Rough Love in SAVED–Review and Giveaway!!

Hi there! Today I”m sharing a review, excerpt and giveaway for a new M/M urban fantasy from AM Arthur. SAVED is the first book in the Breaking Free series, and features a world where only males exist. Three genders: alpha, beta and omega, and some rough sexual politics have led to bad relations between breeding pairs…where love isn’t necessarily a given. I’ve liked contemporary and new adult romances from this author (HERE FOR US, THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, FINDING THEIR WAY) so I was eager to check out this new series.

Drop down to enter the giveaway for an eBook of SAVED and an ARC of book two in the series!

About the book:
He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

How about a little taste?

“Would you be able to describe exactly what you saw that night in detail?” Tarek pulled a notepad and pen out of his front pocket.

Braun’s entire body went rigid. “Why? Who are you really?”

“I really am Tarek Bloom.” For a moment, he actually seemed contrite. “What I didn’t tell you is that I’m also a constable.”

“Shit.” Braun bolted out of his chair and toward the front door, fork still in his hand.

In a flurry of movement, Tarek was in front of him, blocking his path to the door, and Braun lashed out with the fork. Dex grabbed his wrist and plucked the fork out of his hand, but that didn’t stop Braun from swinging. He punched Tarek in the chest. Twice. Panic settled in, overriding his common sense, and he tried to push past the brick wall of a man.

“Let me go! I won’t go back, I won’t!”

Arms wrapped around his torso from behind, pinning his arms to his sides. Serge’s comforting scent settled his racing mind a bit, but it was Tarek’s hand on the back of his neck that settled Braun completely.

“Calm down, firecracker,” Tarek said. His deep voice soothed Braun’s frazzled nerves, and his touch sent his pulse racing with delight. “You’re still safe, I promise. No one here wants to hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” Braun snarled. “I’m just some useless omega you’ve known for twenty minutes.”

“You’re far from useless, little one.”

Tarek’s other hand rose, nearing Braun’s face. Braun snapped at his fingers. “I’m only a womb to you.”

“Far from it, my firecracker.” The hand on his neck squeezed. “Far from it.”

The grounding touch made Braun want to roll over and show his belly, but he was done being passed around. Done letting other people control his life. He didn’t want to feel this mating bond to Tarek, but he also couldn’t turn it off. Even with the heat block, Tarek was under his skin, doing funny things to his insides.

Angry and confused, Braun dared look an alpha in the eye.

My Review:
This world is one where no females exist, and a small percentage of males, the omegas, have the ability to become pregnant. Omegas go into heat, an overwhelming physiologic experience, every three months. It is during that 48 hour window that an alpha could impregnate the omega. And, the offspring can be any of the three genders: alpha, beta or omega. In this world. alphas have the best opportunities, best job prospects and best lives. They get their pick of the matable omegas. Betas are second-class citizens who are essentially infertile as they are never allowed to mate an omega. They do form pair bonds, and some adopt discarded beta offspring. Betas have virtually unrestricted lives, though they are considered to be inferior in intellect by alphas.

Omegas are, maybe, fifth-class citizens. They are kept under strict supervision, they have no rights to freedom or autonomy. Their education usually ends int he mid teens and the omeags are sequestered until their first heat–which comes anytime from 15-21, to “protect” them from having an unsupervised heat where they could be raped by any alpha who catches wind of their pheromones. Once mated, it’s up to the omega’s alpha to decide if there will be further education, a job, or the ability to drive one’s self. An Alpha can physically harm or intimidate his omega without repercussion, using the excuse of “discipline”.

Braun Ettings is a nearly 21 year old unmated omega who just survived the car wreck that claimed the life of his abusive father. Unable to be left on his own, he’s sent to a half-way house for unmated omegas. Braun’s not sad his tormentor died, but he’s scared in his new surroundings, and wishes he could go live with his pregnant, elder brother, Kell. Unfortunately, Kell’s abusive husband is a big problem. Braun notices what looks like a kidnapping of one of the residents of his half-way house and decides to flee–which is brave but perilous. He’s accosted and nearly raped, only saved at the last moment by a beta nurse who recognized him from the recent hospital treatment and his alpha husband. Their friend, Tarek Bloom, is an alpha and a constable, and he’s really intrigued by both Braun and his tale of woe in the half-way house. Braun feels the pull to mate with Tarek nearly immediately, but he’s determined not to fall into the same deadly trap that Kell is caught in.

