Book Reviews

What You Own by A.M. Arthur at Briggs-King Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 08-April-2020

Book Blurb


Moving north from Texas as a teen leaves me the odd-man-out, and Adam Langley is my first new friend. Then my best friend. And soon my entire world. But a gay bashing rips us apart before we can be more, and I try to move on. Joke’s on me when we’re thrust together four years later to do a fundraiser for my local community center. Adam might look right through me, but I still want him down to my bones.


I had a plan, damn it. Survive my summer internship with my homophobic father’s company, graduate college, get my trust fund, and then find Ryan again. Beg his forgiveness for what happened in high school. But that plan shatters when my internship leaves me working with Ryan on a fundraiser. Old feelings can't be denied, and as we come back together over a shared love of musical theater, I realize neither one of us knows the whole truth about the night that tore our friendship apart.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2013.

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.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 214 pages/60000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 31-March-2020
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link