Title: Finding Their Way
Series/Universe: The Restoration Series, Restoration #2
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: July 20th 2015
Page Count: 250 pages
Age Rating: Adult (language, violence, mentions of assault, and explicit sexual scenes)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Finding Their Way
Thanks to an abusive father and a string of bad relationships, Riley McCage learned the hard way that people are not kind without a reason. Now, after landing a job at popular gay bar Pot O Gold, Riley is on the right track—until the night Boxer finds him drunk and drugged in the back room of an exclusive sex party.
Donald “Boxer” Boxwood wasn’t looking for anything beyond some casual kink until he peeled Riley off the floor and gave him a safe place to stay. But there’s something compelling about the guy crashing on his couch, and the two forge an instant friendship that eases into unmistakable attraction. Despite Riley’s hesitancy, Boxer knows one thing to be true: he needs Riley in his life.
Riley risked everything to run away and build a new life for himself, and his secrets aren’t something he’d ever wish upon his kind, gentle new friend. But when the past comes to call, he’ll have no choice but to put his trust in Boxer…and believe people can change enough to deserve a second chance.
Riley McCage, bartender at gay hot spot Pot O Gold, ran away from his abusive, homophobic, alcoholic father 5 years ago at the age of 18 – and he’s been looking over his shoulder ever since. Now twenty-three, things are looking up for Riley, that is until his boyfriend of seven months, whom Riley mistakenly thought he could trust, takes him to a sex party without his prior knowledge of what was going down and then drugs him without his consent. Luckily Boxer, a regular at Pot O Gold, recognizes the bartender and how much he is not consenting and gets him the heck out of there.
Donald “Boxer” Boxwood is so not Riley’s type. About the same height as Riley, Boxer also has about 30 lbs of muscle on him and is highly decorated in some admittedly gorgeous tattoos. Past violence has taught Riley to be wary of muscle-bound, dangerous looking men, but Boxer isn’t at all how he appears at first glance – he’s sweet and thoughtful and has a thing for taking in and taking care of strays.
Riley’s pretty reluctant to start anything up with Boxer; beyond Boxer’s intimidating looks and the fear that Riley might just be another stray to him, Boxer was at that sex party for a reason – he’s got a few kinks that Riley’s not so sure he can get behind.
In the midst of all this, the past Riley tried so hard to get away from finally starts to catch up with him and he’ll need all the support he can get to face it.
Finding Their Way is the second book in The Restoration Series, which focuses on the love lives of three best friends: James, Boxer, and Elliott (see my review of James’s story in Getting It Right, Restoration #1). So far, the books stand on their own with special guest appearances from other characters from the Restoration universe – so if you loved James and Nathan from Getting it Right, Yay! You get to see them again. Sadly, Elliott continues his downward spiral from the previous book (his happily ever after will be in the next book), but as a bonus we also see Donner from Arthur’s Belonging series. I really love how we get to see old characters running around in other stories and series; it’s like running into old friends 🙂
I found the dynamic between Riley and Boxer really interesting. While Riley is super hesitant about giving into the attraction he feels towards Boxer, Boxer has no such reservations; he knows early on that Riley is exactly the kind of guy he’s been looking for. With Riley’s boy-next-door good looks and Boxer’s intimidating persona the two men seem like the would be completely different, but both men are actually very much alike on the inside, sharing similar values and both having had life experiences that allow them to understand each other better than anybody else – the two also click together very well in the bedroom when they finally give it a go ( in a safe, sane, consensual way 😉 )
A.M. Arthur writes such great romances – they’re usually super angsty, but have nice happy endings that sometimes border on sappy (the sap works as a great balm to the soul after some of the terrible things the characters have had to go through). Finding Their Way was no different and I really enjoyed it. I am absolutely addicted to Arthur’s way of spinning great, angsty romances and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series: Taking A Chance (coming September 2015) – hold on Elliott, happiness is coming!
Riley says of Boxer in Finding Their Way that “the bald muscle bear with the badass tattoos is a Gentle Ben with a heart of gold.” And it’s true – for all his tough guy exterior, Boxer is a really good guy with a heart of gold who goes out of his way to help anyone who needs it (like, say, a certain bartender who finds himself in a bad situation). I’m recommending CoffeeAM Heart Of Gold Coffee– flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and hints of liqueur give this coffee a nice, delicate tiramisu flavor.