Shockingly, the worst thing that ever happened to Shane was not being tied naked to a bed after being by a bunch of horny housewives then rescued by the sexiest policeman he’d ever seen. No. Shane is in debt up to his eyeballs and is working two jobs to pay it off. Well, three if you count the call he made to Chet to take him up on the porn gig. But that only came on the heels of his brother’s health scare because Jason is working too hard to get them out of debt too—a debt Shane caused. So Shane will do anything and everything to lessen Jason’s load. And when the debt is paid off, he’ll come clean.
Officer Noel Carlson is new-ish to Stratton, Pennsylvania. New enough to know that being a gay cop isn’t the easiest position in a small town, and since there’s already one gay cop, there’s no need in rocking the boat. Especially when he has his own scars to deal with from the last time. When Noel frees a stripper from a bachelorette party gone awry, he can’t seem to get the guy off his mind, and then is surprised to run into him in town while out with his best friend. An awkward encounter turns into dinner and that turns into more.
Noel’s not out and Shane won’t be a secret. Though Shane’s not looking for a relationship anyway—especially not while he’s working with Chet. But Noel is this enigma Shane can’t let go of even when he tries. And he does try. But with the lies and secrets building between them, the only way through it is the truth—a truth that is certain to bring everything crashing down around Shane. And that’s already happened once in his life. It’s why he is where he is right now.
You guys. This book. If I could tell you every dirty little secret and scandalous detail, I would, but then you wouldn’t get the pleasure of reading this story and that would be a travesty. When this book ended, I sat my Kindle down and did that wobbly smile through tears thing. This book is amazing. It’s a story of redemption and how secrets eat at your soul and tear you apart from the inside out—how they change the course of a life in a direction never dreamt of. It’s a story of healing and fighting one’s way out of despair and darkness only to find light and love and friendship on the other side. It’s a story of friends and family and love and trust. God. It’s about trust and truth and finding the true meaning of both. This book is packed full of emotion and power and I wanted to crawl inside and hug Shane and hold him until it was all over. Make it better. It was just so amazing.
Am I rambling? Sorry.
So, Shane is a man of many names. I’m gonna leave the mystery at that, because I don’t want to give away all of the secrets, although you’ve surely guessed the porn identity as one by now since I revealed that in the summary. The poor kid, all he’s ever known is keeping secrets and telling lies of omission or outright lies. So it’s not that farfetched that it’s where his life has led him. And, Jesus, the demons in his past eat him alive. I felt for him every time he was on the page. Don’t get me wrong—he’s not all angst and pain. When he’s with Noel, he’s sexy and fun. When he’s around Tristan, he’s this unbelievably caring soul who would give you the shirt off his back—which, by the way, he’d pretty much do that for anybody. And when he’s with Jason—his brother, he’s a kid brother, pain in the ass, but he’s also sweet and funny, as well as grateful.
And Noel is so damn perfect. At first, I thought he was just this small town cop who was afraid to come out of the closet, but there’s more to him than that. Noel suffered a trauma that left him scarred and his best friend even more damaged, and Noel has been living with that for years. So much so that the idea of coming out scares the hell out of him, but hiding Shane isn’t an option either. It’s a Catch 22 for him. Noel’s freaking patience knows no bounds. I’m telling you, the man may be a saint. I haven’t had time to look it up yet. And let’s not go into his ability to overlook Shane’s flaws. He’s kind of handmade for Shane is all I’m saying, but it wasn’t easy to make Shane see that. And it certainly wasn’t an easy road for Noel either.
Jason’s and Shane’s relationship hits me where it hurts. The secrets begin here. Theirs is a relationship that is stronger than blood. It’s bound with a truth that only the two of them know. It’s killer. But then comes the rest of it, the bills and the debt and Jason’s health issues. It’s a never ending cycle of pain for these brothers. It seems like things are always against them no matter how hard they try, something is there to stand in their way. It gutted me, this relationship. They are perfect.
And then Tristan. You guys. I’m not sure I have ever in my life loved a supporting character as much as I love Tristan. Tristan is Noel’s BFF, and I don’t want to tell you his issue because I want you to fall in love with him the way I did from the very moment you meet him. But he’s so fecking perfect. And I can’t wait for his story.
Shane and Noel’s story is painful and sweet and funny and exciting and sad. Arthur did a masterful job of creating emotion in word with this book. I was hooked in from the beginning and was not let go until the very last word. I laughed and I cried (note: buy Kleenex) and I sighed and I smiled. I raged and I wanted to yell. It’s a whirlwind of feeling. And it’s perfect. The pacing, the writing, the plot, the characters—it’s all so very complete and… perfect.
In. Love. That’s me with this book. I’m head over heels and want more. Can’t wait for more. Am dying for more. I highly, highly recommend The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur
Note: The Perspectives series is a spinoff of Arthur’s Cost of Repairs series so there are some characters that show up here and there but no continuing storylines from that series.