Friday, October 17, 2014

[ARC Review]: "Stand By You"

Stand By You by A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press (October 20, 2014)
Series: Belonging, 3
Genre: M/M Romance

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job—bussing tables at his friend's new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He's working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex's abuse, he's wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it's been easy—but Brendan's feelings aren't just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy's friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence—his heart.

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Reviews of Arthur's Previous Books:

No Such Thing (#1) -- TBQ

My Review:

I've been a fan of A.M. Arthur since I picked up No Such Thing. I've enjoyed every one of her novels, and Stand By You is no different. I was excited to see Romy and Brendan get their story, but I admit I was slightly disappointed in it.

These two men have troubled pasts, especially Romy. So there was a lot of inner conflict as these two danced around each other. I expected that. However, I was disappointed in the sex scenes, and here's why: I really wish there had been an epilogue that showed Romy working through his trauma enough to be with Brendan (anal sex). In a way, I'm very glad that Arthur did not have these two jump to that level automatically; it would not have fit. But I was expecting it by the end, to show that Romy was able to connect with Brendan that way without thinking of his abusive ex. I know, I know, a relationship is more than just sex, and gay sex is more than just anal. But in this case, I feel that the anal was needed – at the right time, of course, and that's why perhaps an epilogue, for some time down the road, would have been great.

As far as the sexy scenes that were included, they were fine, but I still wanted more.

Two other things that bothered me:

  • The quick acceptance of Brendan's sexual orientation, by his family and himself. It didn't seem believable, and honestly it seemed like a “gay for you” story.
  • Do all gay men say “babe”, “sugar”, and “baby” every other sentence? It felt so forced and meaningless, as well as repetitive.

I did like seeing the previous couples in the story, and I hope we see all of these men again, even if it's only a quick visit.

While Stand By You was probably my least favorite of this series, I'm still looking forward to Arthur's next release. I hope Tag gets a book very soon!

3 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I admit, I was a bit disappointed, but I still liked Romy and Brendan's story. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book from Arthur! 

If you enjoy M/M romance, I highly recommend picking up A.M. Arthur. 

Do you have a favorite book or author in this genre?


Until Next Time,


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Sophia Rose said...

I've only read Cost of Repairs by this author and loved it. I need to go back and finish that series and read more.

You make some valid points. I've had that where I didn't get closure from a book before its over. And yeah, the endearments like baby and sugar can seem odd particularly with some personalities. Nice review.

The_Book_Queen said...

I haven't read that series yet, but I have most of them on my Kindle. :)

I think you'd love book 1 and 2 in this series. And if those draw you in, then you'll like this one, too.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup said...

Can't say any I know use babe, baby, sugar in excess. That drives me crazy in my reads. I'm good with it here and there but every sentence for any endearment like that makes me twitchy. Hope the next one goes a little lighter on that! :)

The_Book_Queen said...

Yeah, I don't know of any IRL that do that either. It's a reading peeve of mine, too. This was excessive. Normal discussion going on, random endearment thrown in -- and keep in mind, this was not between the couple, but rather the friends.