Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: hate to love; new adult; close proximity; menage; one bed; LGBTQIA
Warnings for you as you enter Nikki Sloane’s newest Nashville Neighborhood romance, The Frat Boy:
- Do not enter it with delicate sensibilities. If you can imagine it, you become desensitized to the $exiness of this romance. Oh, and by the way, there is nothing wrong with that.
- Don’t let the blurb for this romance fool you. Yes, a frat boy named Colin plays heavily into the *ahem* erotic romance. However, it’s sorority girl Madison who steals the show in this book. Colin is everything you love about a Nikki Sloane hero (male character), but Madison, for me, is the true star.
- If you’re like me and you either have a college-aged child OR you teach college-aged people, just…suspend your disbelief or feign ignorance. Just look through the fingers of your hand as you would a horror movie.
Now, that aside, I enjoyed just about every moment of Nikki Sloane’s The Frat Boy. I mean, the premise of it is troubling (only in so far as Madison and Colin are desperate to find relief from their situations so they choose to star in adult entertainment), so, again, suspend your disbelief, but this is Nikki Sloane’s Nashville Neighborhood, where turning the page of the stories, adds steam to your glasses…or other places down south (wink wink). But this book is ultimately about choice, about one’s autonomy to make decisions for themselves beyond societal expectations. Sloane takes this concept and plays with it throughout the stories of her Nashville Neighborhood romances. She asserts this the deepest, I think, in The Frat Boy. She also elaborates on the consequences of choice, and she uses Madison and Colin’s characterizations to drive the emotional impact of them.
I asserted above that Madison is the star of The Frat Boy. Namely, it’s because she takes a journey of $exual freedom. After personal heartbreak, she realizes that she had hoped to experiment more in college. With her college days dwindling, she recognizes an opportunity to live out her erotic bucket list. She finds herself through this experience, aside from finding a mate in her adversary Colin. Colin’s characterization acts as a foil for Madison through the first half of the story, but, like her, he comes into his own as well, forgoing his parent’s expectations for him as a way to live an easier life. Their journeys are juxtaposed against the politics of the Nashville Neighborhood, led by pesky, mean-spirited, rules-driven Judy. Like Madison’s ex-, like Colin’s parents, like Riley, Colin’s nemesis, Judy represents the stricture of societal expectations. Throughout this series, various characters push against it, and Judy’s reaction becomes more authoritarian. It’s easy to get lost in the eroticism of this book and the series, but it’s Sloane’s insistence for her readers to consider what the eroticism is pushing against, and it’s the restriction of choice. You can almost hear the sentence, “if it isn’t hurting you, why do you care?” whispered over the pages of The Frat Boy and its predecessors. Sloane takes erotic romance and grafts an argument for choice into it.
The Frat Boy is titillating and enticing. I picked it up intent on reading a few pages before putting it down again. Before I knew it, I had finished the book, beguiled by Nikki Sloane’s storytelling. If you love the thrill of $exual freedom, this is the book for you. Oh…and the neighborhood finally gets its day.
In love and romance,