Title: Say it Right
Author: AM Arthur
Series: All Saints #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 09/12/2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
”After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he’s giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he’s sure is straight.
Anthony Romano hasn’t seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant’s absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he’s in love with Marc. Always has been.
Marc swore he’d never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he’s always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.”
Review: Wow, this book was hard to swallow.
Drug addition has never been anything I’ve had to deal with in my life, and I feel pretty fortunate about that, but reading this book gave me a peek into what it might be like for some people, and that was really difficult for me to read about.
I really, really disliked Anthony as a character, at first anyway. But his determination to stay clean for Marc was kind of inspiring. Anthony wanted a real life. A life where he had friends and a stable job and could come home to the love of his life and relax without worrying about what he’d have to do to score. He was so determined, and yet the temptation was still always there in his mind. That broke my heart a little bit. He kinda grew on me.
And Marc was the type of character that you look at and think wow, look how far he’s come. He was inspiring and sweet and perhaps even more determined than Anthony to get his childhood best friend off of the streets and keep him clean. He was in love with Anthony, but he couldn’t let him in when he was still at risk for using again.
These two men had both let drugs into their life and it nearly destroyed them. This book was dark. I was rooting for Anthony to stay clean and I wanted so bad for him to have his HEA with Marc, but I was also a little skeptical that it was going to happen because Anthony thought about going out and buying drugs every few pages.
I’d love to say that Marc’s faith in Anthony was unwavering, but it wasn’t. He doubted him all the time, and that brought an element of reality into this book that you usually don’t see. These characters were real, and this story was real.
The chemistry between Marc and Anthony was definitely there. It was sizzling under the surface for most of the book. Occasionally Marc would slip and let something happen between the two of them, but for the most part it remained out of reach. Anthony’s determination to stay clean and keep his promises to Marc came before their love and need for each other, and I think that’s one of Anthony’s many redeeming qualities as a character.
I really enjoyed this book, but it was dark, and a little difficult to read because of that. I would definitely recommend it, but only to people who enjoy a little bit of that darkness in their novels (plus, the HEA didn’t really balance it out, so I still had a little bit of a depressed bleh feeling after finishing this one).
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.