Saturday, November 15, 2014

Billionaire with Benefits by Anne Tenino

Title: Billionaire with Benefits
Author: Anne Tenino
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Romancelandia #2
Main Characters: Tierney and Dalton
Release Date: October 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

It’s just a friend thing.

Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is -strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?

My Review:
Too Stupid to Live was one of my favorite books that I read last year. As a result, I had high expectations for this the point that I bought the print book although I really detest that cover.'s just awful...and a bit embarrassing to be seen holding, but with a $7.99 ebook price, if I wanted it, I would only pay that much for actual print. 

So I went in with high expectations...maybe a bit too high, because this is a very different book from Too Stupid to Live which was cute and entertaining and filled with light-hearted fun. There is nothing lighthearted about what Tierney is going through...and you know, Dalton doesn't have a history filled with hearts and rainbow unicorns either. These are two very flawed people and the book has the appropriate angst and emotion to go along with that. 

For fully the first one-third to half the book Tierney is not a nice person. He's deeply, deeply in the closet after being forced there by his homophobic jerk of a grandfather. He doesn't want to lose his family so he denies who he is, burying that side of him behind alcohol, harsh, unfeeling treatment toward women, and by lashing out at his friends and family. He is not in a happy place. 

Dalton has a thing for wounded guys and he sees the human hurting underneath Tierney's prickly facade. Even though he knows doing so is going to end up with him getting hurt...again...he can't turn his back on Tierney and they delve into a friendship that crosses all sorts of lines. 

Both these guys have complex histories. Honestly, very little is really delved into with Dalton, but I felt like his history was a bit more angst-worthy. I know the bits we did see, my heart just broke for him. But that makes him such an incredible character because he's pulled himself out of that place. And that is probably why so much of the story is focused on Tierney...he's still in that bad place so he has a more complex character arc. 

But as they explore this thing between them, it's easy to feel for both of them because neither likes the vulnerability that's exposed by the two of them being together. Dalton seriously is swoon-worthy especially at the end where he's willing to do whatever to ensure Tierney's well being. And, yes, there were a few times when I wanted to beat on Tierney a bit, but luckily there's Sam, Ian, and even his brother Chase who I ended up loving, who are willing to do that along the way. 

While this one wasn't quite as good as the first, it was good in a different way. Overall I enjoyed it, but go into it knowing that it's going to be a bit heavier than Anne Tenino's norm and maybe a little less sexy along the way too. But it was still an enjoyable installment and the moment's with Sam describing the romance novel tropes remain some of my favorites... and yes, that wisdom is in this book too. 

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