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M/M Romance Reviews by Maybedog

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Honesty and Artifice
S.H. Allan
S.H. Allan
G.S. Wiley, Rowan McAllister, Dawn Douglas, Stephen Osborne, Anna Martin, Elizabella Gold, K. Lynn, Eva Clancy, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Anna Butler, Caitlin Ricci, S.H. Allan, Rob Rosen, River Clair, Nico Jaye, A.C. Valentine


Junk - Josephine Myles Ms. Miles did a lot of research on hoarding and the treatment of it and it shows. Either that or she has first hand experience with it. The descriptions were perfect, the fears, the anxiety, and so forth. I do think it was unethical for any involvement between the two MCs while the therapy was going so I think that (major spoiler) the break that Lewis insists on was good and necessary.

The only thing I would argue with is that the dehoarding team insist that Jasper isn't OCD. It is currently the prevailing notion that hoarding is a subset of OCD. It obviously is compulsive and obsessive behavior. On top of that, Jasper panics with the thought of a book being moved to the wrong pile. His things are organized in a bizarre but to him clear system. If that's not OCD then I don't understand the disorder, which is a bit odd considering I had it myself before medication helped me see how asinine keeping every magazine and book I ever bought was. (I still have hoarding tendencies, though, and I still struggle, although I am MUCH better, thank God, mostly because I hate clutter and I can't afford it. But if I were rich with a big house? **shudder**) Oh, one more thing. They didn't really express how terrifying it would be to a hoarder to (medium spoiler but you know it's going to happen) walk through an empty house where it echoes. It's unsettling to regular people sometimes. For someone who's used to things everywhere and finds safety in being closed in it would be downright terrifying.

A couple more things:

There were some great lines in this. I really loved:

It was a short walk across the quad to get to the university's recycling facilities, but he knew how much Brenda hated even that much exercise. It wasn't that she was overweight or anything, but she had the lifelong bookworm's instinctive distrust of anything approaching physical exertion.

You know even as you get defensive and think, "That's not true for me or many readers," you totally know it's totally true for at least some readers, and possibly you as well.

I don't like how cavalier the school treated (minor spoiler) a teacher sleeping with a student in high school. He was just switched to another school and the now-adult student downplays it saying that it wasn't like the teacher usually had sex with his students. It was a fifteen years before, so maybe there were different reactions then. But still, for the guy to blow it off, and I didn't see that we were supposed to read between the lines, made it sound like the author didn't thin it was a big deal and that really bothers me. It's not about age of consent, it's about power as well as the trust placed in a teacher by parents and educators.

Anyway, this was well thought out and sensitive to both the hoarder and those who have to deal with hoarders. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand hoarders or who has a tendency to keep things just because they "might have a use someday."

I also loved that Lewis wasn't perfect, either. (medium spoiler) He had his own hoarding habits that he struggled with. It's not uncommon for therapists to have emotional issues. There's a reason many go into therapy. You have a closeness to the subject and know it like many others don't. Sometimes you can help others but it's harder to help yourself. Like I've helped several friends of mine de-clutter and organize their homes. I'm kind of known for doing that well, and yet my own home is a shambles.

Happy ending? Yes, they get their HEA.