[Book Review] As I Am by A.M. Arthur & Just Love Coffee Roasters Hello Sunshine Blend

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As I Am By A.M. Arthur

  • Title: As I Am
  • Series/Universe: All Saints #3
  • Author: A.M. Arthur
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: February 13th 2017
  • ISBN-13: 9781460397534
  • Format: ebook
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Age Rating: Adult (language, explicit sexual scenes, mentions of past sexual assualt involving a minor, mentions of past hate crime, PTSD)
  • How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
  • Publisher’s page: As I Am

Description:

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. 

Book three of the All Saints series. 

My Review:

I want to start out by saying this book deals with some disturbing past events that still plague the main characters. Will Madden was subjected to horrifying sexual assaults as a minor. Taz Zachary bears acid scars after a hate crime attack in college. Both still carry the wounds of those past events, physically and mentally. The flashbacks and mentions of these events are not extremely explicit, but may be triggering to some readers, so keep that in mind.

That being said, As I Am is such a good, hopeful romance about two individuals, trauma survivors dealing with PTSD on a daily basis, finding their new normal and learning to live and to love. It’s really kind of beautiful.

Nineteen-year-old Will lives in a halfway house and is unable to hold down a normal job due to his extreme, panic-attack inducing social anxiety. Twenty-four-year-old Taz suffers from crippling agoraphobia that prevents him from leaving his apartment and makes him completely dependent on his father, who he only recently actually met.

Will and Taz meet online and immediately bond over their shared PTSD struggles. When they meet in person, they discover their connection extends to physical attraction as well. They hit a snag right away, as Will, who’s self-worth is tied up in his perception of his value as a sexual being, wants to jump into a sexual relationship, and Taz, who struggles with his own body issues and low self-esteem, highly values his friendship with Will, the only true friendship either of them have really, and doesn’t want to ruin anything by going too fast too soon. His perceived rejection of Will doesn’t go over well, as you can imagine, and it’s an issue they have to deal with on more than one occasion.

It’s a long, sometimes painful, journey towards a happily ever after for these two – to a place of love, acceptance, and feeling safe – but they do get there, and they get there together.

A.M. Arthur got me in the feels once again with this one. I really enjoyed As I am. Yes, there’s a lot of angst, but also a lot of love and hope, and it does get better. As with other books in this series and Universe (The Belonging Series, The Restorations Series, and The All Saints Series, so far), As I am can be read as a standalone, but also includes and features characters from the other books, which I think is one of the big draws of the books in these series, the ability to kind of check in on how some of your past favorites are doing – it’s kind of like catching up with old friends. Crossing my fingers that Arthur continues this trend and continues to add more books and more series to this Universe.

   

Because these guys deserve a little sunshine in their life, I’m recommending Just Love Coffee Roasters Hello Sunshine Blend – a medium blend coffee with a fresh lemony taste, like the sun bursting through morning clouds, and subtle nutty caramel hints that give that little extra layer of cozy comfort in a cup.

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[Book Review] As I Am by A.M. Arthur & Just Love Coffee Roasters Hello Sunshine Blend

  book50shadow 

As I Am By A.M. Arthur

  • Title: As I Am
  • Series/Universe: All Saints #3
  • Author: A.M. Arthur
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: February 13th 2017
  • ISBN-13: 9781460397534
  • Format: ebook
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Age Rating: Adult (language, explicit sexual scenes, mentions of past sexual assualt involving a minor, mentions of past hate crime, PTSD)
  • How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
  • Publisher’s page: As I Am

Description:

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. 

Book three of the All Saints series. 

My Review:

I want to start out by saying this book deals with some disturbing past events that still plague the main characters. Will Madden was subjected to horrifying sexual assaults as a minor. Taz Zachary bears acid scars after a hate crime attack in college. Both still carry the wounds of those past events, physically and mentally. The flashbacks and mentions of these events are not extremely explicit, but may be triggering to some readers, so keep that in mind.

That being said, As I Am is such a good, hopeful romance about two individuals, trauma survivors dealing with PTSD on a daily basis, finding their new normal and learning to live and to love. It’s really kind of beautiful.

Nineteen-year-old Will lives in a halfway house and is unable to hold down a normal job due to his extreme, panic-attack inducing social anxiety. Twenty-four-year-old Taz suffers from crippling agoraphobia that prevents him from leaving his apartment and makes him completely dependent on his father, who he only recently actually met.

Will and Taz meet online and immediately bond over their shared PTSD struggles. When they meet in person, they discover their connection extends to physical attraction as well. They hit a snag right away, as Will, who’s self-worth is tied up in his perception of his value as a sexual being, wants to jump into a sexual relationship, and Taz, who struggles with his own body issues and low self-esteem, highly values his friendship with Will, the only true friendship either of them have really, and doesn’t want to ruin anything by going too fast too soon. His perceived rejection of Will doesn’t go over well, as you can imagine, and it’s an issue they have to deal with on more than one occasion.

It’s a long, sometimes painful, journey towards a happily ever after for these two – to a place of love, acceptance, and feeling safe – but they do get there, and they get there together.

