A MelanieM Review: Stand By You (Belonging #3) by A.M. Arthur

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

RStand By You_coveromy Myers is still deep in recovery three months after friends rescued him from the apartment of his abusive boyfriend.  Unable to hold down most jobs, his friends offered him not only a place to stay with them at their apartment, but a  job bussing tables at their new coffee shop, Half Dozen.  Romy has almost completely shutdown, quiet and shaky from the PTSD and trauma he suffered at Carlos’ hands.  The old Romy, flirty, funny, and adorable, was buried deep inside.  After all being that person had almost gotten Romy killed.  Now alone and quiet is the key for Romy these days.  But watching his friends, Donner and Ezra so deeply in love sometimes makes Romy remember when he wanted that too.  Until it all went so wrong.

Brendan Walker has made watching over the wounded Romy sort of his job since he was the one to carry the bleeding man out of that apartment of horrors.  Ex football  player turned building maintenance worker, Brendan stays close, using funny texts and messages to stay close, developing a friendship that helps Romy stay grounded enough to get through social situations.  But Brendan finds Romy occupying his thoughts 24 hours a day.  And feelings start developing towards Romy that no straight man ought to have.

Now Brendan finds himself questioning his sexuality.  If he is gay, is that something his large family will accept?  And Romy finds Brendan protectiveness makes him feel safe, perhaps safe enough to think about love once more.  Can these men put uncertainty and their pasts behind them to make a future together?

Stand By You is the third book in the Belonging series about a close group of friendsby A.M. Arthur.  It is also the only book I have read so far in the series.  Normally I find that an impediment to understanding the characters and events that have already taken place, but in Stand By You, I missed the horrific events that precipitated Romy’s rescue from Carlos as they had already taken place.   Stand By You picks up with a physically recovered Romy still dealing with the emotional aftermath of his captivity and brutal treatment at his boyfriend’s hands.  Romy is such a clearly defined and believable character.It is easy to find yourself emphasizing with his problems and nightmares.  Watching his character learn to trust again was deeply moving and a wonderful part of this story.

Also touching was the figure of Brendan Walker.  A “bruiser” of a man in appearance, Brendan’s real self is that of a considerate, protective, thoughtful person who loves his family so much he is willing to let his assumptions  about their reactions rule his life.  Here Brendan’s biggest fear is being anything other than straight.  His attractions to men don’t start with Romy, so this isn’t a “gay for you” story but one about  acceptance and exploring your sexuality.  Brendan’s journey, while not as wounded a one, is as deeply affecting as Romy’s, especially since they are so intertwined.

There are so many issues that A. M. Arthur addresses in Stand By You, from the impact coming out has on a person and their  family, to the recovery from a trauma both emotional and physical, and people dealing with all facets of their personality, good and bad.  No matter the subject matter and the manner in which Arthur uses it in her story, this author handles it with sensitivity and care.  It makes for lovely reading and layered characters that makes an impression upon the readers from start to finish.

As with Foundation of Trust, Stand By You will drive me back to the other stories in this series.  To meet Donner and Ezra and all the rest and read their stories as well.  As I said, you could read this as a stand alone as I did. It works well as such.  Or go to the beginning (assuming you haven’t already done so) and start from there.  I will be playing catch up!  Either way, consider Stand By You by A.M. Arthur a highly recommended read at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Cover artist not listed. But that is a good cover for this story.

Sales Links:    Carina Press   All Romance eBooks  amazon  Stand By You

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 20th 2014 by Carina Press
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Books in the Belonging Series in the order they were written:

No Such Thing (Belonging #1)
Maybe This Time (Belonging #2)
Stand By You (Belonging #3)

A 2 Book 2 Day Celebration! A.M. Arthur’s Foundation of Trust & Stand by You Book Tour and Contest!

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Get ready for a 2 book 2 day celebration.  Double your reading pleasure and double your fun with 2 books from A.M. Arthur!  Foundation of Trust and Stand By You!  Read the blurbs and excerpts, and don’t forget to enter the contest!  Happy Reading.

Book Name: Foundation of Trust & Stand by You
Goodreads Links:Foundation of Trust , Stand by You
Author Name: A.M. Arthur

Author Bio:

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.

Author Contact:

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.

  • Publishers:
    Foundation of Trust: Samhain Publishing
    Stand by You: Carina Press
    Cover Artist: Foundation of Trust: Lyn Taylor
  • Stand by You Sales Links:Barnes & Noble  Amazon
  • Foundation of Trust Sales Links: Samhain  Barnes & Noble  Amazon

FoundationOfTrust300Foundation of Trust Blurb:

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.

 

Foundation of Trust Excerpt:


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.”

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Blurb: Stand by YouStand By You_cover

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.

Excerpt: Stand by You

“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?

Tour Dates/Stops:

BadgeAMArthur10/20: Emotion in Motion, Multitasking Mommas
10/21: Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews
10/22: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic
10/23: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Smoocher’s Voice
10/24: The Novel Approach
10/27: Hearts on Fire, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, The Blogger Girls
10/28: Iyana Jenna, Foxylutely Book Reviews
10/29: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook
10/30: Prism Book Alliance, Cathy Brockman Romances
10/31: Parker Williams
11/3: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, All I Want and More Books
11/4: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
11/5: Havan Fellows
11/6: Romance the Night, Queer Town Abbey
11/7: Crystal’s Many Reviewers

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of Foundation of Trust.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This is a M/M Romance.  Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter and for all additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway