Good Boy Anne Tenino.
Arc received via Netgalley.
I’d read and enjoyed Anne’s “Sweet Young Thang” (though I hate that expression!!) so thought I’d like this one, set with other characters mentioned in the book. Sadly I really couldn’t get properly into this one, there didn’t seem to be a story line other than focussing on Brad and Sebastian’s relationship. One of the things I enjoy about M/M romance books is the tenderness, and the dichotomy of often tough, masculine characters finding a gentleness to their nature. Here though both Brad and Sebastian seemed to me to be too closely to the stereotypical gay character so often portrayed in fiction. I was almost expecting Brad to want chocolates and flowers as an apology at some points 🙂
So – what was it about these two that didn’t gel? Well, Brad, nice kid, works hard and just seemed so desperate to please Sebastian, and that happens in gay and hetero romances, but somehow Brad’s nice nature came off at times as more whiny and niggling. He was torn between Sebastian and Collin, when Collin had need of some friendship and practical help, with his building having been on fire and made him homeless and posessionless. Brad was trying to help, but Sebastian was being a pratt – jealous of Brad and Collins friendship because of an incident before he was even with him. I felt for Brad, loving Sebastian, and yet getting so little back for all the things he was doing. Yes, he enjoyed doing them but I wanted to shout “tell him he’s being stupid, don’t let him walk all over you the way he does”. The shirt thrown on the floor instead of the laundry hamper was a typical example. Sebastian treated Brad as a servant at times, no thank-you, no gratitude – just moan about how someone else is taking up Brad’s time. I know he was jealous, but there seemed no reason for it other than his own paranoia. Sebastian was such a cold person I wondered how Brad ever got together with him, Brad seemed the sort who needed friends while Sebastian seemed to be a loner. There must have been some live sparks there though, as once Sebastian was clued in to his behaviour, and they actually talked about what was wrong he did make a good effort to be more for Brad. I think that’s the key message I got from this book – as with so many others – its the need for open communication. So often problems arise because each person misunderstand the others actions or thoughts, so the need to actually talk it out is paramount. That worked well for me once they did talk – and I felt a bit more understanding of Sebastian’s “coldness” and Brad’s need for reassurance.
Stars: – well, its OK, but I’m not into books that don’t have a decent back story so its just a three from me.