Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M romance from AM Arthur. THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT is an intense look at living normally after surviving a hate crime. It’s the sequel to THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT but is enjoyable on it’s own.
About the book:
Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.
Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications.
Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he’s compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him.
Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders.
A month after Tristan’s embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them.
Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory—if the side effects don’t kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk…
Warning: Contains two damaged but lovable heroes, secret-keeping friends with good intentions, and an abundance of inappropriate food innuendo.
This is the second book in a series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Tristan and Gabe met once in the bathroom of the gay bar Gabe’s fathers own, Big Dick’s, in the previous book in this series. Gabe was struck by Tristan’s vulnerability, it flipped all his care-taking switches, when Tristan had a panic attack after he forgot where he was. This book picks up two months later when Tristan returns to Big Dick’s with his friends Noah and Shane–and Gabe takes total care of them.
See, Tristan was gay bashed three years prior and his short-term memory is around 30 minutes. He copes by taking copious notes of all his interactions. His best friend, Noah, was also attacked with him–though Noah came out of it with only physical and emotional scars. Noah visits Tristan twice a week, oftentimes with his boyfriend, Shane. (The previous book was about Shane and Noah, and they have important recurring roles here.)
Gabe knows Shane from work–well in a couple ways. Gabe has been a gay porn actor for two years and did a few scenes with Shane in the previous book. He knew Shane wanted to get out of porn, so he helped Shane to get hired as a go-go dancer at Big Dick’s. They are friendly, though there is no spark between them.
There is, however, a BIG SPARK for Gabe and Tristan. Gabe is drawn to Tristan, and wants to protect him. Gabe has his own troubles, though. He is living with, and paying the mortgage for, his verbally and physically abusive alcoholic mother. She never got over her husband being a closeted gay man, and Gabe suffered her abuse and disease for some time, before he was raised by his dads.
Tristan’s memory is a problem that Gabe works through by having email communication. This way, Tristan has a physical record of their connection. In addition, they video chat and Gabe begins to make an impression in Tristan’s mind. Add to this, Tristan is offered inclusion in a drug trial that may increase his short-term memory retention. The risks can be severe and debilitating, but they are worth it for him to try.
This is a sweet and sexy story that really felt complete. I liked Gabe bunches. He’s a caring and compassionate lonely man. And Tristan is the same. He has been kicked, beaten and kicked again when he was down. Yet, he does look for a better life, a whole life that he can share with someone he loves. Gabe seems to be that man, but what will Tristan think about his mom? Or, the porn?
The results were positive, and smoking hot. I never felt like either man was “settling.” There was genuine attraction and affection throughout. Each man was as honest as he could be, and the full truth was not nearly as devastating as they expected. Expect an HEA and two guys who wear each other out the second they get some alone-time. (Or, “semi” alone-time.)
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