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Unearthing Cole

(Discovering Me #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  982 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Cole Alston swore he’d never return to his childhood home in rural North Carolina, but when his mother dies, he inherits her hoarded property. He hopes to sell everything and use the money to start over in Canada, far away from his abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s a daunting task, and Cole has no idea where to start. Luckily for him, the local antique store owner, Jeremy ...more
ebook, 171 pages
Published March 20th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

As my husband always says, "With Heather, the stranger the better." I love weird, what can I say?! When I saw this book was a M/M about hoarders I HAD to give it a go. I love anything to do with hoarders! (Again, I'm strange)

As far as the story goes, this is a really angsty one. It has as much to do with domestic violence as it does with hoarding, so people who have issues reading about abuse, beware.

The story started out VERY strong, like 4 star + strong. I loved fragile, recovering Cole and
Mandy*reads obsessively*
This review might be a little spoilerish.

Cole is an interesting man, he grew up as the only child of hoarders, he was isolated and ashamed because of it, so he easily fell prey to a charming, devious and abusive Martin.
After one very violent episode Cole finally gets out and leaves Martin, he has been to therapists and keeps moving, always afraid of his past catching up with him.
After his mother's death, and boy, that was a very sad way to go, he has to come back to his hometown, and all the
A Hearts On Fire Review

FOUR & A HALF STARS--A.M. Arthur's "Unearthing Cole" is just great. It was well written and a great length with three dimensional characters and well thought out plot. Cole is back in his hometown after his mother's death and has to deal with the hoarding he left behind. He gets help from the local antiques dealer, Jeremy. Both men had less than easy childhoods. And together, to me, they just...worked.

Now when books deal with characters who have survived abuse, it
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it

Updated June 24, 2014:
We are getting a sequel! Understanding Jeremy will be released on July 23, 2014 and I hope it will bring ease my unhappiness with the ending of this book. I'll do a re-read right before it comes out and then review both books together.

Original review:
While this was an excellent healing/comfort book, the author seemed to give up and left the ending incredibly unsatisfying. It felt rushed and undeveloped and if it was written with as much care and attention as the rest of the
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
More a 3.5

I’m finding it harder and harder to review books I enjoy.

This was a sweet story and I loved Jeremy and Cole.

Not sure how I feel about Martin. I kinda enjoy seeing my fictional villains squirm and suffer a bit more. It also seemed almost anti climatic after we spend most of the book with Cole and his fear of Martin to end it that way.

A good feel good story of over coming insecurities and fighting to let go of the past, but not the tear jerker I was expecting.


Enjoyed this a
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, contemporary, kindle
Spousal abuse often leaves behind more than the visible scars with the victim; the mental damage often far exceeds the physical harm. The character of Cole suffers from a mental chaos of fear, shame, guilt, and humiliation that has him always on the edge, ready to cut and run at the first hint that his ex-boyfriend might have tracked him down–again, since this has happened several times already over the two years since Cole left his abuser.

And now Cole feels like a sitting duck, so to speak,
Hoarding, abusive partner, family deaths - this story has a lot packing in to it and I loved it. Cole and Jeremy are a great couple and even though they have only known each other 3 weeks, their bond is sure and true. This did NOT feel like an insta love story. They aren't in love, yet, but they have very strong feelings and Cole is ready to stay with Jeremy to see if they can make it.

Even the ending was good, Martin the abuser does show up but it's not the ending I expected. It is all tied up
Anyta Sunday
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it

Quick read verging on angsty but ultimately sweet.

Cole is immediately likeable as a character and following his story is sweet and sad in equal measure. The things he’s lived through would be enough to make most people shudder, and yet he is strong enough to continue and let Jeremy get close to him.

I quite liked the hoarded house setting filled with amazing antiques that at first you think might just be rubbish. I was glad to see Cole able to make some money off of the mess his parents left
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mm
A.M. Arthur just seems to keep getting better. I enjoyed her 'Cost of Repairs' series and will certainly be watching for more from it, but this book...this book broke my heart and then fixed it.

