Tuesday, May 17, 2016

ARC #REVIEW The Heart As He Hears It by A. M. Arthur #mmromance #romhero #disability

Genre: M/M Romance, part of Perspectives series
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Length: 253 pages

DescriptionLove can slip through the smallest crack in the door.

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. 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.

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One of the things I love most about Arthur's stories is that she doesn't shy away from making heroes of the most unlikely characters, and with The Heart As He Hears It, she doesn't disappoint. 

Jon Buchanan is a porn star with body image issues brought on by a bad relationship with a controlling and cruel boyfriend. Issac is a man who's past traumas have left him hearing impaired and agoraphobic. What an unlikely pair! And one that pulled at my heartstrings. How could I not be moved by Jon's kindness and loyalty or by Isaac's sad story and his awakening desire for a better life?
The one task he hated most was the simplest and hardest to do--walking the trash and recycling bags to the curb the morning of pickup. The trip to the sidewalk was twenty feet, and the task took less than forty seconds, because he ran, but for those forty seconds he was exposed. Daylight or not, he had no protection from the outside world, and he always spend the next half hour sick and shaking.

Good thing he didn't have to do that until Thursday.
The world Isaac has built himself is rigid with routine, safe in its regularity. Every aspect of his day is regimented, scheduled, and in lock-step. But all that changes on the day Aunt Nerina shows up on his stoop accompanied by an older man, who claims to be his grandfather, and a gorgeous guy who has suddenly has Isaac thinking all kinds of new thoughts.  
The beautiful man who'd yet to speak or be introduced was even more beautiful up close. He was as tall as Isaac, with the muscle definition of someone who spent a lot of time exercising. Maybe he owned one of those machines Isaac frequently saw advertised during daytime television programs. He smelled like something spicy and warm, probably cologne.

Isaac enjoyed the scent very much.
It was fun to see Jon and Isaac's relationship evolve into something more, which is quite a challenge because Isaac is a virgin, very naive about sex and love, while Jon is a porn star. The way Jon handles Isaac's questions, with gravity and a touch of humor, is really endearing. 

Although I didn't feel as attached to Isaac and Jon as I did to Gabe and, especially, Tristan (The World As He Sees It), I did love their story, the way Jon slowly made a place for himself in Isaac's overly-structured world, how he became Isaac's "safe" place. I also loved how Isaac helped Jon to see himself as he really is and not how others have made him to feel. Their affection was sweet and genuine, and the sex when it comes is great!

If you love damaged heroes who make each other whole again, you'll love The Heart As He Hears It.

OUR RATING: 4 stars


Check out our 5-star review of The World As He Sees It here.

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