Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Every Frat Boy Wants It

Title: Every Frat Boy Wants It
Author: Todd Gregory
Genre: Gay Erotica
Series: None
Grade: 3 out of 5 stars


Jeff Morgan is about to get the education of a lifetime...
At eighteen, Jeff Morgan is the quintessential all-American boy--blond, blue-eyed, and a star jock at his small Kansas high school. Enrolling at California State University-Polk, Jeff plans to become a writer. He also hopes that the macho nature of fraternity life will help him get over his lifelong attraction to other men. The reality couldn't be more different...
Through Blair Blanchard, the drama major son of divorced movie stars, Jeff discovers the Beta Kappa fraternity, and enters a world where alcohol and drugs serve as an excuse for covert trysts between frat brothers...where the pledging process becomes a sensual, S&M-fueled bacchanal...where weekends in L.A. and Palm Springs are no-holds-barred adventures in sexual exploration...and where Spring Break is a boys-gone-wild porn movie come to life. Through every encounter, from intense couplings with older frat brothers to sizzling three-ways with hot new pledges, Jeff also deals with his increasingly complex feelings--for Blair, for a handsome new arrival, and for life within Beta Kappa itself.
Sexy, steamy, and incredibly erotic, Every Frat Boy Wants It proves that when it comes to learning all there is to know about mind-blowing pleasure, nothing beats hands-on experience...


The set-up seems fairly simple: Naïve, innocent Kansas boy goes to a big, California campus, and subsequently a macho frat where innocent Kansas boy gets his eyes opened by beefy men who like to get it on with each other.

And that’s what happens, sorta…  I think I got it figured out…

Something that really frustrated me throughout the whole novel is that there didn’t seem to be a central conflict.  Was this about Jeff and Blair’s relationship?  Was this about Jeff’s need to come out as a gay man?  Was it about just how incredibly ridiculous and dangerous frat houses can be?  Or was it really all just an excuse to write a series of disjointed gay hook ups?

I think this was supposed to be a gay erotica/romance because the central story kept circling around to the relationship between Jeff and Blair.  It’s not that romantic of a relationship.  Sure, they tend to fall into each other’s arms a lot proclaiming their love, but in the end Jeff still has a hell of a time keeping it in his pants.  One moment he’s confessing his love for Blair then two seconds later he’s screwing some of his frat brothers.  Seriously?  This probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if they were both getting around, but I just felt sorry for Blair because it was clear Jeff’s actions hurt him.

But the main reason I question if this was truly intended to be a gay erotica/romance is because of the amount of time spent on Jeff’s initiation into the frat, Beta Kappa.  If there was anything I took away from this book it is to NEVER JOIN A FRAT!  Reading about the initiation and hazing is not for anyone with a weak stomach.  It’s an in-depth, honest look at drinking on today’s college campuses.  I’m surprised none of the characters were sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.  The thing is, I don’t really get what was the point of having all that detail.  None of it was part of the erotica… it sort of felt like two books mashed into one.  Book one- a study of Greek life on today’s campuses.  Book two- gay erotica.    

Another thing that was grating on my nerves by the end was the number of loose plot threads.  Blair states at the beginning of the novel that straight guys will do just about anything when they are horny, including fooling around with gay men and then pretending it never happened in the morning.  It seems to be implied (at least to me) that at some point Blair was in love with, or at least involved with another frat brother or straight guy who burned him.  This would explain why he’s so secretive about his and Jeff’s relationship and about his own past, but for some reason this is never explained to the reader.  It’s just left hanging.

Blair himself annoyed me by the end of the book.  He started off as this awesome character, full of mystery and glamour, and then just ended up being whiny and needy.  Even Jeff was bored with him, which made me completely doubtful that their relationship would last much farther than the end of the novel.  I can’t say too much more for Jeff.  He started off as this young boy from Kansas, and his innocence and constant discoveries is what initially gave the book its erotic edge.  By the end he was this coked out horn dog slowly dying on the inside.  At the same time, he was still a better character than Blair, because it wasn’t a weak character, just extremely unlikable.  The Jeff’s physical and emotional decay is supposed to be a blatant reflection of the toll that pretending not to be gay is taking on him.  The problem with this is that the decaying went so far that it seemed too abrupt that he would suddenly be ok again and that his and Blair’s relationship would be revived just by coming out of the closet.  Yea, that would go a long way toward helping, but he was pretty messed up by that point, and that’s saying something after all he went through to get into the frat.

The book’s saving grace that kept it from falling into the 1 or 2 star categories is that it was well written.  It’s painful when something is written well enough that you want to keep going, but the story isn’t compelling.  I’d be willing to try Todd Gregory again in the future, but I wouldn’t recommend Every Frat Boy Wants It, unless there is someone you are trying to scare out of joining a frat.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please Don't Hold Me To It

I try to keep my promises.  Really, I do.  Except I'm terrible at keeping the promises I make to myself.  Like, "I'm going to keep up with posting on my blog" and, of course, New Year's resolutions.  Yea, remember those things?  Those wonderful grand promises we make to ourselves when we see a whole year spread out in front of us, full of endless possibilities.  Well, this year is coming to a close soon, and I am determined to keep at least one of my New Year's resolutions before I create a whole new set.

To quote one of my resolutions:
Participate in the DIK Reading Challenge. I joined up because hopefully this will help me with resolution number one. [Resolution #1 was to start posting regularly... sorry guys!] It's my first reading challenge, and I have always wanted to try one out.
Ok, for me the DIK Reading Challenge is shot, but there is no reason I can't finish the essence of the resolution, which was to participate in my first reading challenge.  In addition to the DIK Reading Challenge, I also posted on the Goodreads groups Romance Readers Reading Challenges section 2010 A-Z Book Challenge, which is exactly what it sounds like: during this calendar year read at least one book starting with each letter of the alphabet.  I think there is some leniency with the letter X though.

Here is how I've done so far:
B- Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas (3/19)
C- The Courtship Dance by Candace Camp (1/4)
D- Don't Bargain with the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries (1/6)
G- Gone With the Nerd by Vicki Lewis Thompson (2/1)
H- Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry (3/7)
J- Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (3/17)
K- The Kiss by Sophia Nash (In Progress)
L- Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (1/24)
M- The Marriage Wager by Candace Camp (1/15
N- Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries (2/8)
O- Open Season by Linda Howard (8/1)
P- Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (2/25)
S- Sinful Surrender by Beverly Kendall (11/19)
T- To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt (1/14)
V- The Villa by Nora Roberts (In Progress)
W- The Wedding Challenge by Candace Camp (1/3)

And ya know, with my Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks coming up, I think I might just be able to finish up the remaining letters!  Going through the books I own, here's what I know I'm going to read:
A- An Unexpected Pleasure by Candace Camp
E- Every Frat Boy Wants It by Todd Gregory
F- False Colors by Alex Beecroft or Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
R- The Return of the Earl by Edith Layton
Z- Zoya by Danielle Steel

As for the remaining letters (I,Q,U,X, and Y) I welcome any and all suggestions before I buy or check out any books.  Wish me luck :)