Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2)
by Anne Tenino
An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released October 18th 2014
It’s just a friend thing.
Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is -strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend… it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.
Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes…
But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?
From Anne Tenino
Hello, and welcome to the Billionaire with Benefits Blog Tour! *fanfare, etc*
You might have noticed this book took me a while to write… or maybe you didn’t notice, but take my word for it, it did. That might be why it ended up longer than it needed it to be. Ultimately we trimmed over 15,000 words from the original Billionaire manuscript, so posts from me (as opposed to spotlights and reviews) are all going to be cut scenes from the book. Sort of like the extras on a DVD, but, you know, not.
A list of stops on the tour can be found here. Why would you want to follow the tour? Well, because I’m giving away a fabulous, one-of-a-kind Voodoo Ken Kit, which the winner can use to seek revenge on any or all of their exes. How do you win? Check the bottom of each tour post for details.
This was certainly not what I expected but completely worth the time to read.
Tierney was not an easy character to like. He was rude, selfish and a complete mess. It was his screwed up ways that ultimately endeared him to me. There were times I wanted to throttle him and many more times where I just wanted to comfort him and take him away from it all. His journey of self-acceptance was slow in coming but a treat to experience nonetheless. His train of thought was all over the place, his emotions were a mess to get behind, but his heart was good and his yearning for something real the one thing that gave me hope.
Dalton, however, was funny, charming and easy-going. He had his moments were he struggled with his past which made him hesitate. He proceeded with caution when he found himself attracted to Tierney, but kept himself open to the possibility of this turning out differently. He questioned and analyzed but soon found h couldn’t stay away. I admired his loyalty and the support he offered Tierney throughout the story, even when it hurt him to do so. He was exactly what Tierney needed from a partner and who ultimately made Tierney a better man.
Anne Tennino’s stories are always a mix of romance, humor and emotions which I’ve come to expect from her stories. I wouldn’t say this was packed-full of humor, but it did have its funny moments that added a nice contrast to the range in emotions she brought to the page. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t hold back in bringing the emotions to the page even if it portrayed the characters in an unfavorable way. Which is why I don’t think the story would have worked as well for me if it would have been brought about in a different manner.
The connection between Dalton and Tierney was easily palpable, but the author went the extra mile in establishing it and making it grow. They did have great chemistry so that helped immensely, but I’m a sucker for those moments when the characters just click and their connection shines through.
I did find the story a bit long, but after reading it through I came to understand that it was necessary to explore all angles of Tierney and Dalton’s life for the story to be accurate and believable to me. Tierney was a complex individual with rampant emotions. His past was riddled with events that made him who he was, so telling his story thoroughly certainly helped me understand his journey better.
Keep in mind that although this is the second book in the Romancelandia series it certainly can be read a stand alone. It centers solely on Dalton and Tierney’s story and as such it goes hand in had with what Anne Tennino states is Romancelandia–a place where “each hero’s tale is fraught with emotion, some peril, and a healthy dose of laughs.”
All in all, a romantic emotion-driven story with some humor thrown into the mix to round it all up.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
If you sit here any longer, I will kick your ass, Tierney threatened himself. But it didn’t do any good. Five minutes later, he was still on the curb in front of Ian’s house, staring between his knees at the asphalt. The only difference now was that his butt was cold and it was a little closer to sunset. Fucking October.
He really should get the hell away from this place. The emotions he kept locked down inside him were staging a riot, and he needed to get out of the public eye before one of the inmates got control and caused problems.
Well, more problems. Life would be easier if he didn’t have to live through it in his own skin.
He hadn’t even managed to tell Ian about his grandfather’s death. But seriously, he’d had to convince Ian to not out him first. After what went down with Sam and the bashing the other night, he’d thought the dude would be more understanding. Ian’s assurance that Sam was the only one who knew didn’t fill Tierney with confidence. He knew how shit happened—Sam would share it with just one person, who’d just share with one person, and so on. Before long, everyone would know. Ian had apologized, but then he’d come up with some crap about Sam having already figured it out.
No one could just guess Tierney was gay. Ian had to have told him.
They’d argued about it until Tierney couldn’t listen to Sam’s name one more time and he lost it. He might have said some stuff that was a little over the top after that. When his anger took control, it tended to make him talk trash, usually trash he couldn’t remember very well later.
“Jesus Christ,” he groaned, running his hands across his face and gripping his hair.
“Are you all right?”
He didn’t need to lift his head; he knew it was the guy from Ian’s office. Dalton. “Uh, nooo.”
The dude’s footsteps came closer. “Can I do anything to help?”
Suck me off? “I doubt it.”
Dalton didn’t go away. He stood there a few more seconds before saying, “If you need to talk, we could go get coffee or something.”
Tierney jerked his head up. “Are you always this annoying?” Persistent fucker.
Dalton didn’t react the way Tierney’d expected—hoped, possibly. Oh, the guy got pissed, nostrils flaring and looking down his nose at Tierney, but he didn’t try to flay him with words like Tierney would have. He simply said, “Probably.”
“The last thing I need is some amateur head shrink, dude. What, you got an A in Psych 101 so now you’ve got mad skills?” See? The flaying with words.
Dalton arched his brows and crossed his arms over his chest, but he still didn’t leave. It gave Tierney a chance to really study him. The dude was no Ian, but he had definite appeal. A slim but not skinny body that Tierney bet was nicely toned under that hoodie. He could see the swell of biceps just stretching Dalton’s sweatshirt. I’d let him blow me.
