Today I am reviewing The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur. I have to admit a deep and abiding love of A.M. Arthur. There was a rocky start to our reading relationship because her writing style isn’t something I usually dig on, but still the love grew. There are a few reasons. One, I’ve been reading her stuff from the beginning, so I’ve gotten to see her writing grow in interesting and unexpected ways. Two, I grew up in small town Pennsylvania, and the communities she builds in her work ring so exquisitely true I expect that I should be able to walk into a small town somewhere and find these people she has created out of the ether. Three, she writes real shit. Now, some people will say, I like fluff and want escapism when I read, and there’s some of that too, but if something is too fluffy I don’t usually like to read it. I need to believe the story I’m immersed in could be happening somewhere.
This book is actually the second in her Perspectives series. You don’t need to read the first one, which covers the story of Shane and Noel, but it would add some depth to the book. All in all I would say it could be read as a standalone. At 278 pages this book is a nice, trending toward longer, read.
Let’s take a look at the blurb.
Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.
Perspectives , Book 2
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.
Find the sample here.
I’m going to put the rest of my review under a cutline, as I’m not always that great all the time at walking that line between just enough discussion and spoiler territory, so read further at your own risk. (I do highly recommend this book if this is where you choose to stop your perusal.)
Yet another porn book. At this point I’ve read so many porn industry related books—perhaps my fault?…yes, yes I seek those out, so of course it is—it’s honestly hard for me to read something with a new angle on it. This book does have a lot of refreshing things in it, even surrounding the porn related parts, but at the end of the day we’re still reading yet another book that has a main character in porn with a main character who doesn’t know at first and we’re waiting to see how that would go (because no one ever seems to be up front in these sorts of situations). I’m not even saying I don’t like those types of stories, but I seem to have read a lot of them lately.
This is definitely a book taking NOT A DOCTOR liberties, which drove me mildly batty as someone who took a fair few classes dealing with cognition and memory. There’s a magical drug (we don’t get a name) that reinstates parts of Tristan’s memory. That doesn’t honestly bother me that much, the rules of the drug are laid out and the author plays inside the rules she created, doing her part at world building, but I had trouble suspending the part of my brain that wanted to pick at this aspect of the story. I’m not sure if this is a me thing or something everyone would have a problem with (suspecting more of a me thing), but it bothered me to no end.
All that being said, I absolutely loved the way Tristan’s memory issues were tackled. Since the first story in the Perspectives series where we’re introduced to Tristan’s character I wanted more of him. This was the first book I actually tracked down close to release day because I wanted it in maybe…six months? Anyway, it’s been a while.
I really enjoyed the way Gabe’s Mom was handled in this book. There was a lot of real, gritty, “this is the way shit is with a chronic addict” stuff in this book. I loved that. I loved that her problems weren’t glorified, romanticized, swept under the rug, or written off as terribly tragic. I loved that there was accountability in this book, which is sometimes sorely lacking, and that Gabe didn’t magically forgive her for everything because she was seeking help. (Nothing makes my blood boil harder. That is not how that stuff works, and anyone who has dealt with it personally will let you know.)
Oh, my god, the sex in this story is top notch. I am so, so happy with everything about the sex that happened, I can’t even really get into it all, save that it’s hot, it’s real, and it feels ORGANIC to the characters. There’s no “and now the sex scene”, it just flows really well. I think this might be one of the best A.M. Arthur books I’ve read to date as far as sex goes.
As I already mentioned, this book also touches on the porn industry, and I like how there’s a juxtaposition of reactions to it between her first book and this book. It’s really refreshing to see the main characters reacting in realistic ways to the big “porn star” reveal that can get rather boring if not done well.
The character building for this book was superbly rendered. I can’t even imagine the effort required to make these two characters pop the way they did. I’m excited for the next A.M. Arthur book. This author walks the line between reality and fantasy, angst and love so very well. I know I’m always in for a ride when I read one of her books, and this one didn’t disappoint.
Go forth. Read. Read the whole series. Then read The Cost of Repairs series because I love it too.
READ ALL THE THINGS.
Check out my book The Shape of Honey!
Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.
Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.