Book Reviews

Slide (Roads 1) by Garrett Leigh at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Doctors/Nurses/EMTs / Erotic Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 07-March-2018

Book Blurb

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.

 

Book Review

“...I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I looked just the same—scruffy, pale, and crappy—but I felt different, off kilter somehow. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was disconcerting, like I wasn’t quite myself. Yeah, that was it. The world wasn’t the problem; it was me. It was always me.”

‘Slide’ is only the second novel by Garrett Leigh that I have read. I was so impressed with the first book that I immediately gravitated toward her backlist. I have an inherent need to read about very emotionally damaged men - I have no clue where that drive comes from - but in Ash I found everything I could hope for.

I very quickly realized that the author had written a very compelling and in-depth character study that had me riveted from the beginning. At first glance I thought Ash was like any other young man who’d been a street kid and pulled himself out of it. I was right and I was very wrong. Ash has, in my opinion, significant PTSD with accompanying panic attacks and depression. His background is revealed very slowly and that allowed me to really connect with him as a character. Ash doesn’t always understand simple body language and struggles with deciphering meaning behind what people sometimes say. Pete seems to be everything Ash isn’t and in some ways that is true. But as a paramedic in Chicago, Pete has seen plenty of horror and his way of handling it is to push it down and lock it away in his mind. Ash and Pete have communication issues followed by avoidance - on each of their parts - regarding certain things which made this even more interesting, and equally frustrating, for me.

“His eyes blazed as he stared at me, but it was the best kind of heat. He smiled, and for the first time in my life I believed that, for him, I could be more than I’d ever dreamed.”

Mental health is a very generic term for something that can cover such a broad spectrum. Even though we are in the twenty-first century, having a mental health problem continues to be a horrible stigma and the true sufferers are often misdiagnosed, homeless, or incapable of paying for the treatment they so desperately need. It was painful and heartbreaking to watch Pete realize the full extent of Ash’s childhood and the damage it has done to this man he loves.

I won’t lie and say this is an easy read. ‘Slide’ is an intense, dark drama that I had to put down a few times, go do something else, and then return to. I don’t believe I’ve ever had to do that before. Regardless, this novel is also deeply powerful and a dedication to the power of the human spirit.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 274 pages/91071 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-October-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/slide-by-garrett-leigh-5714-b