As Tarek investigates the situation, and some other crimes, he arranges to become Braun’s legal protector, and works out a fostering arrangement for his friends who’d saved Braun. These four form a tight unit of friendship, with a deep attraction brewing between Tarek and Braun. Braun’s confused and pleased that Tarek isn’t simply claiming him outright. He can’t trust that it won’t happen, though. Conversations with Kell help to guide him into accepting what appears to be love, but there are lots of complications–the abusive situation Kell is in, the recovery of kidnapped beta youths, the rescue of Braun’s fellow omegas from the half-way house–to name a few. Plus, Braun’s first heat is imminent. Tarek swears he’ll defend Braun and not claim him, but Braun is unsure that Tarek will keep his word. It was good to see Tarek be such a stand-up guy, especially in the face of the deep prejudices and derision he faces by having such an independent omega. They do fall for one another and sexytimes do happen, but not before the friendship and emotional bonding have been built.

This is, to me, a police romance with an urban fantasy laid over it. Getting used to the lack of females and acclimating to the omegaverse constraints took me a little time. I loved the sexual politics, and how stark the divide was between the alphas and omegas, in terms of power, prestige and autonomy. Braun’s a spitfire of an omega, and he’s often caught at the center of controversy, but Tarek loves him steadfastly, and it’s clear they are going to become stronger as a mated pair as the books go forward. The situation between Kell and his husband isn’t fully resolved at the end of this book, so expect that to drive the story line in the sequel. On a different note, it’s pretty shattering to read about the abuse Braun, Kell and others survive, so take that trigger warning seriously. I’m looking forward to reading on!

Interested? You can find SAVED on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an eBook of SAVED and an ARC of book two in the series!
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.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Coming Together: HERE FOR US–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M/M menage romance from A. M. Arthur. HERE FOR US is a new spin off from her Perspectives series, but can be fully enjoyed on it’s own.

Like THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT, and THE HEART AS HE HEARS IT, this book features a small-time gay porn actor finding a new life and a true love–but this time he finds two!

Catch the excerpt and enter to win a $25 GC to Amaonz or Barnes & Noble in the giveaway below.

About the book:
Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.

How about a little taste?

