While the amount of men compared to women in m/m romance can be questionable, occasionally I find myself absorbed in an m/m romance that swims in male characters. A.M. Arthur’s The Truth as He Knows It manages to create a fascinating interplay of men in a small Pennsylvania town. I’m not normally one to find that kind of m/m appealing, but the look into masculinity, poverty, and my home state made The Truth as He Knows It worth the reading time.
Officer Noel Carson resides in a tiny Pennsylvania town where everyone knows everyone else. He spends his work nights working for the force and his occasional days off with his friend Tristan. Tristan has short term memory issues because of a past event where he and Noel were assaulted by a group of homophobic men. While their lives have never been the same since, Noel visits Tristan as often as possible to help retain some sense of normalcy.
One night on the job, Noel finds himself working on a noise complaint that leads to rescuing a male stripper from a group of rowdy intoxicated women. That stripper is Shane, a man with a past who is making ends meet by working at the local deli during the day and stripping at night. Shane’s brother Jason works a menial job to try and pay off their various debts, but Shane can never shake the immense guilt that tells him those debts are his fault.