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.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
That’s how I feel right now. Emotionally wrung out and lifeless. Lets discuss.
So, part one, we have Ash’s POV. A newish tattoo artist with a lot of talent and a really shady past. After losing his mother at a young age, he spent the rest of his youth in group homes, foster care, hostels and eventually on the street. That’s where his best friend Ellie found him and took him under her wing. You’ll like her, she’s great….
When Ellie pulls him off the street and with her, she saved his life. When she found him a roommate, paramedic, Pete, Pete saved him from himself.
When Pete met Ash, he was a shell of a person; quiet and withdrawn and at times, he’d gaze far away and get lost in himself. Flashbacks and bad dreams of a life better off forgotten the only time Ash felt okay was when he was with Pete.
I adored these two together because Ash needed Pete so much, he literally couldn’t function without him, and Pete would do just about anything to lessen the pain he saw in Ash. I guess I could see some co-dependent issues, but who cares? When you find someone who gives you peace, you hold on to that, and I was glad that Ash didn’t push Pete away.
I also loved the secondary characters; Pete’s mom, Ellie, her family (though her sister I could’ve done without, or at least if someone would’ve punched her in the face a time or two, that’d been okay). Her dad really surprised me and wasn’t at all how I pictured him when he was described by the guys. I was grateful he wanted to help Ash so much. I loved Joe, I hope we see more of him and even Charlie, I suspect he has some demons.
It was a tough road, seriously, my heart hurt so bad for Ash, because I have experienced myself with mental illness and I love someone who suffers from it as well, so from both sides, I was just a mess.
The only part I didn’t care for, was the coincidence about Daryl Hunter. I mean, of all the places in the world, they came from the same place and ended up in the same place? It wasn’t like he followed Ash there, he’d never seen him again, it was just by chance… that seemed a little too much for me, but it made for an angstier story.
Overall though, it was hard for me to get into this story at first, but once I was in it… I was hooked. I’ve already snatched the other two and I’m jumping right in. I cannot wait to see what’s next for these two.
I hope Ash gets well and truly healed, as much as he can from the past he’s remembering… and I hope that Pete continues being there for him and they get their HFN…. I’m a sucker for a HEA, so I hope they have one coming!.
4 pieces of eye candy from me.
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.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
Holy effing angst…
If you thought we were done with the angsty, and on to a steady, smooth ride… you are so wrong. I think this one might’ve hit me harder than the first one did. Everything was going great for the guys, and I felt like they were finally in a good place. Work sucked for Pete, and he was thinking about finding something else to do, having gotten burnt out on all the death and destruction… I could understand it… but things with Ash were going well and I loved seeing that.
For Ash, he was coming to terms with his past and maybe getting to a point where he could accept things… he was even seeing a therapist. When a trip to Philly with Ellie, turned into an ambush he didn’t see coming… it sent his world spiraling again… (though not like last time). I could understand his hesitance, absolutely. Though, it turned out to be best the thing that ever happened to him.
Also, be prepared for another huuuuuge coincidence. Just like the first one, this one doesn’t seem believable either… it’s just too far-fetched that you’re left like… okay, what are the odds… seriously? If we’re going to have such random coincidences, they should at least be believable….and while I loved this one, and I loved how all ended up, but getting there was…. Tough…. I want to tell you all about it, but seriously… just go read it, you’ll see what I mean.
What I wasn’t prepared for, was part II…. When an accident throws everyone up in the air. Ash has to be the strong one this time, and in a time where he’s not even sure he can be there for himself, let alone Pete… He does it though, of course, he does. He loves him. They love each other so much, even when things go wrong…..
The connection between these two is so tangible, even through a computer screen (which is how I’m reading it). You feel their need for each other, and as long as they have each other, then everything else is just a small bump in the road. I loved that. The possessiveness and protectiveness. I loved seeing the roles kind of reversed here a little bit, and even with all Ash had going on, he pushed it all away to be there with Pete… even when Pete was pushing him away. (Only for a little it)
Overall, though… I’m loving this series and I’m a bit obsessed with these two as a couple. I loved seeing their family grow, and Ash accepts the people in his life who just wanted to love him. I hope we get more of all of them in the next one, and I’ve already bought it, so I’m jumping right into it, for sure!
I love this series… I love the HFN, and I really hope these two get their perfect HEA… they both deserve it so much!
4 pieces of eye candy for me on this one
On to the next!
October 16 – Two Chicks Obsessed, October 18 – We Three Queens, Open Mind For A Different View, October 20 – Love Unchained Book Review, Book Corner Reviews, Mikku-chan, October 22 – The Secret Ko, Wicked Reads, October 24 – Mainely Stories, Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, MM Good Book Reviews, October 26 – Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, My Fiction Nook, Lillian Francis, Xtreme Delusions, Jessie G Books, Book Review By Virginia Lee, Mirrigold, Jim’s Reading Room, My Book Filled Life
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
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, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.