Friday, October 27, 2017

Review: Uniquely Us (Us #3) by A.M. Arthur

Uniquely UsTitle ~ Uniquely Us (Us #3)

Author ~ A.M. Arthur

Published ~ 24th October 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

Taro Ichikawa needs his weekly routines. Working from home as a programmer allows him to work around his constant struggle with anxiety and OCD—everything from exact meal times to his weekly dinner dates with his best friend Cris Sable. Openly demisexual, he’s comfortable knowing he’s different from most, and he’s content being single—until he breaks routine to attend Cris’s birthday party and makes an unexpected new friend.
Dell Greenwood moved in with his uncle eighteen months ago to turn his life around, and after a serious setback last fall, he’s finally healthy and heading in the right direction. His full-time job as a porn videographer keeps him busy, so he doesn’t have to think about the fact that while he seriously dated one man last year, he’s not attracted to…well, anyone. It’s easy to assume that his traumatic past is to blame for his lack of interest in dating, but when he meets and gets to know Taro Ichikawa, Dell wonders if there’s a different reason.
Befriending someone mired in strict routines isn’t easy, but Dell is stubborn when he wants something, and being patient with Taro is easy. From emails to tentative lunch dates, what begins as a simple friendship slowly deepens into something much stronger—and completely unexpected. But Dell knows that for him to be all-in with Taro, he not only needs to come to terms with his sexuality, but he also has to be honest with himself and his family about the absolute worst moment of his life.

 

Debra’s Review

Although the third in a series, this book can be read as a standalone. You may miss out on some of the nuances of the side relationships, but the story timeline runs concurrently with the other books and is from Dell and Taro’s points of view from their first meeting forward. If you have read the other books, you’ll be happy to catch up with Chris, Chet and Jake, as well as some of the other men of Mean Green.

Dell harbors a lot of self-doubt and guilt over his recent overdose and kidney transplant, but his issues go back further to his teen years and the rejection by his family. He is also struggling with his sexuality, never really feeling comfortable about any of the experiences he has had. When Taro brings up the possibility that Dell may be on the asexuality spectrum, it’s just one more thing that, in his mind, makes him far from normal and accepting it scares him.

Taro is comfortable with being demisexual, but there are other things in his past that haunt him. He has OCD and deviations from his strict routines, especially if they are unplanned, need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. After spending time online with Dell and getting to know him better, he finds himself trying to break those routines whenever it comes to a chance to spend some actual time together. It doesn’t always work and could result in an anxiety attack, but he’s very drawn to Dell who seems to have a good effect on him and an endless ability to roll with Taro’s routines.

There is a lot of time spent getting to know both Taro and Dell as they go from emailing each other, to dates, to more. The story is told in alternating points of view, so we are privy to each man’s fears and hopes. Taro finds that he has a desire to protect Dell, while Dell wants to be a source of comfort and support for Taro. They have great communication, although not everything comes out in the open all that quickly, and that is what allows them to develop such a strong relationship.

Two imperfect hot messes who happen to be perfect for each other.

Occasionally the pacing of the story did seem a bit slow. There is not a lot of outside action as the focus is on Dell and Taro’s growing relationship. It made sense in the context of both men needing to move slowly and Dell spends a long time denying what he knows to be true, but sometimes it did feel like I wanted something else to happen.

The story is a lovely exploration of not just Dell’s coming to terms with his sexuality, but of both men finding a relationship that works for them. Both respecting each other’s limits while forming an intense emotional and romantic bond. They give each other the strength to deal with their pasts which, in true A.M. Arthur fashion, have some horrible incidents, but also have brought them both to where they are now. Things aren’t going to be easily “fixed”. There are plenty of emotions running through this story and you may shed some tears.

If you think you won’t be able to relate to a romance between a demisexual and homoromantic asexual, disabuse yourself of that notion right now. Dell and Taro’s love story is sweet and tender and their chemistry works throughout the story. You may even learn something new and lose some misconceptions about the asexuality spectrum. I know I did.

Purchase Links

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here for us

Here For Us (Us #1)

Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.
Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.
Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.
"Here For Us" is the first in a brand-new m/m/m menage romance series that explores the March/May/September relationship of three very different men.

Review :: Amazon

Sound of UsSound of Us (Us #2)

Jake Bowden didn’t expect to be settling into a strong, loving relationship with another guy at only twenty-three years old—never mind with two. His chemistry with Cris is as strong as ever, while things with Charles are more like a simmer than a heavy boil. Charles says he’s perfectly content to go at Jake’s pace, but Jake isn’t sure slow is what he wants anymore. And when Jake wants something, he isn’t shy about going after it.
Cris Sable is head-over-heels in love with the two men in his life, and he’s vowed to do everything he can to protect the fragile, three-way relationship they’re cultivating—even if it means lying about his past. A dark past that resurfaces in an unexpected way and forces Cris to make the difficult choice between shielding Jake and Charles from it, or trusting them enough to help him face it head-on.
Charles Greenwood had forgotten what it felt like to be loved, until a feisty go-go boy and an ex-porn star fell into his bed, and then stole his heart away. He loves both men equally, but differently, slowly stoking the fire of the chemistry he shares with Jake, while passionately pursuing Cris—both in and out of bed. Their lives are entwining in the very best way…until Cris starts to pull away, distancing himself from the loving support of their triad. And after Cris disappears one night on a drunken bender, Charles vows to do whatever it takes to prove to Cris that he can trust them with anything—mind, body and spirit.
Three separate hearts will finally beat as one.
Note: This is the continuation of an m/m/m romance begun in Here For Us and is best read in order to fully enjoy the character and story development. The book also contains mild BDSM elements, including spanking.

Review :: Amazon

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Meet A.M. 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) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

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 am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments).

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