Thursday, August 27, 2015

Foundation of Trust by AM Arthur

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this installment of the Cost of Repairs series.  David and Owen are equal parts stubborn and loving which make them perfect for each other.  Don't get me wrong, the stubborn parts seem to outweigh the loving parts but truth is that without the stubborn there wouldn't be any loving.  Yes, I know that statement is a mouthful of repetition and redundancy but it's completely true and because of it, I wanted to reach in the book and give both men a firm shake, and sometimes slap to the back of the head, but I also wanted to dive in and just hug them until the pain of the past was gone.  They may not have touched my heart quite as deeply as Rey and Samuel did from Cost of Repairs(Book 1) and Acts of Faith(Book 4) but they definitely burrowed in and found a lasting place with me.


Extreme anger was not the reaction Owen Hart anticipated receiving when he finally spoke to David again. Surprise, naturally, or even some form of grief. But no, David was furious and seemingly growing more furious with each passing second. Owen’s words hadn’t helped matters in the least.

“You came back for me?” David said, each word dripping with a kind of condescension that he’d never leveled in Owen’s direction before. “What did you think? I’d be sitting on the couch at our old place, patiently waiting for you?”

“Of course not—”

“Go to hell.”

David stepped to the side, and Owen countered the movement. He hadn’t planned on this occurring in the men’s room. He had only wanted to see David again from a distance, to observe and then form a plan of engagement. His skills must have been slipping, because eight years ago his target never would have seen him from across the room, and he never would have run into him on his way to the john.

He used to be better at a lot of things.

“All I want is a conversation,” Owen said. “Please.”

“I’m working. And for your boss, apparently. Am I supposed to believe that’s a coincidence?”

No sense in lying about it. “No, it isn’t a coincidence. I gave Mr. Harper your business card.”

“How the hell did you get my card?”


David’s face went red, and a dangerous fire sparked in his eyes. “You talked to Lindy? She knows you’re back?”

“Yes. We talked a few days ago. She wouldn’t give me your address or tell me where you’d gone, but she gave me your card.”

“I can’t believe she did that.”

“She believed me when I told her why I left the way I did, and that I wanted a chance to explain it all to you in person.”

“I don’t care anymore, Owen. You were an absolute bastard, and I don’t want to hear any apologies or explanations. I want you out of my life.”


“No.” The low growl in David’s voice had a fierce finality. “Leave me alone. I’m going back to work.”

He didn’t stop David from leaving this time. Owen leaned over a sink, hands braced on the cool porcelain, and let the knot in his gut slowly uncurl. The knot had socked him hard the moment he realized David had seen him in the lobby. Now that they’d spoken, the anxiety slipped away. First contact was a step toward what he wanted most in the world—to tell David the whole truth. Even if David didn’t forgive him and refused to give them another chance, Owen could say he tried.

Two men from the office came in. Owen gave them the friendly nod one exchanges with co-workers then set to the business of washing his hands. He searched his memory for their names and came up with Bob and Louie.

He’d only been back in Harrisburg for a month. Settling in and learning a new job had taken a lot of his time. So had keeping an eye on Michael, whose rebellious streak had only intensified with this latest move. Owen had always heard that raising a teenager was hell. Freshly fourteen, Michael seemed determined to walk him through all nine levels of it.

Being in Harrisburg again was painful for both of them. Everything about the city reminded Owen of David, and of the life they’d shared. They’d been best friends during a time when Owen wasn’t quite aware of his sexuality, then lovers when he came to his senses. Then they’d made a promise that Owen destroyed because he’d hidden his real past from David. A past he had every intention of revealing in great detail. He owed that much to David.

He owed it to Michael, as well. It took Michael nearly a year to warm up to David, but once he did, David had been Michael’s favorite person. David had a magic touch that quelled the rebellion and anger that was always present in Michael. They got very close those last two years, even though Michael could never completely open up about his troubles. Neither of them could. And Michael had viciously blamed Owen for leaving David behind when they moved away from Harrisburg.

Owen had been trying to right the wrongs of his past for years. And now that the danger to him and his son was gone, he could finally fix his family.

David hit the street and kept walking until he found a metal bench that looked clean enough to sit on. After storming out of the bathroom, he’d made a quick excuse to Rey about feeling queasy and needing some fresh air. The warm June night was scented with gasoline and the contents of a nearby garbage can, but at least he’d put some physical distance between himself and Owen.

Seeing him, talking to him, had created the worst kind of emotional storm—rage and joy. Rage at Owen’s audacity in saying he’d come back for David, after dropping him so cruelly and suddenly. Joy at seeing Owen again at all. And if that wasn’t enough, old feelings had stirred, tempting David to give Owen a chance to explain.

Until rage reminded him why that wasn’t going to happen.


Owen hadn’t mentioned if Michael was with him. Had he left Michael in Australia? Or wherever the hell he’d moved to? Owen apparently had a job at Harper & Gross, so was he back for good? So many questions David hadn’t bothered to ask. Thinking of Michael—he’d be fourteen now—made his heart ache. He never once hated or blamed Michael for the way things ended. Michael had been a kid, powerless to the whims of his father. And David had missed Michael like crazy. He often thought of him when he saw Rey with his daughter Faith.

The one thing that David and Samuel could potentially bond over was loving a kid who wasn’t biologically theirs, but David had never brought it up. And he’d made Rey promise to not mention it.

His phone buzzed with a text from Rey: You okay?

Yeah. Need a few minutes. BBS.

He needed more than a few minutes. He needed to go home and drink himself to sleep so he could forget this whole nightmare. But he couldn’t be selfish and leave Rey alone to finish this. He had a job to do. They had to clean up afterward then drive the van back to Rey’s house to unload what needed to be unloaded. After that David could drive his own car home.

A few more hours and he could forget the arrival of a man who’d just as abruptly walked into his life seven years ago.

Author Bio:
No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and "bromance" (and "The Young Riders") with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.


Foundation of Trust #5

Cost of Repairs #1

Color of Grace #2

Weight of Silence #3

Acts of Faith #4

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