Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: No Such Thing
Author: A.M. Arthur
Series: Belonging #1
Heroes: Alessandro Silva/Jaime Winters
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 221 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 17, 2014
Available at: Carina Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Twenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent’s reputation, he’s lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he’s back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss’s hot brother.
Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he’s still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister’s diner awakens desires he’d long ago given up on.
The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he’s scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro’s past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…
After being gone for years, Alessandro’s returned to Perch Creek to help his foster mom with her foster kids after she loses her husband. Getting a job at a local bakery, Alessandro meets Jaime, the owner’s brother. While Alessandro might not have been one to settle down before, being back in the small town makes Alessandro want to have something he never desired before with Jaime. But when he finds out Jaime’s lack of experience, he realizes things could never be permanent between them and settles for a no strings attached relationship. But when rumors of Alessandro and Jaime being together start to circulate, awful things start to happen and old secrets come out and before they know it, their no strings relationship has developed into something neither of them thought could happen.
I’m not normally one to read books with characters who have a no strings attached relationship because I want an actual romance, I don’t want a book about fuck buddies. Even so, the characters are interesting in that they both have their issues. Alessandro is a guy trying to get rid of his past and become a better person. As a kid, he was a terror and had a lot of issues. Now, he’s just a man trying to help out the only person who’s been there for him. Jaime is different because he’s been sheltered during his teen years because he was sick for most of them. He has no sexual experience and no friends. I liked them together and I liked that they both tried so hard to keep things non-emotional yet they couldn’t help feeling jealousy or possessiveness.
While I enjoyed the story, I’m a little confused on what exactly I feel for it. On one hand, I really liked a majority of it but on the other, I felt like it was too busy and I had certain personal issues with it. For one, there was too much sex for me. I found it amusing that Alessandro was Jaime’s “sex teacher” but I absolutely did not like the club scene or the scene after or the morning after. In fact, I almost stopped reading because I absolutely detest sharing sex partners. Thankfully, it didn’t go far but the morning after didn’t make me feel all that great about the whole thing either. I have issues with reading about stories with a lot of sex as it is because I want romance, not erotica, so the whole groping, grinding, exhibition scenes just made me annoyed especially since it was already hard trying to get why they couldn’t have a real relationship with Jaime being a virgin. It just didn’t really make sense to me why they had to be fuck buddies but couldn’t be boyfriends. Shouldn’t he have talked about that instead of just assuming Jaime wanted to fuck other people?
To add to that, I felt like the two separate mysteries were a tad weak and very underdeveloped. I spotted the “villains” from the beginning and I also caught on to who was behind the trap at the end even before Alessandro fell for it. Not to mention, I think this novel could have had one more round of editing. There were numerous occasions with missing words from sentences that made me stumble and would pull me out of the story.
In the end, I liked the book. I won’t lie, A.M. Arthur has a great “voice” and she does pull me into a story especially when she creates such likeable characters but I didn’t like that there was so much sex or the club scene/morning after, it left too many confusing feelings for me because both Jaime and Alessandro were jealous but then they weren’t. It didn’t make sense and made me lose enjoyment. Add to that, with the way they acted around a few other guys, I’m honestly worried if they’ll even last as a couple especially with Alessandro’s way of thinking. Still, even with the mystery being weak, I liked seeing Alessandro and Jaime develop so much in the end. If you’re looking for something with a bit of drama, some sex and good characters, give this one a try.
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*