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Tag Archives: Whitetail / Romancelandia

TooStupidToLive_600x900Title: Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia #1 / Whitetail Rock #3)
Author: Anne Tenino
Publisher: Riptide
Length: 80,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance, Rom Com
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Series, Alpha Men, Coming Out, College, a bit of BDSM (small bondage scene), Firemen
Rating: Really Liked It!

BLURB

It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

REVIEW

I’ve been excited to read this one for a while now 😉 Okay, not only because I love Anne and her books, or because I really liked Whitetail Rock and The Fix, but mostly because I loved Sam so much in those stories and couldn’t wait to see him get his own HEA. And come on, a character who is admittedly secretly in love with romance novels having his own book called “Too Stupid to Live”? That’s gotta be awesome!

We first met Sam in Whitetail Rock with his best friend Nik. Compared to Nik, Sam is always seen as the tall, gangly, awkward one. Too skinny. Too underweight. When Nik finds Jurgen, Sam despairs of ever finding someone for himself, and adamantly refuses to believe that anyone as hot or as in demand as Jurgen would give him the time of day. He’s enamored of Ian when he meets him playing rugby with a bunch of other hot shirtless men. He thinks he looks like his very own Highlander and for the first time risks the chance and asks him out — only to be thoroughly shot down. Ian wonders about Sam too, and not only feels kinda bad about how he shot him down but also can’t stop thinking about him, wondering if he made a mistake. Ian has been trying to change recently, after a horrible accident while fighting a fire and then later getting out from under the thumb of the chief, his conservative father. He’s a renowned rake of the modern sort, and even though Sam might swoon at the thought of reforming him, the real-life possibility of a rather sensitive and vulnerable Sam not getting thoroughly heartbroken looks impossible.

When the two realize just what a small world it is (Ian is Jurgen’s cousin, FYI) and are thrown together at a party thrown by Nik, Sam decides to take his chances under Ian’s forceful seduction. He just promises himself he’ll try to remember that Ian isn’t anyone’s idea of a perfect husband.

In many ways this is a classic contemporary romance, albeit approached from a unique angle. While we often seem to have a romance writer as a main character, here we’re presented with a story that at least half of the time is told by Sam, an admitted romance reader and a writer himself. He’s in a unique position to critique “The Romance Novel”, and that experience in how a story is put together comes across in his critique of his own life.

And that’s when it hit Sam. If Ian was a TGH [Tortured, Gothic Hero], that made Sam…

Too Stupid to Live.

Sam closed his eyes in resignation. He was TSTL. Stupid enough to investigate the locked fourth story of the manor house, where the human screams originated; stupid enough to run out onto the moors at night to find the howling wolves. Stupid enough to want to suck Ian’s cock again. And the whole time, he’d be thinking he could somehow further the plot via his stupidity.

and…

The thing was, whatever had happened between him and Ian was certainly fraught with internal conflict, because all romances — okay, romance novels — had some kind of conflict, and if it wasn’t external it had to be internal. Since Ian wasn’t saving Sam from international drug-smuggling terrorists, and he wasn’t the captain of an enemy starship that had captured Sam in battle (ugh, revenge sex), their plotting — his and Ian’s — had to center on internal conflict.

AKA emotional conflict.

Obviously, if an outside observer had to guess which of them had the more serious emotional conflict, they’d pick Ian. Sam wasn’t the one who didn’t even know what constituted a relationship. By default, that made Ian the screwed-up one, right?

Aside from his own charm, that connection to the reader makes the story immediately engaging. We can understand and empathize with Sam with his life because of the language he uses to explore it. He’s the first person to admit that he’s become TSTL and his fantasies are ones that we have as well, or at least know of — “Reformed rakes make the best husbands.” (I love that one).

While it might be unfair for me to compare this (as a novel) to the first two stories because of the length and time to explore this relationship, I did like it more than those. Nik and Jurgen make an appropriate presence in the story without relying on them to carry the story. And Too Stupid to Live carries on in a similar vein as those stories in similar plot, characters, style and tone. The first two stories were incredibly hot, and this novel was as well. Much of the relationship between Sam and Ian is physical (at least up front, and for the first half of the novel). They’ve created a carefully constructed fabrication over their true relationship to continue the lie that it isn’t a real relationship at all, and to do that they rely heavily on sex. For me, it carried the story and I didn’t feel the need for more, because it is actually there. The sex scenes are constructed with a careful eye to move the plot forward and subsequently, the relationship.

Fans of Anne Tenino will definitely like this story. Ian is every bit the roguish character he’s made out to be and is sometimes difficult to warm to (so are Sam’s decisions regarding him). But, those choices are balanced well with real feeling and the lens through which the story is structured (The Romance Novel) bridges the gap between them.

