Saturday, October 29, 2016



Still firmly in the closet at the age of thirty, Ethaniel Shockley is content leading a solitary—if lonely—life working on a construction crew with fellow military vets. After a tragic worksite accident leaves two of his friends dead, Ethaniel returns to his family home to recuperate from a spiral leg fracture and severe Post Concussive Syndrome. He may be lucky to be alive, but he hates the independence he’s lost.

Matthew “Angel” Garrett has worked at Shockley Stables for three years, content to muck stalls and polish saddles, and to be as unnoticeable as possible. Except for weekly church outings, he avoids going into town so he doesn’t see The Look. The Look that says “I know you went to prison for killing a man.” 

A chance conversation with Ethaniel gives Angel hope that maybe he can have a friendship with the gorgeous Shockley sibling he’s crushed on for years. But the more time they spend indulging in their shared love of music, the clearer it becomes that they both want more. Ethaniel sees a kindred spirit in Angel, whose soul just as fractured from his time in prison as Ethaniel’s is from war. But Angel has another, deeper secret that haunts him—one he’s positive will destroy this new song with Ethaniel before it’s even written.

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Carra's Review

Sigh. Ethan and Angel? They are simply beautiful together. Both hurt, both damaged, both lonely. This story is a wonderful look at the two of them finding each other, and helping each other heal and move on-even in the face of more heartbreak and pain.

I can’t pick one over the other for who I loved more, I just loved them both equally for different reasons. Ethan is recovering from a work injury that took the lives of two of his friends, and this after spending time in the military in Afghanistan slowly having pieces of his soul chipped away by what went on over there. Add to that the fact that he is still in the closet to almost everyone and that’s a lot of strain for one man to endure. Angel had a horrible, traumatic childhood culminating in an act in the heat of the moment that changing the course of his life. And while that change was not for the better at the time, it eventually led him to Ethan.

Fractured Hymns was incredibly emotional, not just for Ethan and Angel, but also for the other members of Ethan’s family for multiple unrelated reasons. It all made this story very angst-ridden and dramatic, with several parts that had my heart hurting-and some tears falling. I was so worried at some points that something terrible would happen to tear Ethan and Angel apart, and it kept me on edge through much of the story. Needless to say, I was riveted to every page and did not want to put this book down.

There are some religious overtones built in to the story, and while I’m not usually a fan of that it was not overt enough to deter my enjoyment of the book. The overwhelming theme was the healing of two hurting men finding solace and love together, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

5 stars for Fractured Hymns, and this story also gets a Top Recommendation from me in the M/M romance genre. It is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content. Be prepared for the emotions, and keep your tissues on hand. I can’t imagine anyone not loving Ethan and Angel, and I already know I’ll be re-reading this story in the future.

About the Author

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland.  She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop.  She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder.  She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.  
Contact her at with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (, as well as on Twitter (, Tumblr (, and Facebook ( ). 

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