Weight of Silence
by A.M. Arthur

Published by Samhain Publishing Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Cassie

The wrong secret can poison everything--even if it’s kept with the best of intentions. Cost of Repairs, Book 3Gavin Perez knows he’s a living cliché. He works a dead-end job, shares a trailer with his waitress mom, has an abusive, absentee sperm donor, and he’s poor. So color him shocked when middle-class, white-bread Jace Ramsey agrees to hang out with him. Granted, Gavin is trying to make up for dumping a bowl of cranberry sauce on Jace at Thanksgiving. And boy, is Gavin forgiven, over and over again...until Jace goes back to college for finals and stops returning Gavin’s calls. Back home from the semester from hell, Jace doesn’t want to do anything but sleep through the holidays. It’s easier than coming out to his family—or facing Gavin’s hurt. But Gavin’s ready forgiveness draws them back together, and Jace won’t be able to stay in the closet much longer. Nor will he be able to keep hiding his pain. He trusts Gavin with his body, maybe even with his heart. But can he trust that a devastating secret that’s eating him up inside won’t destroy everything—and everyone—he loves? Warning: This book contains one slightly hyperactive hero from the wrong side of town, a frustrated college student looking for a little life experience, and an unexpected romance amid dark secrets that just won’t stay buried. Also contains references to physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.

Gavin Perez doesn’t expect a guy like Jace Ramsey to be interested in him. After all, Gavin’s poor, he’s hyperactive, he lives with his mom in a trailer, and he works at a dollar store. He’s astonished when Jace agrees to hang out, and even more so when their time together leads to more. Then Jace goes back to college and stops returning his calls.

Jace is tolerating college and enjoying his time with Gavin, but he has to go back to school. Once there, something he did months before comes back to haunt him. By the time he comes home for winter break, Jace is a nervous wreck. He hasn’t been sleeping or eating, and he’s afraid to tell anyone his secrets. The only bright spot is that Gavin doesn’t hold his disappearing act against him. Can he and Gavin form a real connection, or will Jace’s secrets tear them apart?

Weight of Silence is an emotional tale of two young men finding themselves, dealing with issues they can’t control, and falling in love. I adored hyperactive Gavin right away. He’s realistic about himself, yet not in a negative way. He knows he has problems focusing, has a job that isn’t great, and has a less-than-ideal home situation, but he is still very positive about everything. He loves his mother, is kind to others, and is just a generally sweet, funny guy. Jace, on the other hand, broke my heart. When he first meets Gavin, he’s a happy young man. Despite hiding his sexuality, he is willing to look outside his own social circle to see what a great guy Gavin is. Then, something terrible happens to Jace. What it is exactly is not revealed until near the end, which heightens the suspense. Holding the secret in tears Jace apart inside. His turmoil soon begins to show on the outside. It was painful to watch him disintegrate. Fortunately, he has Gavin to help keep him together, and to pick up the pieces when things finally get to be too much. Their relationship builds slowly. I enjoyed the way they got to know each other. There was no insta-love, just trust and true emotion based in a genuine friendship. 

There are several conflicts in Weight of Silence. The main conflict is Jace’s heart-wrenching secret. That particular problem is revealed slowly, first with little clues and then in one horrific scene. It’s a sensitive issue, and I appreciated the way AM Arthur handled it. Another conflict connects to the ongoing storyline in the Cost of Repairs series. In a previous book, someone set fire to one of the buildings in town, and in Weight of Silence, this conflict is finally resolved. Characters from previous books also make appearances or are mentioned, which is always nice, especially when it’s as seamlessly done as it is here.  

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