Review: The Art of Loving (Arts & Hearts, #1) by Cassidy Ryan

Asa has been in love with Theo since their art school days in London, but Theo has only ever had eyes for their straight friend Oliver. Two years ago, unable to take the pain of unrequited love any longer, Asa came home to Glasgow. He hasn’t seen Theo since, nor has he stopped loving him.

When Oliver marries Charlotte, Asa can’t come up with any reasonable excuse not to attend the wedding, so he returns to London. He isn’t exactly shocked when Theo doesn’t show up, but when he learns that the reason for Theo’s no-show is a car accident that has landed him in hospital, Asa immediately rushes to be with him.

Unable to leave Theo to fend for himself while he recovers, Asa takes his friend back to Glasgow with him.

There, secrets are revealed, and Asa learns more about Theo than he ever imagined.

The Art of Loving is sweet, feel-good friends to lovers story. The MC’s are likable and from the beginning, I wanted to see them together. Asa has been in love with Theo for years and Theo has been pining for their straight friend Oliver for just as long. Oliver is getting married and Asa is looking forward to seeing Theo again at the wedding. They haven’t seen one another in a couple of years. It’s too hard for Asa to let Theo go if he sees him all the time, so he had moved back to his native Glasgow and immersed himself in the arts and Theo became a success in advertising in London.

Theo has an accident on the way to the wedding, Asa comes to his rescue and ends up taking Asa back to Glasgow with him. I have to say, I had a problem here. Theo’s injuries were a bit of BS. He crashes his car on the way to the wedding, Asa gets a call from a nurse during the wedding and Asa gets to the hospital 20 minutes later and Theo is ready to go with his broken leg and dislocated shoulder bandaged up. Basically, rescue time and hospital time are seriously accelerated in London. And being that I don’t live in London, maybe this is a thing, so my apologies if I cocked it up, but I do call BS. As well, a dislocated shoulder takes weeks to heal not days and a broken leg needs way more care than Theo got in the hospital. These are those realities that get in the way of a story sometimes and I was so busy picking it apart I wasn’t paying attention to the interaction between Theo and Asa.

Once the guys got to Glasgow, I stopped being fussy about the injuries and enjoyed the closeness the two of them were experiencing. It really was very sweet to read. I was expecting more angst considering the unrequited love angle, but I was pleasantly surprised not to experience it. The story was too short for that and the author handled the exploration and discovery of all the feels really well. The balance as the story moved from friends to lovers was just right. Theo had his reasons to put distance between himself and the chance at lifetime love and there was just enough detail to make sense without being overly dramatic considering the length of the story.

Once the segueway from friends to lovers happened the story moved pretty quickly. I believed the idea of the HEA for them, but the practicality left a little reality to be desired, but whatever, the gushy puddle of love was happening and these two were ridiculously happy. And I was happy for them.

For more information on The Art of Loving, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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