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Summary

Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate, Jack, for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.

Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long, all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.

In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow 15 years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate...his best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?

©2014 Garrett Leigh (P)2020 Garrett Leigh

What listeners say about My Mate Jack

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Memorable!

4.5 Stars

My Mate Jack is told from Will’s POV, except the epilogue where we get Jack’s. Will’s been in love with his best mate, Jack, for almost as long as he’s known him. He’s out, at least to his father and Jack, since in the little town they come from being out and proud is unheard of.

Jack is straight, but he offers Will the chance to practice kissing with him when they’re fifteen or so. The kiss rocks both their worlds, but they don’t let it affect their friendship and just let it go, at least until they are older and Will’s about to go to Leeds to University and Jack to Ibiza to take on a DJ job, and Jack asks Will to have s*x with him, so he wouldn’t be going to Spain still being a virgin. After that, a series of misunderstandings and their hectic schedules converge to reducing a lifelong relationship to a few e-mails here and there. Will they ever be able to recapture both their friendship and their chance at a HEA?

Jack and Will were both very likable characters and despite wanting to scream at them a few times to see what they had in front of them, I just couldn't help wanting them together. They were just so perfect for one another and it was obvious from the start. 

The whole story was like going two steps forward, two steps back, but even if it was kind of annoying at times that Jack and Will couldn’t get to the point where everything was resolved and move on, without something else happening, it was nice to see that their friendship was at the forefront for both of them, no matter what. 

Dan Calley is just the perfect narrator for Garrett Leigh's books. There's something about his voice that suits the kind of characters she writes. It's gritty, yet pleasant and he always delivers a great performance.

Overall, this was such a lovely audiobook, fast-paced, sweet, and angsty. Very recommendable!

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When you love your best friend

There are two Heated Beat stories and I listened to them back-to-back. This was the first one. Will has been in love with Jack forever. They’re best mates and share everything. But Jack’s straight and things will never work out, right? One night changes everything…and yet nothing…at the same time. Will heads off to university while Jack takes off for Ibiza with dreams of becoming a famous DJ. I have to admit, this wasn’t a profession I’ve given a lot of thought to, but Ms. Leigh has written a number of books centered around musicians and music, so I was able to get into the story pretty easily.

This friends-to-lovers story takes a few twists and turns. When Will goes to Ibiza there are plenty of misunderstandings and it takes a while for things to get straightened out. Eventually both men get their heads out of their tushes and figure out what’s most important to them. And yeah, Jack is definitely not as straight as Will believed.

The story is mostly told from Will’s point of view with only the final chapter in Jack’s. I am accustomed to Ms. Leigh’s uneven narration style so it didn’t surprise me. Would I have liked more of Jack? Sure. But did the story work? Sure. Finally I’ll mention Dan Calley’s narration. His voice just works with these two and I enjoyed this very much.

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I needed more of Jack but still loved it!

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted the audio version of this book.

Don't you just love a friends to lovers book? With lots of misunderstandings and mix-ups along the way? Nothing else, just these two friends, one with a crush on his straight best friend? Made even better by some awesome narration??

This book right here!

Will has been in love with Jack forever, but Jack likes girls and Will doesn't. When Jack asks Will about kissing, then about having sex with men, Will allows Jack to get close. Then Jack goes to Ibiza and Will goes to uni and things are said, done, implied and the fall out is massive.

I want to be a bit picky here, cos, you know, I can, its my review but the only thing that would have made this book any better was if Jack had much more of a say. Apart from the epilogue, Jack doesn't get a say and I wanted him to, I so DESPERATELY wanted him to. I needed to know what was going through HIS mind when he kisses Jack, when they do what they do before they go their ways, and I don't get it. Had he been given a bigger say, I would be raving about this book! Oh, don't get me wrong, I LOVED this as it was but Jack? He would have been the icing on a pretty special cake.

Dan Calley narrates. Mr Calley is fast becoming a favourite. His voice carries a very British accent, and his reading voice is deep and even. His voices are amazing, and he hits the accents to a tee. He gets across all of Will's feelings about Jack. His reactions to what they do, to what comes after and to what he does when Jack fianlly, FINALLY, tells Will what he really wants. Or rather Who.

It's not a very long read/listen (108 pages/3 hours) but it packs a powerful punch. I didn't quite manage to listen to it in one go, cos that darn dayjob got in the way, but I very nearly did.

Apart from not getting enough of Jack, I cannot fault the book nor the narration so...

5 full and shiny stars for the book AND the narration.

~~same worded review will appear elsewhere~~

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  • Christina Wade
  • 02-12-20

Great performance as always, meh story

I’ve decided I’ll listen to anything Dan Calley performs, and I’ve also decided I really prefer listening to Ms. Leigh’s books. I think I like them better when I listen to them than I would if I’d just read them myself.

I’m not a fan of miscommunication or lack of communication in a book and it really frustrated me in this one. The unnecessary angst is just too much for me and frustrates me to no end. I do like friends to lovers so that made up for these two knuckleheads not talking a little bit.

I do like them together once they figure things out. I wouldn’t have been able to believe their relationship if they hadn’t been life-long friends, but they are, so it works. Their emotions are strong and real.

This is not my favorite book by Leigh but as I stated above, it was worth listening to Calley read it to me.

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  • OldLadyStauffer
  • 27-11-20

4.5 Overall - Friends to lovers, bi awakening

This was a short, but heartwarming story of two, long-time friends. They’ve been there for each other, seen it all, and even lived next door. They were as close as two people could get. Will was gay, Jack was not, right? Right?

The story follows them over the course of a few years. Upon finishing school, Will moves on to Uni, and Jack goes off in search of living his dream of being a DJ. Their communication is spotty, superficial, and only through email. That is, until Will brings his friends, and current fling, with him to visit Jack for the first time in ages. Things started getting more emotionally driven from that visit.