I need to fucking get laid.
The thought followed Cris Sable through the heavy industrial door that hid the throbbing interior of Big Dick’s, the most popular gay nightclub in Harrisburg. The place was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was, or if you didn’t know the big muscle bear sitting by the entrance was a bouncer. Cris hadn’t been to the club in over a year, mostly by choice, but tonight he needed something.
Definitely a drink, although he’d have to limit himself now that he was functioning with one kidney. And, if possible, he wanted to leave with a willing ass to fuck. It had been a long dry spell.
A dry spell of his own making, but still, a guy had needs, and he wasn’t looking to get his needs met by a woman tonight. Tonight he needed dick.
He eased his way over to the bar and ordered a margarita on the rocks. Something he could work his way through slowly. The club was in full swing, bodies gyrating on the dance floor, men dry humping their way through the evening. Soon early morning. At the rear of the dance floor, six go-go dancers were on risers, each decked out in one color of the rainbow. Barely-there briefs in a solid color, sparkle body paint all over their chests and legs, and some dancers even had colorful streaks in their hair. Monday was theme night for the go-go dancers, which explained why there were so many. On the other nights of the week that Cris had visited, the club usually only had three dancers.
Cris zeroed in on the dancer in blue. He loved the color blue, and this kid was pretty fucking hot in a royal blue thong, with blue swirls across his pecs and shoulders. Something kind of tribal and arty. He spun around to shake his ass, showing off very taut blue-painted cheeks. Even from the distance, he was cute. The kind of cute Cris liked to wrangle around in bed and fuck through the mattress.
Occasionally, a hand would rise from the crowd with money in it, and the blue dancer squatted low enough for the money to be tucked away in their underwear. Very strip club-esque, but Big Dick’s had a strict policy about not touching the dancers for longer than it took to tip them.
He scanned the other dancers’ faces and froze solid at the guy at the end. Despite the yellow paint, Cris knew that nearly naked body intimately enough to see past the costume and recognize Colby. Not his real name, and Cris didn’t know what it was, but they’d filmed together at Mean Green Boys roughly two years ago. Colby was only with the company for a few months before he quit to be with his boyfriend.
Cris had been intensely jealous at the time. At twenty-eight years old, he’d failed to find and maintain a serious relationship for longer than six months. And even that relationship had imploded when she found out he did gay porn. Okay, so he shouldn’t have kept that a secret for so long. He’d been so damned happy to find someone who understood and accepted he was bisexual that he’d been scared to destroy it too soon by admitting to the porn.
But secrets never did a relationship any good, and Lily had dumped his ass hard.
He’d taken a two year hiatus from porn after that, hoping to try and rebuild his flailing love life, before returning to Mean Green. The studio owner, Chet Green, was one of his closest friends—hence the very secret reason for his single remaining kidney.
“Hello, gorgeous.” A slinky number in leather pants and a silver mesh shirt slid up to Cris at the bar. Cute, kohl-lined eyes, plump lips that promised they knew how to suck a dick.
Cris grinned. “Who, me?”
“Oh, honey, we both know you’re the sexiest thing in the club tonight.” A warm arm draped over his shoulders. “Name’s Luke.”
“Cris.”
“Hmm, I think you look more like a Vincent.”
Cris tensed. No fucking way could this random guy know who he was. There was no hint of malice in his easy grin, no sign the name was anything other than a really good guess. Cris came from an Italian family from Long Island, and the genes were pretty strong. He’d rid himself of his identifying accent years ago, though, thank Christ.
“Or Vincenzo, or Anthony,” the kid said, oblivious to Cris’s racing thoughts.
“Well, it’s Cris.” Rude, fine, but he’d lost any interest in Luke. Cristian Sable was his identity now. “See you around.”
Cris pushed away from the bar and eased his way into the crowd occupying the fringes of the dance floor. A few blatant offers came his way, but Cris turned them all down. He didn’t realize he’d inched closer to the risers and his blue dancer until the guy was less than ten feet away.
Blue had a face that was both easygoing and sharp. He was enjoying himself without totally letting his guard down. And he was hella cute. Fuckable for sure.
Bodies danced frenetically all around him, allowing Cris to stay close to the wall and shift nearer to Blue. Someone held up a bill between two fingers. Blue wiggled his hips and squatted low so the money could be tucked into his g-string. The triangle of blue material held a very promising package for a smaller guy.
Blue blew a kiss to his patron, then spun in an ass-wiggling circle. His dark gaze roamed the crowd, then paused on Cris. An unexpected thrill shot through him. Some sort of instinctive acknowledgement of the man on the stage, as if they’d been waiting to meet. Blue held eye contact; Cris drew out a long, lazy smile. Blue cocked his head, winked, and then kept dancing. Cris stayed in his spot. Every few minutes, Blue glanced his way. Right into his eyes.
Target acquired.
The dancers came and went from the risers, likely taking breaks in between sets. When Blue winked again and disappeared, Cris had half a mind to try and find him. Except he didn’t work at the club, and he had no real excuse to get backstage. Cris sipped his watered-down margarita and watched the eye candy on display. The gorgeous men, the throbbing music, and the heady scents of sweat and sex worked their magic on Cris, and he was half-hard by the time a brown-haired kid with a smear of blue under both eyes sidled up next to him.
Cris studied the familiar face, now scrubbed clean except for those two very appealing smudges. His hair maintained hints of blue glitter. He’d covered that amazing body with jeans and a white sleeveless tee, but this was Cris’s dancer. Blue.
“You off the clock?” Cris asked.
“Yup.” He grabbed Cris’s glass and finished it off with a smirk that did funny things to Cris’s balls. “Damn, I think I owe you a drink.”
He laughed. “Cris.”
“Jake.” He snagged Cris’s belt and tugged him toward the bar.
The forwardness was a huge fucking turn on, and Cris’s cock was at full mast by the time they reached the bar. An older man in a sparkly vest smiled at them.
“Two margaritas on the rocks,” Jake said. “My tab.”
“On it,” the bartender said.
Cris rested one hand on Jake’s lower back, and he was surprised by the tiny thrill that vibrated up his arm. Jake pressed into his touch, eyelids fluttering as if he’d felt something similar. Cris leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Blue is my favorite color.”
Jake looked up, big brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “Oh yeah?”
“Definitely. It looks good on you.”
“Know what else would look good on me?”
Cris saw the flirty line coming, but he played along. “What’s that?”
“You.”
He nuzzled Jake’s ear with his nose. “I agree.”
The bartender slid their drinks over. Jake gulped his, while Cris only sipped. And studied his future sex partner. A good six inches shorter than him, and slimmer all over. Dance-honed muscles. Tight jeans that did nothing to hide his erection. A very One Direction boyish hotness about him that made Cris want to fuck him senseless.
“I’d ask if you want to dance,” Jake said, “but you didn’t bust a move all night.”
“Not much of a dancer.”
“No good?”
“I’m plenty good.” Cris put a little leer into those words. “But I don’t like using dancing as foreplay. I’d rather play in private.”

My Review:
Cris has been a on-again/off-again porn star working for Chet Green of Mean Green Boys producions for eight years. He’s really loved working with Chet. Their relationship is cordial and caring, without ever being intimate–despite how attracted both men feel for the other. Chet is 48, and doesn’t want to be a letch. Cris is 28, and has a complicated family history–so much so that he’s had plastic surgery to change his appearance and changed his name before ever meeting Chet.

Cris and Chet think they have no way forward, and Cris is determined to find someone to start a life with; now that he’s accepted his bisexuality, he wants a partner. His last girlfriend left because of the porn–and that hurt bad. Cris meets Jake, a go-go dancer at a popular gay bar and they hit it off immediately, but Jake’s a troubled young man, who’s been abandoned enough to fiercely guard his heart. He makes mistakes that Cris forgives, but Jake soon recognizes that Chet is likely a better match for Cris than a 23 year old soon-to-be-homeless go-go dancer.

For Cris, he’s amazed to realize he’s got a strong connection to Chet and Jake, and he agonizes on how to reconcile this. It’s not fair to him that Chet and Jake both decide for him that he should pursue the other man–and Cris only barely forges a connection with Chet before everything explodes again, and Jake needs more TLC than Cris alone can provide. This is a menage, but it doesn’t start that way. There is a physical connection with Cris and Jake, and an emotional connection with Cris and Chet, but both Chet and Jake recognize they aren’t being fair to Cris, and they develop a rapport, as well.

The relationship building isn’t instinctive, but these guys–toward the very end–decide to see if they can tolerate being together, for each other, in ways they hadn’t considered before. It’s a bit fun and exciting sexually, for all of them, but there’s also a lot of emotional investment. I liked how that developed, and I can see there is more to come for these guys in another story. We still don’t know enough about Cris’ dark past, and these guys have only begun their journey of intimacy, so I look forward to seeing all that play out. This is a new spin-off series from previous books the author has written. There are plenty of appearances from previous characters, which is rather nice, and soothing.

Interested? You can find HERE FOR US on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 gc to Amazon of Barnes & Noble.
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.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

It’s Love…COME WHAT MAY–Review and Giveaway!

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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!

ComeWhatMay_finalAbout the book:
Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.

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.”

“I disagree.”

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.”

My Review:

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.

Interested? You can find COME WHAT MAY on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

****GIVEAWAY****

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.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Tumblr.

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Baby Steps–THE HEART AS HE HEARS IT-Review & Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-10Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from A. M. Arthur. THE HEART AS HE HEARS IT is the third book in her Perspectives series, but can be fully enjoyed on it’s own. Like THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, and THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT, this book features a small-time gay porn actor finding a new life and a true love, as a sub-plot.

Catch the excerpt and enter to win a backlist book from AM Arthur in the giveaway below.

HeartAsHeHearsIt-The300About the book:
While most of his friends have moved on to “real” careers, Jon Buchanan is content skating through life as a part-time waiter and gay porn star. Firmly single thanks to a previous relationship disaster, he focuses his spare time on Henry, a dear friend dying of cancer.

And with Henry’s happiness paramount, Jon is on a mission to help Henry meet his recently discovered grandson.

Isaac Gregory hasn’t set foot outside for the past year. He has everything he needs delivered, and his remaining family knows better than to visit. When a complete stranger shows up claiming to be his grandfather—with a distractingly handsome younger man in tow—his carefully structured routines are shaken.

Despite his instant attraction, Jon senses Isaac is too fragile for a relationship. Yet tentative friendship grows into genuine companionship. And when Henry’s health begins to fail, they realize Fate brought them together for a reason.

How about a little taste?

