Don't look back. Don't you ever look back...
Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn't quite understand.
Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength - things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.
Traumatic events in Pete's work life distance him from home, and he doesn't realize until it's too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.
©2013 Garrett Leigh (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
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"Wow! So good!!!"
This is one of those m/m romance books where it reads like a m/f epic trilogy! This was sooo good... Man... I feel so bad for Ash...
Ash's childhood was just horrific... but the way Leigh writes... you create your own horrible graphic images... the book really doesn't come out and say this and this and this happens.. but from the way Ash has panic attacks for every little thing... You can't help but feel for him....
Now...Pete... OOOOO!!! I feel so bad for Pete too... he fell for Ash hard...but with all Ash's drama... I was glad to see Pete hang in there...
The ending... I was in tears!!! Awesome story...
Great credit, sale or buy... Narration was pretty good... At time I couldn't really tell if it was Pete or Ash, but from the dialogue between the two I could tell... Ash was so different from Pete it became obvious... So Narration was good...not great...just good...
"Perfect narration except for sound effects"
Series/Standalone: book 1
Genre/sub-genre: Contemporary/MM Romance
Book Format: audiobook
Relatable characters: yes
Abuse/Rape: off screen
Ratio of sex/plot: equal
Well written/editor needed: well written
Would I re-read?: yes
Personal thoughts: I liked this book. I'd read the ebook before listening to the audio. It's a bit dark, but I like dark stories. Though I almost wish the ending hadn't been just a summary of the following year. It makes it hard to see how/where book 2 will fit in. The narrator would have been perfect if he hadn't decided to add the sound effects of everyone sighing and taking deep breaths and such, even when it's written in the book. So he says he's going to take a deep breath, and then he takes the extra time to do it. It was a little irritating. But otherwise, I really enjoyed his style, and I thought he had a great voice for the two main characters and their friends.
"Exellent narration to a really good story"
The narrator hit a home run on his book.
I really liked this audible
He really is very enjoyable to hear. His voice is beautiful and he knows his way around books.
Made me sad.
Nice story and AMEZING narration .
It will either blow you away in a good way or in a bad way. The angst for me at least was something I could handel the background was well explained in small bursts that keeps you level headed. The change in point of view halfway through is perfect it keeps you from being overwhelmed by the characters emotional traumas. This book will help keep you captivated for a good while once you finish. If you want to lose yourself in another world this book is perfect
"Dark and Intense, but worth the read."
Yes. It was so well narrated that I was engrossed from start to finish.
The Johnnies series by Amy Lane. Same type of angst and struggle.
I have not, but I will!
Yes, had to break it up over several days though due to time constraints.
Link to Tams review for the e-book version of Slide: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/741288296?book_show_action=false
Link to Tams review for the e-book version of Rare: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/825536352?book_show_action=false
It’s been just over a year since I initially read the story of Ash and Pete. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t blown away with the written version of their story, I didn’t feel a strong connection to the characters at that time. But now, after listening to their story and being introduced to the always chaotic and slightly psychotic lives they lead through the voices they’ve been given, now I’m blown away.
Ashley Fagin, Ash, could give Christian Grey a run for his money in the fucked up department. His mother died when he was still a toddler and for the next dozen or so years Ash was tossed from foster home to foster home, until he finally had enough and ran away. Just a teenager and Ash was homeless and living on the streets. The one thing that brought him solace and quieted the voice of doubt that was stuck on repeat in his head was his art.
That is how he found his best friend Ellie, like souls drawn together by Ash’s street art, Ellie and her family sort of took responsibility for Ash. They moved him into the apartment of a trust worthy and friendly paramedic, got him insurance and helped him get a job at a tattoo parlor to showcase his fantastic Artwork.
Pete Adams loves his job as a paramedic, he loves helping people, but the stress of the job is weighing heavier on his soul with each passing day. Having to keep his sexuality a secret from his co-workers doesn’t help. He is enamored with his new roommate the minute he lays eyes on him, the blonde haired, blue eyed troubled soul, Ash. Pete doesn’t know what misfortune has followed Ash, the guy is as jumpy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. And yet, Pete falls in love with every awkward, jittery, insane and beautiful aspect of Ash.
While Leigh did an amazing job of conveying the intense and diverse array of emotions in both stories, there was always a disconnect with the characters, the words I was reading and the way I interpreted them in my mind. Now revisiting this story through the narration of Michael Lesley has given me an entirely new perspective to the story. I was completely engrossed within the first five minutes. Lesley quickly found the appropriate tones and nuances for both Pete and Ash and I was swept into their world, their lives for the several days it took me to listen to both novels.
