Monday, May 30, 2016

Come What May by A.M. Arthur

Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn't know it yet.

Or at least, he doesn't want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He's a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn't leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.

Enter Tate. He's smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas's surly exterior. Sure, he's done things in life he's not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he's never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.

But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas's old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn't enough—and sometimes it's exactly what you need.

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Book 1
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Carina  Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

When I first started reading this I was kind of nervous, I really didn’t like Jonas too much. Of course, my opinion changed and I ended up loving him. Jonas is your typical spoiled rich kid, he did something wrong, on several occasions, and was finally sent to live with family to get his crap together. Tate has had a rough life, but has made the best of things and has a great attitude, and you can’t help but love him and want him to have a happy ending. These two have excellent chemistry, and once things got going I didn’t want to put the book down! I love how Jonas finally put his foot down with his family but was willing to give them a second chance because he had hope when all they did was stomp on that hope. This was a super sweet love story and I have a feeling I will be reading it again because I liked it that much.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: First of a series
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I have to say the cover sucked me in and the story certainly kept me there. I enjoyed this book very much!

The characters were human and heartfelt. I felt their problems and empathized with them, even the side character's plights drew me in. Jonas was the rich kid snob. After being involved in a prank that goes bad at college, Jonas's distant and cold-hearted father sends him to his aunt's house to get some perspective (aka: punishment) and to do some real work for once in his life. Jonas goes to work in her thrift store. Tate owns and operates the LGBT teen shelter across the street. He comes in for the linens that Jonas's aunt launders for him and meets Jonas, who comes off as the arrogant, smart rich kid he is. Tate is an out of the closet gay boy. Meeting the "in closet and thinks he's straight" boy, who just so happens to be drop dead gorgeous, Tate swears he's not going there again. And off the story runs! Jonas finally feels like himself in this small town. Tate is knocking down his walls with his easy friendship and non-judgmental talks. Befriending Tate and living with his aunt & uncle have him finally letting his guard down. Jonas realizes he's been hiding from himself and he's exhausted. His coming of age journey was an entertaining, fast moving, sweet read for me. I loved Jonas and Tate together and found their love for one another genuine and heart melting, with lots of "awww" moments and even more hot & heated ones that left me breathless! Adding in the strife caused by Jonas's, bigoted, jerk father, you have a great read.

After a fraternity hazing goes wrong, Jonas Ashcroft finds himself expelled for the year. His father's solution was to send him live with his aunt and uncle because of the trouble he's caused. His father wants him to learn to be responsible, working in Doris and Raymond's thrift shop is the perfect place to do that. Jonas has worked hard to be everything his father wants him to be. Jonas doesn't know what it is he himself wants, but he knows what he is doing right now isn't making him happy.

Tate has had a hard upbringing, both his parents died leaving him to fight for custody of both of his sisters. He and his partners open a homeless shelter for LGBT teenagers. He's proud of what he's accomplished at a young age. Anything he can do to help the kids stay safe, even if it's for one night at a time.

Tate is intrigued by Jonas. His looks are what first grab his interest, but the glimpse of the man hiding underneath that gorgeous face is what keeps him interested. He sees the confusion, the hurt and knows he needs to help him in any way he can.

Jonas and Tate are an adorable pair. They both have their own issues and horrible pasts, but being together is the safe place they both need.

3.5 Stars
I enjoyed the story between Jonas and Tate, and that we got introduced to many different characters throughout the book so it wasn't all just about the couple.

I had an issue with the book though. :( I felt that Jonas came around to being attracted to Tate far too easy. One minute he wasn't gay and then bam he's all in. I know the story progresses with his struggle, but I feel that it would have been better to see those struggles when he was one on one with Tate too.

I loved Tate though, but what’s not to love about him.

I will be looking out for more books in the series.

