Sunday, March 16, 2014

NO SUCH THING by A.M. Arthur

Publisher:  Carina Press
Published:   17/02/2014
Genre:   Gay Romance
Book format:  E-Book
Obtained via:    Publisher
Reviewed by:  Helena

Rating: 4


No Such Thing’ was a very pleasant surprise. Having never read the author before I had no idea what to expect other than what the interesting sounding blurb told me. I was hoping for an gripping love story and that was exactly what I found, as well as a whole lot more.

Alessandro Silva (Alè) has grown up in the foster-care system and spent most of his youth being an angry young man. The last family he was placed with saved him from ruining his life, and now that is foster-father has died he has returned to the small town where he spent his teenage years to help his foster-mother and the two children she’s caring for. Luck seems to be on his side when he immediately finds a job in a local bakery and that is before he sets eyes on the owner’s younger brother.

Jaime Winters hasn’t really experienced his teenage years. Years of heart failure have kept him in bed and in hospital. Although it has been two years since he had a life-saving heart transplant, Jaime is still keeping a low profile. Pretending that he’s too busy with his studies to date is easier than having to admit that aged 23 not only is he still a virgin, he hasn’t properly kissed anyone yet either.

The attraction between Jaime and Alè is instant and Alè is more than open to introducing the inexperienced but very sexy Jaime to the delights of intimacy and sex. It is to be a no ties, no emotions involved affair between two men who like each other but both have good reasons for not looking for anything more permanent.

When Jaime and Alè start to get closer despite their attempts to keep things casual, small town bigotry and bad decisions Alè made in the past intrude, putting both their budding relationship and their lives at risk.

This book had it all. There is, of course the charming romance between the experienced Alessandro with his bad reputation and golden heart, and the outwardly fragile but very determined Jaime. But there is so much more. From the start there’s the mystery of what exactly happened in Alè’s past, as well as the building tension as that past seems to catch up with him.

Alè is a good man with a dodgy past. The care he takes of his foster mother after she’s widowed and the two young foster children living with her was heart-warming. In the hands of a lesser author the way this character wants to blame himself for everything that happens to others would have been irritating. In this book it completely worked, as did the way it was dealt with.

“Do you think you can change what a jerk you were as a kid by saving Tony from doing the same things?” Jaime to Alè

And the same was true for Jaime and his hang-ups about his medical past and the scar he wears as a result of it. It could have been frustrating but was beautiful instead.

“Do you know why this scar is beautiful? Because it’s proof you’re alive, that the doctors could fix you. Without the scar you wouldn’t be here.”

I loved Jaime and Alè’s relationship. The sexy scenes between them from the very first kiss to the exhibitionistic scene later on were beautifully written and very hot. I loved that Alessandro, despite his growing feelings for Jaime, still wants to make sure the novice gets his chance at experimenting, even if it means letting him go. And the fact that Jaime, despite his attraction to Alessandro, has doubts about diving headlong into a steady relationship with his very first partner only made the book more realistic.

“What do you want, Jaime?” Alessandro whispered, his breath hot on his lips. “Tell me.”

This book dealt with a lot of heavy topics – foster care, health issues, gay-bashing and violence – without ever getting too heavy or taking anything away from the love story.

“I lived in fear of dying for same many years Alè. I don’t want to be afraid all the time anymore. I got a second chance at life, so I want to live.”

And some of the scenes in this book were so hot I had to put the book down to catch my breath before reading on. For those who are sensitive about such things I should probably add that those scenes are rather explicit, although for me that only added to the beauty of them.

“Dancing was an amazing kind of foreplay. Bodies rubbed together, pressing close, moving to a beat that pulsed in your spine, dick and balls.”

I discovered a sequel to this book will be released in July and I will be keeping an eager eye out for that one. I’ve fallen in love with Jaime and Alè and can’t wait to spend more time with them.

“I promise to take care of your heart, if you promise to take care of mine.”

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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