Title: As I Am
Author: A.M. Arthur
Series: All Saints
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 02-13-2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M Online / Gamers
Page Count: 240
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Will Madden is healing.
Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.
Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.
In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve. (less)
I really enjoy A.M. Author’s All Saints Series. The characters in each book are so intense and fully developed you can’t help but fall in love with the MC’s in any given story. With that said, this unfortunately, is my least favorite book in the series. It isn’t a bad story at all, it just doesn’t resonate as deeply with me like the prior installments.
As I Am tells the story of Will and Taz. Will and Taz are both suffering from PTSD and are struggling to recover. Will stumbles across Taz via an online chat room and the two men quickly bond over their struggles, trials and tribulations. A growing friendship …and curiosity fuels Taz’s desire to finally meet Will face to face.
And boy do the sparks fly when they finally do!
Will is a young 19-year-old kid who was pimped out by his own mother as a prostitute. The sexual abuse has left Will skittish and borderline terrified to interact with anyone. Despite the abuse Will, craves human contact and has no qualms hooking up with one night stands. Hook ups are an easy way to fulfill his needs and quickly disengage. Anything more meaningful, a deeper connection is impossible for him to consider. After all, he was betrayed by the one who should have loved and protected him fiercely. I completely understood his trust issues.
Taz’s backstory is just as heartbreaking as Will. After a vicious attack from homophobic assholes Taz, became a shut in. Completely terrified to leave the safety of his home. Taz works from home and his father tends to everything that would require outdoor social interaction (grocery shopping, miscellaneous errands etc.)
On paper, these two break my heart. I rooted for them and of course celebrated when they worked through their issues and emerged stronger together. My problem with the story is (and I must emphasize this is a case of me, not the story) agoraphobia seems to be the latest trend in MM. The last 3 books I’ve read featured agoraphobia sufferers and Taz’s experience (as shitty as this may sound) pales in comparison to these other characters in regards to what led to them being agoraphobic.
The second issue I have is that though Taz is a bit older than Will, both these guys are pretty immature. I expect it from Will (considering he’s still a teenager) but from Taz too? I just couldn’t buy into it. Some of their drama were artificial and manufactured for the sake of the story as opposed to a logical mistake that could potentially occur IRL. This matters if the goal is to take these characters seriously.
Despite these shortcomings As I Am is a great read and I recommend it to anyone looking to ooh and ash as two individuals who deserve a bit of happiness fall in love despite the impossible odds laid before them 🙂