He was on his feet before he realized where his mind had gone. Maybe something would work out tonight. Dude probably already knew Tierney was gay—he’d bet Dalton was Sam’s one person. May as well get the most out of this queer clusterfuck.
“I’m sorry for being a dick. Let me buy you a drink to make up for it?” As he said it, panic reared up. We don’t do this. Try to pick up guys. It was strictly outside the boundaries he’d set when he’d started playing the role expected of him.
Shut up. Grandfather’s dead, and we’ve just never done it before. Until now, he’d been strictly restroom.
Dalton narrowed his eyes, until Tierney almost couldn’t see their blue color in the shadows. “I don’t drink much.”
“It’s okay, I can drink enough for both of us.” Smooth. You the man.
“Well, that makes your invitation very appealing.” Dalton shoved his bangs off his forehead, but they fell back within a second, flopping over his brow. How could such a blond guy have such dark lashes? Even in the dusk, his hair was so bright it almost glowed. His cheeks had little spots of color—Tierney had really annoyed him, hadn’t he?
Sweet. He could work with that because he was the man. Time to kick the remorse into a higher gear. “I overreacted.”
Dalton huffed. “Are you talking about out here with me, or in there with Ian? And Sam?”
Tierney’s stomach seized up but otherwise he ignored the reference to his friend and his friend’s lover. “If you’d rather get coffee, I can do that instead.”
Finally Dalton met his eyes again, tightening his lips but giving him a brow lift. “I’m offering you a chance to talk if you want—or not, if you don’t—not an opportunity to fuck me.”
Sam had told him. He had to unclench his fist in order to keep his voice relaxed. “Who said anything about hooking up?”
Dalton’s lip curled. “You’re far more obvious than you think.”
“You’re pretty fucking obvious yourself. You flame almost as brightly as Sam. What’s it like to be a stereotype?”
Before he could blink, Dalton was right up in Tierney’s face, and yes, he was a couple inches shorter, but Tierney still found himself intimidated. And invigorated, because anger was seductive, and Dalton was much more than Tierney had originally thought, and he had those eyes and his hair was sexy with the long-in-front-and-short-in-back thing. What would his bangs feel like brushing across Tierney’s naked skin?
Get a grip. He stepped toward the guy, until they nearly touched, like he’d fallen into Dalton’s gravitational field. I’d love to orbit you, baby.
Dalton didn’t back down, jaw set, eyes flashing in the twilight, and voice too controlled. “Mister Terrebonne. I get that you’re a closet case—”
“I knew Sam couldn’t keep that to himself!”
Dalton ignored him, even though Tierney had nearly yelled down his throat. “I even get that you’re scared, but I will not be a handy punching bag for your existential distress, and I won’t apologize for being who I am. I’ve been there and done that, which is more than you can say.”
Tierney swallowed, trying to unstick some kind of response, but his throat clogged up on him, strangling his words.
Dalton leaned forward, and now their chests were touching, his hoodie sliding and catching against Tierney’s coat, and his lips so close Tierney could feel them move just below his ear. “And in the future?” he whispered. “Anytime you start thinking you’re better than me because you pretend to be straight? You just remember you wanted to tap this.”
Tierney couldn’t breathe. Fuck, what if it was an allergic reaction to too much reality? Dalton stepped off, releasing Tierney from his field. Enough so he could sip some air.
But of course the dude wasn’t done slicing and dicing him. “I’d recommend not taking it out on other people either, if you want to have any friends left.” He started to go, then stopped, pointing his finger at Tierney. “And if you try to do anything to ruin Sam and Ian’s relationship, I’ll make sure you regret it.”
Panic had filled his gut and petrified his diaphragm, and the rest of Tierney’s emotions began their eddying dance. They were starting to really whirl by the time Dalton shoved past him, leaving.
Don’t let him go. In his addled state, the guy suddenly looked more like a life preserver than the cause of Tierney’s internal rough seas. He whirled around. “I could drink coffee,” he croaked, then cringed. He may as well have sliced open his torso and invited Dalton to have a peek inside the asylum. Jesus fucking Christ, he was pathetic.
But the dude had stopped. “Are you saying you do want someone to talk to?” Dalton stood there, still within inches. Waiting for Tierney to answer.
What’s my answer? He stared at Dalton’s ear, right in front of his face, and the dude’s hair where it had been clipped short over the curve of it.
It seemed like a trustworthy ear. “I do.” Tierney cleared the frog out of his throat. “Want someone to talk to.”
Fuck. Dizzy spell.
“Enough to not be a dick?”
He swallowed. “Um, could you define that for me?”
Dalton sighed, turning to him. “Can you try not to pick me up?”
“I can try that.”
“Just platonic.” Dalton pointed at him, index finger an inch from Tierney’s nose. “And don’t make me regret this.” He dropped his hand, giving Tierney a warning look. “I’m taking my own car.”
“Of course.” Tierney nodded. “I’ll follow you. Lead me where you want me to go.”
About the Author
Raised on a steady diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino was—famously—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. However, 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 social sites.
Want a chance to win Voodoo Ken? Well, keep looking, because this isn’t the post with the magical question. FYI, I’ll ship worldwide, so anyone can enter.
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