles. And his cheekbones. Brad had high, prominent ones.
That was the nice thing about man-watching. Each one had something unique Sebastian could appreciate. Sometimes he had to look a little harder than other times, but ... yeah. Brad had unique cheekbones.
And beautiful musculature, coming or going, he thought as Brad walked away.
On his way back to his office, Sebastian dug out Brad's essay. Brad Feller. Just Brad? Not Bradley? Sebastian might have to look on the class attendance roster. Somehow, Hot Guy looked like a Bradley to him.CHAPTER 3
The next Tuesday, Brad dragged Kyle's ass to class. If Brad had to take notes, he couldn't imagine what would happen. There'd be no fucking notes was what would happen. Figuring out you were gay made it difficult to concentrate on Classical Greece. In spite of all the queers floating around back then.
Figuring out you were gay made it difficult to concentrate on much of anything. Although he'd sort of managed a decent attitude about it the last couple days. Achieved some equilibrium.
Dragging Kyle to class was easy, actually. Kyle was worried about him. The whole fucking frat was worried about him. Everyone was worried because Brad hadn't hooked up in over a month. Hadn't even tried to fake it. Even El Presidente Eduardo, who saw Brad as his main competition when it came to "the ladies," was worried. In his own special way.
Ashley didn't seem worried about him, though. She was sitting totally on the other side of the auditorium. Thank God. Brad shook his head at himself for the hundredth time since last week. He still didn't understand what he'd been thinking when he went out with her. Or all the girls before her.
For some stupid reason, he'd thought he needed an image as a player when he started college, and he'd begun cultivating it as soon as he'd arrived by hooking up with lots of girls. Or at least seeming to. Most of the time he was fronting for his image, but he'd had years to perfect his act. No one ever seemed to suspect anything.
Excerpted from Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino, Rachel Haimowitz. Copyright © 2012 Anne Tenino. Excerpted by permission of Riptide Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted March 29, 2012
It takes a very talented writer to perfectly balance humor, sexiness, and sweetness all in one story but Anne Tenino does so nicely in her latest release Frat Boy and Toppy. As a reader who doesn't normally enjoy rom-com stories, Ms. Tenino totally won me over and I found myself complete drawn into the lives of these collegians and their teachers.
Brad has always tried to live up to the image of a playboy athlete since he doesn't want to disappointment those around him, but as he gets older he can't keep fighting his true desires any longer. Enter sexy and self-confident TA Sebastian who Brad can't keep his eyes off of and who becomes the catalyst for a major revelation and a new chapter in his life. Brad's extremely sweet with a nice bit of snarky thrown in to bring some wonderful humor to the story. He's struggled and been miserable for so long keeping up his facade and you could see how it weighed on him. He hated himself for using women and alcohol to ignore his real inclinations. As he started accepting the truth of himself and slowly let others know you could sense that weight lifting off him. He became even more light-hearted and more self-confident. Brad seemed so much younger at the start of his relationship with Sebastian but things felt more equal between them later on after he came out. He became a man at that point, not so obsessed over other's opinions.
Sebastian was a complicated character that had been hurt by love before and shied away from it now. He was sexy and caring and was the perfect person to be Brad's first since he understood the seriousness of what their being together would mean for Brad's life. But whereas I could see the evolution of Brad emotionally, I can't quite say the same for Sebastian. I never felt like we learned as much about Sebastian's life to fully become as connected to him. This story was definitely about Brad which left Sebastian on the back burner a bit.
To help Brad get through this most important time in his life, he was lucky to have a wonderful group of people around him. From his extremely supportive family (who frustrated him by their complete and easy acceptance of him) to his best friend Kyle (who had many humorous reactions to Brad's coming out) to his new roommate Collin (who's struggling with his own coming out), Brad couldn't have been luckier and it's a shame that in real life this large of a support group isn't always the case. These secondary characters were wonderful and lit up the page and I would especially love to see more of Collin as he deserves a happy ending of his own.
This was an engaging read with a deep depth of emotion liberally sprinkled with humor. From the witty dialogue to the smoldering sex scenes I was completely drawn in and hated to see it come to an end. This was my first time reading a book of Ms. Tenino's but it definitely won't be the last.
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Posted February 27, 2013
Really 169 pages , the book might be good not sure haven't read it but for $7.00, you would think it's more than 169 pages.
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Posted November 27, 2014
This book was a good read. I liked the fact that their family supported them and some of Brad's friends. It's really heart braking seeing how Brad struggle with his sexuality and how this happens to a lot of guys, being afraid of rejection from other people.
What I found annoying was the fact that Brad was kind of girly in his responses to Sebastian for being a Jock. But I understand that not all people can be tough in a relationship.
But it was a good book with a good story about how things might go down on fraternities. Although we all know that many people are closed minded and that the reactions in this book are just that-and imagination of the author..
