Friday, August 31, 2012

Love Hypothetically Tour with Anne Tenino



Hello and welcome to the Love, Hypothetically Blog Tour Spectacular! *confetti*

From August 27th through the 31st, I’ll be visiting blogs and posting tidbits about my new release, Love, Hypothetically—the second volume in the Theta Alpha Gamma series, begun with Frat Boy and Toppy.  To see a schedule of the tour, check out my website

Over the course of the tour, I’ll be asking readers of Love, Hypothetically questions about the new book, and whoever emails all the correct answers to me at anneATanneteninoDOTcom will be entered into a drawing for the Blog Tour Prize—the PICNIC PRIZE PACK: a picnic tote, two “unbreakable” champagne glasses, and an autographed copy of Frat Boy and Toppy. This unusual prize honors Trevor from Love, Hypothetically, who makes a picnic lunch for Paul in an effort to woo him. Similarly, I am wooing you, my lurvely readers. 


All righty, I suppose it’s time to begin the party, hmm? Let the Love, Hypothetically Blog Tour Spectacular! *confetti* begin!

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Those Crazy, Meddlesome Friends

In Love, Hypothetically, I consciously employed the Meddlesome Friends trope—i.e., when friends of one or both characters in a love story are instrumental in helping the couple overcome any potential hurdles on the path to true love.

In college, my friends and I used to set each other up with guys as a sort of competitive sport. We didn’t actually admit out loud that it was a competition, so we never agreed on any rules. Eventually, two teams formed: the Quality team and the Quantity team. The Quality team, of course, believed that to “win” they had to set up a friend with a guy they really clicked with. The Quantity team thought winning was a simple matter of setting their friends up on a large number of dates, regardless of how well the dates went.

Disasters abounded.

Yet, years later and a lifetime of experience (mostly) to the contrary, I still subscribe to the notion that friends can successfully meddle in other friends’ love lives. I suppose the few minor successes sprinkled in amongst the disasters are enough to keep my hope alive. Or I’m just a hardcore romantic without a firm grip on reality.

Regardless, I made friends of Paul’s (the POV character in Love, Hypothetically) instrumental in smoothing out his and Trevor’s journey to coupledom. It could be argued that Paul doesn’t really deserve their help, especially not Sebastian and Brad’s. In the first book of the Theta Alpha Gamma series, Frat Boy and Toppy, Paul makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t want Sebastian and Brad to get together. He’s more of an impediment to true love than a help, but still they knowingly throw Paul and Trevor together with the intention of helping.


I think it’s because friends want what’s best for us. Regardless of how misguided my social circle may have been in college, we did like to see each other happy—although clearly some of us saw happiness as a quantity issue and some saw it as a quality issue. Fictional characters also find it hard to deny a friend in need, especially when he exposes himself the way Paul does to Sebastian near the end of Love, Hypothetically

Paul peeked between his fingers and nodded. Sebastian was clearly taking this situation seriously and trying to advise him. Would wonders never cease today? Paul dropped his hands and said it out loud. “I want to try again with him. I did love him once, and maybe, hypothetically, I could again?”
Sebastian’s customary slightly mocking smile appeared. “Don’t ask me. And let’s hope it’s not a hypothetical kind of love.”

Could you deny a friend help in this situation, even if he isn’t actually asking for it? Me neither.

Now, if you haven’t read the book, but would like to know how Paul gets to this point, my suggestion is to go read Love, Hypothetically.

If you have read the book, and are playing to win the Picnic Prize Pack, here’s the third of three questions you’ll need to answer in an email to me (address in the intro to this post) to be eligible to win: What kind of party does Toby say Sophie is having?

* * * *




Love, Hypothetically Blurb—

Paul’s been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but "forgiving" isn't one of them. When the new women's softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul's forced to put aside his strict "no athletes" policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.



* * * *


About Anne—

Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne's husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne's need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1's strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

When not writing, Anne lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her website, the Chicks & Dicks Blog, follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook or Goodreads.

* * * *

BTW, this is from Christi....you can see my review for Love Hypothetically HERE and my review for Fratboy and Toppy HERE. They are both great books!!!


