M/M Monday – Good Boy by Anne Tenino

Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #4)
Grade: B+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Mild Kink
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Series: Theta Alpha Gamma #4

Published: 10/7/13
Reviewed by Anne
83 pages
Brad (a college student) and Sebastian (a grad student) have been together for 9 months now.  They love each other very much, but Sebastian’s writing his thesis and stressed to the max.  Unfortunately this shows itself in him taking Brad and everything he’s doing for granted.  This is especially concerning because Seb and Brad have a D/s relationship.  It usually works very well, but when the story opens, it’s not working, and in fact, Seb is feeling entitled and Brad is feeling like a pet begging for attention.  
Tenino does such a good job writing this initial set up, I truly wondered how she would redeem Sebastian!  In the end though, I really enjoyed reading a dom who was NOT psychic!  It was interesting to see them work through things.  Oh, and I should mention it was super hot, too!  Their relationship is presented as one that has always been physical, so it’s no surprise that working through their issues involves more sex than it does talking.  The sex and the talking were both well written, though and I enjoyed the whole thing!
This book is the 4th in the series and only the 2nd I’ve read.  It’s even a novella follow up to the first book in the series, (Frat Boy and Toppy) which I haven’t read.  All this means that I can testify that Tenino’s writing can stand up to being read out of order.  I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more!

Breaking by Claire Kent

Breaking (Escorted, #1.5)

Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, same couple series
Series: Escorted #1.5
Reviewed by Anne
61 pages
This 61 page story picks up a with Ander and Lori a few months from the end of Escorted. (See my review of Escorted here.) Ander has been working on his doctorate and they’ve been apart off and on.  He unexpectedly comes home from a trip a week early because he needs to be with Lori.  (This story, in contrast to Escorted, is told entirely from Ander’s POV.)  He may have been needing to see Lori, but he can’t bring himself to share his problems with her.  Instead he just keeps seducing her.
Amazingly, I think this book had too much sex in it for me!  However, that was a plot point of the story, so it’s not exactly gratuitous.  It’s exactly what Ander was up to – he’s distracting Lori with sex.  He uses it as a shield.  It’s an interesting and kind of believable idea. Of course, that’s not going to last forever, and that conversation was where the story really shone for me.
I’d recommend this story to anyone who enjoyed Escorted, but I think this story would be more enjoyable after reading Escorted.

So, what do you think of this trend of authors writing novella length sequels/epilogues for established couples.  Do you like it?

Making It Last by Ruthie Knox

Grade: A+
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Camelot #4
Reviewed by Anne
104 pages
I have always dreamed of reading a story like this! One that looks into a marriage and shows the work and the romance of it. This story brought tears to my eyes and I LOVED it. I hate crying while reading, yet I loved this book. It was so incredibly good and incredibly painful, yet sweet and romantic.

This is the fourth story in the Camelot series, and it’s a continuation of Tony and Amber, whose “how they met” story was told in the first Camelot book, How to Misbehave.  I really enjoyed that one, too, but I don’t think you’d have to read it to appreciate this one.  Making It Last takes place 13 or so years after How to Misbehave.

Tony and Amber have 3 rambunctious boys, a big mortgage, and a general busy-ness that leaves them with very little time alone.  Tony works long, long hours to make ends meet.  Amber has just seen her youngest child off to school and is feeling a little lost.  There are so many things pulling them apart, and they aren’t even sure what’s wrong or how to fix it. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s gripping.  I was never bored, and even though I knew it had to be an HEA, I found myself wondering how in the world they’d work things out.  Yet when they did – it was believable.

The reality of the story makes it shine.  And then there’s humor that relieves some of the tension and makes me grin through watery eyes.  Amber and Tony are great flirts when they get the chance to finally be alone together!

Ruthie Knox is a rising star. I haven’t read all her books yet, but now I’m determined to! I so appreciate that she wrote a story like this one. It hit so close to home for me. It’s so real, and I’m so grateful I got to read it. It’s going on my best of the year list.

So, how about you?  Do you like reading a romance within an established marriage story?  Do you have any good ones to recommend?