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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2) [Tierney & Dalton] by Anne Tenino ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this one - to pieces! I think I enjoyed it more than the first one. But frankly I'm not sure I can be trusted with such a question.. I'll probably like the first one better if I read it second or if I re-read it. I just LOVE Anne's writing, love her characters for being FLAWED but in a loving way not obnoxious can we kill this character already kinda way. 

Finished this one tonight, meaning this morning.. early morning, late night, well, you get the point, I just COULDN'T put it down, especially so close to the ending. Even though you know that the HEA is right around the corner, and yeah, you know they already love each other, you gotta SEE it. Feel it. Read it.. 

I loved that even though it's a series and even though there are a few things in common between the other couple, they were so different and the story was totally different than the first one. It's not one of those series where it's "copy-paste" the plot with a slight change in character, OH NO! We get to see the couple from the previous book - Sam and Ian (they have an important role in this one) yet they felt like the perfect side characters to move the plot along and bring us conversations we would otherwise hear in the MC's head as musings or something like that. 

I'm getting carried away and I'm not even sure by what. Maybe I'm still tired from not sleeping too many hours this night or this weekend :D 

We met both MC of this book in the previous installment. Dalton is Andy's brother. Andy is Ian's worker who convinced him hiring her brother would be a good idea. Yes it was! not only he is a great secretary, oh, excuse me, I mean, office specialist (!) he also you could say, saved Sam's life when he was hit by haters nearing the end of the previous installment. Somewhere in the previous book Ian also mentions that Dalton is much more Sam's type that he is, and turns out that after they meet they DO finds a lot in common and become good friends.

Since this IS Romancelandia, we also get Sam's inside thoughts on how Dalton and Tierney's romance (yeah, I'm getting to HIM in a moment) have similarities to his favorite romance novels. He also gives Dalton a WHOLE list of romance novels to try out. I really got Sam at that point, I'm that person who recommends totally innocent friends a TON of books they'd probably NEVER read. 

Dalton has been determined to change his life when he broke up from his previous "boyfriend", well they WERE a couple but in a way, like his previous ones before the last he was mostly their "kept boy". It worked out for Dalton back then, having a rich gay closeted guy who can finance him, but he grew up, worked on himself psychologically and decided to study and work to make his own finances and NOT fall into the same patterns (which is also why he's been alone for quite a while now).

Here comes Tierney. The homophobe. The GAY homophobe who can't handle the fact that he is gay. Well, maybe HE can handle it, but his rich influential family WON'T. To keep on the charade, and also his trust fond, he has to play the game. Along the years he became the douche bag he is now, because being what he didn't want to become was inevitable when raised by his fucked up controlling family. The shit hits the fan when two things happen - first, Ian his best friend from college but also his first and only gay crush comes into town and comes out of the closet (what Tierney HOPED) yet Tierney hears about it AFTER Ian finds his true love in Sam. Second happens soon after - Tierney's grandfather passes. The same grandfather who told him quite specifically that he has to behave like his family expects him too while NOT pursuing his interest in men.. 

Tierney crushes down from all the emotions he can't seem to hold back. He drinks more and more and can't handle anything, not work, not his only friendship with Ian and especially not his grandfather's wake he doesn't even want to attend. 

Into this hot mess Dalton comes in. They don't know each other but Dalton sees Tierney when he is down and finds compassion for the man (mostly because it reminds him of how good it felt to be NEEDED by his ex-s). Opening up his heart, somehow Tierney makes a connection with Dalton but it's hard to keep their friendship since Tierney IS a douche bag and crushing down he WANTS to have Dalton's friendship but he isn't sure what Dalton's motives are. Dalton is worried he is making a HUGE mistake being Tierney's friend when they anyhow struggle to keep the friendship platonic (not very successfully), Tierney is too much like his ex-s to his liking.. and he keep sending really confusing signals making Dalton doubt himself even more. 

Tierney goes through a HUGE struggle in this book. While the previous book was a more fun and funny and filled with hot sex, this one is a more angsty (but still funny!) with everything Tierney is going through, the way he crushes down and how Dalton does his best to help him out even though he is quite worried about himself. I think the first somewhat sex scene between them happens half way through the book. It felt right with the angsty ride and everything that was happening between them but also each on his own. Dalton is mostly insecure with his decisions (about Tierney) but Tierney has to really find himself in this novel, find who he is, what he wants in life and how to change from the douche bag he was acting as to the person he always was inside and no one really saw. 

I didn't think I'd like Tierney especially since I don't like the name :P (reminds me of the French legioner from "Special Forces" YUCK!) and he WAS a total homophobic asshole in the previous one. But I really felt his pain in this novel and came to cheer for him with every struggle. 

HIGHLY HIGHLY Recommended! I've already added more books by Anne to my reading list. I love how real her characters feel, the fact that they are NOT perfect, not always hero material and what they are going through feels so realistic. Both Sam and Dalton aren't the macho macho men we are used to in M M Romance and while Ian and Dalton ARE good looking and nicely shaped ;) Sam and Tierney aren't perfect physically speaking. 



Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 415 pages, 25 October 2014 / On GoodReads

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