Cole is a man on the run searching for someplace safe, someplace to . unfortunately life or death has other plans for him and forces him to return to his beginnings. He now has to deal with the loss of his mother and cleaning up the hoarders den she has left him. He receives help in the form of Jeremy
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 05, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
Why I wanted to read Unearthing Cole : I had a good friend when I was a child whose mom was a hoarder and I remember it got to a point where I was no longer allowed in their house because it was unhealthy to even breathe the air in there. I thought reading a book where two people meet as a direct result of having to clean out a house which was kept by a hoarder would be interesting.

Alas, I've been trying to read this book for a month in bits and pieces and can't seem to bring myself to want to
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m, 2013, for-review, on-blog, dsp
What started out as an excellent story (an easy 4 or 5 star read) quickly went downhill. I enjoyed the characters and their back stories but I am extremely frustrated with the resolution. Others may be okay with it but I feel that everything ended too rush, rush. It's a shame because this was a really good book up until that point.

Full review with spoilers can be found at On Top Down Under Book Reviews.

This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Well this story was a solid 3.5 Stars read for me until the last chapter and then it went a bit down, that ending was RUSHED. I guess it might just mean that we are getting another book with Cole and Jeremy's story, but I felt like the end needed a bit more of a polish....THAT BEING SAID...It was a nice starting over story, there were really no other characters in the book other then the MCs and teh evil ex, and the smexing was pretty sedate, but overall it was a nice short read.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story about 2 very touchy subjects, hoarding and abused.
Cole had a very unsettle upbringing, with both parents being hoarders, and then physical and mentally abused for 8 years by his boyfriend.
Not a very easy read, for me it was very sad, because even if I try, I can’t put myself in any situation of a victim of domestic abuse.
I don't understand that and I think I never will.
How long doesn't take for a person who has been abuse to have a normal life, do they ever repair all the damage
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I only had one complaint about this story (other than the lack of jumper cables. A good old southern boy would know about jumper cables, and at least tried to jump start his car) was the ending with the ex, it just felt a bit too easy somehow. Otherwise, I really loved this book, and even shed a tear or two for poor Cole. Oh, and I've been to Franklin, NC, more mention of the mountains would have been nice! I also think it was a dry county (20 years ago anyway) and yet Jeremy had beer, but ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two people trying to shake off mental health problems. The title character Cole in addition to his mental health issues has been physically abused. And if that's not enough Cole is being stalked. Both lovers were trapped by these barriers to their chance at happiness together and couldn't move on with their relationship but A.M. Arthur magnanimously removed the stalker so they could move on with their lives together.

Who knows if the HFN ending will continue or collapse because the mental damage
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, 2019, audio, zz-2015
This was a nice story about an abused man who is faced with the monumental task of cleaning out his mother's house after she dies. She was a hoarder and it was an insane mess, overwhelming to a sane person, much less someone who is suffering from PTSD. He finds a helping hand and a friend in the owner of an antiques shop and things slowly get romantic. I liked how it was a slow progression, nothing was solved overnight and it was a book about healing and finding yourself. Cole's ex did get off a ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Maybe! 'He inherits the hoarded property' reminds me of another book...

Anyway, finally I got around to reading this and I liked it a lot. Flowing along nicely and a very well done ending. Thankfully the second book is already on my kindle :)
Roger - president of NBR United -
This is ultimately a book of healing and redemption. Cole Alston is a recovering victim of abuse who is returning to his home town to liquidate the estate of his parent who were hoarders. He needs help to get this all sold for good price and antique store owner Jeremy offer help and friendship. Cole eventually meet his former boyfriend who abused him and that person when through a savage attack that made him reconsider what he did and to seek forgiveness from Cole and this was the final piece to ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, kindle
ARGH! I freaking LOVED this, but I didn't want it to end. The ending felt so rushed and I was SO disappointed. This was gearing up to be a 5 star read from me, but the ending made me think twice.

