Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.
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…
Whew I loved book! I’m suffering from post-book hangover since I read the whole thing in one sitting. (Thank goodness for Saturdays!) I was absolutely not expecting too because I assumed up front the memory loss issue was going to turn into a m/m version of Ground Hog Day. How wrong I was! World As He Sees it by AM Arthur was definitely not a romantic comedy rather a romantic drama. Not having read the first book in the series I jumped right in. I can’t say if I missed out by not having read the first book but I had no issues reading this one as a standalone book.
This story features Tristan and Gabe. Tristan is best friends with Noel in book one. I suspect there is more to his story, but I had no problems getting to know him here. I fell in love with him right away. Tristan has suffered a traumatic brain injury and forgets everything after about 30mins. He remembers prior to his injury but seems he can’t remember long enough to even watch a TV show. It was super interesting to me the things Tristan did to help himself remember by writing everything down in a notebook. I have no idea if this is a true therapy, but the whole book read as pretty believable. My heart ached for him in the beginning thinking of spending your life in a nursing home. With Noel as Tristan’s primary friend, he ends up taking care of Tristan so imagine the feelings as Tristan starts to form a relationship with Gabe.
Gabe is a waiter, part-time porn star earning extra money. Gabe and Tristan form a friendship and it develops into a relationship and I loved how the author made it happen. I don’t want to spoil it but there was no insta-love…the relationship grew over time like it should. The sex builds just as slowly but it was smokin’ when they were finally together.
The secondary characters from Gabe’s dads to Noel & Shane make great additions. Overall the story built at a perfect speed. The conflict of the story came a little sooner in the book and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop at the end but it didn’t and so the story ended with an HEA! Oh and the epilogue…I love when authors include them. This one made me happy!
Side Note: One item that I’m guessing some readers will have issues with is Gabe’s porn profession. In my mind, I did not consider this cheating especially as the story goes on and the relationship builds. By the end I was in love with Gabe and his true soul comes through. Since some may have issues with a porn star being in a relationship I wanted to highlight the situation.
Four and a half
Tristan shares a letter he wrote to himself. However, he writes it to a five years younger version of himself. What he says is pretty profound and something we can all try to do. Read and enjoy!
Dear Tristan Five Years Ago,
A friend asked me to write a letter to you, and at first I didn’t want to. You’re a totally different person than I am, except you really aren’t. Writing to you is kind of scary, because while I miss you as you were then, I wouldn’t trade it for who I am now and what I have.
First of all, despite your on-again, off-again crush, you and Noel will never be a thing. Stop hoping, stop wondering. It’s okay. He’ll be the most important person in your life for a while. He’s the kind of friend you want in your life, trust me. Hang on to him.
Second, don’t let yourself regret anything. Go to that party. Go on that date. Let that cute guy fuck you. Trust me on this one. Make every single great, amazing memory that you can. Try not to drink so much so that your brain can keep those memories clear and fresh.
Also it’s okay that you aren’t super smart. You’ll never be Alexander. You’ll never be the brain trust child your parents want you to be. So be happy with who you are. You’re a pretty awesome guy, even if you don’t believe it sometimes.
And that one time you decided it was a good idea to eat an entire meat lover’s pizza and then do tequila shots? Good news. You did learn from that mistake and never do it again.
Live it up, buddy. Trust yourself on that.
Love and kisses,
Tristan, Who’s Happy and In Love
The late hour didn’t diminish the sweltering August heat, and Tristan worked up a good sweat walking. Shane and Noel both looked crazy sexy in their club clothes, and even sexier walking side by side. He was happy for Noel. Happy his best friend was in love and enjoying himself.
He was also stupidly, insanely jealous.
He stuck close with his stupid, insane jealousy because the streets were teeming with people of all ages, heading into and out of the different restaurants and clubs. They turned down a quieter side street that was more like an alley. Halfway down the block a few guys hung out against a stone wall, most of them smoking cigarettes. An industrial door with no sign or markings was being guarded by a big, burly bear of a man in a black leather vest.
“Hey, Officer Carlson,” the bouncer said. He had a deep voice to match his broad body. “Nice to see you again.”
“Hi, Mr. Henson,” Noel said.
