Title: No Such Thing
Series/Universe: The Belonging Series, #1
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: February 17th 2014
Page Count: 176 pages
Age Rating: Adult (language, explicit sexual scenes, violence, homophobia, bashing)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Bought it myself
Publisher’s page: No Such Thing
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…
I’m so glad I finally got to read this one – I’m such a huge A.M. Arthur fan and Jaime and Alessandro have made appearances in so many of her other books (in case you don’t know: Arthur’s got three series so far set in the same universe centering around a fictionalized Wilmington area and the characters from one book will sometimes play parts in other books) and now I know how this iconic, often described as “practically married”, couple got their start!
Alessandro Silva returns to his hometown to help out his recently widowed foster mother and gets a job at a local family-run bakery/breakfast restaurant, where he meets the boss’s/owner’s striking younger brother, Jaime. Alessandro and Jaime are attracted from the moment they first meet, but Alessandro is put off from plans of a real relationship when he finds out about Jaime’s past heart transplant, current virginity, and future grad school plans. It’s not that he doesn’t still want him, it’s that his insecurities set in and he thinks that Jaime can do better than him, and will, after he’s gained a bit of experience. The two idiots-in-love set out on a purely sexual relationship – for educational purposes, of course. The pair grows closer despite their best efforts to stay emotionally-detached, and when outside forces cause torment and trouble for each of them throughout the story, the trauma only serves to make their bond stronger.
There are some especially spicy encounters in this book– Ezra from Maybe This Time (The Belonging Series #2) and Romy from Stand By You (The Belonging Series #3) are involved in one particularly steamy foursome-ish encounter with Alessandro and Jaime that (always with partner consent) includes some sexy dancing, a bit of naughty touching, and a little voyeurism – nothing too out there for those of you (like me) who aren’t fond of hook-ups outside of the main characters.
I really liked No Such Thing – it felt a little short, but I wasn’t disappointed at all (it’s possible I just wanted it to be longer). I’m very happy I finally got to see how Jamie and Alessandro got their beginning. Like I’ve said before, if you enjoy your romance with a healthy dose of angst and drama, then A.M. Arthur is the author for you. I can’t wait for the next book in this universe (as always) and I hope she continues to add to it for a long long time.
On that fateful day when Alessandro Silva stepped into Jaime Winters’ sister’s bakery/breakfast café, the air was warm and filled with “the wonderful aromas of coffee and cinnamon”. To give your senses the same kind of treat I recommend Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll Coffee – a fairly light roast coffee with its own delightful smell of cinnamon and a great bakery fresh cinnamon roll flavor.