Rented Heart by Garret Leigh

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title:Rented Heart by Author: Garrett Leigh
Release Date:Sept 12, 2016
Pages: 228 • Format: eARC
Published By:Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

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.

four-stars

 

This was a really good solid story from Garrett Leigh. I enjoyed it alot, and I thought it was the right amount of angst, love, redemption and acceptance.

I requested this book off the author’s writing ability and this beautiful cover. I adore the story. Rented Heart is the story of two lonely guys who aren’t looking for love, but happen to fall in love. Liam is dealing with the death of his husband. He’s lonely and doing everything in his power to stay to himself. He’s grieving and decides to relieve himself of some stress and loneliness and meets Zac. Rentboy Zac who is just trying to survive another day and not think about the past of his old life in London.

Leigh’s writing is truly magical, and the one thing that I’ve noticed in this book that we don’t see in a lot of gay romance is Kindness. They were both nice to each other. It wasn’t the same ole be mean to the rent boy, or the rent boy doesn’t need saving. Liam didn’t try to save Zac not one iota. He wanted a friend, who happens to need help. I appreciated the generosity that Liam had, and I appreciate the way Zac was with them. It was almost timid like in manner, but them being nice was a breath of fresh air. I liked that Liam saw Zac, not as a whore but as a person.

“..there’s not much I wouldn’t pay for the privilege of spending a few hours with you.”

This quote damn near did me in. Liam might have been lonely, but he wasn’t bitter. He was focused now that he got a burst of freshness being around Zac. I don’t even think it was the sex. I think it was having someone around for him to be himself, and to be there for someone else. This story being told about rent boy redemption was uplifting and about self-worth. Liam kept reminding Zac that he wasn’t a whore. I think for Zac he was really worried if Liam’s feelings for him can be true or be because of him being lonely. This is why I’m super proud of the age-gap. I think Liam was mature enough to teach Zac certain things, and be a friend then try to change him. I am gushing over Liam that’s all. I damn near fell in love with him all over.

Zac also has his fair sure of issues. He is enabling his best friend. They’ve been in this lifestyle so long that boundaries get crossed and friendships get blurred. I wouldn’t change a thing between Zac and Jamie. They are who they are for a reason, and if all of this had to occur just for them to get an ounce of happiness then I’m game.

This is a must read for people. I liked it alot, and always seem to get a get read from this author. It was the right about of angst, and love for me. I even was able to not cry! I know, me who cried at everything she writes. I recommend this to everyone!

“Don’t rent your heart out for nothing when I reckon you’ve both been through enough to deserve a hell of a lot more.”

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

What Remains by Garrett Leigh

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WhatRemains_600x900What Remains by Garrett Leigh
Release Date: July 4, 2016
Pages: 283 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

three-half-stars

I was so expecting my reaction and emotions to be like this when I first read the blurb.

I had high hopes, I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t a bad story, but it seemed pedestrian. That might seem harsh, but I know others, and myself included puts Garrett Leigh’s work on a higher pedestal. She’s an amazing writer and story teller. The range of feelings and emotions that I feel when reading her stories always leave me stumped, happy, and wrung out. But I love it.

For me, amnesia is suck a finicky topic to talk about. I mean, I don’t want it to be like in the movies when they miraculously get their memories back, and because I lived first hand with someone who suffered an brain injury, I definitely get it. I love the initial meeting between Jodi & Rupert. I like the past and present dialogue that we are given. Leigh is able to show them from the beginning stance of their friendship. She showed us how these two guys needed each other. It was almost like the beginning was Jodi showing Rupert his sexuality.He was able to teach him with the respect of not knowing if Rupert was going to be invested in him. I like the push and pull that they both have with each other. Rupert was able to grown within himself. Jodi was charismatic, and self assured in himself. Falling in love with Rupert was unexpected, but welcomed.

Fast forward to the accident, and it’s total role reversal. Jodi is the one getting paid attention to. It’s not bad thing, let me say that. Rupert has grown so much into himself, and with that confidence of the love he has for Jodi it’s undeniable not to see the love that they have. Rupert had to put his partner before everything. It was a long process, that takes courage and love to do. That’s not my issue with the story itself. With all the right formula that was put into the story, I finished thinking what was wrong? It was lacking emotion. Not once did I feel a tear, anger, or the usual stuff I equate with Leigh’s writing. I hate to add onto it, but it was monotone. One noted, and not something I was responding. While both guys were good characters, and they have the connection together, I just never connected with them.

It wasn’t the Garrett Leigh I love, but it was okay.

 

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

BetweenGhosts_400x600Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh
Release Date: March 14, 2016
Pages: 226 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
RiptideAmazonARe

In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.

Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.

Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.

But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.

three-half-stars

I love Garrett Leigh and her writing style. I’m no stranger to her books. I think she writes with so much passion and emotions that it’s easily conveyed across the pages. I liked this story, but it lacked so much that I’ve come to enjoy from this author. The love and romance wasn’t there. Listen we are dealing with two people that are dealing with their ghost. I think I liked each character separately but in this setting I never connected with them. For the military aspect to be such a big character in this book, it left with little action, more of the obvious at the end, and the romance didn’t bloom to capacity for me.

It’s something about Nat that didn’t work for me. We knew next to nothing about him. Outside of what he was told, I never got a glimpse of the “man”, it seems the “soldier” was always on. Another thing is the connection between him and Connor seemed more physical than anything. I didn’t feel anything emotionally with these two together. I do feel underwhelm with Nat as a character. I can’t put my finger on what he lacks. On the other hand, I think the author developed the other guys in Nat’s unit brilliantly. I know them more then Connor. I did enjoy the complete knowledge of the Military from all viewpoints in the story. I like that Connor was willing to be the journalist he was to try to get the truth, and gritty version of would civilians don’t see.

The “Ghost” part of the story was obvious to me when reading it. I would have loved to see them build a friendship to drift over to the romance side. I get why the author wrote it as such seeing as nothing is promise, and in War there isn’t a tomorrow to decided things. I would have love to see what Connor & Nat lives are not post war.

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com