The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur
Series: Perspectives, Book 2
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
Pages or Words: 283 pages, 83,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
A.M. Arthur is back at 3 Chicks After Dark! Always a favorite, we’re excited to hand over space for a little introduction to Tristan.
Author A.M. Arthur:
Hey, all! I’m thrilled to be back here at Three Chicks After Dark to talk about my newest Samhain release. THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT is a book a lot of folks have been waiting for ever since the first book in the Perspectives series came out. This book tells the love story of Tristan Lavelle, the brain damaged best friend of previous hero Noel Carlson. Tristan had no short term memory, and he lives his life in thirty minute intervals, writing his entire life down in notebooks and on sticky notes. But he’s also a fun-loving, twenty-three year old man who’s incredibly lonely—until he meets Gabe Henson.
Writing about Tristan, and from his point of view, was incredibly tricky going in. I’ve never had personal experience with brain trauma, but I have known people with dementia-related illnesses. Not the same, exactly, but both illustrate how very little doctors and scientists still know about that icky-looking gray organ that makes our body do things.
I opened the novel from Gabe’s perspective, because I had no idea how to write Tristan’s. It’s been three years since his injury occurred, so it stood to reason there were thing that he simply knew—what Shane calls his déjà vu sense. Tristan knows he’s no longer in college, that Noel is a police officer, and that Tristan himself lives in an assisted living center. These are the things that are real and repeated over and over enough that it becomes instinct.
When it came time to write Tristan’s voice, it occurred to me that his life is a lot like channel-surfing. You’re on one program for a while, then someone grabs the remote and switches the channel, putting you into the middle of a show you’ve never seen before. I couldn’t imagine living life like that, but that is Tristan’s world.
A lonely world for a formerly outgoing person—until a clinical trial gives Tristan a forty percent chance of memory improvement and a real life. A real life he wants to spend with Gabe….if the drug works.
Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.
Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications.
Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he’s compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him.
Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders.
A month after Tristan’s embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them.
Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory—if the side effects don’t kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk…
The late hour didn’t diminish the sweltering August heat, and Tristan worked up a good sweat walking. Shane and Noel both looked crazy sexy in their club clothes, and even sexier walking side by side. He was happy for Noel. Happy his best friend was in love and enjoying himself.
He was also stupidly, insanely jealous.
He stuck close with his stupid, insane jealousy because the streets were teeming with people of all ages, heading into and out of the different restaurants and clubs. They turned down a quieter side street that was more like an alley. Halfway down the block a few guys hung out against a stone wall, most of them smoking cigarettes. An industrial door with no sign or markings was being guarded by a big, burly bear of a man in a black leather vest.
“Hey, Officer Carlson,” the bouncer said. He had a deep voice to match his broad body. “Nice to see you again.”
“Hi, Mr. Henson,” Noel said.
“Bear, son. Everyone calls me Bear.”
“Right. This is my friend Tristan Lavelle.”
“A right pleasure.”
Tristan shook Bear’s hand, surprised by the gentle grip. “Hi.” He glanced at Shane, who didn’t seem at all annoyed at being left out. “Um, that’s Shane. Noel’s boyfriend.”
Bear grinned. “Yeah, I know that one all right.”
“You do?” He reached for a notebook he didn’t have, then looked at Noel for answers.
“Shane dances here once a week,” Noel said. “He got the job through Bear’s son Gabe.”
“Oh.” He didn’t bother asking if he’d already been told that. Probably. Every single piece of information that was mildly important to his life had been repeated to him at least, oh, eighteen times. Minimum.
“Enjoy yourselves, boys,” Bear said. “First drinks are on the house.”
“Thank you,” Tristan replied.
Noel pulled the door, and what had been a distant bass became an impressive thumpa-thumpa in Tristan’s chest. The interior of the club was wide and deep, with a high ceiling decorated in strands of red and blue lights. Strobes and other lighting flashed around the dance floor, which seemed to make up most of the floor space. A small U-shaped bar stood to the right. In the rear were what looked like raised platforms. Two hot guys in red short-shorts were gyrating together on one of them.
This is the kind of dancing Shane does? Shit.
He was probably twenty kinds of hot up there.
Someone jostled past them, reminding Tristan to keep moving forward. Noel was hustling them straight for the bar. Tristan couldn’t drink alcohol because of his antidepressants and anxiety medications, and Noel was driving so the only person able to drink much was Shane.
