Series: Restoration #2
Author: A. M. Arthur
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Page Count: 251
Published: Carina Press, July 20, 2015
Thanks to an abusive father and a string of bad relationships, Riley McCage learned the hard way that people are not kind without a reason. Now, after landing a job at popular gay bar Pot O Gold, Riley is on the right track–until the night Boxer finds him drunk and drugged in the back room of an exclusive sex party.
Donald “Boxer” Boxwood wasn’t looking for anything beyond some casual kink until he peeled Riley off the floor and gave him a safe place to stay. But there’s something compelling about the guy crashing on his couch, and the two forge an instant friendship that eases into unmistakable attraction. Despite Riley’s hesitancy, Boxer knows one thing to be true: he needs Riley in his life.
Riley risked everything to run away and build a new life for himself, and his secrets aren’t something he’d ever wish upon his kind, gentle new friend. But when the past comes to call, he’ll have no choice but to put his trust in Boxer…and believe people can change enough to deserve a second chance.
It’s not up to me to say, and certainly wouldn’t be fair, that among this tight group of friends, Boxer was the one who deserved happiness the most. But I can say he was my favorite. He was kind, helpful, understanding. The best way to describe him would be that he was one of those guys who are just too good to be true. The fact that he’s a fictional character, well, you just need to overlook that for the time being.
The second book in the Restoration series was definitely so much better than the first one. The first one, I got into knowing nothing and expecting more by the time I finished, whereas in this book, everything was pretty damn close to perfect. There was an excellent balance of romance, emotions and growth. The heroes found strength in each other and stood up for one another. Boxer’s teddy bear personality meshed so nicely with Riley’s silent courage. And the kink.. Oh, the sex was hot by the way, if I hadn’t mentioned it before, you know, in case you’re wondering.
Just like the first book, this one had more than the romance going on, along with the heroes’ personal issues that needed to be overcome. I think those issues were much better handled here, and I wouldn’t be lying if I said they brought tears to my eyes. Boxer’s unending loyalty and devotion to his friends, and his absolute trust in Riley in many ways were only the tip of the emotional iceberg. Riley’s past, his determination to save his future and support Boxer, was only the surface layer. The picture these two presented was something to envy. I’m still romantic enough to believe this kind of connection can be made in such a short time-though it wasn’t so short as to be surreal- so I enjoyed this a great deal.
I’ve already made my mind about reading the next book, that’s a given, but I’ve also decided to go back and read the series of which this was the spin off. This is the mark of good characters, good story and good sex, folks. I’m sure it’ll be fun to read some of the already established couples’ journey to where they were in these books.
A fine example of m/m contemporary romance sprinkled with emotional baggage, and hearts strong enough to carry it, this was a joy to read. I’m adding five spoonfuls of this sweet story into my hodgepodge and see if they’re hiring at Pot O Gold. Couldn’t hurt to be around all that eye candy, hmm?
Restoration series by A. M. Arthur:
- Getting It Right
- Finding Their Way
- Taking A Chance