Title: The Heart As He Hears It
Author: A.M. Arthur
Series: Perspectives #3
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Available: April 19th
Love can slip through the smallest crack in the door.
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.
Warning: Product contains a neurotic porn star with body image issues, a virgin hero with severe agoraphobia, and a fluffy ball of gray cuteness you’ll want to take home and cuddle. Also contains references to past abuse some readers might find disturbing.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
These two are so cute! Considering that this book deals with some pretty weighty themes – including death, grief, anxiety and past references to abuse, verbal and physical, and a reference to sexual assault – the sheer sweetness between Jon and Isaac is a wonderful surprise.
Both of these men are damaged – Jon by a past relationship that left him hospitalised with anorexia, Isaac from an awful childhood and a houseful of anxiety issues – yet they each have something to offer each other, and Jon’s seemingly-unending patience with Isaac is a beautiful thing. Despite Jon’s porn career, things move slowly between them in a physical sense and I really liked how carefully he approached everything, letting Isaac take the lead.
I also loved the way Isaac was never afraid to ask questions. He’s so curious, so sheltered in most ways, and he has absolutely no sense of embarrassment. At first I couldn’t see how the pair of them could ever advance their relationship past a certain point, but the pacing is perfect and the progression believable. I loved seeing the two of them get closer.
Yet as careful as Jon is with Isaac, I also loved how caring Isaac was towards Jon. He encourages him to talk about his worries and takes care of him in his own way. They’re a gorgeous pair and despite all the bad things, it was wonderful to see them find their own kind of normal.
Then there was Bear. I loved that fluffy grey kitten. It reminded me of the time I had one of my own, though I never walked mine on a harness. That kitten is adorable!
The only thing I was less certain of was how things turned out towards the end. There’s a side plot that bubbles in the background for most of the book, largely forgotten, until it blows up, and to be honest it felt like an unnecessary chunk of drama in what was a beautiful and emotional book. The book would have been absolutely fine without it. It also led to several things being tied up too neatly too, which was a shame.
On the whole, though, this is a great read about two men with their own separate issues, coming together and forming a bond that helps them both. It’s emotional at times, sweet throughout and has a pleasant heat level. The relationship is slow to build, but all the stronger for it. If you’re looking for a read that deals with two men who decide to stop existing and start living, then give this a go. I truly hope this won’t be the end of the series as there are still several characters I want to hear more of. Guess I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed.
The Heart As He Hears It is out April 19th!
Visit A.M. Arthur for more details.