Rating: 5 stars
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I was not emotionally prepared for the rollercoaster that is this story. Ups and downs. Twists and turns. Confusion, frustration, annoyance, love, protectiveness, fear, betrayal – each one of these emotions are but a small part of the genius that is Slide by Garrett Leigh. I’m not sure if I even have the words to explain to you how amazing this one story is. How perfect. How beautiful. But I’m certainly going to try to convey it all to you.
Ash has had a tough life. He’s taken care of himself for years. Life on the street wasn’t easy, but after his friend Ellie found him and helped him find himself again, Ash has consistently gotten better. When Ellie moved from Philadelphia to Chicago and asked Ash to go with her, he reluctantly agreed. Now working in Chicago as a tattoo artist and living with a new roommate, Ash is making it – day by day. But the nightmares won’t go away. He rarely sleeps. When the dreams get to bad to handle, Pete, Ash’s roommate, steps in to give him a little bit of solace, and eventually a place to be loved. Pete is everything Ash didn’t know he wanted, but he’s not sure he can give Pete what he needs.
Two years ago, when Ash moved in with him, Pete fell for him almost immediately. As a paramedic, Pete has seen the worst in people – the illness, the black hearts, the broken hearts. Pete has done everything he’s known how to do to show Ash his love, to bring the skittish former street kid into his life, give him a home and a family. But Pete getting hurt while out on a domestic abuse call is only the first in the list of happenings that cause him and Ash to drift apart.
Ash’s haunted past, secrets, lies, assumptions, and fear threaten to ruin the life and love that Ash and Pete have built. And when a ghost from Ash’s past collides with both Pete’s and Ash’s present, both men must work together to find out what is real and what isn’t.
This story is emotional and intense and beautiful. I adored it from beginning to end. It’s real and dirty. The writing is engrossing. The story of a street kid overcoming his past, albeit slowly and painfully, and the man that loves him. The growth and passion that this author portrays is amazing. Garrett Leigh is a new author to me. And if this story is what I have to look forward to, I can’t wait for more.
The relationship between Ash and Pete is not your average meet-and-fall-in-love relationship. Ash is broken and skittish. He lives in his head. He has fears not even he is aware of. Ash has lived on the streets and taken care of himself for so long that it’s hard for him to let someone into his life, much less trust easily. Pete is the most patient, understanding man ever. Well, in my opinion. His heart is huge. He would do anything to take care of the people he cares about, and Ash is at the top of that list. Their relationship is a give and take one. They fight. They push each other’s buttons. They love. They are passionate and fiery. They are perfect for one another.
I love that this story has so many highs and lows. The good times in this story, when they’re good, they’re so good. And when they’re bad, they’re so bad. This author has a way of conveying those feelings through her words. I was happy, confused, frustrated, hurting when both Pete and Ash were feeling those emotions as well. Another thing that I love is the realness of this book. Life in the foster care system. Street life. Drug abuse. Growing up. I love how this author builds Ash’s life from the ground up and gives him a little ray of sunshine in Pete. The child abuse/rape is such a hard subject to hear about, much less incorporate into a beloved character’s life. The subjects in this book are very difficult to bear, yet they are planned well and with care. I truly enjoyed the realness and grittiness of this story.
I loved Slide by Garrett Leigh. This book is poignant and so very powerful. It’s heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. The trauma, the fear, the hope. It’s beautiful. Ash and Pete are now one of my favorite all time couples. They are so wonderful together. I can’t say enough how much I love this book. I highly, highly recommend Slide by Garrett Leigh.
Marked is labeled as a short that comes between the first and future second book in Garrett Leigh’s Roads series. In all actuality it is a deleted scene from Slide, the first book in the series. It’s the scene where Ash finally fixes the tattoo on Pete’s shoulder.
This deleted scene is super sexy. It’s a glimpse of the intensity of the relationship between Pet and Ash in the beginning. They’re hot and intense. I loved the story of their lives, and I loved this bit of tattooed sexiness. If you’ve read Slide, you’ll definitely want to read this missing scene.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.