Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Collin Montes was instrumental in getting his fraternity, Theta Alpha Gamma, to change their bylaws and accept gay and bisexual college men into TAG. Several of the brothers were already out about their sexuality, most notably Brad, so this just instilled in their bylaws the acceptance acknowledged in their close knit fraternity. But there is even another reason this change means so much to Collin and that is the fact that Collin is also gay. Collin has kept that fact hidden from most of his fraternity and his family. And that includes his Uncle Monty who raised him after his father died when Collin was 5. Uncle Monty is also the president of the TAG Alumni Association and an influential and powerful man in his own right. Uncle Monty is also a homophobe. The TAG Alumni Association contributes a heavy sum to the running of TAG and neither Uncle Monty or the rest of the board are happy with the inclusion of Gays and Bisexuals in the fraternity.
When first a water heater is rigged to launch through the ceiling, setting off a fire at the TAG house which injures one of the brothers, and then a bomb is found, Collin is sure that these are repercussions due to the changes in bylaws at TAG. One of the paramedics/firemen to arrive at the house the day of the fire is college and TAG Alumn Eric “Dix” Dixon. Eric sees Collin helping out his injured frat brother and the attraction between the men is instantaneous.
Older by ten years and with touches of grey in his hair, Eric is openly gay at work. Eric has always dreamed of someone to make a home and family with but that person hasn’t appeared until now. Collin, with his sexy eyes and gorgeous body, just may be the one Eric has been waiting for. But there are many obstacles between their happiness and future together, from Collin’s closeted status and homophobic uncle to the person responsible for the arson and bombing of the TAG House. As Eric and Collin fall in love, the threat to Collin and the fraternity grows greater. Can Eric protect the man he has come to love or will homophobic hatred ruin their chance for a future together?
This is the third book in the Theta Alpha Gamma series by Anne Tenino and I loved it. It has all the distinctive features of the others in the series. It’s funny, it has terrific characters, and of course, it’s over the top sexy! But this story has something more. It has a mystery as well. Who is behind the arson and bombs at the fraternity? A mystery is a terrific new aspect to this already wonderful series. But let’s take a closer look at this series most common features.
Each book has focused on a member of the Theta Alpha Gamma or TAG fraternity at Calapooya University in Oregon. First it was Brad, then Paul, and now it’s Collin’s turn. Each young man is not only a member of TAG but gay as well, although each has arrived at that self knowledge in differing ways. The wonderful thing about this series is that the characters and couple you have fallen in love with in the previous books are back, included in this story. That holds especially true for Brad and Sebastian from Frat B0y and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma #1). They are still working on their relationship and Collin plays an important part in helping them work through a few issues of their own. But the story here belongs to Collin and Eric, as well as the rest of the fraternity brothers.
This is the first time we have really seen the men of TAG interact with each other on a deeper scale. Tenino brings us into the frat house dynamics and the close knit brotherhood of the Theta Alpha Gamma fraternity. Once more we get to watch Tank, Ricky, Toby, Kyle, Jules and the rest support each other, no matter the problem. I have to admit the frat house scenes that involved all the frat brothers had me giggling uncontrollably. Whether they were being roused to action by the threat to their kegerator or watching Project Runway, these are the scenes that really brought their fraternity to goofy life. It’s hysterically funny and yet heartwarming at the same time. Is it a realistic depiction of life at a fraternity? Don’t know and quite frankly don’t care. In Tenino’s more than capable hands, these quirky, crazy group of guys are alive and kicking and making us laugh over and over again. I just loved them.
Collin and Eric are so interesting in their own right. Collin’s father died when he was young and although his mother is alive, his Uncle had a large part in raising him. Collin is an intelligent young man who knows he is gay but fears losing the love of his Uncle by telling him who Collin really is. Uncle Monty is homophobic and controlling, and that has defined Collin’s upbringing until now. It is a joy watching Collin change as the events unfold and his relationship with Eric grows more substantial. Eric is also an interesting character with a sexy, hidden side to him. Trust me when I say that a photography session is one of the sexy highlights of this story. I enjoyed their relationship and the journey towards love for them both. I liked that Anne Tenino took into consideration their age difference when writing the relationship. Neither man is at quite the same stage as the other which is an honest aspect to this story. I appreciated it much more than if we had gotten a case of “instant love”.
I did have a few quibbles with the story. The person behind the attacks on the frat house is easily spotted although the motive remains hidden until the end. I really didn’t have a problem with that aspect of the mystery because it plays out so nicely in the story. There is an event at the end I wasn’t expecting and that was a nice touch too. I did wish that Collin’s relationship with his Uncle had a better resolution (and his Uncle’s Alumni Association’s aspect too). Both his Uncle and the Alumi Association had figured greatly in the story, and that was not really dealt with at the end.
A new young gay character was introduced here. Tank’s younger brother has transfered into the college and been accepted into TAG. I see his story coming next. I can’t wait. I love these guys and their crazy mixed up fraternity. They have heart to go along with their beer parties. They are funny, engaging, and I always enjoy my time with them. I highly recommend this book and this series. Grab them all up, starting with the first one if you are new to the series and this marvelous band of brothers.
Here are the books in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and their relationships:
Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma, #3)