After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he's giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he's sure is straight.Anthony Romano hasn't seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant's absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he's in love with Marc. Always has been.Marc swore he'd never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he's always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.Book two of the All Saints seriesOne-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!
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Say It Right is the second story in A.M. Arthur's All Saints series, all about the staff who work at a teen LGBT shelter. Some of them, including the hero of this book, Marc, have personal experience with the difficulties encountered by many teens when they come out to their family. With backgrounds of addiction and dependency, working the streets and surviving day to day, most of the teens who come through the shelter and the adults who work there have had their share of hardships. Yet the author manages to take this background and still create an uplifting story with a sexy and heartwarming friends to lovers romance. I'd read the first of the series and really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to Marc's story, having been introduced to him as a secondary character in Come What May. In this story we get a fuller picture of the difficulties he's faced and how far he's come with the help of friends, especially Father Davis who saw beneath the addiction to the strong and capable man underneath. It's admirable that Marc is willing to work at All Saints House after his own personal experiences, but it's his way of paying it forward. Having Anthony around again is both a blessing and a curse. The man Anthony is now is not the boy Marc once knew. And Marc can't afford to ruin all the hard work he's done for his own sobriety. But as Anthony gets over the initial withdrawal and Marc can see the effort he is putting in to stay clean, the other thoughts come back. The ones about the attraction he had towards Anthony as a teen. When Anthony starts to act and appear more like the person Marc knew, and confesses his bisexuality, it's easier to think of starting a relationship with him. But Marc is smart. He sets a time limit of 6 months for Anthony to stay clean before they'll go on their first official 'date'. The result is a slow burn romance between the two as they share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. They become intimate but as friends, not as lovers. It doesn't mean there aren't a few slip ups here and there, but the wait is definitely worth it. There are some steamy scenes between them as Anthony's life is finally moving in the right direction and Marc can admit to himself that a future with Anthony could be in the cards. I really enjoyed seeing how Marc and Anthony coped with the challenges of rebuilding their friendship and a relationship. The story is told from both points of view and it was heartening to see Anthony take control of his life once again. As well, the circle of friends and support that surround Marc and Anthony add some lighthearted and amusing scenes. The situations come across as very realistic and despite the serious topics, I didn't find the story depressing or melancholy. Rather, it's a testament to human strength and compassion as these two longtime friends find each other again, and start to build a future together.
Ripped my heart out and put it back again - I loved it!! Say it Right is the second book in the All Saints series but it is also a standalone story. Marc Villegas has been sober and drug free for over four years. His parents threw him out when he came out while still a teenager. He went through some hard times before he hit rock bottom and finally got clean and sober. Now he helps run the All Saints shelter for LGBT teens so they don’t have to do what he did to survive. Anthony Romano had it all; he was going to be a soccer star. He and Marc were best friends and then Marc left. Anthony’s life just seemed to fall apart after that but he couldn’t admit why to anyone. He’s been in and out of rehab and is at his rock bottom when Anthony finds him dirty and drugged up living in an abandon gas station. Marc has never stopped loving Anthony but he promised himself that he would never date an addict. Now Marc has to decide if he’s willing to break his promise to help the man he’s always wanted but never though he could have. This book just about gutted me; I was almost sobbing in places. It was so hard to read about the things that both Marc and Anthony went through while they were addicts. Ms. Arthur treated this subject with frankness and compassion. I’ve never known a drug addict so I will have to trust that she researched the heck out of this subject in order to write this story. Her descriptive prose was compelling. Anthony has a lot to overcome before Marc will trust him with his heart. Marc has to let go of demons from his past and let Anthony in. Stories that twist me up before I get to the HEA are my favorite kind and this one did a mighty fine job of putting me through the wringer. I couldn’t put this one down once I started reading it and I can’t wait to read the upcoming books in this series. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my review. *****Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions*****