Definitely recommended! And I look forward to the next 🙂


TSTL_468x60banner
Hello Everyone! I want to welcome the lovely Anne Tenino to TAR today! I became a fan of Anne’s work later than most (I think) when I read Frat Boy and Toppy, her first work published by Riptide. I didn’t end up reading her Whitetail Rock shorts until just this month in excitement and preparation for this release, but I adored those as well.

Anne and I met at GayRomLit last year, in Albuquerque. We didn’t know each other personally, though I admired her work. And somehow, don’t ask me (no REALLY don’t), we ended up talking for hours over drinks one night (along with the awesome EM Lynley) in the Hard Rock Casino. I learned that not only is the completely cute and huggable, but just how much we have in common, including fiber crafts. Many of you know about her crocheted phalluses by now ;), and I’m sure some of you are stopping by here to possibly win one. So, after you’ve read the post (because it’s a good one!), make sure you carefully read how to enter at the bottom of this post.

I won’t keep you any longer — Here’s Anne’s story about how they made the perfect cover for Too Stupid to Live:

Welcome to the Too Stupid to Live Blog Tour!

Normally, I’d be throwing confetti around (as in my last couple of blog tours) but this time I decided to go bigger—I’m giving away original artwork. For those of you not familiar with my male genital sculptures (that makes them sound so respectable, doesn’t it?), I’ll direct you here to my website, where I’m showcasing the ones I’ve made in the past, and the ones I’m giving away for this blog tour. For those of you dying to win, the details are at the bottom of this post (but really, it’s only polite to read the post first, right?).

On that note, I’ll stop the intro stuff and get on with it.


Let me tell you a story. Well, a different one than the one I’m telling you in Too Stupid to Live, about the trials and tribulations of Ian and Sam. The story I’ll tell you in this blog post is much shorter, and it’s about the cover for TSTL.

First, you need to know that the original release date for TSTL was set for late 2012, but we ran into difficulties with that. By the time it seemed best to push the date back, L.C. Chase had already begun working on the cover art in order to make the publication date for a print advertisement. I had pretty specific ideas about how Sam should look — he’s a geeky guy, and I didn’t want him to get all sexified just to be on the cover of a book. Fortunately, Riptide Publishing likes its authors to be pleased with their covers.

To make sure L.C. understood the type of guy I wanted, I went out and found me a Sam on a stock photo site. Here, as a matter of fact. You don’t have to follow the link — I’m going to show you the cover with him on it.

Image 1

After much back and forth, L.C. and I came up with a cover we both liked. It took a bit. We had Sam, but no Ian, and it kind of seemed we needed an Ian. The first image here is earlier in the process, without Ian. The second image is the one with both Sam and Ian.

Image 2

So yay! We had a cover, and L.C. just had to buy the high-resolution images and finish it up.

Except someone *coughRachelcough* saw the comps and said, “That’s doesn’t read romantic comedy.” And it was hard to argue with her, because it really didn’t.

L.C. and I—with maybe a little, tiny bit of whining and groaning—went back to the drawing board. (Don’t you love the way I make it sound like I sat next to her and made suggestions? Maybe worked on it while L.C. took a nap? I didn’t. Mostly she sent me comps at the end of the day and I gave her my opinion. I just like to think I did some of the heavy lifting. 😉

And then a miracle happened. Well, a cover art miracle, which probably doesn’t rate that highly on the miracle scale. I mean, it’s not like the Virgin Mary appeared on my cover. But what did happen is that L.C. had a random idea late one night, and it turned into this cover. Which was so perfect for the book and I loved . . . except I didn’t like that guy. He’s plenty dorky enough, and I can’t explain why, I just didn’t like him.

Image 3

Eventually, we found a guy I did like, and that is the end of the cover saga. If you’ve read the book, you know how perfect that cover is for the story. If you haven’t read it, let me entice you with the blurb:

TooStupidToLive_600x900It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

Buy Link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/too-stupid-live


Rainbow WebBlue Green WebBlue Balls Web

And now, for those of you dying to win a crocheted cock, I’ll share today’s all-important question. But first, let’s go over the contest rules, such as they are:

    • I’ll be giving away one crocheted cock per post; please include the question you’re answering in your email so I know which post it is.
    • Winners will have to provide me with a mailing address to send the penis to after I notify them by email (about January 21st).
    • There are no geographic restrictions on winning—I will send anywhere in the world, even to countries in which customs may confiscate the item (although if it doesn’t make it, I won’t be able to provide a replacement, I’m sorry).
    • Winners will be chosen randomly from each correct answer I receive by January 20th. That’s two days after the blog tour ends.

To win, correctly answer the question below in the body of an email sent to me at anne[at]annetenino[dot]com.

If Sam’s TSTL, what does he think that makes Ian?


AT New Logo1About Anne Tenino: 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.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com