Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.
Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.
But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.
This story was lovely. I really enjoyed seeing Jonas’ journey to accepting himself and coming out. Tate was a beautiful character that cared so much about those around him. Together they were great and the friends to more had me not wanting to put the book down from the moment I started the story.
It was heartbreaking to see Jonas struggle with his identity. He shoved his feelings so far down. But watching him accept himself and stand up for himself was wonderful. I wanted to punch his dad in the face. He was so horribly homophobic. However it’s a sad reality that some people lose their family and don’t get them back.
Tate was amazingly supportive of Jonas and I loved how he was a friend first. They got together quickly but Tate was a constant for Jonas and I loved that about Tate. He was a strong character in his own right for how much he loved and supported his sisters. You could feel how he’d do anything to ensure they were safe in the future.
I really enjoyed the cast of characters around Jonas and Tate. They made their own family and I want to know more about all of them. I desperately hope there will be more books based in this town and group of people in the future. I want PJ, Marc and even Ice to get their own stories. I also want to check in again with everyone to see if they continue to be happy for many years to come.
Four and a half
Ms. Arthur stops by and is kind enough to bring Jonas along as well. Jonas talks a bit about what he wants to change about himself. What he wants to change about himself is a little heartbreaking, but also very justified. Read and enjoy!
Hey, all, I’m excited to be here to celebrate the release of Come What May, the first in my brand-new All Saints series from Carina Press. Instead of me chatting about myself, though, I’ve brought one of my book’s heroes, Jonas Ashcroft, to tell you guys about himself.
Go ahead, pal.
Erm, hello, this is Jonas Ashcroft. I’m not much for interviews and talking about myself, but my author is forcing me to do this. I was asked if there was something I could change about myself, what would it be and why?
That’s kind of a loaded question, because there are all kinds of things to choose from. I suck at school, especially math. I’m not the best at sports, so I was never the captain of any team. But a lot of guys are bad at sports and math. No, if there was one important thing I could change, it would be my need to make my father proud.
You see, my father is a conservative state senator, who touts “family values” and prides himself on outward appearances. Doesn’t matter how dysfunctional we are behind closed doors as long as our family looks united and perfect on the outside. So you can imagine how thrilled my father was when an idiotic frat prank got me expelled from college for the rest of my junior year. In September. An entire year wasted.
My desperation to make my father proud of me is also why I created this persona of the hard-partying, frat boy who will screw anything in a skirt. I wanted so badly to be straight, when deep down I knew I was gay. My father would never accept me if I was gay, and I needed his acceptance to survive.
At least, I thought I did. Until I met Tate Dawson.
“It’s small,” Jonas said.
“Better than a cardboard box or foster care.” The sharpness in Tate’s voice echoed in his frown.
Jonas had never known anyone before who’d been in foster care, and saying so would probably make him the biggest douche on the planet. It also took the edge off some of his irritation over the total mindfuck that was Tate Dawson. “It’s way better than both of those things. You worked hard for this place, Tate. I haven’t worked hard for anything in my life.”
He blinked. “You do?”
“Yes, I do. I think you work very, very hard to convince yourself and the world that you’re something you’re not. I think you work very, very hard to be perfect when no one is, and the only thing anyone should ever do is just be her or himself. Be true to you, not to what others want from you.”
Jonas’s throat squeezed tight. “I can’t.”
Tate took a step closer, bringing a gentle waft of sweat and something sweet. “Why not?”
He saw the barest reflection of himself in Tate’s glasses and he didn’t like it. He stepped back. Tate snagged his wrist and held him there. The touch sent awareness buzzing across his skin, down his spine and straight to his balls. H needed to pull away before this got out of control.
And then his rebel brain decided it was a good idea to glance at Tate’s pink lips. Lips that Tate, the asshole, licked with slow swipes of his tongue.
Jonas yanked away his hand away so hard Tate stumbled. “I’m not gay, so you can get that ‘fuck the frat boy’ fantasy out of your head right now.”
Instead of being cowed, Tate planted both hands on his hips and said, “Who are you trying to convince? Because it’s just you and me in this room, and I’m not the one who brought up your sexuality. You did.”
Damn him. “Why won’t you leave me alone?”
Tate’s gaze drifted over his face as he sought for words. “Because every time we’re together I can tell you’re struggling with something. You put up this lone wolf front to keep people at arm’s length so you don’t have to work so hard to pretend, but it’s exhausting you. Jonas, you can be yourself with me. Whoever that is.”
“I can’t.” Talking was getting harder around the lump in his throat. His heart was kicking too fast and his chest ached.
“Look me in the eye.” Tate closed the three strides between them, then curled a warm hand around the back of Jonas’s neck. “Look me in the eye and say you don’t want to kiss me right now.”
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 Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
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.
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