Sep 15, 2014

PRE-RELEASE ARC REVIEW: Stand By You by A. M. Arthur (Belonging, #3)

Expected Publication: October 20th 2014 by Carina Press

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Contemporary MM Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job bussing tables at his friend's new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He's working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex's abuse, he's wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it's been easy but Brendan's feelings aren't just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy's friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence his heart.



Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

First thing I have to say is that this book is the 3d installment in Belonging series which I, unfortunately, didn't know before requesting this arc, because there was no mention of it or maybe I unintentionally skipped it, I'm not sure. It doesn't even matter anymore. If I had been aware of it, I would have probably read the series in order, because I prefer doing it the right way, but the positive thing is that, even though being part of the series meaning it features characters from the previous books, the book can be read as a standalone

Emotional, bitter-sweet & touching.

It's a story about emotional and mental healing of one of the sweetest characters I read about- Romy Myers. Romy is a 22 year old guy who spent almost half of his life homeless or sleeping at places of complete strangers. He lost his family when he was only 13 years old and he had to take care of himself ever since then. It's little to say that he didn't have an easy life. Only 22 years old and having been through so much tragedy and pain. My heart was breaking while reading about the things he's been through and the scars those situations left on his psyche. All his life he's been yearning for some love and safety, but unfortunately, always coming up short-handed.

Then we have his personal Superman who comes to his rescue when he's at the very bottom- Brendan Walker, deeply in the closet, ex-football player. Brendan might seem strong and confident on the outside, but he has his own issues to deal with which may not be as heavy as Romy's, but nevertheless, they keep preventing him from being his true self and leading the life he always wanted. He's not your typical jock, at least not anymore. He's sweet, caring and very protective of his friends and family what I found most admirable about him. Both of them are broken, each in their own way, but maybe together they can help each other heal and give the one thing that's been missing in their lives- love.

The story is told from both their point of views. What I liked the most about it is that it is about ordinary, relate-able people and not some super hot and rich heirs like usual. There was no insta-love, but slow building of friends-lovers relationshipThere was also no bigger drama, but this is not exactly a light read. It's is not a dark read in its true sense, but the story does deal with some heavy issues like physical and sexual abuse. It's a type of a story which will make you appreciate more your own little bubble of happiness when you're sad or depressed and maybe even make you ashamed of occasional dark thoughts, because in reality, there are probably billion of people out there having it much worse than you do.

Now, about the things which in my opinion need a little bit improving is the writing which needs a tiny bit of polishing. It was maybe a little bit too simple for my taste and also the story as a whole needs more editing, but it is stated in the arc that this is an unproved copy which will be edited once more before the publishing, so everything is good then. I also would have preferred, as far as the plot is concerned, if there had been a little more drama or some twist towards the end just to spice things up a bit and if some complicated situations didn't conclude so quickly without enough effort considering what they were about.

All in all, if you want to read a bitter-sweet mm story with real, ordinary, but lovable characters then this is a story for you.

This  is my first book by A. M. Arthur, but it was a fairly good way to start :).



  1. This sounds interesting, out of my normal style!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. It was an emotional read. I liked it :). if you ever want to try this genre, you can start with this, because it's pretty light when it comes to the steamy part.

      Thanks for stopping by :)


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