Book Reviews

What You Own by A.M. Arthur at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 14-September-2017

Book Blurb

For Ryan Sanders, the Paige Community Center is more than a place where he teaches at-risk teens about musical theater. He found a sense of belonging there during one of the hardest times of his life. With the center facing a financial crisis, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open—even soliciting fundraiser donations from Langley-Quartermaine Financial.

Adam Langley has a plan: survive an internship at his father’s company, finish college, get his trust fund, and find his former high school best friend Ryan and beg his forgiveness. In that order, because if Ryan does forgive him, Adam believes he’ll finally find the courage to come out to his wealthy, bigoted father.

Adam’s carefully considered plan is shattered when Ryan appears at the office a full ten months before Adam is ready, and Ryan is just as stunned. Against his better judgment, Adam gets involved with the fundraiser—and Ryan. Old feelings won’t be denied, and as Ryan and Adam reconnect, they realize neither knows the entire truth about the horrific night three years earlier that tore their friendship apart.


Book Review

Having read this author's ‘Perspectives’ series and loving each book, it stood to reason that I would be curious (extremely nosy) and go perusing (flipping pages faster than the speed of light) her backlist. I wasn't very far into ‘What You Own’ when a phrase, a look… something made me think of ‘Dead Poets Society’ with Robin Williams, where the young man who took such joy in playing Puck was discovered by his father, and the look on that kid’s face. Well, part of me really couldn't wait to find out what really happened three years ago in Adam and Ryan’s lives.

It became apparent very quickly that I was going to empathize with both Adam and Ryan. Adam has spent his entire life, just as his mother did, conforming to his bigoted father's expectations. It's why Adam quit theater group his senior year in high school, one week before the production was set to premiere. It's why Adam allowed his father to place all of the blame on Ryan’s head when Ryan got outed at school, resulting in Adam and Ryan getting bashed and being hospitalized. It's why Adam walked away from his best friend, his other half, the person he might have been in love with, but they never got the chance to find out. Meanwhile, Ryan has never known some of this history, only that he lost his best friend. Wait, scratch that, his best friend, the guy he loved, turned his back on him and walked away.

I'd like to say that Ryan and Adam’s unfolding story came as a surprise, but it was rather predictable. However, in no way did that make it unappealing for me. The character development and writing is very well done. I got frustrated, more than a few times, with Adam because I just couldn't understand his thought processes. Ryan was willing to lay his heart and soul right out there, no matter what, and Adam was far too tentative, in my opinion, for a guy who has never had a relationship with his father, so his decision should be a little more cut and dried. Just my opinion, though.

A very enjoyable read about growing up and learning how to stand on your own two feet. Ryan and Adam were great characters, along with some wonderful secondaries, as well. I can definitely recommend this story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 200 pages/59579 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-November-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link