Review: Here for Us (Us, #1) by A.M. Arthur

Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason. 

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.

Welp. This could've gone better so I'll be quick about it.

I've seen this author's works in my feed since forever so when this landed in the clubhouse it seemed like kismet-ménage, age difference, a little hurt/comfort... what could go wrong? Famous last words.

It's not that the book is bad. The premise is great and I was hella excited to get my mitts on it. What had happened was we didn't click. I knew early on this writing style wasn't going to be my cuppa. I persevered thinking I was either being too harsh, that things would improve or wasn't giving it a fair shake. But the truth of the matter is I need bells and whistles! A little angst, some zhooshing, frills are the things I like. Hell, I'll even read purple! This style is very dry, straightforward, no muss, no fuss and I was bored. 

I had trouble connecting with the characters. I found their journey a little too convenient and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not the dialogue is exceedingly authentic or tipped over into a stilted permutation of authenticity. All the components are there from backstories to character and relationship development but it lacked emotionality, thus I never invested in this narrative or these characters.

The sex is decently hot. I do appreciate a dude who's good with his hands and Cris is. And he likes to wreck his lovers. Not mad. Not mad at all.

This is the beginning of a new series but there are A LOT of characters introduced that I felt like I should know somehow. Later I learned this is a spinoff of the Perspectives series. I don't think it's necessary to have read that but you'll probably get more out of this if you have. Also, almost all of these characters are involved in the porn industry and have a porn name and a real name. I thought my head was going to explode trying to keep up with all of them. Did I mention that they're used interchangeably? 

Lastly, there is a mental health issue with one of the characters. I'm not going to belabor the point since this isn't a textbook or a peer reviewed article, but I will say I would've preferred for this particular plot device to be well researched OR a more generic 'there's something up' rather than the label being used willy-nilly.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes... it just doesn't work out and Here for Us is one of those times. Still, it's got a fairly high rating on GR so I'd encourage all to check out the other reviews before deciding.

A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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