Release Day Blast ~ The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur ~ (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: A.M. Arthur
Book Name: The Heart As He Hears It
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: April 19, 2016
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.
Pages or Words: 253 pages
Also available in audiobook format with Guy Locke as the narrator
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
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.”
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*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
**Note this review will be cross posted at BayouBookJunkie.com and NetGalley.com
After getting out of an abusive relationship and getting his life back on track Jon entered the world of gay porn 4 years ago. He felt he could make money and have enjoyable sex, all while having control over his environment. Jon's best friend Henry is dying of cancer. Henry doesn't have much time left, so he's trying to make amends for his past transgressions. While doing this, Henry discovers he has a grandson he never knew about. As his caregiver, Jon takes Henry to meet his grandson, Isaac.
Isaac was raised by a father who was abusive to him and his mother. After losing both parents he was taken in by his grandparents. Since their death a little over a year ago, Isaac has become a severe agoraphobic. He doesn't go out, and definitely doesn't let anyone in his house, yet when his Aunt shows up with Jon and Henry, he feels compelled to let them in. There is an immediate connection and pull between Jon and Isaac.
I loved these characters. I'm not a huge fan of the porn industry being in books, so I was happy that we didn't really see Jon in that light a lot. It was mostly kept in the background and the story dealt with the budding relationship between Jon and Isaac. I thought the speed and progression of the relationship was realistic considering the issues Isaac is dealing with. This book was very sweet and romantic. I thought the characters had good chemistry and the book even contained a little heat. This book was a definite emotional rollercoaster, that had me smiling, laughing, and crying. It even had a couple of awe moments.
While I loved all of this, there is a reason this book didn't get five stars. Without giving anything away, this book had enough drama, and I felt there was a situation in the end that added unnecessary angst to the story and made the story less realistic.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. I loved getting to see Gabe and Tristan make an appearance. I love AM's writing, and I can't wait for more in the future. Definitely recommended!
Meet 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.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/A.M.Arthur.M.A
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
Tour Dates & Stops:
Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Bayou Book Junkie, My Fiction Nook, Happily Ever Chapter,
Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, A.M. Leibowitz, Outrageous Heroes,
Molly Lolly, Gay Media Reviews, Kirsty Loves Books, Jessie G. Books, Havan Fellows, Anna Butler Fiction,
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