There is a lot of angst—as expected with a book from Garrett Leigh—in this short story. These boys don’t seem to like to communicate. It’s like watching water boil. I wanted to yell at them so one would finally crack, and admit his feelings. People are so stubborn, but they’re also scared to lose an important relationship.

Garrett Leigh is a talented writer and storyteller. She’s also ridiculously talented at developing complex characters that draw you in and make you feel their pain. It’s a beautiful thing.

Dan Calley does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. He puts so much emotion behind his narration. I enjoyed listening to him give the book a voice.

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  • Trio
  • 24-11-20

Sweet Friends to Lovers, Dan Calley is Wonderful!

Garrett Leigh’s Heated Beat series includes the novels My Mate Jack and Lucky Man. Tied together through mutual friends, the two couples in these books struggle to find their happy endings. While there is some overlap of the characters between the two novels, you can definitely enjoy these stories as standalones, but I think you’ll get more pleasure if you read them in order.

Both of these classic novels are now available in audio, beautifully performed by Dan Calley. With his warm, rugged voice, Mr. Calley captures the emotion and enhances the intimacy between the men. And when Garrett Leigh turns up the heat, my earbuds just about melted. Fans of Dan Calley know what I’m talking about!

My Mate Jack chronicles the friendship of Will and Jack. Beginning with the joyous flirtations of youth as they test their mutual attraction, to the perfect moment when these two men let down their walls and reveal what’s in their hearts. This is a beautifully written friends to lovers tale.

With a relationship spanning years, Garrett Leigh demonstrates the passing of time, as well as the physical distance between the men, through their texts, phone calls, emails, and even letters. Hampered by poor technology, Will and Jack suffer through mixed messages, which just adds to their uncertainty about how the other man truly feels. Conveying anything honestly through texts and emails, especially after partying all night, is a recipe for disaster.

The angst continues to grow as they build separate lives, reconnecting at key moments, and breaking apart again. Yes, open and honest communication right from the start would have changed everything, but both of these characters had miles of growing up to do. Plus, it sets the stage for the next novel in the series, Lucky Man.

Very different in flavor, Lucky Man is a drama with a chilling mystery and deeply complex characters. A closeted police detective and a gifted musician, suffering from mental illness, grow from a casual hook-up to deeply committed lovers with non-stop action along the way.

From the moment Danny and Finn meet, the two men have amazing chemistry, and good Lord, Garrett Leigh outdoes herself! This is some superbly hot erotica, and Dan Calley makes the most of every bit of passion in the dialogue between these two. Rough, raw, and emotional, Lucky Man is a stunning audiobook.

If you enjoyed these novels back when they were first published, or if you’re a fan of Dan Calley’s audiobook narration, I know you’re going to love listening to My Mate Jack and Lucky Man. Here’s hoping Garrett Leigh releases all of her classic novels in audio!

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 13-11-20

Great story, great narration!

Angsty goodness and friends-to-lovers (which is one of my favorite romance tropes). I'm a sucker for stories where the gay guy falls for the (supposedly) straight guy who turns out to be not so straight. Will has crushed big time on Jack even though he knows that Jack is straight. At least that's what he thought until things changed one summer.

Will and Jack remain friends but are separated for years due to Jack's job and Will's schooling. When they are reunited it takes a lot to undo the misunderstandings that have been left unresolved for too many years.

As usual, Dan Calley did a great job with his performance of this story. His voice was perfect for the characters. This relatively short audiobook held my attention from beginning to end and I thought it was a great listen.

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  • Karen Hardy
  • 29-10-20

I've known about this story a while now...

and I've wanted to get to it but you know...so many stories, so little time...yadda, yadda, yadda. But when I was offered the chance to listen to the audio books...well, let's just say when it really matters one can always find the time.

Garrett Leigh isn't an auto buy for me so much as a must have and if it's a Garrett Leigh book on audio that's been narrated by Dan Calley...then Karen's a happy, happy girl.

This one is the textbook definition of friends to lovers and like any genre/trope/subject it can be done right or it can roll off the rails like a train wreck. Suffice it to say this was no train wreck.

Jack and Will have been friends for most of their lives and it's a friendship that simply jumps off the pages of the story with how real and solid it feels. I loved the e-mails and text that bounced between these two when they were apart and from start to finish even after their friendship progressed to more...it was still there. That underlying tone of 'this is my best friend in the whole world' never left. Sadly that's not always the case and while I've encountered a number of stories that I've read and liked where this didn't happen, it doesn't change the fact that I truly enjoy it when it does...when even as the couple becomes lovers the feeling of 'this is my best friend, the person who truly gets me and understands me' never leaves the relationship.

Once again Ms Leigh has surrounded her main characters with an interesting collection of secondary individuals who add depth to the story and help to bring everything to life.

Jack and Will each have plans for their lives and while they both know that they need to go in different directions for a while...Will wonders if 'a while' won't one day morph into 'forever'. While Jack's off in Ibiza doing his thing and making a name for himself, he's finds himself consistently drawn back to Will whether it's by text, e-mail, phone calls...whatever keeps them connected but sometimes the best laid plans can go astray leading to misunderstandings and heartache for one or both of these men.

Dan Calley was definitely the icing on the audio cake for this story as he once gain brought things to life with his wonderfully emotive and wonderfully British voices that he brings to the story.

While the ending is more of an HFN than an HEA, it holds a very solid promise of an HEA in the future for these two men.

*************************
An audio book of 'My Mate Jack' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Violet B.
  • 15-09-20

Friends to lovers

Very sweet, no angst love story.
From friends to lover .
cute , sweet little story.
I liked it .
Great narration too.