A.M. Arthur has released the fifth novel in the Perspectives series, His Faith As He Finds It. The story focuses on another porn actor from the Mean Green Studios, Rick Fowler. Those who follow the series will remember that Rick was the abusive ex who essentially drove Jon, from the third novel, to anorexia. This installment goes a long way into delving into Rick’s backstory and we discover the horrific past abuse that Rick endured as a teenager.
When Rick’s uncle, who was responsible for raising him after Rick’s father was arrested, has a work-related accident, Rick is called to the rehab center to discuss his care. Due to his uncle’s abusive anger, the rehab center recommends private in-home care. The nurse, Vinson Larrazzo, tries his best to understand the angry dynamic between Rick and his uncle. Rick, on the other hand, finds himself immediately attracted to the man and they begin a tentative friendship.
However, both men bring an incredible amount of baggage to the relationship and even though they slowly reveal many things about themselves, Rick is reluctant to tell Vinson about his porn career. As one of Vinson’s secrets is revealed to Rick, it also unearths a deep well of doubt that plagues Vinson and his ability to believe that Rick will ever really be satisfied with Vinson as his boyfriend. As truths are exposed and trust is challenged, it becomes apparent that the past still haunts both men and they will need to put their demons to rest or they may never make it as a couple.
There was such a hopeful quality about this story. Despite all that happened to Rick and a past that would scare away most potential boyfriends, Vinson seems able to take most of it in stride. There is a peacefulness about their relationship that is not based on sex, but rather growing a friendship and nurturing a loving regard for each other. I will admit that I felt this book spent a bit long on Vinson and his insecurities about being interesting enough for Rick to want to stay in his life. At times it felt a bit whiny to me and I wanted to shake Vinson and tell him to move on from his past.
I think that the revelation of what really held Vinson mired in his lack of faith in himself coming so late in the novel was unfortunate. As a result, there were two huge back to back confession scenes, one from Rick about his past and one from Vinson about the same that came right on top of each other and made the last quarter of this novel really heavy and dramatic. I wish the author had chosen to allow Vinson to reveal all his past demons earlier on so that the impact of Rick’s hiding his porn career would have carried more weight. Because both guys had essentially withheld pretty big chunks of their lives from each other, it didn’t seem so right for Vinson to be upset with Rick’s confession since he hadn’t been very forthcoming with his past either.
There was no denying the sweet and romantic elements in this book, however, and they really added to the story and drew my sympathy for these men to the forefront immediately. My heart could not help but ache for the hell both these guys had endured to become the men they now are. These two were remarkably strong to put aside the abuse they had suffered from people they had trusted and move forward with their lives. That is what saved this novel for me, that the author was able to show how people can not only survive, but thrive after recovering from relationships and circumstances that were life-changing and painful.
In the end, His Faith As He Finds It reminds us that the strongest advocate we have is ourselves and that we must first learn to have faith in ourselves—love ourselves before we can ever love another person.