Not that Tristan was going to mourn his dry night. Men. Everywhere around him, a sea of hot men. All kinds of eye candy. Every age, height, weight, shape and body hair amount. He observed and mentally drooled over the flesh on display. The air smelled of liquor and sweat and sex, and good Lord he was starting to get lightheaded from it all.
Noel nudged them closer to the bar. A middle-aged man with gray hair and a pink sequined vest gave them all a big, toothy smile. “Noel and friends,” he said. “Richard Brightman, pleased to officially meet you, Tristan.”
“Hello,” Tristan said. Officially meet you implied they’d interacted before, but the man’s name meant nothing to him.
“I’m Bear’s husband. We own the place.”
“Oh. It’s a great place. I’m pretty sure this is my first time. I like it.”
Okay that was wrong. When was I here before?
“So what are we drinking tonight?” Richard asked. “First round on the house. Samuel Adams for you, Shane?”
“Yeah, thanks,” Shane replied.
Richard knows because Shane works here.
“I’ll have a vodka tonic,” Noel said. “Tris?”
“Virgin margarita,” Tristan said. He loved margaritas, and while a virgin wasn’t as good as one with Patrón, he couldn’t mix with his meds.
“Coming up,” Richard said.
The music changed to a faster, sharper beat. Tristan’s hips rolled in tiny motions, instinct bringing out his love of club dancing. Of getting into it with another dude, all writhing bodies and gyrating hips. Arms and legs. Sweat and heavy breathing.
Wonderful arousal stirred in his gut, heating his blood already. He might not be getting laid tonight, but damn it, he was going to have some fun.
“Hey, you guys made it,” said a sexy, sultry voice.
Tristan glanced over his shoulder to see who the voice had spoken to, only to find himself staring into a pair of kind, dark eyes. Kind, dark eyes belonging to a stunningly handsome face. Black hair. Tan skin. Tall and well-built. A walking wet dream who was smiling like they were old friends.
Holy fucking hell, he’s gorgeous.
“Hey, Gabe,” Shane said.
Those kind, dark eyes never broke from his, and Tristan couldn’t look away. Gabe was a stranger, and yet somehow familiar.
His eyes. The eyes I see. We’ve met.
“We’ve met,” Tristan said before he could think twice.
Gabe’s eyebrows twitched. “Yes, we have. Do you remember that?”
“I remember your eyes.”
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Meet the author:
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.
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.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments).
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AM-Arthur/491929737588757
I confess. I devour everything AM Arthur writes. I not only devour but enjoy the hard times and true to life struggles portrayed in Arthur’s stories. I totally expected to enjoy The World As He Sees It but I honestly couldn’t have guessed how much. Tristan and Gabe are perfection!! They don’t beat out Ezra but they are a close second for me.
What did I like? Well, the struggle was real but it wasn’t disabling or all-consuming. A lot of times the struggle is financial for the men in Arthur novels. They’re hard-working, lower middle class and stuck in a small town. Sometimes there’s bigotry or abuse. This time, the abuse is minimal. It impacts, as alcohol abuse does to families, but Gabe was strong. He had his fathers for support and he chose to help his mother. He wasn’t trapped. He also wasn’t immune to fact he was being taken advantage of by his mother. He was growing weary of the strain and stress his mother’s alcohol abuse was causing him.
Gabe was smart, well-adjusted, loved and most of all he was okay with his two shoots a month for a porn studio. The money was helpful and he got off safely and without the commitment/love mistakes that were sure to happen outside the studio. His family knew about the porn and he wasn’t embarrassed by his choice. This is huge! Most books with porn models, the models have issues with acceptance so this was a nice change.
I really liked Tristan. We’re do I even begin?! Tristan was stronger than I expected him to be. Having such a devastating brain trauma is one thing, dealing with short-term memory loss since the incident was even harder. He had exceptional coping skills. He was 3 years past the incident so he’d settled into a new normal. Meeting Gabe and starting an experimental drug trial would be life changing for him. Watching him emerge from his protective time shell was wonderful. His internal spark was ignited again thanks to Gabe.
Tristan had every right to be scared and freaked out all of the time but something in Gabe calmed him. Together they were good. It made me feel like their love for each other was what propelled the turnaround in Tristan.
The overall feeling in The World As He Sees It was more hopeful. Less dwelling on the bad things and being knocked down. This was a story of hope, positive change and fulfillment. So perfect!
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!
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Giveaway Prize Pack:
•Signed paperbacks of The Truth As He Knows It and The World As He Sees It
•Matching green/white notebook, notepad and pen set
•Executive pen with wood case
•”I Need to Unplug” notebook
•Set of 3 notebooks
•Assorted sticky notes
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