Follow the Tour
 Aug. 27Chicks & DicksAbi Roux’s blog


Love Hypothetically by Anne Tenino

Title:   Love Hypothetically
Author: Anne Tenino
My Rating: B+


Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Theta Alpha Gamma #2
Main Characters: Paul and Trevor
Release Date:  August 2012
ISBN


Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Links to Purchase:


Sexual Intensity: hot



Story Overview:
Paul's been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but "forgiving" isn't one of them. When the new women's softball coach at Calapooya college specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul's forced to put aside his strict "no athletes" policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.


My Review:
We met Paul in the first book in this series, Frat Boy and Toppy. While I ADORED that book, I did NOT like Paul and wasn't so sure that Anne Tenino could ever convince me that he was someone deserving an HEA. I was wrong....she completely and totally convinced me. His story makes me ache and I definitely understand the chip on his shoulder when it comes to jocks now.

Flat out...Paul is a jerk. We saw it in book #1, Frat Boy & Toppy, and we see a lot of it in this book too, but what we also see is that he's that way because his heart was completely broken and tromped on by Trevor, the first guy he ever loved. It's been 9 years since that happened (it was his senior year in high school) and now all of a sudden, Trevor is back in his life. He's now out of the closet and realizes what he gave up when he did what he did to Paul and is searching for forgiveness and reconciliation. 

What I really liked about this book was Paul's transformation as he realized exactly why he does the things he does. He's never allowed himself to truly get close to another person since Trevor. He doesn't trust, with good reason. I also liked his realization about his friends. He burned some serious bridges with his friends in book #1 and in this book he comes to terms with that. The best part of the book though was where the title comes from when he's in the bar discussing this "hypothetical" situation with Toby. So classically Paul and the fact that he doesn't want to put anything out there that could be used against him to hurt him. Seriously, it made my heart ache for him. 

If I could change one thing about this book though, I wish that we could have seen some of the story from Trevor's point of view. Personally, I think that would have made the story and the heartbreak even more poignant than it already was. But as the book stands, it's a great read and another great addition to this series. 

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Ripped by Mia Downing


Title: Ripped
Author: Mia Downing
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Gavin and Erik

Release Date: August 2012
ISBN: ebook
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
Lifeguard/artist Gavin White has been holding the ripped shreds of his life together by the seams. Facing the anniversary of his sister's death, he fights the dark call of dependency and is at the edge of succumbing when his best friend since preschool returns to his life. Handsome geek-turned-hunk, Erik Clarke, wasn't afraid to come out and had been bold enough to kiss Gavin the last time they were together. Damn that kiss. Gavin wants more. So much more, but he was never brave enough to tell Erik his dreams. With his future hanging by a tattered thread, Gavin must trade one temptation for another or risk ripping his life apart.

Contains: Graphic language, explicit m/m sex


My Review:

Okay, it's official...Mia Downing now holds the spot as my favorite author who writes emotional angst. This book broke my heart with the depth of feeling between these two guys. They've always been best friends, but that's been tested since Erik unexpectedly kissed Gavin a month ago. As far as Erik knows, Gavin is straight, but Gavin has spent his entire life hiding just about everything from Erik. Erik has no idea what the true reason was behind Gavin's reaction to the kiss.

Gavin is a tough character...he has such deep emotional scars and he's well aware of it. As a result, he knows he's not good enough for Erik no matter how much he wants him. And he does want him, although he's never let on to Erik that he's gay. The closest he's ever come to that truth is through his art. Erik is his favorite model to paint.

There are a lot of layers to the emotion in this book. First, there's the pain of the anniversary of Gavin's sister's death. This is what brings Erik back into Gavin's realm. He knows that Gavin is going to have an issue with the date, but there's so much more to the story than Erik knows. Then there is the simple secret that Gavin is gay and his true sexual orientation...Erik has no idea. But there's also Gavin's addiction which can be traced to a history that again, he's managed to keep hidden from Erik his entire life. 