What Lesley did with these stories was chronicled the lives of Pete and Ash as they navigate their often volatile relationship through mental illness, discovering past abuse, feelings of loss, hopelessness and abandonment, and then finally, learning to love and trust in each other, developing a connection and a friendship that allows them to slide past Ash’s fucked up psyche and Pete’s recovery after the accident that almost killed him.
The thing that stood out most to me through these two books and these two characters was the way Ash was standoffish and skiddish about certain types of touch, ways Pete could and couldn’t hold him, things like that. At the start in Slide, Pete couldn’t come up behind Ash, ever! He would freak out to the point of a panic attack. And then slowly as the stories progressed along with their relationship, the love and trust grew, Pete could wrap his arms around Ash from behind and still feel the tension in his shoulders, but Ash learned how to not freak out and pull away. And then the last sentence of Rare, Pete wraps his arms around Ash from behind and kisses his neck. Ash doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t move to pull away, he melts into Pete’s embrace. It is truly a thing of beauty and shows a constant teather throughout the journey these two take together that just gets stronger until it’s to the point, it could never be broken.
This is one of those books/series I’ve mentioned in the past where as a great narrator can take a book you may not have liked so much, and turn it into something spectacular. I highly recommend this series, but I’d grab them on audible if you have the opportunity. The writing is intense and descriptive, I’ll give Leigh that, I just think that Leigh’s writing coupled with Lesley’s narration was the perfect marriage of words written then brought to life.
Be warned though, if you have triggers such as abuse, forced sexual acts, mental disease, then you might want to take the synopsis of these stories into account before reading. I will say that the issues are portrayed as best as they can be given the circumstance, but it is still dark and intense.
"I was so sad when this story was over!"
And... I already listened to book 2. Such a great story for Pete and Ash and the performer truly brings them to life. Fabulous story!
"Fantastic all around"
I was curious about the narration for this book because I loved Michael Lesley in The Lightning-Struck Heart so I was worried he wouldn't be able to carry a dark dramatic story but it was perfect. I am so impressed with this man's range.
The story was good but I found that it was a slow build.
I liked the switching between characters in the different parts of the story not chapter by chapter. Not a lot of books do that so it really made it stand out. I like that both Ash and Pete have a darkness; it's not just one of them pitying the other. It really balances them and makes them really feel like partners and that they have equal worth in the story.
"I loved everything about this book"
Yes, because the story is so beautiful and so compelling that I would enjoyed as much as the first time
Pete's unconditional love and Ash strong will
I loved both
The performance was outstanding!
"High on angst, great narration"
Ash and Pete become roommates through a mutual friend. Neither “knows” the other is gay (or bi) but both are crushing on the other.
Pete is stoic, works hard, plays a little, and is the perfect foil for Ash.
Ash is broken. He’s had a very, very hard life and we learn bits and pieces of it as the story develops. From an abusive childhood, to living on the street, to self-mutilation.
After a particularly bad night, Ash and Pete move their relationship forward and become lovers. It isn’t an easy road. Ash isn’t an “easy” boyfriend. But Pete is strong enough to handle almost anything – but not cheating.
Pete comes home one night and finds Ash in the arms of another man. He essentially kicks Ash out and doesn’t hear from him for weeks. Suddenly, Pete receives a call from a mutual health-care worker friend reporting that Ash is in the hospital and Pete is listed as his Emergency Contact.
When Pete finds Ash a new world of information opens up and he realizes there is more to Ash than he was led to believe.
Now it is up to the both of them to try to find a place where Ash can heal and Pete and Ash can find their place – as partners.
This is a book I put off reading for a long time. It looked so heavy. But it kept getting really amazing reviews and I knew I “wanted” to read it, but I needed to be in the right head-space for it. So… I waited until I was trapped in a car for a long drive and listened to the audiobook.
It didn’t disappoint on the “heavy” factor. It is a hard book to read(listen to). It is angsty and painful and tough. But… it is really good. The writing is excellent. The descriptions are rich and powerful. The MCs are fully developed and very three dimensional.
That being said… I didn’t love it. Though I could appreciate the writing and the world building and give those high marks, I didn’t really feel that attached to the relationship between the two MCs.
I know there is a sequel and I am planning on listening to it, and I have hopes that it will cement (for me) their bond and let me feel more for them as a couple than I do for them as individuals.
The narration was amazing! Michael Lesley who I first heard in Tell Me It’s Real is fantastic. His Ash is totally different from Pete and the emotions are well played and very real. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this (as far as entertainment value goes) and think that I was glad I waited for the audio version before tackling this book.
So: Writing 5 of 5 stars, World Building 5 of 5 stars, Storyline 4 of 5 stars, Romance 2 of 5 stars, Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.2 stars
Garrett Leigh's gorgeous writing and Michael Lesley's captivating voice are a wonderful combination. A definite winner.
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