Series: Roads: Book Two
Author: Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 318 Pages
At a Glance: Rare is a beautiful compliment to the original, Slide, and a must read for fans of this couple.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: 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.
Review: Wow. Just absolutely wow. The angst and turmoil that defines the love life of Pete and Ash will take yet another devastating blow in the sequel to their first novel, Slide. Re-released by author Garrett Leigh, Rare gives a new audience the chance to discover the wonderful coupling of two men who are so perfect for each other—if they can only trust each other and live through all the disasters the cosmos will throw their way. In this second novel, Ash has weathered a major breakdown and the return and death of the man who was responsible for sexually abusing him in foster care. At the end of the last novel, his best friend, Ellie, has also taken him back to the city where she found him living on the streets, and shown him a young woman she is convinced is his long lost sister, something Ash denies with a fury and belief that is staggering to argue.
However, despite his now finding some relief in therapy, Ash is burdened with the concern that Pete is working himself to the edge of exhaustion. When a face from the past ends up in his living room, Ash finds himself wanting to run, and it’s Pete who anchors him and helps him cope with the startling realization that the sister he never believed he had is a possible reality.
For Pete, it is becoming more and more apparent that the life of a paramedic is not one that he can continue. The endless hours, the blood, loss and emotional toll have already done in his partner, Mick, the guy who always had Pete’s back on the job. Now he is saddled with training a rookie, and Pete is exhausted. Between the stress of the job and Ash’s tenuous grasp on stability, Pete feels drained more than ever. He loves Ash with all his heart, but he doubts that Ash is ready to fully trust him and believe the promise he makes to always be there for him. When a call goes horribly wrong and Pete bears the results, it will take every ounce of Ash’s strength to keep himself focused in order to help Pete. The only problem is that Pete is no longer the man he once was, and this new guy seems ready to walk away—from Ash, the life they have built, and their love.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, Garrett Leigh, give these two guys a break! Gosh, this is a tumultuous novel full of twists and turns, loss and anger, and very dark places. But, Ash and Pete have been down this road before, this time it will have to be Ash that steers them home, and he is far from sure he has what it takes to get them there. If you weren’t sold by this author’s voice echoing through Pete in the first novel, it will be this one where you are convinced of how strong Ash really is. The test he must endure to prove to Pete, once and for all, that he is determined to make their life work is pretty staggering on many levels. From threatening to tear him apart mentally to enticing him to use again via Pete’s stash of narcotics given to him while in hospital, Ash finds himself having to stand on his own two feet for the first time.
Unlike his time on the streets where he could cocoon himself in the false comfort of drugs, Ash has to face this nightmare thrown at him and Pete with only his own strength and determination to fight the slow fall of despair. All this while trying to grapple with feelings of inadequacy and the appearance of a sibling he only thought existed in his own mind, and you have a recipe for conflict that defies definition. Pete is unlike anything we have seen in the past—the reason for that is both profoundly heartbreaking and utterly realistic. The way in which the two men cope with the trauma thrown at them is perhaps the best written drama material I have read in a long while. The author makes it known that this is not going to be an easy path, by any means, and allows her characters to falter, fall and rise again in that order. Their love is what will sustain them and what will nearly destroy them. But Ash and Pete are strong—and this story proves it.
I was awestruck at this second novel. It was most assuredly better written and more cohesive than the first, and that is saying something considering the first was pretty darn good. The life handed to Pete and Ash has not magically gotten better but instead, has become even more difficult. Their love takes a beating and you hang on to the end, not sure if it will ultimately survive. However, the trust and faith they have in each other, while tested, remains strong and even increases by novel’s end. Rare is a beautiful compliment to the original, Slide, and a must read for fans of this couple.
You can buy Rare here:
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