Will Madden is healing.
Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.
Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.
In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.
As I Am, book three in AM Arthur’s All Saints series, is a contemporary M/M that packs an emotional punch. Seriously. Buy stock in tissues before reading. Will Madden suffers from severe anxiety, an eating disorder, and PTSD brought on by sexual abuse and neglect as a child and teen. His mental health issues have limited in a myriad of ways, especially socially. He finally finds a friend in Taz Zachary. Taz has suffered his own abuses, and against all odds the two men help each other discover the lights in themselves.
There was not one element of As I Am that I didn’t adore. Will and Taz are the perfect complements to each other and Arthur had me rooting for their HEA from the beginning of the book. It’s rare to find a book that depicts mental illness so realistically, but As I Am stands out as among the best. Neither the illnesses nor the healing was demonized nor glorified. The men did not walk off into the sunset “cured”. They did, however, learn to cope together and individually.
In addition to all of that, As I Am is well-written with a superb cast of characters, both main and supporting. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an emotional roller coaster.