books

A.M. Arthur

Books

Restoration: Getting It Right (2015)


Restoration

Getting It Right (2015)

Getting It RightNathan Wolf and James Taggart have been best friends for half their lives.

“Thank God for Gina, or you’d never eat.”

“Fuck you, Wolf. I can cook just fine.”

“Only you don’t, because you’re lazy.”

“True.”

And James has been in love with Nate for most of that. But Nate is straight, and James doesn’t need that heartbreak.

Except that one drunken night James kisses Nate–and Nate kisses him back.

First a note that there are a lot of triggers in this story. The characters discuss violence, rape, pedophilia, depression, anorexia, drug usage, death of loved ones, infidelity, and intimate partner abuse. That’s a lot, I know, but first I would like to note that we don’t see it on the page, we only have the characters discussions of it. Second, James treats patients with PTSD–especially those who were abused as children and teenagers–and Nathan is a cop. So a some of the bad stuff is work related. But not everything.

Now I got that out of the way, this was an AMAZING story.

Both characters have a LOT going on, but excluding one huge and glaring exception, they try to talk about their issues and avoid Big Misunderstandings. Though I’ll note that exception is a doozy. except that under the circumstances, you can understand it and almost forgive it.

And it’s got lots of discussions about dealing with pain and trauma.

“Tell me how to feel, Jay.”

“I can’t tell you what you should feel, but I’ll tell you what you’re allowed to feel. You’re allowed to feel hurt and betrayed. You’re allowed to feel grief and anger. You’re allowed to blame yourself a little bit, so long as you heap a good lot of that blame on (person) too.

And here’s the thing, there is a lot that happens here–a lot of bad stuff as well–but it isn’t written to be tear out your heart angsty, and in some ways the writing helps to diffuse some of the pain and misery the characters are going through so I wasn’t sobbing my way through the book, because I don’t think I could have handled that right now.

I do think the ending to the mystery was a bit much, but the amount of work the characters put into dealing with their shit more than offset that.

Publisher : Carina Press
Rating: 8.5/10