Series: Restoration #1
Author: A.M. Arthur
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Page Count: 245
Published: Carina Press, March 16, 2015
Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four—because he’s too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.
Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as Tag, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.
After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn’t sorry for the kisses that James can’t remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.
I was honestly not sure about how to rate this book. I’m still not. On the one hand, it was hot when the two heroes got together, plus the fact that they were so far away from being perfect with their difficult problems and challenging pasts, and on the other, I simply failed to see the turning point from friendship to relationship. In fact, I can’t even say that their 15 years of best buddies thing was all that convincing either. They both had their hang ups and problems that the other had no idea about, and though people can hide things from even their closest friends and family, I just felt like everything was thrown at me all at once to make the book more interesting and challenging.
James was an alcoholic psychiatrist who f*cked his problems away-pardon my French- who also happened to have a distant relationship with his mother-his only living relative. And Nathan was a cop who lived a straight bachelor’s life until one night when James drunkenly planted a kiss on him and he started to question his sexuality and their friendship. There was a lot going on in this book, and 200 pages were simply not enough to tell them all.
Now, I know this book is the first in its own series but apparently the author had another series going on that has some of these characters as guests, like James, so maybe we were supposed to be familiar with some people, but as someone who started with this world from scratch, timing wasn’t good enough for me. While I was trying to soak up their friends-to-lovers situation, I was confronted with assault and alcoholism, ghost of a dead sister and a terrible experience that was doubled and tripled by multiple side characters throughout, that I lost my touch with the story. I kept reading because I kept waiting for that finality, but I can’t say for sure that it came. For me, anyway.
Aside from all that, I loved the idea of imperfect heroes and the friends-to-lovers storyline-I’m a sucker for those. And the sex and almost sex times were fun yet frustrating to read in my currently single state. And the bit of a mystery that involved mostly Nathan had helped my enjoyment of this book, so I can’t say it was a bad experience reading this. Could it have been better? Yes, definitely. But it was still an enjoyable book, especially for those who were already familiar with some of the characters. Not that this should hold you back, having read no other books by A.M. Arthur, I didn’t feel left out or alienated from any tidbits while reading. Everything was laid out so I could be up to date with who was who and what was going on. And maybe that was also why the page count wasn’t convincing enough about a lot of things. Every detail wanted its story told and there just wasn’t enough pages and time to tell them all, poor souls.
I’m adding three spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge. Now leave me be, while I play around with the idea of doctors and cops and handcuffs, oh my!..
Restoration series by A.M. Arthur:
- Getting It Right
- Finding Their Way