Maybe This Time
by A.M. Arthur
Release Date: 21st July 2014
As a regular at gay hotspot Pot O Gold, Ezra Kelley avoids his tangled emotions with the simplicity of one-night stands and attachment-free hookups. Until the night bartender Donner Davis picks him up off the floor after a misunderstanding and too much tequila. Ezra can’t remember the last time someone was…nice. It’s more than he deserves.
Witnessing his lover’s death two years ago has Donner trapped in a holding pattern living in his sister’s basement, working at the Pot and flirting with the customers. He’s not above spending a night with the gorgeous Ezra, but love is not in the cards. That’s more than he’s ready for.
A passionate night leads to a connection neither man expects, and they take the first steps to something that looks like a real relationship. But Ezra’s been running from himself so long he doesn’t know how to live any other way. And Donner can’t risk his heart just to lose everything again. They’ll both need the strength to let go of the past if they want to get it right this time.
So what did I think?
Donner has lived a life of tragedy. He has endured the death of his step-mother at the hands of his abusive father. He witnessed the death of his boyfriend, Jacob, while doing charity work. He is now living in his step-sister’s basement, relying on the small bit of
family he has left to get by. Although he is happy going from one night stand to one night stand, he is also open to the possibility of finding love again. For Donner, there is nothing in between, however. He won’t do casual. At least not when it comes to Ezra.
Ezra is wandering through life with no real goals. He finished 4 years of college but never even chose a major. Rather than finding meaningful work, he is satisfied being supported by his parents’ guilt money for having sent him to therapy for being gay. His last boyfriend, Bryan, left him when he finally admitted to the baggage he carried. Now he believes he must keep that baggage hidden from everyone. He wants to be what Donner needs but doesn’t know if he has it in himself to let his guard down again.
I loved Donner. He was warm. He was caring. His sense of loyalty showed on so many occasions. He was working to overcome his demons and live a life that Jacob would have been proud of.
Ezra I didn’t get until the end. Yes, Bryan dumped him. Yes, he made a point of leaving his family to be with Bryan and is now embarrassed it didn’t work out. But that was quite a while ago. Through much of the book kept I thinking “get over it already.” It isn’t until we
find out why Bryan dumped him and we meet Ezra’s poor excuse for a family that I really began to have sympathy for him. I know that the author held back this information for effect, but I think I would have enjoyed the story more had it been disclosed earlier.
There were so many things to love about this story. First and foremost, the sex was HOT and didn’t take too long to happen. Always a bonus. Both MCs had great back stories that made me want to reach into my Kindle and hug them. The relationship came together really well. The secondary characters did a great job of supporting the story. The writing was quite good.
My first read from this author. Certainly not the last.
To find out more about A.M. Arthur and her books visit her website.