A.M. Arthur has written a true love story between two men; men who didn’t give up when times got tough, who made a life together even before it was widely accepted, who have raised a young boy to be a good man, and who have helped each of their employees over the years they’ve been in business.Their Life As They Live It is definitely one of my FAVORITE books of 2017! ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures
Bernard “Bear” Henson is a blessed man. He is happily married to the love of his life, he co-owns a successful business, and his grown son is desperately in love with a wonderful partner. But Bear knows all too well how precarious that happiness is, so he lives every day with love in his heart and gratitude for everything he has—especially his husband Richard Brightman. Richard has been HIV-positive for thirty years and every new day is a gift.
When Richard becomes unexpectedly ill and is rushed to the hospital, Bear braces for his beautifully constructed life to come crashing down. A hard-won life full of ups and downs, illnesses and setbacks, love and anger, and a lot of regret for how certain things went down. Certain things involving Bear’s alcoholic ex-wife Debbie and the start of Bear’s relationship with Richard. But the past can’t be changed, only remembered and studied.
As Richard fights for his life, Bear reflects on the last thirty years of their entwined lives. College days, his shotgun wedding to Debbie, his unexpected feelings for Richard, and the proudest moment of Bear’s life: the birth of his son Gabriel. Bear’s life with Richard is woven with love, heartache, regret, joy, and everything else in between. They’ve overcome every obstacle that’s come their way, and they’ll overcome this new illness, too. Period. Bear simply isn’t ready to live his life without Richard in it.
Note: This is the fourth book in my Perspectives series, and while it can be read as a standalone, readers will have a much richer concept of these characters if you’ve at least read book two, The World As He Sees It. Warnings for spousal abuse (not between the two heroes) and cheating.
Every once in awhile a book comes along that makes me wish we had more the 5 stars and that’s how I felt the minute I finished Their Life as They Live It, or more like how I felt as I read it. These are characters we have seen many times over in A.M. Arthur’s Perspectives series and we know they are good men who have been devoted to one another for decades, but in this book we see their beginning and everything they went through to be together, the good, the bad and the ugly. I LOVED this book for showing us ever thing about these men and while I was sad that it took place during a health crisis, I also think it showed the value of their long term relationship; these are men who truly understand the meaning of the words—for better, for worse and in sickness and in health. I felt every emotion reading this book and I shed quite a few tears both happy and sad, but most of all I rejoiced in the outright love these two have shared for so many years.
Meeting as college roommates Bernard “Bear” Henson and Richard “Richie” Brightman formed a friendship that in time turned into more. Their story is told both in present day and with flashbacks and I while I’m normally not a huge fan of flashbacks, I loved seeing the beginning of their story through their eyes as it was happening.
I was struck by the way these two seemingly very different men bonded and while Bernard had a long term girlfriend and Richard had somewhat of a boyfriend, their friendship never wavered in fact it only grew stronger as time went by and secrets came out. I loved watching their friendship turn into more even when they weren’t sure what was happening between them, I hated when they were torn apart by a vindictive crazy woman even if she did give them the son they both adored, and I cried when their lives were turned upside down multiple times over the years of their relationship.
A.M. Arthur has written a true love story between two men; men who didn’t give up when times got tough, who made a life together even before it was widely accepted, who have raised a young boy to be a good man, and who have helped each of their employees over the years they’ve been in business. Their Life As They Live It is an epic romance of persistence, patience, hope, healing, and most of all love that never wavers and it is definitely one of my FAVORITE books of 2017.
Review copy provided for a voluntary review.