No Such Thing is an irresistible delight!
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
My Rating: 4.75 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Twenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent’s reputation, he’s lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he’s back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss’s hot brother.
Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he’s still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister’s diner awakens desires he’d long ago given up on.
The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he’s scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro’s past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…
Not a regular reader of YA books, I had few expectations when starting A.M. Arthur’s No Such Thing. What a wonderful surprise was in store for me! On the surface, the story is one in which 22 year old Jaime is a sweet, shy virgin who missed out on much of his youth due to having a chronic heart condition. Now recovered from a successful heart transplant, he meets Alessandro, a young man with a troubled history, who agrees to teach innocent Jaime about sex.
However, No Such Thing is a story offering so much more than is obvious at first glance. I expected Jaime to be a character with lingering self doubts due to his frail health, but I did not anticipate that Alessandro would be such a rich, wonderful character, as well. Alessandro is a product of foster care, and he struggles to overcome his reputation as a trouble maker. Alessandro stands by the only person who has ever really cared about him, his foster mother, and steps in to help her when his foster father dies. He knows that he has made serious mistakes in the past and is convinced that Jaime is too good for him. Alessandro wants to protect Jaime from being tainted by his poor reputation, but at the same time is irresistibly drawn to the sincere and likable Jaime.
I love how A.M. Arthur allows Jaime and Alessandro’s relationship to naturally grow from friends with benefits to one in which both young men find in each other the meaning of commitment and true caring. There are no unrealistic early pledges of love, but the two young men grow from liking each other a lot and discovering the joys of a sexual relationship together, to learning that they can depend upon each other when faced with true adversity. I am also impressed that the accompanying mystery/crime story line isn’t a distraction to Jaime and Alessandro’s story, nor does it seem to awkwardly tossed in as an afterthought. Instead, the story line involving the ugliness of the real world, including homophobia, rape and physical violence, is interwoven into the evolution of Jaime and Alessandro and their realization that they’re “pretty sure” they’re in love. The book is equally filled with vibrant, interesting secondary characters, particularly loving and accepting women who mother Jaime and Allessandro.
My only issue is a bit of a pet peeve of mine: I don’t think the cover art accurately represents Alessandro, who is described as a Brazilian-American with caramel skin and black hair. This of course doesn’t impact the quality of the content of the book, but I do think cover art should closely reflect the description of the main characters, especially when a realistic photo is used.
I highly recommend A.M. Arthur’s No Such Thing as your next book. It’s beautifully written, and if you’re like me, you will want to grab both Jaime and Allssandro and smother them together in a tight Mom hug! Also, A.M. Arthur plans to write the second part of Jaime and Alessandro’s story in a new book, and I will definitely be reading it! I think after you discover how special No Such Thing is, you will too!
I would like to thank Carina Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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