If I had to narrow down my praise for author A.M. Arthur to a single sound bite it would be this: powerful and intriguing characters are the lynchpin of this author’s stories. Once again in her latest release, The World As He Sees It, we are given two amazing men who both fight to surmount the terrible hand life has dealt them. They do it with grace, compassion, and single-minded determination and their story sweeps us away into a world where the underdog finally gets the life he deserves.
Fans of the Perspectives series will recognize Tristan as Noel’s friend from college and the man who was involved in the gay bashing that nearly ended both their lives. Tristan now suffers from short-term memory loss to the extent that if you are with him more than a half hour, chances are good he will not recognize you even though he was happily conversing with you two minutes before. Noel is, in essence, Tristan’s best friend and keeper. While Tristan frantically writes down his encounters in a notebook, hoping the rereading of the same will help him remember what he did just minutes before, Noel watches over him, making sure he comes to no harm. They are best friends and even Shane, Noel’s boyfriend, recognizes the strength of their bond.
So, when a chance encounter has Gabe coming to the rescue of a confused and all alone Tristan, the wheels of change begin to slowly move. Couple that with a second meeting where a deeper connection is made between the two men, along with the prospect of a trial run in a drug therapy course that may help Tristan regain his memory function, and you have all the elements for a fast paced, exciting romance novel. There is only one hitch. Gabe is involved in the porn scene as one of it’s featured actors. Because of alcoholic mother, Gabe cannot give up his porn career because his job waiting tables simply will not bring in the money he needs to cover her spending and drinking binges. How to explain to the man you are rapidly falling for, and whose memory is limited at best, that your deep dark secret is that you are a porn star?
Everything about this novel was focused on how Gabe and Tristan could possibly make it as a couple in real life and for long term. With Tristan barely able to recognize Gabe at each shared encounter, the chances of things like waking up together in the morning or even lasting through a healthy bout of sex was sketchy at best. Imagine losing all memory of things every thirty minutes or so. A long term relationship was simply out of the question and yet, A.M. Arthur crafts a story that turns the impossible on it’s ear and gives us a glimpse of two men who become fully devoted to each other.
In a stroke of genius this author creates a stunning character that bravely fights against his disability every day. Instead of a depressed wreck of a man, we are given a feisty, snarky, and outspoken guy who has reached beyond his dismal life and who lives each moment he is given to the fullest. In doing so, Tristan also dives into the misery that is Gabe’s life and turns it upside down. Gabe now has a reason to look beyond the daily struggle caring for his mother has become. Now he has someone to fight for—to care about—to love. I cannot say enough about the chemistry between these two characters. Genuine, realistic, and sexy barely describe the growing attraction that slowly develops between Gabe and Tristan. Along with strongly written secondary characters, this story just gets better with each and every page.
The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur is a hard fought happy ending from a romance that meets one challenge after another and tears down the walls that would keep two men from recognizing that their future lies in each other’s arms. I highly recommend this novel to you.