Despite all that, Erik loves Gavin desperately, but he knows that unless Gavin can love himself, then there's no true hope for the two of them. I'm telling you, it's heart-breaking. There were moments in this book that I just wanted to sob for one or both of them. Their feelings are so true and pure, but there is so much standing in their way...mainly Gavin's mental state.

It truly is an amazing read...so beautiful in the emotion of it. I fell in love with these two guys and their romantic story. I especially loved the moments between Gavin and Erik's mom...so sweet. He deserves so much love. *sigh* 
I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong



Title:  The Demoness of Waking Dreams
Author: Stephanie Chong
My Rating: C-



Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Company of Angels #2
Main Characters: Brandon and Luciana
Release Date: August 2012
ISBN978-0778313144
Publisher: Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Ex-cop Brandon Clarkson is an angel with an edge. His tough exterior is the perfect camouflage for his job—hunting down the most dangerous criminals on earth. A self-reliant and demanding lone wolf, Brandon is the perfect angel to track and capture demoness Luciana Rossetti.
Beneath the surface of Luciana's cool, green-eyed beauty lurks the heart of a malevolent killer. In the winding streets of Venice, she lures Brandon into her dark world of pleasure.
They are perfectly matched. Angel and demon. Man and woman. But only one can win the battle of wills, of strength and of desire.

My Review:

C- 
I adored the first book in this series because it showed the fine line that exists between good and evil. I hated this book for the same reason. In this book, the hope that existed from the first book was vanquished. Everything was just slightly more tipped towards the evil side and there were no happy outcomes...NONE. As a romance reader, that isn't something that I can accept. I need something positive to walk away with...that's why I read romance. This book didn't give it to me.

What this book did give to me was a yummy hero in the Angel Brandon. I loved his tattoos and his internal analysis of his actions. It also gave me the Demoness Luciana. While I didn't like her very much I could definitely feel compassion for all that she's gone through in life and the place where she finds herself stuck. I liked the story line with Mossimo, Luciana's gatekeeper. I hated Ariel's (another angel...albeit a jealous, vengeful one) part in the story and thought she just made the story more hopeless.

The writing in the book is beautiful. The scenes of Venice and the symbolism throughout the story were both gorgeous. But my rating isn't based on that. My rating is based upon my enjoyment of the book...and that was bad. I don't feel better for having read this book...in fact, it's quite the opposite. There may be an over-arching series goal here that I can't see, but I don't think I will ever get to see it if that is the case. This book ruined this series for me and I won't read any more from it.

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Lovesick Cure by Pamela Morsi

Title: The Lovesick Cure
Author: Pamela Morsi
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -Main Characters: Jesse and Piney

Release Date: August 2012
ISBN: 9780778313762
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
For Jesse Winsloe, the answer is clear: head into hiding. Single again and laid off from work, Jesse flees to Onery Cabin to lick her wounds with her ancient aunt Will—a Granny woman with the secret to healing the lovelorn.Sure, Onery Cabin may be right out of Hollywood's Lifestyles of the Poor and Hillbilly, but Marrying Stone Mountain has its charm—including the local physician's assistant, Piney Baxley, a past recipient of Aunt Will's pungent "heartbreak poultice."

Between folk remedies and a "no strings attached" romance, Jesse is beginning to think she's found her own brand of lovesick cure—because there's nothing like a pinch of confidence and a dash of attraction to mend a broken heart.


My Review:
Filled with backwoods Ozarks lore, superstition, and a fair dose of small-town charm, this book was a fun read. 

It's been a long time since Jesse has been back to the Ozarks to visit her Aunt Will. But after her sudden break-up from long-time fiance and his subsequent marriage to someone else, Jesse needs to get away from the stresses of her life. Aunt Will has moved up the mountain to a more rustic setting, but she's still beloved by all the town for her folk remedies and natural healing abilities. Aunt Will has a "sense" about things and that applies to what Jesse needs too. She immediately sets about giving Jesse her "lovesick cure" poultice and throws her into life on the farm.

A former recipient of the "lovesick cure" is Piney. He works at the local clinic and is raising his teenage son after his wife ran off and broke his heart many, many years ago. Piney and his son Tree are also loved in this small town for many of the same reasons that people love Aunt Will. Piney is a caretaker and he most definitely watches over most of the town's health including Aunt Will's health which is failing.

