Author Name: A.M. Arthur
Book Name: The Heart As He Hears It, Perspectives, Book #3, Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Pages or Words: 253 pages; Also available in audiobook format with Guy Locke as the narrator
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
While most of his friends have moved on to “real” careers, Jon Buchanan is content skating through life as a part-time waiter and gay porn star making movies for videos hd. Firmly single thanks to a previous relationship disaster, he focuses his spare time on Henry, a dear friend dying of cancer.
And with Henry’s happiness paramount, Jon is on a mission to help Henry meet his recently discovered grandson.
Isaac Gregory hasn’t set foot outside for the past year. He has everything he needs delivered, and his remaining family knows better than to visit. When a complete stranger shows up claiming to be his grandfather—with a distractingly handsome younger man in tow—his carefully structured routines are shaken.
Despite his instant attraction, Jon senses Isaac is too fragile for a relationship. Yet tentative friendship grows into genuine companionship. And when Henry’s health begins to fail, they realize Fate brought them together for a reason.
“Of course.” His chest flushed with anticipation.
“How do you feel when you’re with me?”
Isaac tried to push aside the anxiety still attempting to blur his thoughts, an old friend that wanted to be part of the conversation. Only anxiety wasn’t allowed in, not this time. He shuffled through different words, emotions and adjectives, searching for the one that best described how he felt about Jon. How Jon made him feel, despite being a near-stranger, bigger, stronger and far more experienced in pretty much everything. Jon still made him feel… “Safe,” Isaac said.
Jon’s eyebrows crept up. The corners of his mouth quirked into something not quite a smile. “Really?”
“Yes. The first time I saw you on my security feed, I noticed how beautiful you were.” His cheeks warmed.
Jon flat out grinned. “Yeah?”
“You’re kind and patient, and I feel safe because you don’t try to fix me, and you don’t act like I’m broken. My family thinks I’m broken, and I don’t want them to fix me. I just…” Something in Isaac shifted, accepting this new truth. “I need to feel safe, Jon. That’s why I hide. But you make me not want to hide.”
Jon’s eyes glittered. His expression melted into something so warm, so sweet, that it burned in Isaac’s blood in a way he didn’t understand at all. The strange sensation urged him to reach out, to initiate contact of some kind. Deep-rooted fear kept Isaac still, unable to make that first move. Unable to do anything except soak in the wonderment on Jon’s face.
“I think that’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten,” Jon said. His voice was hoarse, strange. Almost difficult to hear, so Isaac paid more attention to his lips. “Is it cheesy to say your strength makes me want to be better too?”
Isaac shook his head. “I’m not strong.”
“You’re stronger than you think. You proved that by letting me and Henry in two weeks ago. You proved it again by going out to rescue a kitten. Twice, by the way. You told me you want to get better, get into the world, and that takes a fuck-ton of courage when you’ve lost as much as you have. I know it won’t be easy, but I still want to help you do that.”
“I know you do. I want that too.”
Jessie gives The Heart as He Hears It 4?s
This is the first book I’ve read in the Perspectives Series and it completely works as a standalone. Jon, the porn star with the big heart, and Isaac, the recluse who’s afraid to everyone may seem like an unlikely pair on the surface, but they totally work.
Isaac was abused as a young child and then raised by elderly grandparents. He controls every aspect of life within the confines of his home and uses his online comic strip as an outlet for his pain. The only people he sees regularly is the guy who delivers his groceries (same order once a week, no deviation) and the UPS driver, both of whom know exactly how he likes things done.
When Jon’s best friend and savior discovers he has a grandchild, he wants to meet him before he dies and Jon helps to find him. I’m not sure how I felt about Isaac’s aunt giving up the information with so little prodding and zero confirmation that Henry was who they believed him to be, especially considering Isaac’s fears. It worked for the story, but I really wished she had properly vetted Henry before exposing Isaac.
Isaac is more intrigued by Jon than he is by a long lost grandfather and an unlikely friendship is born. The reason this book works so well is that both men are ready to be more than they are and they are both intrigued by the other. I loved all of Isaac’s questions and how well Jon addressed them when anyone else might have laughed. I loved their journey of discovery and even the way Isaac took the news of Jon’s profession in stride, with that signature inquisitiveness instead of disgust.
Overall, I was rooting these two on and my only other issue with the book was what happened when Henry died. It didn’t ring true of Jon’s character as the author wrote him and it really bugged me. I’m glad the characters were able to get past it without it dragging on too much, but the story stood nearly perfect up until that point. Yes, grief affects us all in different ways, but I had come to rely on Jon just as much as Isaac did and was really annoyed that the author chose that method to shake that steadfast foundation.
Dawn gives The Heart as He Hears It 4.5?s
Jon Buchanan is a gay porn star and he loves his job. He gets to have guilt free sex in a safe environment. No relationships, no dating, it’s the perfect job for him. His closest friend, Henry, is dying of cancer. Jon wants to spend as much time with Henry as he can while Henry has the time.
Isaac Gregory was raised by an abusive father who caused Isaac to lose most of his hearing. When Isaac’s grandparents die, he shuts himself in his house and stays. Isaac’s life is lived with extreme control. He controls his food, his environment, his routine and any disruption can send him into a full blown panic attack.
When Henry discovers that Isaac is his long lost grandson, his dying wish is to get to know Isaac and Jon being a wonderful friend is determined to make that happen.
I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons. I know the demons that come with being raised in an abusive home so I could connect with Isaac. I know the demons that come with being in an abusive relationship so I could connect with Jon as well. I loved how the author developed the friendship between Jon and Isaac. It was slow, built on trust and patience, and absolutely perfect timing for both men. Henry is a wonderful character that brought a very human aspect to the book. Add in a cute little ball of gray fur and the story is amazing.
I’ve enjoyed every book in the Perspectives series, but I think this one is my favorite.
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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