Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | Amazon UK
After he was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and the love of his life left him four years ago, David Weller swore off relationships. His life was a string of one-offs and getting what he needed before he walked away. Landing a job with new, up-and-comer chef/caterer Rey King, David is finally finding his stride again, even if he thinks about Owen and Owen’s son more than he’d like. At a seemingly normal anniversary party David and Rey work, David is beyond shocked to see Owen, and even more surprised when Owen apologizes and asks to explain. Then the anger comes. How dare he walk back into David’s life after disappearing when David needed him the most?
Owen Hart has lived with the guilt of walking away from David every day for the past four years. And as much as he never wanted to leave, he didn’t have a choice. Not that he was able to tell David that. All he wants is the chance to tell David the truth, but David continues to deny him the opportunity, not that Owen can blame him. With one last plan up his sleeve, Owen takes a chance that almost backfires on him, but he finally gets to clear the air with David.
Trust is not easily earned, especially after it’s been trampled and torn apart. David and Owen are not the same men they were four years ago. Owen had secrets back then. David has secrets now. The one thing David and Owen do know is that they still love each other and they will do whatever it takes to try and make things work between them once more.
Foundation of Trust is the fifth book in A.M. Arthur’s Cost of Repairs series. Have I told you guys how much I love this series? No? Well, you haven’t been paying attention then. If I’m not mistaken (and don’t quote me on this), I think this may be the last in the series. And it’s a fabulous send off. I’m enthralled with these characters and their story in a way that surprises me each time I open a book in this series. It’s like I think, Okay, what have you got for me this time? With the expectation of one thing only to have this author turn that upside down.
David is an enigma to me. I like him—a lot, don’t get me wrong. He’s a wonderfully complex character. And God, his angst and level of brokenness is devastating. My heart absolutely breaks for him, and here’s why. At first, when this book starts, I was certain that the most broken, the most sympathetic character would be Owen. Because why else would Owen leave then suddenly return? He had to have one hell of an explanation and knowing this author like I do, I just knew it was going to hurt. But as the story progresses and we learn Owen’s reasoning and his story (which, by the way, is good), David’s story keeps going. His issues keep coming out of the woodworks and where they could seem forced or overdone, Arthur does a fantastic job at keeping them on the level with the rest of the story.
One of the things I like most about this story is the addition of Owen and his son. Owen’s son Michael is an integral part of this story. He’s what makes Owen and David a family instead of a simple couple. And in truth he’s the piece that brings them back together. Their story—Owen’s and Michael’s—is heartbreaking. And throughout this book, I hate it for Owen that he feels like he’s apologizing to David at every turn, because he is. It’s almost as if David wants to forgive him but can’t figure out how to do it. The way the author brings the tumultuous, rocky relationship together had me doubting at first because there was so much back and forth for these guys. But I think in the end, it came down to them as a family working through their issues. Together.
There is so much to this plot yet it feels so simple. It’s a story of basic forgiveness and secrets and trust. It’s a story of family and heartbreak and how family can cause the biggest of all heart breaks. It’s an emotional story that hurt so beautifully and I loved every second of it. After finishing this book, I want to sit down and tell you guys everything that happened to David and Owen throughout the course of the book so we can talk about it. But know this, Arthur writes it so well that I didn’t even realize so much time had gone by.
I loved the story and was captivated from the very beginning so much so that I was hoping that David’s masochistic issues would be worked out wholly by the end of the story, but it’s the one thing I don’t feel was given adequate spotlight. I hesitate to label this book as BDSM because when I think of the lifestyle, the first thing I think of is safe. It’s what we read, what we learn. Safe, sane, consensual. But what David does is the furthest from safe he can get. If you are a queasy reader, rest assured that David’s masochistic tendencies are not graphically described in this book. And there’s a guy he doesn’t exactly lead on, but keeps on a string until he’s through with him. Where I find fault is that David felt he needed this torture/pain for reasons I’m not going to go into (read the book), yet once he has Owen he’s suddenly healed. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. And not only that, it’s given like a one, maybe two, paragraph conclusion in which it basically says that now that he has Owen he doesn’t want to lead Cameron on and he doesn’t need the pain anymore. It was dissatisfying after the massive journey David was forced to walk for that part of his life to get so little attention in the end.
Overall, this story was so good. I only had the one issue, which, I mean, is technically a conclusion, but more of a snippet of what it could have been. But everything about this story, from the emotion to the characters, is amazing. I definitely recommend Foundation of Trust by A.M. Arthur and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.