This author writes good books – and this is no exception. It is hard hitting about a number of issues, and as well as making me angry about certain behaviours, I also laughed, and at one point in particular, welled up. Although Jonas and Tate are without doubt the focus of this story, they have family and friends who also get more than just a mention. Where there is a need, their inclusion can make a point far better than a whole chapter between the leads, and Ms. Arthur uses them wisely. I found Jonas's number issues interesting (I am a numeracy specialist) and it played well to a number of scenes in the book. Of course, the main focus is on two men, from very different backgrounds working out what they mean to each other, and how that can be resolved. Some of their conversations were priceless, and it was impossible not to get drawn in. All in all, a good read, and I look forward to seeing where this new series goes next.

3.5 Stars.
I'm a huge fan of A.M. Arthur's writing style, and Come What May was a good addition. Arthur's books are filled with the 'feels', a depth of emotion dealing with the darker issues in life, while still maintaining a level of humor and the warm and fuzzy feel of slow-burn, realistic romance.

Jonas is the flawed character of the tale, dealing with being pushed from the only life he's ever known to move in with relatives he barely knows. Rich and in the closet, Jonas begins working at his aunt & uncle's thrift shop to get a work-ethic, as well as a feel for the real world.

In walks Tate, the family's tenant, along with his sisters, as well as the founder of a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth. Where Jonas is flawed, Tate is perfect. Together, they were a good balance. The orphan and the disinherited, both being taken in and finding a real home with Jonas's aunt and uncle.

The book provided a ton of 'feels', good deeds, and the agony of the innocent being taken advantage. But for some reason, even with the novel hitting all the right notes, I just couldn't connect emotionally. I found myself skim-reading to get to the conflict and resolution of the novel. Perhaps it's because Tate came off as too perfect, too giving, without a selfish (human) bone in his body. Even Jonas's faults weren't his 'fault', allowing the reader to empathize.

There is some angst with other's taking advantage of the cast of characters. While I usually love angst, this felt manufactured, or simply unrealistic. The girl Jonas's father pushed off on him, I don't doubt that happens in real life, it just felt so out of place. However, that was the only time while reading this book that my emotions actually checked in, and I felt my heart clench with fury, injustice. and frustration, because everyone should be taught from birth never to cave to extortionists. I'd assume a rich kid from a political family would have been taught this.

As for the cellphone (as a way to avoid spoilers. I'll just say cellphone). At age 37, I've lived in a time before cells, and after. If someone took/stole/retrieved your cellphone, there are ways of contacting people outside of smoke signals, hitching rides with truckers, and walking for miles on end. We've used this object since its conception in the 1800s. In fact, our modern cellphone is the child of this device. This device is still used predominately all over the world. It's called... a telephone. Pick it up and dial. In fact, ask to borrow anyone's phone. If you're in your home city, I'm sure you know people you can visit within walking distance, and ask to borrow their phone. If you don't know the number you're trying to reach, as we rely on our contact list too much, then you log into Facebook and message from your friend's phone – the friend in your home city, whom you walked to ask for assistance. This friend, since Jonas was a popular guy, with lots of friends in his home city, would have probably just helped him/spotted him some cash & don't say these friends are away at school, it was Thanksgiving – the rich were home for appearance sake. Or you call 411, and give the city/state/name and then have the operator call for you. Just say, "I need help, Tate/Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Boss/Friends."

Jonas had to have known ONE phone number. ONE. In a city as large as Chicago, if you ask ten people around you, especially if you look like Jonas, you will get help before you finish asking for it.

So the cellphone had me completely checking out like the author was trying their hardest to make Jonas a martyr woe-is-me, look how pitiful I am. "I lost everything. I don't even have a phone anymore."


As a person who has lost everything I built for my entire adult life, having to rely on my relatives. I had nothing, yet the last thing on my mind was my cellphone. Just saying.

Overall, I did enjoy Come What May, and I recommend this novel to fans of MM romance. I look forward to the next in the series, or whatever else A. M. Arthur publishes next.

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press and SMP Swerve.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Connect with A.M.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Come What May (All Saints #1) by A.M. Arthur to read and review.

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