Paul's been called many things - graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke - but "forgiving" isn't one of them. When the new women's softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul's forced to put aside his strict "no athletes" policy for the sake of his paycheck.
Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul's high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one - the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor's come out and retired from baseball, and now he's looking for forgiveness and a second chance.
There's no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn't sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.
©2012 Anne Tenino (P)2016 Riptide Publishing
Well read by Nick J Russo, this funny short story by Anne Tenino is well worth a listen. We get to see a little of Brad and Sebastian from Frat Boy and Toppy, and more properly meet Toby who shows up later in the series, but this book concentrates on snarky, vicious Paul and his high school lover, Trevor, when they meet 9 years after Trevor outed Paul in order to remain closeted. The tale moves between then and now, there is a little angst but the real draw to Anne Tenino's TAG books has got to be the humour. Very enjoyable.
"So funny! Nick as always is aces!"
We met Paul in book one, he’s the snarky roommate who really hates jocks and gives Brad a very tough time – so tough that Sebastian kicks him out. Now he’s living in the dorms and trying to keep money coming in.
When an offer comes for him specifically to tutor the girls softball team over the summer, Paul wants to refuse, but can’t due to finances. He’s absolutely thrown for a loop when he finds out his high-school boyfriend – the jock that cured him of liking/loving jocks forever – is the new coach.
Trevor was in the closet in high school and for most of his early twenties as a professional baseball player. He threw Paul under the bus and outed him when the two were caught together in the locker room and he’s regretted it ever since.
Trevor wants Paul back but Paul has to decide if he can forgive and forget.
First, let me say this is not great as a standalone. It can be – but it’s much better read in order.
Second – OMG! I don’t know how this book slipped under my radar, I read and loved books 1,3, and 4 but somehow missed this one? I’m not sure. But when I saw Nick Russo was narrating this I had to have it!
Well I was totally enthralled! Normally I don’t like “second chances” love stories. There’s usually so much water under the bridge and I love that “first kiss” energy etcetera from a newly met person. But in this case Paul’s snark and Trevor’s utter adoration really worked for me.
I literally laughed out loud in several places – especially when Paul is telling his friend Toby about his “hypothetical jock situation” – riotous!
Nick did another amazing job with this giving Paul the right voice and not too effeminate but very smarmy at times. Trevor is nicely deep and growly. I really like how Nick portrayed Sebastian and we get to see him and Brad again in this story as well.
All in all this was fun, funny, sweet and sexy!
4.5 of 5 stars for both the story and the narration
"Snarky, Cranky Hero Gets Second Chance Romance"
Seeing my curiosity answered about what made the main character, Paul, such an abominable twit in the first story and seeing if the author could change my mind about him when I got his story.
Seeing two guys overcome a really painful, awful mistake from the past and reuniting with a fun cast of surrounding characters.
I felt more connected with the whole cast of characters. It was fun seeing the dynamics more pronounced in the group of friends because of how spot on he was with their voices, personalities, and emotions.
Actually, I did have an extreme reaction, but not with laughter or tears. I saw the past situation very different from the way it was written. In the story, it seemed the blame was squarely placed on Trevor's shoulders and from my perspective, Paul had some equal responsibilities for that mess happening and I was frustrated that Paul and his friends and even Trevor couldn't see that.
This is book two and works best following Frat Boy and Toppy. Look forward to more from this series.
I received this book to listen to in exchange for my honest review thoughts.
"Funny and lighthearted"
I haven’t many books by Anne Tenino before and after listening to this one I have to ask myself why? I’d heard good things about her books but I just never got around to checking them out. I will be correcting that in the future.
Love, Hypothetically is part of the Theta Alpha Gamma series but can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series and had no trouble enjoying the plot.
Enjoying is an understatement. I was totally wrapped up in the story from the get-go. Part of it was Nick Russo’s excellent narration but Tenino’s top-notch writing had even more to do with it. Tenino crafted some truly memorable characters here.
