Slide & Rare by Garrett Leigh ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

Roads Title: Slide & Rare

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: GD Leigh

Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

Slide
Roads: Book One

Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Rare

Roads: Book 2
Sequel to Slide

Paramedic Pete Adams lived through the year from hell watching his lover, Ash, fall apart, and the precarious balance between work and home is becoming more strained. His heart is always home, with Ash, but the dark side to his job is weighing him down.

Tattoo artist Ash Fagin is recovering from a nervous breakdown triggered by revelations about his traumatic childhood. His battle with mental illness is far from over, but with Pete by his side, he’s feeling good again, so good he doesn’t notice something missing until it walks right into his living room.

Ash believes he’s had enough coincidence in his life, but when a voice from the past comes looking for him, it takes the devastating injuries of the one he loves most to convince him to let a ghost become the family he never knew he wanted.

Brandilyn’s View:

I will be honest. While the Roads series from Garrett Leigh has been on my radar for quite some time, it had never progressed to being part of my insane TBR. I have heard time and again that they are must reads. I have been told that I would never regret reading them. Somehow, they never made it from “hmm interesting” to “I need to read that eventually.” Somehow, however, they made it to I will read that right now status just a few days ago.

Not being sure what I would think, I asked for a review copy of Slide, the first book in the series. Often, I will get an entire series at once, but this series had me apprehensive, so I stuck with only book one… just in case…

Don’t make my mistake. Get this series. Enjoy it from start to finish.

Slide

Slide is told in two parts.

Part one is the start of a love affair between Ash and Pete. It is set in 2007 and told to us by Ash. We see them getting to know one another and getting close to each other. We see Ash struggle to reconcile his feelings and his past. We see love. Part One gives us only glimpses into Ash’s fragile psyche. However, it does serve to establish Pete as Ash’s touchstone.

Part Two takes place just over a year from the start of Part One and picks up the morning after the prologue. Pete tells us this part of the story. This is the part where everything invariably goes wrong. We see Ash and Pete slide apart. We watch as Ash slides into the abyss of his mind. I will be honest; I was expecting this part to be little more gut wrenching. I think this is the part that had me initially hesitant. Instead, we get look at love through the worst time in someone’s life. Pete isn’t completely aware of what is happening with Ash, which is why there is a feeling of detachment to Ash’s spiral downward.

I would like to have seen a little more about what happened between the end of part two and the epilogue. There was a bit that was alluded to in the epilogue, which set up the next book well.

Sometimes as a reviewer it is hard to separate your expectations of what you think the story will be from the realities of what the author offers to you. Slide is a perfect example of this dichotomy for me. If I were to rate this story based on what I thought it was going to be, I would have to say it completely missed the mark. However, I am not rating it based on what I thought going in. I am rating it based on what the book was.

The story the author presents us with is a beautifully written tale of love through sickness and health. It is story of two men who come together in a natural way and just fit together. When one of them feels pain, the other is there for them. Yes, there is that “dark period” where Pete is a little too oblivious to the issues, but he redeems himself. Neither man is perfect. Both men make mistakes, but in the end the other one is who matters most.

Marked

A free short that takes place shortly after the events of Part One of Slide.
This is when they are still in their good phase. They are hot for each other ever second of the day phase. Combine that inescapable lust with a personal tattoo session and you get one hot love scene.

Air

This little short is part of the Grand Adventures anthology (link to audiobook review). This story is told from the perspective of Joe, the friend that Pete and Ash call on to help when Ash is fighting back from the abyss. This is a peak into what I said was missing between part two and the epilogue in Slide.

Rare

After the year from hell, we get to see where Pete and Ash are in their lives. Things aren’t perfect; they never will be, but they are working through things, together. Until everything explodes. Pete is the one that needs Ash this time, but is Ash strong enough to be Pete’s rock?

I went into Rare with a little better idea what to expect. Maybe that is why I liked this installment a little better. Maybe it was because I was already invested in the characters. Maybe it was seeing the strength in Ash that wasn’t there in Slide. Maybe the writing was better, but whatever it was, Rare is a worthy follow-up to Slide… and one you won’t want to miss if you enjoyed Slide.

The addition of Danni was brilliant, even if the coincidence was a bit much for me. She brought one more aspect to Ash’s growth and maturity. We got to learn a bit more about Ash’s past through her and their interactions and the flashbacks she inspired.

Freed

Just a little short that takes place between the main events of Rare and the epilogue. A hot interlude that also fills in a few gaps.

Together the Roads series is a rich, deep tale of love, hurt, comfort, and devotion. You don’t have to read the minor works in the series, but I recommend them (and they are free).

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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One thought on “Slide & Rare by Garrett Leigh ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

  1. Brandilyn,
    I read book 1 and will be reading book 2 this weekend for Scavenger Hunt and this book was so angsty for me but i enjoyed the writing. It wasn’t over the top dramatic, but kind of slow burning. I had forgotten about the shorts, so I will have to read 1.5 sometime today.
    Thanks for the review

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