As a natural thing, Piney and Jesse end up getting thrown together quite a bit and their relationship develops from there. They have a mutual attraction and decide to "scratch that itch" with no strings attached. They both know the score. Everything about that part of their relationship, I loved. They had some great dialogue that's simply fun to read. Their chemistry is good and it shows. But there's an issue. Piney's son Tree is 17 and his girlfriend wants him to have sex with her. Tree has promised Piney to wait until it's not just about the sex. Can we say double standard?? Yep, that's what Tree thinks too. There are several sub-stories within the book and Tree's relationship with Camryn is definitely one of them. I liked it.

This is one of those books that's simply fun to read. It provides lots of small-town charm, several wonderful heart-warming stories, and just a whole lot to make you smile.

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Serafina and the Silent Vampire by Marie Trainor

Title:  Serafina and the Silent Vampire
Author: Marie Trainor
My Rating: B

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Series: Serafina's #1
Main Characters: Sera and Blair
Release Date: August 28, 2012
ISBN-
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Silence has never been so sinful…

Welcome to Edinburgh's unique psychic investigation agency, Serafina's.

Serafina MacBride is psychic - but not strictly honest. While staging a hilarious vampire attack at a client's party, Sera is stunned to encounter a real vampire - annoying, gorgeous and inaudible to everyone but her. When her client's son is found dead with puncture wounds in his neck, she tracks the silent vampire to his lair.

But the amoral and seductive Blair is also on a mission - to find and kill a nest of young vampires who've invaded his territory. Soon Sera is drawn into the bizarre world of the undead, where danger lurks in the shadows along with forbidden sensual delights - and a murderous conspiracy to flood the world with financially astute vampires who talk.

Supported and hindered by Blair's eccentric, undead friends, and by her own motley crew from Serafina's, Sera and Blair uncover surprising truths about each other and about the mysterious Founder from whom all vampires are descended.

In the end, Sera draws on powers she never knew she had in a frantic fight to defeat the forces of evil and preserve the strange, complicated being she's trying so hard not to love.

My Review:

When we lived in England, we got to spend one absolutely fabulous weekend in Edinburgh. Reading this book was just like going back there to visit and I loved that about it. I could visualize it all. Vampires, especially uber-sexy ones that ride motorcycles in Edinburgh...it's a VERY NICE fit!!

I liked the twist on vampires and magic that this book presented. Blair is a vampire and one of the parts of vampirism in this world is that they don't have the ability to speak to humans. They speak telepathically to each other. Since Serafina is a true psychic, she can hear Blair speak. Until she met Blair though, she never realized that vampires were a true entity. See, Serafina runs a business....it's on the up-and-up for those that truly need the service of a psychic, but she isn't against making a buck off of those who just enjoy the sensationalism of psychics. That's what she thinks she's doing when she runs into Blair. She has a new client who is feeling stalked by a vampire. Serafina is "protecting" her client, thinking that she just needs to put on a good show. So it's quite a shock when she runs into a real vampire, Blair.

Everything snowballs from there as Serafina discovers that not only are there vampires, but now there's a whole new regime of them in the world who are out there trying to take over the world's banking system. Like I said, it's an interesting premise...both in the vampires, but also with the witches and psychics and their ability to all interact in this world.

I really liked all the characters here and think that this is setting up for what could be a really enjoyable series. I loved Blair and the fact that meeting Sera has pulled him back from the edge. I like all Sera's friends and the different personalities there. There are also some rather interesting characters in the vampire world. The only character I'm not quite sold on yet was Sera and I truly think that's because she was being pulled in so many different directions in this book without being sure what exactly was right. Now that she's more settled and understands everything better, I think that I will like her (and the book) more in book #2. When she would just relax around Blair, I loved the two of them together. Like I said, I think that this is setting up to be a series to definitely watch.





Author Bio:

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie Treanor has published more than twenty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing JoeBlood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL.


Website: www.MarieTreanor.com  



Blog: Marie Treanor's Romantic Theme Party: