5 Stars, A.M. Arthur, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Samhain Publishing

Review: The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur

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Title: The Truth As He Knows It (Perspectives: Book One)

Author: A.M. Arthur

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 289 Pages

At a Glance: I can tell you to buy this novel because you see, it is, simply put, outstanding storytelling.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Warning: Following on from the Cost of Repairs series, this book contains a closeted cop who’s looking for love, an indebted stripper who doesn’t believe he’s worthy, and a tasteful abundance of dirty guy sex. Also contains references to past physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.


Review: To be frank with you, I am not sure where to begin with this novel, The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur. You see, every once in a while a story comes along that steals your breath away. One that causes you to frantically turn page after page to get to the good part—you know that part—the one where the relationship is finally safe, where the pain has a place to go, where healing begins. And with this kind of book, the relief you experience at that moment is swiftly followed by so much regret—that the story—the impeccably written, blindingly beautiful story is—finished. Done…and now you can do nothing more than go back to page one and start all over again.

I am pretty sure I fell in love with two men during this book. Yes, with two, and for totally different reasons. The story itself is actually not over involved, yet it is so taut and sharply written that each moment literally zings with tension. Is their angst? Oh heavens, yes, but it is so good—the kind of angst that tells you the story you are reading is so believable, so real, and with characters so fully fleshed out you are certain you can finish their thoughts by novel’s end. So what can I tell you that the blurb has not already accomplished?

I can tell you that the brothers, Shane and Jason, hide some very deep, dark secrets, and they are thick as thieves in making sure they have each other’s backs. I can tell you that for such a young man, Shane carries the weight of a past so abusive and frightful that you will be amazed he has any strength left to care for Noel at all. To be clear, there is physical molestation by a stepparent in this novel, but it is off page and rarely mentioned—however, for some this could be a trigger so please, if you are such a soul, proceed with caution.

I can relate to you how patient Noel is and how much he wants things to work with Shane who, in turn, is so guilt ridden, but determined to clear an outstanding debt in order to give Jason some breathing room financially, that all he can do is push Noel away lest he hurt him as well. Shane is a fatalist—never expecting to be worthy of love and so always shutting it down before it has a chance to flourish. I would also mention that the scenes between Noel and his friend Tristan, who suffers memory loss due to gay bashing, are rich with tenderness and such love.

I can grieve just a bit and tell you there is great sadness in this novel before it ever achieves its happy ever after but, oh my, every moment of sadness is needed to give life to an incredible love that will last the test of time for Shane and Noel.

Finally, I can tell you to buy this novel because you see, it is, simply put, outstanding storytelling by a consummate artist, A.M. Arthur. The Truth As He Knows It is an epic journey of accepting self—no matter how damaged or unworthy that self is. It is also an incredibly beautiful story of love between two brothers who have saved each other countless times, and between two lovers who are discovering each other for the very first time. I highly recommend this novel to you.

You can buy The Truth As He Knows It here:

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5 Stars, Less Than Three Press, New Adult, Reviewed by Janet, T.T. Kove

Review: More than Anything by T.T. Kove

Title: More than Anything

Author: T.T. Kove

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

At a Glance: Each page brings us closer to happiness, and the ending is fitting for the tone of the whole story.

Blurb: Arriving home after work one evening, Jørgen sees a young man who looks adrift and out of place—and who promptly has a seizure on the sidewalk. Jørgen takes care of him until the seizure passes and then, not knowing who to contact, takes care of him for the night. After giving the kid, Geir, a ride home the next morning, he expects that to be the end of it. He doesn’t expect Geir to be a student at the vocational school where Jørgen works as an electrician. He definitely does not expect to be drawn to Geir time and again, to want things that will never be possible for two people with more obstacles between them than can ever be overcome.


Review: This was a wonderful book on so many levels. I don’t know how it should be classified, but I guess New Adult would be best as the characters are NA, but the themes of the book are very dark and anyone with triggers for multiple types of child and sexual abuse should not read this book. I personally felt so much pain for the characters that it was a difficult book to read, but there was such a hopeful undercurrent that flowed beneath the text I just had to keep turning the pages.

