Title ~ Rare (Roads #2)
Author ~ Garrett Leigh
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Genre ~ M/M Romance
Released ~ 17th January 2014
Rating ~ 5 Stars
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.
Outstanding!!!… book, cover, author… all Perfect! Garrett Leigh is an exciting, new and extremely talented author that I just can’t seem to get enough of, and I am so looking forward to seeing what delights she has in store for us this year, because if Slide, Bullet and Rare are anything to go by… we are in for a treat!
At the end of Slide, I was desperate for more from Ash and Pete, and thankfully Garrett Leigh didn’t make us wait too long for the next book in the series. In the last book we had the revelation of Ash’s sister, the sister he has never known. Because of his past, foster care, abuse and living on the streets, he finds it hard to trust and welcome people into his life, deep emotion of any kind for Ash is overwhelming. Having a sister, a family is more than he ever dreamed of but the fear of hurt and rejection, makes it difficult for him to come to terms with and his fragmented mind wants to reject it, because emotionally he feels he’s not strong enough to deal with it. Unable to express himself, Ash has always used his art as a means of communication and therapy, a conduit for the release of his fears and anxieties. In Slide we see him open up more, but still needing time to analyse his feelings before he is ready to express them in words.
Something in me recognised that it took a special kind of love to do what he was doing for me.
The kind of love that could only come from a heart like his.
Garrett Leigh gets to the heart and soul of these two characters, their daily struggles, work, life, it should all seem mundane, but it’s not, far from it, and I just wanted to soak up every part of their existence. Their lives aren’t easy they both work incredibly long hours, especially Pete and being a paramedic is both physically and mentally exhausting, which is talking it’s toll on him. He still has lingering guilt over their separation and the events which transpired in Slide, but his love for Ash is his priority and in that he is unwavering, it’s all consuming and every gesture, thought, action… it’s all about Ash, it’s as though without him he would no longer be able to breath.
These two men have had all kinds of shit thrown at them and In Rare… we see Ash have to deal with his biggest challenges to date, firstly in trying to get his head around having a sister and secondly, when Pete is almost fatally injured in an accident… I cried through most of the second half of this book, so intense was the emotion I felt from Ash. His voice alone is so haunting, it has a mesmerising quality that draws you in, and you can feel all his pain, confusion and how desperately he is trying to hold it together without tumbling back into the oblivion, that place where he doesn’t have to feel. But it is his love for Pete and the strength he has drawn from him whilst he was healing that gives him the perseverance he needs and enables Ash to push forward with the hope that no matter how bad things get, Pete loves him and he loves Pete and that is what will get them through anything.
He’d taught me to be strong, to like myself… to trust myself and believe life could be better. I wanted to share that life with him. I couldn’t lose him now
This book and series, has been profound and incredibly moving, but at the same time It’s funny, there is a sense of camaraderie and their conversational banter hilarious at times, especially when Joe and Charlie are around, their night out at the gay club had me laughing out loud. These two men have a love for each other, a love that has both shattered and filled my heart to bursting but it’s not soppy and romantic, that’s not their thing and it’s not Garrett Leigh's style of writing either, instead she allows us to see into their souls and empathise with them emotionally, we have been on a journey with these two and watched them grow, it has been agonising, but also heart-warming and the epilogue at the end… well, it’s perfect.
“You have to keep loving me, and you have to trust yourself to do that. There isn’t anything else, Ash. Just you and me”
Garrett Leigh was my Debut Author of the Year for 2013, when she completely wowed me with the first book in the Roads Series, Slide, and then the novella Broken. Rare is the second book in the Roads Series and only confirms my initial impression of this author… she is AMAZING!!! …And, she has firmly cemented her place as one of my favourites. She makes me feel as though the words on the pages are written just for me, and somehow knows what it takes to reach into your heart and pull every emotion imaginable, effortlessly. When you open a book from Garrett Leigh there is an immediate affinity, I just get what she is saying, it is an easy style of writing, almost familiar and I am no longer just reading words, the voices of the characters and imagery become real… So if you haven’t read Slide yet, you need to read it NOW and I can guarantee, you will be one clicking Rare as soon as you’re done.
Book #1 ~> Slide
A Word from Garrett Leigh
The relevance of Ash’s art…
I’ve often been asked about the role Ash’s art work plays throughout the Roads series. Is it important? Are there hidden messages in the pieces scattered throughout the books?
The simple answer is a big fat YES, to both questions. Ash’s artwork is tremendously important to the whole series, from understanding his character, and the plot arc, and even his relationships with secondary characters. This line here is a direct quote from Pete…
“Sometimes I forgot that everyone I knew, save my mother, had a little piece of Ash etched on their skin…”
I won’t spoil by divulging those tattoos just yet – read the books, and you’ll get it – but I do have some of Ash’s art to share with you today.
This piece is a collection of his various designs and sketches – Joe’s gypsy mama, his mental image of Danni, his own wizards. If you look very carefully, you’ll see a few of Pete’s stars scattered in for good measure. He’s even signed it, and y’all know Ash doesn’t always sign his work.
Ash’s artwork also documents his battle with mental health throughout the series, culminating in the, er, climax, of Freed. I haven’t produced that final piece yet, and I’m not sure I ever will, but I do have the piece that started it all…the piece Pete has so much trouble looking at in Rare. The image was edited by me, but created by my wonderful friend, Samantha Jane. All other artwork was produced by me.
.Hmm, what else do I have to share with you???
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know I’ve produced character cards for Ash and Pete for Rare. This time around I decided to be brave and let you see their faces. In Slide, it was all about the mystery. Pete didn’t want you to see him, and Ash couldn’t bear to look. Things change in Rare. These boys go to hell and back all over again, and this time there’s nowhere to hide. With that in mind, I produced separate pieces for both of them. These images are floating around in various forms on my social media accounts, but these versions were created specifically for Sinfully Sexy because it’s such an awesome blog. Monique formats everything so beautifully I couldn’t resist having something just for her.
I’ve included Joe out of the goodness of my heart. His role isn’t quite what some readers have assumed, but Ash and Pete think he’s ‘kinda beautiful’, and so do I.
Thanks for having me, Monique. Hope you enjoy Rare and Freed, and see you on the other side!
About Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh lives in a small commuter town just north of London with her husband, two kids, a dog with half a brain, and a cat with a chip on her shoulder. She's twenty-nine, and now she's reached that milestone, she intends to stay there for the foreseeable future. Garrett has been writing just about her whole life, but it's been about three years since she decided to take it seriously. According to Mr. Garrett, it was either give the men in her head a voice or have herself committed.
Angst. She can't write a word without it. She's tried, she really has, but 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 under the pseudonym G.D Leigh.
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Garrett Leigh will be gifting one lucky reader an ebook of Rare, just enter your details in the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment for your chance to win.