“Bear, son. Everyone calls me Bear.”
“Right. This is my friend Tristan Lavelle.”
“A right pleasure.”
Tristan shook Bear’s hand, surprised by the gentle grip. “Hi.” He glanced at Shane, who didn’t seem at all annoyed at being left out. “Um, that’s Shane. Noel’s boyfriend.”
Bear grinned. “Yeah, I know that one all right.”
“You do?” He reached for a notebook he didn’t have, then looked at Noel for answers.
“Shane dances here once a week,” Noel said. “He got the job through Bear’s son Gabe.”
“Oh.” He didn’t bother asking if he’d already been told that. Probably. Every single piece of information that was mildly important to his life had been repeated to him at least, oh, eighteen times. Minimum.
“Enjoy yourselves, boys,” Bear said. “First drinks are on the house.”
“Thank you,” Tristan replied.
Noel pulled the door, and what had been a distant bass became an impressive thumpa-thumpa in Tristan’s chest. The interior of the club was wide and deep, with a high ceiling decorated in strands of red and blue lights. Strobes and other lighting flashed around the dance floor, which seemed to make up most of the floor space. A small U-shaped bar stood to the right. In the rear were what looked like raised platforms. Two hot guys in red short-shorts were gyrating together on one of them.
This is the kind of dancing Shane does? Shit.
He was probably twenty kinds of hot up there.
Someone jostled past them, reminding Tristan to keep moving forward. Noel was hustling them straight for the bar. Tristan couldn’t drink alcohol because of his antidepressants and anxiety medications, and Noel was driving so the only person able to drink much was Shane.
Not that Tristan was going to mourn his dry night. Men. Everywhere around him, a sea of hot men. All kinds of eye candy. Every age, height, weight, shape and body hair amount. He observed and mentally drooled over the flesh on display. The air smelled of liquor and sweat and sex, and good Lord he was starting to get lightheaded from it all.
Noel nudged them closer to the bar. A middle-aged man with gray hair and a pink sequined vest gave them all a big, toothy smile. “Noel and friends,” he said. “Richard Brightman, pleased to officially meet you, Tristan.”
“Hello,” Tristan said. Officially meet you implied they’d interacted before, but the man’s name meant nothing to him.
“I’m Bear’s husband. We own the place.”
“Oh. It’s a great place. I’m pretty sure this is my first time. I like it.”
Okay that was wrong. When was I here before?
“So what are we drinking tonight?” Richard asked. “First round on the house. Samuel Adams for you, Shane?”
“Yeah, thanks,” Shane replied.
Richard knows because Shane works here.
“I’ll have a vodka tonic,” Noel said. “Tris?”
“Virgin margarita,” Tristan said. He loved margaritas, and while a virgin wasn’t as good as one with Patrón, he couldn’t mix with his meds.
“Coming up,” Richard said.
The music changed to a faster, sharper beat. Tristan’s hips rolled in tiny motions, instinct bringing out his love of club dancing. Of getting into it with another dude, all writhing bodies and gyrating hips. Arms and legs. Sweat and heavy breathing.
Wonderful arousal stirred in his gut, heating his blood already. He might not be getting laid tonight, but damn it, he was going to have some fun.
“Hey, you guys made it,” said a sexy, sultry voice.
Tristan glanced over his shoulder to see who the voice had spoken to, only to find himself staring into a pair of kind, dark eyes. Kind, dark eyes belonging to a stunningly handsome face. Black hair. Tan skin. Tall and well-built. A walking wet dream who was smiling like they were old friends.
Holy fucking hell, he’s gorgeous.
“Hey, Gabe,” Shane said.
Those kind, dark eyes never broke from his, and Tristan couldn’t look away. Gabe was a stranger, and yet somehow familiar.
His eyes. The eyes I see. We’ve met.
“We’ve met,” Tristan said before he could think twice.
Gabe’s eyebrows twitched. “Yes, we have. Do you remember that?”
“I remember your eyes.”
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.
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.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AM-Arthur/491929737588757
Where To Buy:
Samhain Publishing: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5605/the-world-as-he-sees-it
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-world-as-he-sees-it-am-arthur/1122685089?ean=9781619230132
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