Jon studied him, his gaze taking in…something. “May I ask you something?”
“Of course.” His chest flushed with anticipation.
“How do you feel when you’re with me?”
Isaac tried to push aside the anxiety still attempting to blur his thoughts, an old friend that wanted to be part of the conversation. Only anxiety wasn’t allowed in, not this time. He shuffled through different words, emotions and adjectives, searching for the one that best described how he felt about Jon. How Jon made him feel, despite being a near-stranger, bigger, stronger and far more experienced in pretty much everything. Jon still made him feel… “Safe,” Isaac said.
Jon’s eyebrows crept up. The corners of his mouth quirked into something not quite a smile. “Really?”
“Yes. The first time I saw you on my security feed, I noticed how beautiful you were.” His cheeks warmed.
Jon flat out grinned. “Yeah?”
“You’re kind and patient, and I feel safe because you don’t try to fix me, and you don’t act like I’m broken. My family thinks I’m broken, and I don’t want them to fix me. I just…” Something in Isaac shifted, accepting this new truth. “I need to feel safe, Jon. That’s why I hide. But you make me not want to hide.”
Jon’s eyes glittered. His expression melted into something so warm, so sweet, that it burned in Isaac’s blood in a way he didn’t understand at all. The strange sensation urged him to reach out, to initiate contact of some kind. Deep-rooted fear kept Isaac still, unable to make that first move. Unable to do anything except soak in the wonderment on Jon’s face.
“I think that’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten,” Jon said. His voice was hoarse, strange. Almost difficult to hear, so Isaac paid more attention to his lips. “Is it cheesy to say your strength makes me want to be better too?”
Isaac shook his head. “I’m not strong.”
“You’re stronger than you think. You proved that by letting me and Henry in two weeks ago. You proved it again by going out to rescue a kitten. Twice, by the way. You told me you want to get better, get into the world, and that takes a fuck-ton of courage when you’ve lost as much as you have. I know it won’t be easy, but I still want to help you do that.”
“I know you do. I want that too.”

My Review:
While this is the third book in a series, it follows a new lead and a new romance, with brief appearances from a couple previous characters.

Jon is a 25 y/o man who is in a good place in his life. A recovering anorexic, he has battled back from the brink, and built some true friendships, notably Gabe, from previous books, and Henry, an older man who took Jon in when his family cast him out and helped him through his recovery. Jon prefers his regular porn shoots for no-strings sex, as his last relationship (with emotionally-abusive Rick) was completely toxic. He’s not looking for a partner, and is busy caring for Henry who has end-stage prostate cancer. When Henry learns he has a long-lost grandson, he wants to meet him, and spend whatever time he has making one last connection. Jon assists, and is struck by Isaac.

For his part, Isaac suffers PTSD from domestic violence–Henry’s unknown son was an abuser–and witnessing his mother be attacked by criminals. Though he’s 22, Isaac is agoraphobic in the extreme and hasn’t left his home willingly since his grandmother died a year ago. He’s also mostly deaf, due to his father’s battery.

Isaac is initally terrified of Henry, whose resemblance to his abusive son is traumatic, but he braves out a single meeting a little mystified by the beautiful man who accompanies Henry, Jon. Not long after, Isaac rescues a lost kitten who strayed onto his porch, and he reaches out to Jon to bring supplies. They hit it off, and begin a casual friendship mostly via online messaging, at first. Jon wants Henry’s dying wish to become true, so he continues to build a friendship with Isaac in the hope that Henry will be invited to spend more time. It doesn’t hurt that Jon feels attracted adn protective of Isaac, wanting to make his sheltered life better, too. In the meantime, Jon’s ex, Rick, returns and his ED is triggered. Jon and Isaac’s friendship becomes more than friendly, with brief forays into the physical. It was all so new, and unwelcome, for Isaac at first, given his history with abuse and violence. Ultimately, Jon and Isaac are sweet for each other, and their cooperation turns into a tentative passion, and then a tender love.

I loved the time frame, here, with very reasonable baby steps forward for both Jon and Isaac over the course of months. Jon’s job as a porn actor isn’t seedy, and his views on it change as he develops strong feelings for Isaac. For those who may be concerned about fidelity issues, there are no cross-overs; Jon is highly respectful of himself and Isaac. I really liked the open and honest communication that was present throughout. Jon is so compassionate and this really turns Isaac’s head in the best way. It was so fun, also, to have a front row seat to Isaac’s awakening, emotionally and sexually. I was captivated by his self-sheltering, and also with his management of his hearing. It was really interesting how he chose to wear his hearing aid some times, and not others, based on whether he wanted to interact, or shut out, those around him. All of his many mechanisms to keep the world safely locked outside his door, but Jon was able to sneak inside–inch-by-inch–Bear, the playful kitten, was a huge part of that process.

