by A.M. Arthur (Goodreads Author)
The last time Elliott fell in love, his fiancé cheated on him. Now fresh out of rehab, Elliott's confidence lags behind his libidoénot that that stops him from lusting after the sexy carpenter working on his kitchen—from a distance. He won't risk his sobriety on another potential broken heart.
As half of an experienced home renovation duo, Augustus expects this job will be easy. Until he sees the house's tenant, a man he never thought he'd meet—his ex's other man. Augustus knows he should say something about their secret, shared past, but he's tongue-tied by their intense, unwanted attraction.
Despite attempts to keep things professional, the two men give in to temptation and forge a genuine connection—and his developing feelings for Elliott leave Augustus in an impossible situation. If he stays, his secret will always hang over the relationship. But telling the truth might send Elliott spiraling to a new rock bottom and cost Augustus the only man he's ever really loved.
Source: eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Carina Press via NetGalley
Genre: MM Adult Contemporary Romance
Part 3 of 3
My Taking A Chance Review . . .
Finally Elliot's story.
"I won't tell you what to do, but I do encourage you to listen to your heart, rather than to your fear."
In the last two books we have seen the destruction of Ell, after his heartbreak from his cheating dead fiance.
Augustus (Auggie) has made a few mistakes but falling in love with a cheating bastard is one of them. Now that that bastard is dead he can't seem to process his feelings. What he does know, is that he still feels terrible for what it did to the other man.
Elliot was the living, breathing embodiment of Auggie's most embarrassing failure. It topped marrying a woman and pretending to be straight until he was thirty-five years old. It topped keeping up the image of the straight guy in the TV partnership when half the time he wanted to scream to the heavens that he was queer, damn it.
As fate would have it, the two men meet. What they didn't expect is to be attracted to one another. For Ell, because of his recent stint at rehab and shocking news that he was given. And for Auggie because knowing that Ell is the other man.
Making a decision, Auggie decides to go ahead with Ell, while also deciding not to tell him the truth.
"I wish I could promise I'll never do something like this again, make you feel embarrassed or hurt, but I'm human and I am deeply flawed. So if I do, please tell me so we can talk about it."
With Elliot, in the past I have loved and hated him, but here is where you get to find out all behind Ell's ways. Poor Elliot, such brutal consequences from bad life decisions. My heart goes out to Ell and his new truths and insecurities. Hopefully, Auggie can be the man to help Ell heal and move forward.
"I know you're anxious about this, Elliot. This is an entirely new game board, and you aren't sure where all of the pieces belong. It's okay to hesitate. Just don't close yourself off for good because of perceived rejection. Everyone gets rejected now and then. It's the nature of life and being human."
These two, so many secrets that are tearing them apart. Why, they both felt they should keep in secrets is beyond me, when you know only more heartache can happen if they don't tell the truth.
"I hate you for lying to me, but I also still love you. I need time to decide what I want."
The subject of serodiscordant partners is a hard topic but a good one to talk about because everyone should be able to find love.
"This is your truth, Ell. You have shared so much with me. Trusted me to know things that are intensely private. That's not something you run from. It's the kind of person you run toward."
I'm sad that this trilogy's done, but happy that there will be more books from the boys in Wilmington. Did I like this trilogy? Yes, very much. Did I like this story? Yes, very much. It was heartfelt and sweet. A.M. Arthur has quite the knack at getting to heartfelt issues within a story of so much love.
4 Heartfelt thumbs up!