Can I just say how much I love that domestic abuse was brought up in a gay relationship. People think that just because it's 2 guys there can't be abuse because guys are so much stronger than women and can stand up for themselves. Well, that's not always the case and abuse happen in EVERY type
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shaz by: Raevyn
Shelves: mm
While reading this book I was wondering why I always feel so grateful for an author's ability to describe vividly the surroundings that the characters find themselves in... I kind of wished that in this case my imagination wasn't quite as good as it is. But, on the other hand, it did put me into the scene a lot easier.

Cole is a man with a filled with pain, suffering and self-doubt. And this is treated with integrity and honour throughout the book. Jeremy is hard to pin down,
Arch Bala
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was surprisingly good! Jeremy reminds me of Ryan from Cricket and I just loved his interaction with Cole!!!

I loved how the story wasn't overly sentimental but it has its moments. Not sure about the bisexual thing but I'm okay with it.

What happened to Martin isn't near enough retribution for what he did seriously. *evil tsk*

Can't wait to read the next book!
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m

I enjoyed the journey Cole took to become himself again and Jeremy was great too,
I cant give it 5 stars because there was just something missing, I didnt fully connect with the characters, im not sure why that is, they were a bit dull.
But, still, a nice read.

Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Despite the three stars I really did enjoy this story. It just doesn't feel complete. I've been left hanging in limbo. The story is only halfway there... ~sigh~

UPDATED: I loved this even more the second time around and knowing that I have book 2 already on my Kindle and ready to continue with the rest of Cole and Jeremy's trip toward their HEA.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This started strongly, and I liked Cole's backstory and the way his reactions to how he had been treated was depicted so realistically.

So I was disappointed with the quickness of the climax and resolution. I really could have had all that stretch on a bit longer. Cole's very easy acceptance of Martin's story and Jeremy's plea at the end.

Sweet and angsty. Maybe a little rushed too.
Kade Boehme
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story was so brilliantly handled. But OMG I want more and it really feels as if there SHOULD be more. Not just cuz I want it but because for the romantic reader perhaps the end is still a bit uncertain. Otherwise holy crap I just loved both of these guys sooooo much. Great job AM Arthur!
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Sort of a "meh" read for me. I enjoy the way Arthur crafts a tale, but there was just something missing from this one.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5* I liked this! Is slow burn and they are so sweet with each other :*)))

My only BUT is that is a lot drama! Cole has been abused 8 years by his ex boyfriend and is so SAD to listen his experenciences. ALSO, the ending part about this issue... mmm I CAN'T BELIEVE sorry... Martin can go far away from here please!
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
Cole returns to his hometown of North Carolina, after the death of his mother. His parents were hoarders, so he is faced with the overwhelming task of emptying out the house, so he can put it up for sale. He is planning on using the money from the sale to keep running from an abusive ex-boyfriend who is still hunting him down.

Jeremy a owner of an antique shop in town shows up and strikes a business deal to help Cole go thru the house and sheds to see if anything is salvageable. He wants to help
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
Loved how well written the characters were and even though it's set in a relative short span of time, Cole learns so much about himself as well as his deceased parents and those around him.

Talk about an emotional read. Cole's past breaks your heart and Jeremy's past isn't exactly a sunny walk in the park either. They may have survived separately but together they begin to heal and thrive, but that doesn't mean everything is free and clear the minute they find each other. Unearthing Cole may be
Cole was left his hoarding mother and father as soon as he could, not ever returning until his father passed away. During this time he was in an abusive relationship, which ended right after his father's funeral. Running for two years, he didn't return to his hometown until his mother passed away, leaving him a huge mess to clean up. On his first day there he meets Jeremy, the widower of the story. Jeremy is in the buying and selling of antiques and enters a partnership with Cole. Along the way, ...more
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Dreamspinner Press: Unearthing Cole by A.M. Arthur 1 20 Mar 20, 2013 10:22AM  

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No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance wasn't a thing yet) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and ...more

Other books in the series

Discovering Me (2 books)
  • Understanding Jeremy (Discovering Me, #2)