Paul and Trevor sparkled from their first appearance. The two guys are exes with unresolved feelings—and that is a major understatement. One thing I loved about Paul is that he is far from perfect. In fact, he can be kind of an ass. But that makes him realistic. Yeah, I hated him a bit when he said mean things to Trevor who’s just trying to be open, but Paul’s emotions are somewhat understandable once you know about the past.
This was a great new adult, second chance at love tale. There is a lot of humor in the story and not a lot of angst, which made it right up my alley.
I loved Nick Russo’s voice throughout the story. He has a calm and soothing timbre that drew me into the story. He did great for all the characters both main and supporting. I haven’t listened to books narrated by Russo before but I will definitely check him out in the future.
"A hated character is re-defined"
I would, it's always a nice read when an Author can redeem a character previously disliked.
When Paul pulls his head out of his ass.
Everyone deserves a second chance
I was first introduced to Paul in book 1, Frat Boy and Toppy, and I hated him almost instantly. Arrogant, rude, brash and generally pissed off all the time about everything! So when I saw he was one of the main characters in this book, I was hesitant. But, I do love when an Author can take a disliked or hated character and give them depth, make them likeable. And that is exactly what Anne Tenino did with Paul.
Paul's attitude and persona are somewhat of a front, a barrier he has erected around himself so as not to be hurt ever again. In high school his then boyfriend not only dumped him by denying their relationship, he outed Paul to everyone at the same time. This is why Paul hates all jocks, since said ex was a jock, and it explains why he was so mean to Brad and Sebastian. Almost a decade later, the guy that outed Paul is no longer in the major leagues, he's the new Ladies Softball Coach at the college. Trevor Gardiner has regretted what he did to Paul all those years ago every day of his life since. Trevor sets out to win Paul back but it won't be an easy task. Especially when Paul finally has the chance to say what he wanted to say to Trevor all those years ago. Problem is, the satisfaction he thought he'd get by telling Trevor off isn't there. Instead, Paul realizes he really does still love the guy. But his outburst may have driven Trevor away for an entirely different reason this time.
Narrated by Nick J Russo and just like with the first book in this series, he nailed the right tones and nuances for Paul and Trevor. And he carried all the different tones for the characters in the first book over into this one flawlessly. I listened to the two stories back to back and it flowed so well, I thought I was listening to one longer story, not two different ones. Definitely worth grabbing a copy to take a listen, but you must start with Frat Boy and Toppy first or you won't be able to fully appreciate the story.
"AWESOME narration and a fun, easy listen!"
**New audiobook rating: 4.5 stars**
I'm a HUGE fan of the Theta Alpha Gamma series by Anne Tenino, and I had nothing but good memories of this book, which I read originally over three years ago.
Love, Hypothetically features one of my FAVORITE tropes in romance EVER, which is the enemies-to-lovers theme, but more specifically, the former-betrayer-to-lover theme. This is a cousin to the former-bully-to-lover trope, which... gah, gets me every time! I love when someone has to truly grovel after formally wronging a love interest. It sparks deep emotions inside of me, and it usually leads to me really loving a book.
It is always interesting how my opinions change about a certain book over the years and as my reading tastes change with time. On re-read, I found myself wanting MORE from the plot. This book is novella length, and I realized that I really needed about 100 more pages to feel fully satisfied. I wasn't really ready to fully forgive Trevor, the jock who strung along, outed, and then ditched Paul. I could have used pages upon pages of Paul crying and torturing Trevor. (I'm really sick, huh??)
I still loved how light this book was and how unexpectedly SEXY it was. I love Anne Tenino for that. I even really enjoyed Paul of the prickly personality, whose snarky attitude I found to be really enticing. This book is truly happy, comfort reading for me, as is this whole series.
If I had to rate this book on content alone, I would probably give it 4 stars, which means that I really liked it. However, the audiobook narration by Nick J. Russo EASILY bumped it up 1/2 a star. Nick J. Russo is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators, and he KILLED it again with another amazing performance. His voices for both MCs were perfection.
I hope and pray that Anne Tenino continues on with this series because it holds a special place in my heart. There are few books that I'll re-read, and Love, Hypothetically is one of them, especially now that Nick J. Russo is part of the picture.
**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**
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