AS I SAY by Matthew Dante is an incredibly gripping M/M Dark Romance Thriller that will hook you immediately. The novel’s tagline, “Sometimes the only person you can trust is the one person you despise the most,” is both chilling and thought-provoking, leaving you with an overwhelming sense of curiosity and intrigue. Not to mention the nod to dark humour. [Image On Left Property Of Matthew Dante.]

Caleb and Preston have harboured a deep-seated hatred for each other for years. It all began in high school when Caleb started bullying Preston, making his life miserable. Eventually, Preston began to fight back with passive-aggressive, sneaky little tricks that left Caleb seething with anger. This only fueled their mutual animosity, and they became bitter enemies. In a twist of fate that no one could have foreseen, Caleb and Preston are suddenly kidnapped and thrust into a deadly competition. Their captor is a sadistic psychopath who has pitted them against each other in a fight to the death. The rules are simple – there can be only one victor. The loser will be left for dead.

As they embark on a nightmarish journey through a series of deadly trials, Caleb and Preston must put aside their hatred for each other and work together if they hope to survive. They face a battle between good and evil, brains versus brawn, and only the strongest will emerge victorious. Will they overcome their differences and emerge as allies, or will their hatred for each other prove too strong, leading to their inevitable downfall?

The classic trope of enemies to lovers is taken to a whole new level with the introduction of complex romantic leads who find themselves abducted and subjected to a twisted “game” where their very survival is at stake. The high-stakes “trial” forces them to confront their deepest fears and desires, blurring the lines between love and hate.

Yes, the story is aggressive and thrilling, viscerally so, but it’s also profoundly moving once the layers of this volatile relationship begin to peel away, exposing hidden truths and desires. Dante’s always expressive writing brings the reader along as a witness to the struggles of Preston and Caleb, two emotionally broken men, in their attempts to navigate not only their lives but the unexpected danger they’ve been placed in together. Despite hoping for the best, Preston always seems prepared for disappointment. On the other hand, Caleb self-sabotages by putting himself in situations that would predominantly hinder any chance of self and social improvement, almost as if he doesn’t believe he deserves any better.

Both men carry a weighty burden of emotional pain and past childhood trauma, which, compounded with their trust issues and fear of abandonment, makes it difficult for them to find solace in the world around them. The initial spark between them is undeniable; their chemistry is intense. However, they both try to resist the temptation, putting up a tough exterior and refusing to let their guard down. Eventually, Caleb decides to take the plunge and makes a bold move towards Preston. The passion between them ignites leaving Preston overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. However, in each other’s arms, they just might find comfort and affection—especially safety!—if they can let go of the past and trust one another in a time of dire circumstances.

The conclusion is quite unexpected and may not be to everyone’s liking, but personally, I find it quite ingenious. It’s reminiscent of Dante’s Fractured series, showcasing his ability to delve deep into a character’s innermost thoughts and expose their hidden fears, desires, and motivations. Dante has a knack for subverting our expectations and completely altering the trajectory of the story. As readers, we may think we know where the plot is headed, but Dante has a way of defying all conventions and delivering a truly unforgettable ending.

As I Say is a captivating and sensual work of queer fiction that thrillingly blends the elements of eroticism, violence, and romance. Dante’s writing style is masterful in taking the audience on a journey to thrilling, dangerous, and unexpected places that are sure to leave them on the edge of their seats. Even though the journey is sometimes uncomfortable, it is ultimately rewarding, as readers will be swept away by the passion, intensity, and intrigue that permeate every page of this gripping novel.

As I Say is available for purchase at,, and Smashwords. For more information about this author, follow Matthew Dante on  FacebookInstagram, and TikTok.


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