Reviewed by Susan65
Title: The Art of Loving
Author: Cassidy Ryan
Series: Arts & Hearts #1
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 71 Pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Does Asa have a life sentence doing time in the friendzone?
Asa has been in love with Theo since their art school days in London, but Theo has only ever had eyes for their straight friend Oliver. Two years ago, unable to take the pain of unrequited love any longer, Asa came home to Glasgow. He hasn’t seen Theo since, nor has he stopped loving him.
When Oliver marries Charlotte, Asa can’t come up with any reasonable excuse not to attend the wedding, so he returns to London. He isn’t exactly shocked when Theo doesn’t show up, but when he learns that the reason for Theo’s no-show is a car accident that has landed him in hospital, Asa immediately rushes to be with him.
Unable to leave Theo to fend for himself while he recovers, Asa takes his friend back to Glasgow with him.
There, secrets are revealed, and Asa learns more about Theo than he ever imagined.
Review: I am a sucker for unrequited love, and the fact that was a short story that didn’t drag it out forever actually made me like it more than I thought I would. I, the person who dislikes short books, actually found a theme and setting that worked better (for me) as a short story. Of course, you lose a bit in character development and background, but it didn’t hurt too much.
I totally enjoyed both Theo and Asa, even though I highly doubt this scenario would ever play out in real life with grown men. Asa moves away (literally out of the country) from his best friend, and long time crush, Theo, because of his unrequited love…and not only is his love not returned, Theo is in love with their very straight friend, Oliver. A gay man can compete with almost anything, but competing against a straight man was a losing and hurtful battle.
This story was fast paced, cute in many ways, and I found myself liking Theo even though on paper he sounds like a real dirtball. He really isn’t. Theo has hidden demons…and they are revealed to Asa which will explain his unhealthy attraction to Oliver. Oliver, the man who played such a huge role in these two men’s lives, yet isn’t really a part of the story.
My biggest issue, because seriously I liked this story a lot, was that Asa forgave too easily and Theo fell in love too fast. If I were Asa, I would not be able to trust Theo for a very, very long time. Twelve years Theo pined for Oliver, while Asa pined away for Theo…that hurt can’t be resolved over a couple weeks of convalescence. Regardless, it was a cute and very pleasurable story and one I think many will enjoy.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*