Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour, eARC Review, Excerpts, #Giveaway: Stand by You (Belonging #3) & Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5) by AM Arthur

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) and "The Young Riders" with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.  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.  

Contact her at with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (, as well as on Twitter (, Tumblr (, and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur's work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.

Foundation of Trust: Samhain Publishing
Stand by You: Carina Press
Cover Artist: Foundation of Trust: Lyn Taylor

Stand By You (Belonging #3)
by A.M. Arthur
Expected publication: October 20th 2014 by Carina Press

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job bussing tables at his friend's new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He's working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.
From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex's abuse, he's wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it's been easy, but Brendan's feelings aren't just friendly anymore…
When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy's friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence, his heart.
“So make a plan for yourself.” Romy was getting excited over the idea of Brendan going back to college—maybe because Romy had never gone and probably never would. He didn’t even have his GED. And here he was giving Brendan career advice when the longest job he’d ever held in his life was as a hooker. “Figure out what it will cost to go back and finish. Figure out how you’ll save the money. Nothing is impossible, Bren, not if you want it bad enough.”
Brendan looked at him, chocolate brown eyes catching his, and something in that moment changed. Like a snap or a zing, Romy couldn’t describe it. Only that his words had touched something in Brendan, and that something leapt across the space between them and right into Romy. His pulse raced.
Oh crap.
Romy broke eye contact first, using the untwisting of his bottle cap as an excuse to kill the odd charge between them. Not happening. Not again, and not with Brendan. Brendan wasn’t even gay!
Was he?

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
This was a beautiful read! The author had noted that Romy and Brendan surprised her and I am not even going to ask why. The story that is Romy and Brendan was not only full of romance, but it was filled with personal discoveries and the acceptance of truth of who they were as men and who they were as lovers.

Romy was the boy rescued by Brendan at a time when Brendan had absolutely no idea who it was needed rescuing. All he knew was that Donner and Ezra called asking for help and he came. When he saw Romy and his situation, it took him some time to recognize what he felt: he had found his home.

As their story unfolds, Romy is finally able to face his nightmares head on. It took time, a lot of effort, and a whole lot of trust but he did it. His journey to self-acceptance and seeing that he was worthy was a long and difficult one but he had someone in Brendan to lean on, be his safe place.

Brendan also had his own demons to conquer and he, too, faced a long and hard journey. Facing it was a fear he was not willing to conquer for he really did not have someone to do it for, even himself. As his love with Romy grew and his sense of home strengthened, he knew he had to face the fears or risk losing Romy - one risk he was not willing to take.

This was such a beautiful addition to the Belonging series and it clearly follows the theme - finding someone to belong to and be with through thick and thin. This is a series that sticks, the sense of hope, love and acceptance, of belonging, is strong, making this one of my favorite series that I could and would willingly read over and over again, just to get over some disappointments in life and get lost in the hope and love of these men.

Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5)
by A.M. Arthur 
Expected publication: October 21st 2014 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.
Cost of Repairs, Book 5
David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.
Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.
Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.
An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.
Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
We first met David in Acts of Faith (Cost of Repairs #4), the same man whom Samuel was sort of at odds with, the same man whom Rey was partnering with in his new venture into catering and party planning. David was a character that struck a chord of curiosity and it took some time to forget this character for he was a strong one and full of despair underneath the facade of confidence. And now we find out who David really is.

David has a history and it hurts bad. Just as he gets diagnosed with a disease which only medication is maintenance rather than a cure, his partner of ten years along with the boy he raised as a son, ups and leaves with neither hi nor ho. Sure, Owen called and tried to explain but his excuses were at best received coolly. And that was the last time David heard from him. Now, Owen reappears and states candidly that he was back in David's life. Not likely!

David's sense of betrayal is understandable and Owen's latest moves is worrying. Having had a sizzling encounter in one of the stalls in a gay bar was unforgettable, true, but it hurt both men and neither could forget. Whatever hopes Owen had was quickly drying up. Could they resolve even anything left from their decade together?

The journey of David's and Owen's reunion is a hard read and it was full of pain and recriminations. Both sides had their own issues to face, both had their own hurts to conquer and both men had to deal with one other: Michael. 

How they work out with their difficulties and eventually face up to their faults is central to this story. Unlike the other books, theirs is a relationship that almost did not make it, in fact, it ends with a lot of things left tepidly resolved. I would not call their story an HEA as it reads more like an HFN, especially with David's disease looming like the Sword of Damocles over their future, Their love is strong but it went through the wringer and neither man escaped unscathed. But there is a hope and that is what counts the most: that they had a hope for a future although not happily ever after like in fairy tales, but at least happily enough in the real and tough world.

Overall, this was a heartbreaking and yet hopeful read.


A shadow drifted across Owen's face—the same shadow that had been there almost constantly that first year.  An angry shadow that had diminished under the brilliance of their love for each other.  "We had to, me and my son both.  Michael was born Benjamin Hadley Swenson."
"But why?"  David needed to know why he'd been lied to for so long.  Why he'd fallen in love with a man whose name he never really knew.
"To protect us from the man who killed Michael's mother and grandfather."
"You told me his mother was killed during a home invasion."
"I used parts of the truth to fashion the lie.  Makes it easier to remember.  She was killed by a man who had no business in that house, but he wasn't there to rob anyone.  He was a dangerous man, and I did what I had to do to protect my son."

Related Links:

Review: Weight of Silence (Cost of Repairs #3) by A.M. Arthur

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  1. Congrats on the new releases! And thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Congratulations on two books in two days! I love The Cost of Repairs series!