Review originally posted at Sinfully.
This fourth book in the Perspectives series focuses on Bear and Richard, Gabriel’s dads and the owners of Big Dick’s club, and is now my favorite in the series. We’ve seen Bear and Richard as supporting characters, especially in Gabe and Tristan’s story [b:The World As He Sees It|34597979|The World As He Sees It (Perspectives #2)|A.M. Arthur|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489536065s/34597979.jpg|44854278] and while you could read this as a standalone or the first in the series, I think you would get so much more out of it if you at least read that one first.
The story starts out in the present day with Richard being hospitalized. Living with HIV for 30 years, the fear over his illness is very real and as Bear stays with Richard in the hospital we are treated to his memories of the important moments in their lives together. Bear and Richard have known each other since they became roommates their junior year in college in 1986, when Bear was dating Gabriel’s mother Debbie. If you’ve read the prior books, you already know a bit of what the three went through from Gabriel’s POV, but here we get to see Bear and Richard falling in love as Bear’s relationship with Debbie crumbles and her alcoholism consumes her. Since this is A.M. Arthur a lot of the times are difficult (there is a warning for scenes of cheating and spousal abuse), but all of them helped build the amazing relationship the men have together and with their son.
Bear and Richard are both amazingly loving and generous men, but here we get to see that they are not perfect. Bear has some regrets over the way his relationship with Debbie played out and the suffering inflicted on Gabriel that he was unable to prevent and he owns his part in it. It packs an emotional punch to read about Bear’s anguish at not being able to give Richard the relationship he deserved and as a father just trying to do the best thing for his child, but not being able to shield him from everything that happens. This protective streak is evident when we first see him taking care of Richard in college before he even realized how much he loved the man. The romance is also a huge part of the story, with a heavier focus on the emotional bond than the physical.
I thought the story moved smoothly between past and present and did a good job of dealing with the heavy issues without ever losing sight of the fact that this is first and foremost a love story. Of course Gabriel and Tristan also play a part in this book. I absolutely adore them and if you’re a fan too you’re going to want to see what they have going on in their lives as well.
I want to take a moment to point out the details on the cover, with the photographs depicting the characters it really sets the tone for the story. This is an emotional tale with a focus on finding unexpected love and working to keep it strong and on family – the good and the bad. Bear and Richard’s story is guaranteed to tug at your heart. For those who haven’t read A.M. Arthur’s stories before, this would be a perfect place to start and if you’re a fan of this series you are definitely going to want to read it.