Posted November 2, 2013
Reviewed by Marissa
Book provided by NetGalley for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
Where to start, where to start… As always, Tenino has a way of writing that is both amusing and endearing. She has the talent to bring her characters off of the page and into the room with you, so much so that I sometimes feel as if I am witnessing personal moments in a friend’s life. I want to reach out and hug them when they are at the cross-roads in their lives and relationships. Of course, I know how the story will end but I also know that they, the characters, have no idea where their lives are heading and it is sometimes heartbreaking to listen to them as they come to terms with their feelings.
Then there is the flip-side to Tenino’s writing – the humor. In every book there is a secondary character that makes you laugh out loud with his tongue-in-cheek comments or his view of love. In Whitetail Rock, it was Sam; in Frat Boy, it’s Kyle. True, Kyle is straight, but he takes to the supportive friend role fervently (once he gets over his shock). I know that Paul’s story (Love, Hypothetically) is next, but I do hope we get Collin’s story soon just so that we can see how over-the-top Kyle has gotten in his PFLAG and gay rights activism.
One of the things I love about Tenino’s writing is the lack of angst and turmoil throughout the story. Her characters meet, they are attracted to each other, they begin having sex, they realize they are falling in love which then causes some angst, and then they come back together stronger than ever. I think this is more true to life which makes it even more romantic than, say, two characters trying to avoid their attraction to each other before finally succumbing but still fighting it right up until the end of the book.
In Frat Boy, Tenino gives us two strong yet diverse characters – Brad, the fraternity brother/athlete/home ec student who is just coming to terms with the fact that he prefers boys and Sebastian, who wears pink Chuck’s and reading glasses and is known for his love-‘em-and-leave-‘em ways.
My favorite section of the book had to be when Brad comes out to his frat brothers. I won’t tell you what happens but it is definitely one of those laugh-out-loud moments. And one of those misty-eyed moments. And one of those hand-over-the-heart-awwww moments.
Posted August 8, 2013
I loved this story. Anne Tenino's stories are always funny and sweet. I loved the chemistry between Brad and Sebastian and would love to read more about these wonderful characters!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2013
Brad is very funny as the frat boy who just realizes out the blue one day that he's gay. His attempts to adjust to this new reality are amusing especially as he tries to figure out how to date men. His fraternity brothers are by turns clueless and amazingly understanding which was a bit of a stretch for my imagination. Brad's love interest, Sebastian, is also a fun character whose pink Chucks you will covet. Overall it was good, dirty fun.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 17, 2012
A very enjoyable read.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I thought it would be a funny, light read, which it was. However, I was not expecting it to have that many emotions thrown into the mix. I loved it!
I liked how Brad grew throughout the story and how as the time passed he accepted himself a lot more and was more comfortable about everything. He was adorably confused and hesitant, but his passion for Sebastian was undeniable and in the end so was his love for him.
Sebastian was clueless. He had me shaking my head in exasperation because I couldn't believe the things he came up to to justify his feelings for Brad. Finally when he saw the light, I was laughing at the way when went about it and got even a little misty eyed when it finally hit him that he loved Brad.
I loved their chemistry. Phew! When they got together it was AMAZINGLY HOT! There was this one time when...er, nevermind. I enjoyed their tender moments too. Especially when they had 'the talk'. I liked that there were hesitations on both sides, which made their connection more real to me.
Posted September 9, 2012
The sex is great. The plot is acceptable, the characters are endearing and the writing is deliciously vivid. If you're looking for a good read, go elsewhere. But if you're simply looking for a way to get off, then you've arrived at the right place.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2012
I made the mistake of starting this book at 10:30 at night. I could not put it down and stayed up half the night reading it. I loved this book!
Brad is 21 years old and the book starts with the self-realization that he's gay. Of course, he's always had inklings, but has always lived in denial about the fact. He's a jock. He sleeps with women...a lot. He's a guy's guy, but he can no longer deny it to himself. He's sexually drawn to guys. I loved Brad. At 14 yo, he had something happen which skewed his vision of himself and has just never even considered the possibility about being gay again, except in his dreams. Suddenly, he's realized those dreams have become daydreams and he can't deny it any more...and it honestly is a shock to him. Yes, his denial has been that strong.
As he slowly starts to come out to others, it was really sweet. No one reacts the way that he expects and this poor guy is not only dealing with his own confusion, but also his confusion about how others see him. The reactions range from denial to full-out acceptance and they all keep his head spinning. You can't help but love this guy and what he's going through.
Then there's Sebastian...sexy, gorgeous, man-whore Sebastian who is drawn to Brad even though he thinks he's straight. Sebastian has no idea what Brad is going through until Brad comes right out and asks to have sex with him. I love Brad's honesty through all this and the fact that suddenly he feels like a needy girl. These two together are magical...so much chemistry and so incredibly sexy together. It shocks them both at just how good they are and quickly feelings become heavily involved to the confusion of everyone.
The story description of this book is really good and so is the book. It's definitely going to make one of my Top Reads of 2012. I loved it! Just really a fantastic book with a great balance of emotion and really hot sexiness!
I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Posted April 5, 2013
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