Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Pete Adams and Ash Fagin are finally finding their stride. Now that Ash is working through his own healing process, Pete is able to focus on work. So now work is taking up most of his time. When his work partner takes leave with no intention of returning, Pete wonders about his future as a paramedic, whether it’s what he wants for the rest of his life. The stress, the hours, the time away from Ash – he’s not sure that’s what he wants for his relationship.
Ash has spent years battling addiction, his past, and his present. Working through his issues with a therapist has changed his life and for the past few months Ash has consistently improved. But when part of his past, part of his family walks through his front door, Ash is unprepared to face that reality. He’s never had a family, never had anyone looking to him for anything until Pete. He considers Pete his family and is not sure if he wants or needs anyone else. Until tragedy strikes.
When Pete and Ash’s life is turned upside down they travel a rocky path to find their balance again. And Ash is forced to lean on the one person in which he never expected to find solace.
Ohmigod, y’all. Can I tell you about this book real quick? It’s no secret that I loved the first story in this series, Slide, but seriously, Garrett Leigh has outdone herself with Rare. I didn’t think it was possible, but this author made love Pete and Ash even more. I was immersed in this story from the beginning. Full of angst, fear, uncertainty, love, hope, and future, Pete and Ash walk yet another path of emotional turmoil leaning on one another to make it out on the other side. It’s amazing, gripping, and beautiful.
Pete and Ash are stronger than ever together. And the great news is Ash is stronger than ever. He is finally finding his place and his purpose in life. I love the man he’s grown into since the first book. His transformation from the beginning of Slide is like night and day. The beauty of this story is that by a twist of fate, Ash and Pete switch roles of sorts. Ash taking care of Pete and waiting out his healing process. This is where Ash’s transformation shines. He’s able to handle situations that had they happened a year ago would have broken him. It’s absolutely beautiful.
And then there’s Pete – ever the rock. Pete finds himself in a situation where he needs to be taken care of and doesn’t handle it well. But the beauty of his situation is he can admit his wrongdoing, his mistakes. See, Pete was pretty much perfect in the first book, so this story highlights his imperfections without making him unlikable. It actually shows him as more human, more lovable. Perfect because of his imperfections. I love Pete. Most of all I love Pete and Ash together.
I really enjoyed the family aspect of this story from all angles. It’s not about the family we’re born into but the family we choose. Of course, I love Ash and Pete as a family unit along with Maggie. But the introduction of Joe who walked along with Pete and Ash in Ash’s road to healing, and then Dani with Joe, is a wonderful facet of this storyline. As well as Ellie and her family issues. What is amazing about this story is the definition of family. A group of people who choose to spend their lives together. That is the highlight, the attraction of this entire story.
The emotions, the ups and downs of this story, the many layers to peel back and discover meld so well to create such a beautiful piece of work. Each time I pick up a book by Leigh, I’m thoroughly impressed by the flow and cohesiveness. I knew going into this story it was going to be painful, heart-wrenching even. How could it not after the first book? I did wonder how this author would be able to write such a heartfelt story that would match the emotional rollercoaster of Slide. All too often I find a sequel that doesn’t live up to the beauty of the first. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is not the case with Rare. This story is beautiful and awesome in and of itself. I loved every single part of this book.
So yes, I loved this story. I love the characters and their growth. And I love the intensity and feel of the writing. It’s an amazing story in an already amazing series. If you haven’t started this series, I suggest you do so. You’ll definitely want to read Slide first or you won’t understand what’s going on in Rare.
Highly, Highly Recommended.
In Freed, we have another glimpse into the life of Ash and Pete in the form of a free short story. This time from Ash’s POV. It’s a snippet from Joe’s bachelor party at a strip club that is referenced at the end of Rare. Yes, I know it’s a short piece, but the picture of trust, honesty, and forever that this story paints is fabulous in contrast to where Ash and Pete were a year prior. It’s nice to see that after the trials, struggles, and hardships these two men have had that they only have eyes for one another, that each puts the other’s feelings and cares before their own.
So, yes, if you’re a fan of this series, as I am, you do not want to miss this moment in Ash and Pete’s life.
A review copy of these books was provided by Dreamspinner Press.