Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Maybe This Time
Author: A.M. Arthur
Series: Belonging #2
Heroes: Ezra Kelley/Donner Davis
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 168 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 12, 2014
Available at: Carina Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: As a regular at gay hotspot Pot O’ Gold, Ezra Kelley avoids his tangled emotions with the simplicity of one-night stands and attachment-free hookups. Until the night bartender Donner Davis picks him up off the floor after a misunderstanding and too much tequila. Ezra can’t remember the last time someone was…nice. It’s more than he deserves.
Witnessing his lover’s death two years ago has Donner trapped in a holding pattern, living in his sister’s basement, working at the Pot and flirting with the customers. He’s not above spending a night with the gorgeous Ezra, but love is not in the cards. That’s more than he’s ready for.
A passionate night leads to a connection neither man expects, and they take the first steps to something that looks like a real relationship. But Ezra’s been running from himself so long he doesn’t know how to live any other way. And Donner can’t risk his heart just to lose everything again. They’ll both need the strength to let go of the past if they want to get it right this time.
For the past few years, Ezra’s life has consisted of work, going to the club and taking home anything that catches his eye. One thing’s for sure, though, he won’t bottom for anyone. But when he meets Donner in the bathroom of Pot O’ Gold where Donner works, Ezra’s whole world is about to change. After losing his partner two years prior, Donner is still grieving but ready to move on. Determined to get back into things, he starts back up Street Feed, the underground group that turns Dumpster food into meals for the homeless. When he meets Ezra, he thinks there might be something more to their connection but can he get passed Ezra’s natural avoidance of relationships and break down Ezra’s walls? And with family issues on both sides, can these boys get through the troubles that life gives and still come out together in the end?
Oh man! I absolutely LOVED this book! In the previous novel, I knew I was eager for Ezra’s story. He seemed like the perfect damaged hero and he definitely was. I loved that he was so distant when it came to anything more than a one night stand. Hell, he didn’t even really have that many friends because he wouldn’t allow himself to get close to people. With Donner, Ezra felt a natural connection to him that caused his walls to slowly start disintegrating.
Donner was probably my favorite character, though. He had his own baggage but he was also sweet-hearted, kind, caring, loving, supporting, calm… you name it and Donner had that quality. He was way more patient with Ezra than most would be but I loved that he didn’t give up on Ezra. It may have looked like he did but he couldn’t stop caring for Ezra if he wanted and that caring ultimately led to them pursuing something that Ezra didn’t think he could do. Together, they have a lot of issues but they’re also strong together and support one another when something bad strikes the other. It’s sweet, intense at times and, yes, they’re totally hot together!
My only big issue with this one is it had too much sex for my tastes. I ADORED the fact that Ezra got over his aversion to bottoming but I did feel like it was a tad too excessive for me.
All in all, this was a fantastic follow up to No Such Thing. I’m loving the couples in this series but I just loved Donner and Ezra together, who are two emotionally damaged characters with a ton of baggage and somehow find a connection they’re both willing to explore. Plus, this one gives a peek into who the next characters are – Brendan and Romy. I’m definitely looking forward to their story! If you like your contemporaries with a bit of angst, some smexing and characters with chemistry, definitely give this one a go!
P.S. You can technically read this as a standalone but I’d advise reading the first book, No Such Thing, just so you get an idea of who Ezra was before but also who Alessandro and Jaime are and how they all met.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*