This book is a journey into the lives of two young men, one still a high school student and the other just a few years out. We learn about them as they meet and develop a friendship, and as they find comfort and companionship with each other. An attraction is there but they are not ready to act on it. Jorgen and Geir have growing up to do before they are ready to love and commit to one another, but they are aware of this and set themselves limits—friends first. This feels real to the reader and helps to set the tone for the progress of the story. I liked the way the author set the book up into several parts: each stage of the story was layered carefully so as to not overwhelm the reader with the details of the characters; rather, letting us learn about them and digest the information so each page took us forward with Jorgen and Geir at a comfortable pace.

One of the aspects of the book that I really enjoyed was the location. More Than Anything is set in Norway, and the author is able to give the reader a sense of the country, its landscape and the lifestyle enjoyed there, while creating a colorful backdrop to the characters. Geir’s father works on one of the North Sea oil rigs, flying in and out to the rig via helicopter on rotation, and this compliments the Nordic flavor of the book whilst underscoring the feelings of loneliness Geir suffers from. The language in the story also emphasises the setting, with characters names and descriptions of homes, as well as the different names for things that the characters either eat or see. I found this to be very consistent throughout the book, and it made for a smooth read with an added depth due to this.

Even though there is such a horrible amount of abuse to read about, it is over. The healing and recovery from the abuse is the focus of the story, and we travel through the book with a sense of hope that remains constant. All of the growth for the characters we are so invested in is positive. Each page brings us closer to happiness, and the ending is fitting for the tone of the whole story. We are left with a feeling of pleasure and a sense of happiness. I would call it a HFN with more happy to come.

You can buy More than Anything here:

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Jaime Samms, Reviewed by Tina

A Man Must Overcome Abuse In Jaime Samms’ “Off Stage: In the Wings

“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.” ― Missy Lyons

Title: Off Stage: In the Wings

Author: Jaime Samms

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 326 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Lenny Stevens was the lead guitarist of the up-and-coming grunge band Firefly until he crossed the line with the band’s lead singer. Now he’s faced with the impossible task of rebuilding his life without the music that had kept him together. Struggling with his fear and rage, he creates the same damaging patterns in his relationship with his lover, Vance Ashcroft.
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Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie, Sue Brown

Jackie Says Sue Brown’s “Final Admission” Is A Powerful And Sometimes Difficult Read

“I’d lost myself in the abyss of someone else’s tyranny…again.” ― Cassandra Giovanni

Title: Final Admission

Author: Sue Brown

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When Ethan Williams lands a job at Bingwell, Brock and Bacon, he realizes his coworkers aren’t exaggerating about James Trenchard. He really is a dick. But after Ethan is forced to work closely with James, he realizes there’s more to the lawyer than meets the eye.
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Dreamspinner Press, J.P. Barnaby, Reviewed by Lisa

There Is A Calm After The Storm In JP Barnaby’s “Spencer”

“Monsters are very real. But they’re not just creatures. Monsters are everywhere. They’re people. They’re nightmares…They are the things that we harbor within ourselves.” ― C. Robert Cargill

Title: Spencer (Survivor Stories #3)

Author: JP Barnaby

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: It’s been nearly five years since Aaron woke up in the hospital so broken, he couldn’t stand the sight of his own face. The flashbacks no longer dominate his life, but he’s still unable to find intimacy with his lover, Spencer Thomas. With time, patience, and the support of his family, his therapist, and his loving partner, Aaron has figured out how to live again. The problem is, Spencer hasn’t. His life has been on hold as he waits for the day he and Aaron can have a normal relationship. Hoping to move things forward for them both, he takes a job as a programmer in downtown Chicago, leaving Aaron alone.

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All Romance Ebooks, Carter Quinn, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Love Helps A Man Find His Way “Out of the Blackness”

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.” – John Green

Title: Out of the Blackness

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 361 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: A childhood of abuse has left Avery so physically and emotionally scarred he believes he shouldn’t be alive. His only sanctuary has been his relationship with his older foster brother Sam. Avery finally lets Sam convince him to start therapy to help overcome his crippling anxiety, but even that can’t prepare him for the upheaval caused by meeting Noah Yates.
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