Watch out for those stray kittens...

Stand By You - A.M. Arthur

At the end of this book the author added a note that said...

"This is one of those rare books that came to me almost fully formed and demanded I pay attention until I’d written the entire thing. Romy and Brendan took me by surprise, and their journey is one that I am so proud to share with my faithful readers."


As someone who has read this book, I truly understand because this one took me by surprise too, both in it's intensity and with how much I enjoyed it. I loved that Ms Arthur paid attention and shared this story with us.


Book 2 in this series, 'Maybe This Time', was about Ezra and I really enjoyed it; it  was also where we got another glimpse of Romy and he was cute and sweet but towards the end we got a peek at something more.  We were left knowing that Ezra, Donner and Brendan had rescued Romy from a dangerous and abusive situation, I knew I was going to want to read this one, what I didn't know was that Romy's story was going to break my heart and that I was going to fall head over heals in love with him and Brendan. Romy's rescue was just the tip of the iceberg on a life that no one deserves and in spite of it all he's come through it so much stronger than he realizes.  


Given the circumstances of his life Romy could have easily turned into someone who is bitter and resentful and goes through life using and taking advantage of people but he doesn't.  Romy is a fighter and determined to overcome the obstacles that life seems to keep putting in his way. He may have considered himself the stray kitten that no one wanted but didn't know what to do with, but, he doesn't want to stay that way and when opportunities come his way he becomes determined to make the most of them without taking advantage of the people who offer them.  


In spite of the uncertainty that is his life, the one thing that Romy seems to know for sure is he feels safe with his friend Brendan.  One of the things that he doesn't know is that Brendan has a secret of his own. A secret that he's sure can never be a reality...he wants Romy and not just as a friend or for a bit of fun, no Brendan wants Romy for keeps. It would seem that Brendan isn't as straight as everyone believes him to be...poor Ezra and Romy their gaydar's broken.


The relationship that grows between Romy and Brendan is so incredibly sweet. Brendan's support and efforts to be the friend and  safe place that Romy so desperately needs to have as he rebuilds his life is both heartbreaking and uplifting.  


This whole series has moved from one heart warming story to another and is fast becoming reading comfort for me. I love having books that I can rely on to draw me in and take me on an emotional journey that leaves me feeling content to have taken the trip from beginning to end.