A lot of the book is sweet and tender, though there are some bits that are tragic, what with Henry’s progressive illness, and others that are downright creepy-scary. What are Rick’s motives? And, is he behind the mysterious visits and packages Jon’s receiving? Expect some harrowing moments while that gets sorted. I was glad that everything turned out so good, and look forward to more excellently-told stories of the Mean Green porn boys, now that we’ve gotten to know a few of them in this book.

Interested? You can find THE HEART AS HE HEARS IT on Goodreads, Samhain Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Ms. Arthur.
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.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook,
Twitter, and Tumblr.
pride

Living in THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT–A Review

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.

The World As He Sees It (Perspectives #2)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.

My Review:
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.)

Interested? You can find THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT on Goodreads, Samhain Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and “bromance” (and “The Young Riders”) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. You can contact her at AM_Arthur(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tentatively FINDING THEIR WAY-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a contemporary M/M romance from AM Arthur. FINDING THEIR WAY is the second book in the Restoration series. I really enjoyed GETTING IT RIGHT and this book is a great sequel.

Finding Their Way (Restoration #2)About the book:

Thanks to an abusive father and a string of bad relationships, Riley McCage learned the hard way that people are not kind without a reason. Now, after landing a job at popular gay bar Pot O Gold, Riley is on the right track–until the night Boxer finds him drunk and drugged in the back room of an exclusive sex party.

Donald “Boxer” Boxwood wasn’t looking for anything beyond some casual kink until he peeled Riley off the floor and gave him a safe place to stay. But there’s something compelling about the guy crashing on his couch, and the two forge an instant friendship that eases into unmistakable attraction. Despite Riley’s hesitancy, Boxer knows one thing to be true: he needs Riley in his life.

Riley risked everything to run away and build a new life for himself, and his secrets aren’t something he’d ever wish upon his kind, gentle new friend. But when the past comes to call, he’ll have no choice but to put his trust in Boxer…and believe people can change enough to deserve a second chance.

My Review:
This is the second book in the Restoration series and can be read as a standalone, though I recommend reading in order.

Riley McGage has a secret–his identity is bought and paid for to keep his angry, gay-bashing alcoholic police detective of a father from ever laying hands on him again. Riley is a bartender at the Pot o Gold bar in Wilmington Delaware, and has met many a sexy man there. He’s a no-go for penetrative sex, but his current boyfriend, Brett seems okay with it. Well, until he roofies Riley at a sex party and prepares to take what Riley won’t offer. A party attendee, Boxer, sees what’s going down and doesn’t like it one bit. Used to taking in strays, Boxer, a hulking tattooed man who recognizes both Brett and Riley from the Pot O Gold (and other places) steps in at whisks Riley back to his place to sleep off the drugs.

Riley can’t believe Brett almost raped him, but he REALLY can’t believe that gentle giant Boxer is really as nice as he seems. They develop a tentative friendship, one based on mutual heartache and loneliness. Riley is grateful for Boxer’s attention, especially when he’s battered by Brett, when he needs someone to help rescue a stray, and when he needs a place to crash while his housemate’s parents arrive for an extended visit.

Boxer is an exceptional man. He’s had a hard life growing up, and his family is a shambles but he’s always willing to help a new or old friend. In his own person, Boxer likes to be topped, and subtly dominated. Having Riley in his home brings the two men close enough to develop an attraction. And then some! I think I liked Riley’s growth and exploration just as much as Boxer did.

This love story is tentative and lovely. People from the previous book end up spending time here, too. Tag, Nathan, Elliott and Detective Carey all make appearances–and it is Detective Carey who has Riley most on edge. Sure, all these guys say the man is stone cold sober and desperately looking for his runaway gay son, but what would the reality be if Riley were to break his cover?

There are really great connections here and fabulous communications between all parties. Riley may not have BELIEVED everything Boxer said straightaway, but he was never in doubt about how Boxer felt. The honesty was incredibly refreshing. The sexytimes were just yummy. I expect the next book will be Elliott’s restoration, and I sure hope he find the right man for the job!

Interested? You can find FINDING THEIR WAY on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and “bromance” (and “The Young Riders”) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. You can contact her at AM_Arthur(at)yahoo(dot)com