A.M. Arthur got me in the feels once again with this one. I really enjoyed As I am. Yes, there’s a lot of angst, but also a lot of love and hope, and it does get better. As with other books in this series and Universe (The Belonging Series, The Restorations Series, and The All Saints Series, so far), As I am can be read as a standalone, but also includes and features characters from the other books, which I think is one of the big draws of the books in these series, the ability to kind of check in on how some of your past favorites are doing – it’s kind of like catching up with old friends. Crossing my fingers that Arthur continues this trend and continues to add more books and more series to this Universe.

   

Because these guys deserve a little sunshine in their life, I’m recommending Just Love Coffee Roasters Hello Sunshine Blend – a medium blend coffee with a fresh lemony taste, like the sun bursting through morning clouds, and subtle nutty caramel hints that give that little extra layer of cozy comfort in a cup.

Posted in Books, Coffee, m/m, Reviews, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Vegan Espresso Fudge

Simple Vegan Espresso Fudge

Fun fact about me #33, I have very recently become vegan (since New Year’s day 2017). One of the things I miss most is sweets, chocolate especially. It’s so hard to find chocolate products that don’t use milk, so when I found a bag of vegan chocolate chips in my local grocery, I snapped it up quick. I had no idea what to do with it once I got home, but I looked at what I had in the kitchen, which wasn’t much at the time, and inspiration struck – a super simple fudge! And since I dig coffee (what? who? me?), I of course had to put an espresso twist to it. Continue reading

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Monday Morning Coffee News

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Happy Monday! Some interesting coffee things that have been happening lately: Dunkin’ Donuts celebrates the return of warmer weather with Butter Pecan and Coconut Crème Pie flavored iced coffees, news of the newest “world’s strongest coffee” and it’s U.S. availability had the internet buzzing, and Mongoose Mountain Farm launched a Kickstarter campaign for the first recyclable/ disposable farm direct 100% Kona coffee pour over. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Breaking Free By Winter Page & CoffeeAM Vanilla Hazelnut Flavored Coffee

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Breaking Free By Winter Page

  • Title: Breaking Free
  • Series/Universe: Standalone
  • Author: Winter Page
  • Publisher: Harmony Ink
  • Publication date: April 10th 2014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-62798-915-2
  • Format: ebook
  • Page Count: 180 pages
  • Age Rating: YA (language, homophobia, suicide, violence, referenced sexual assault)
  • How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
  • Publisher’s page: Breaking Free

Description:

Raimi Carter is finally a girl, just like she always knew she was meant to be. At a new school where nobody knows she’s had gender reassignment surgery, she hopes to finally live the normal life she’s longed for, happy in her own skin.

Life is great until she discovers a dangerous bully is blackmailing head cheerleader, Clare Strickland, threatening to reveal her secret: she’s gay. As Raimi fights to free Clare from his clutches, the two girls move beyond friendship. But secrets from their pasts and their own fears of coming out tear them apart—maybe forever. Baring their souls to each other could cost them everything. For two girls trapped and desperately in love, only strength, courage, and trust in each other will help them break free and claim their future.

My Review:

Breaking Free is the story of Raimi, a trans teenage girl, starting high school for the first time as a senior and ready to throw herself into the teenage high school experience after being homeschooled for the last few years. Having undergone gender reassignment and facial surgeries, she’s really feeling herself and is ready to take life, and high school, by storm. And then Raimi lays eyes on the beautiful Clare and a little bit of shine is knocked off her new life when she can’t stop thinking about the other clearly troubled girl.

The gorgeous head cheerleader is obviously desperately unhappy in a relationship with brutish football player Brad. When it comes out that Brad has been using the information that Clare is gay to blackmail her into a one-sided relationship, Raimi is determined to help Clare break free, from Brad and from the small-minded people in the town. It’s in the course of this that Raimi makes the startling revelation that she herself isn’t really free – she’s got her own secrets and her own fears.

This book deals with a lot of issues: gender identity, coming out, homophobia, transphobia, date rape, bullying, underage drinking/alcoholism, depression, suicide, and absentee parenting, to name a few. Breaking Free was like a high school soap opera with the way it kind of jumps from one issue to another; it starts to feel a little like Degrassi up in there.

Luckily, I love me some Degrassi, so I am here for that.

Break Free is a sweet romance with nothing more intense than a few kisses, and one make-out session, exchanged between the main pairing. When you’re in the mood for some intense drama and teenage angst, this is the book to read.  The drama and angst lasts all the way through, with new twists and turns popping up until the very very end. The author was only fourteen when she wrote this, which is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what else she comes out with in the future.

   

It’s on a rainy afternoon, inside a local coffee shop, that Raimi and Claire first sit down and have a real back and forth conversation over coffee. Raimi orders a double shot latte and Claire gets a triple shot espresso loaded up with vanilla and hazelnut syrup. I love coffee, vanilla, and hazelnut together – I think it’s just such a great blend of flavors. I recommend CoffeeAM Vanilla Hazelnut Flavored Coffee – a nice, smooth medium blend coffee flavored with creamy vanilla and nutty hazelnut.

Posted in Books, Coffee, f/f, Reviews, Romance, trans female/cis female | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment