Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary New Adult M/M romance from AM Arthur. COME WHAT MAY is a journey for one young man whose life seemed perfect…from the outside looking in. It’s got so many beautiful feels!!!
Check out the excerpt, my review and enter to win in the giveaway below!
Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.
Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.
But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.
A little taste!
“It’s small,” Jonas said.
“Better than a cardboard box or foster care.” The sharpness in Tate’s voice echoed in his frown.
Jonas had never known anyone before who’d been in foster care, and saying so would probably make him the biggest douche on the planet. It also took the edge off some of his irritation over the total mindfuck that was Tate Dawson. “It’s way better than both of those things. You worked hard for this place, Tate. I haven’t worked hard for anything in my life.”
He blinked. “You do?”
“Yes, I do. I think you work very, very hard to convince yourself and the world that you’re something you’re not. I think you work very, very hard to be perfect when no one is, and the only thing anyone should ever do is just be her or himself. Be true to you, not to what others want from you.”
Jonas’s throat squeezed tight. “I can’t.”
Tate took a step closer, bringing a gentle waft of sweat and something sweet. “Why not?”
He saw the barest reflection of himself in Tate’s glasses and he didn’t like it. He stepped back. Tate snagged his wrist and held him there. The touch sent awareness buzzing across his skin, down his spine and straight to his balls. H needed to pull away before this got out of control.
And then his rebel brain decided it was a good idea to glance at Tate’s pink lips. Lips that Tate, the asshole, licked with slow swipes of his tongue.
Jonas yanked away his hand away so hard Tate stumbled. “I’m not gay, so you can get that ‘fuck the frat boy’ fantasy out of your head right now.”
Instead of being cowed, Tate planted both hands on his hips and said, “Who are you trying to convince? Because it’s just you and me in this room, and I’m not the one who brought up your sexuality. You did.”
Damn him. “Why won’t you leave me alone?”
Tate’s gaze drifted over his face as he sought for words. “Because every time we’re together I can tell you’re struggling with something. You put up this lone wolf front to keep people at arm’s length so you don’t have to work so hard to pretend, but it’s exhausting you. Jonas, you can be yourself with me. Whoever that is.”
“I can’t.” Talking was getting harder around the lump in his throat. His heart was kicking too fast and his chest ached.
“Look me in the eye.” Tate closed the three strides between them, then curled a warm hand around the back of Jonas’s neck. “Look me in the eye and say you don’t want to kiss me right now.”
Jonas is a closeted junior in college sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Delaware to keep him out of the spotlight after he’s expelled from school in a frat-hazing-stunt-gone-wrong. Jonas has had a hard time living up to the perfect ideals of his strict, conservative parents, and suffers from a possible learning disability his folks won’t accept.
Living with his aunt and uncle is a totally new world. Financially, they don’t have much, but they share with real joy. They take care of their own, and more: they have tenants above their garage, Tate and his two younger sisters.
Tate is a 23 y/o out gay man who’s not ashamed at his years of tricking to keep his family fed. Tate and his sisters were orphaned when he was just 16, and he fought hard to win their custody–not before they were both in bad spots in foster care. Tate strives to always put them first, especially his youngest sister Marnie who was assaulted and still suffers PTSD.
Tate is immediately attracted to Jonas, who’s a right godly male specimen. Jonas is afraid of the feelings that Tate stirs, but can’t help being awed by Tate’s sheer awesomeness. Did I mention Tate runs (with his good friends) a homeless shelter for LGBT teens who’ve been kicked out by their parents? Yeah, Tate’s the stand-up man Jonas would love to be. And that admiration allows Jonas to finally drop his facade. He’s known he was gay for some time, but lives in fear of his parents cutting him off.
Of course, being in Delaware with his loving and open extended family–and Tate–allows Jonas to cut loose in a way he never could in college. And, Jonas pretty much loves it. Expect a lot of real hard times, though, because Daddy Dearest is one for the Internet Shame Awards.
I seriously fell into this book. It was such a heart-tugger, and really allowed these two young guys to explore a solid first relationship–one that was definitely heading into “forever” territory in the HEA ending. Jonas gets the help he needs to be a fully functional adult, one not beholden to his father’s homophobic and controlling whims. Tate learns that he has to let go of his guilt surrounding the years he couldn’t keep Addyson and Marnie protected, and build a new and brighter future for them, and himself, with Jonas.
There are some awesome secondary characters, and I’m sure we’ll be lucky enough to experience their love stories going forward. I really ache for Marc and hope he finds a forever man.
The whole “gay teen homeless shelter” background was fantastic, and wonderfully rendered. It was clear exactly how razor-thin the operating budgets of these (unfortunately!!) necessary centers are, and I loved how Jonas did his very best to make Tate’s place more financially solvent. I can only hope that a reconciliation for Jonas and his parents is on the horizon, and that a hefty donation from them will keep the doors open and the kids fed.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 gc to Amazon or Barnes & Noble–winner’s choice!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.