Author: Garrett Leigh
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/12/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Romance
Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.
Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.
Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.
Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.
There is a hint of pretty woman in Rented Heart as sexy and rich Liam Mallaney is picked up by equally sexy but very poor Zac Payne outside a nightclub.
Zac moved from London six months ago when an overdose nearly killed him and he was forced into rehab. For the first time in forever Zac is clean, relatively healthy and has a roof over his head – he even manages to pay his bills. The biggest problem in Zac’s life besides his John’s getting a bit rough is his best friend Jamie the drug addict who saved Zac’s life but has no intention of getting clean himself. Jamie and Zac’s relationship is not healthy at all and they are co-dependent – each living with feelings of guilt and responsibility.
Liam has been thrust into the role of CEO of his own company, a role he really doesn’t want to do, after the sudden death of his husband a year ago. He moved back to Norfolk to live in a house that they both designed but only Liam got to live in and some days are hard to get through when the grief and loneliness cling to him.
When Zac picks Liam up outside a club and takes him home for the night Liam is both horrified and intrigued when he realises he is paying for the privilege but he goes through with it and it becomes the first night of sex he has had since his husband died. There is a feeling of just one more time as they see each other again and it is easy to imagine them becoming friends – Zac is desperate for friendship and Liam needs someone to make him start living again but I never really got the idea of them as anything more than friends until the end of the book – the connection just didn’t work for me although the sex between them was off the charts. I think they would have felt more cohesive earlier on if they had had more on page interaction but there is a lot of drama going on with Jamie and Liam has his own problems with his father. Then there is the whole misunderstanding that I don’t think Liam handled well at all.
They do get their happy ending even if Zac has a long way to go in reconciling how his life is now to how it used to be. I think this will definitely be a hit with fans of Garrett Leigh who love her for the angst she writes and the troubles she puts her characters through.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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