Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 288 Pages
At a Glance: All in all, this was a good coming-of-age story that just needed some small fixes to make it more solid and realistic.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.
Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.
But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.
Review: Jonas has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle after being expelled from the university he is attending. A freshman hazing gone wrong, Jonas is now, more than ever, the disappointment of his state senator father and distant mother. Jonas not only regrets the hazing but also is struggling with the reality that he will never measure up to his father’s rigid standards, particularly since he is hiding the fact that he is gay. But he has been deep in the closet for a long time and he is not about to change that—that would mean he would lose everything, and Jonas is very used to eating from a silver spoon. But there is much more to Jonas than meets the eye, and it will take someone special to see beneath the rich, bad boy exterior he keeps in place in order to survive.
Tate lost his parents at an early age and did everything possible to save his two sisters from foster care. After gaining emancipation from the courts, he was able to get his sisters back and now keeps his tiny family afloat while running an LGBT shelter for homeless teens. He is very careful about whom he lets into his life, so it was a shock to himself that Jonas managed to wiggle under the careful wall he has erected in order to keep both his heart and his sisters safe. The two boys meet and they work together to create a safe place for Jonas to “come out” to everyone—except his parents. When a furious senator invades that safe haven, Tate and Jonas stand to lose everything they have built with one another. The real question is, can Jonas be brave enough to stand up against his own family? Or will he lose the man he loves?
I am a big A.M. Arthur fan. While I felt this story had some pacing issues and was often just a bit too easy when it came to leaping over what were huge emotional issues, this was still a sweet coming out story that had solid characters and a strong plot overall. I did enjoy the beginning of this novel when Tate and Jonas sparred with each other verbally, and the small flicker of attraction reared its head again and again. Had this beginning taken just a bit more time when it came to building the relationship between the two men, I felt the story would have been much more believable. Unfortunately, the rush to get these two together really weakened the idea of Jonas grappling with his sexuality—here was a young man who had dated countless girls and had very little real contact with other guys. While this made the sexual intimacies between Jonas and Tate much more realistic and sweet, the speed with which these two fell into each other’s arms seemed way too fast for a boy who had spent his twenty-one years on earth denying what he felt for other boys.
While this was undeniably a tender coming of age story that had moments that tore at your heartstrings, the pacing of the whole thing felt alternately rushed and sometimes flat. There was so much doubt on Tate’s part about getting involved with someone so deeply closeted, and yet time and again, he fell into Jonas’s arms and seemed to cave in against his better judgment. I must admit after this happened several times, the whole idea got a bit stale by story’s end. What never got old, however, was the love these two boys obviously had for each other. Even though it was rushed at times—this was a love story that often hit the mark.
Come What May is the start of a new series by this author, and I am interested in seeing where the author takes this one. I am hoping we see more focus on the shelter and its inhabitants, as well as catching up with what happens to Jonas and Tate. All in all, this was a good coming-of-age story that just needed some small fixes to make it more solid and realistic.
You can buy Come What May here: