Friday, February 27, 2015

Slide (Roads #1) by Garrett Leigh

Outstanding! I would say it was a JOY to read, but with all the heart ache I guess it's not exactly the right word.. I LOVED this book to pieces. I would have read it in one gulp but as usual life keeps getting in the way of my reading! grrrr! 

You have to be a fan of the overly wounded hero to enjoy this one, but as I CLEARLY am it's just the perfect book for me. I also really liked that though one character was the "flawed" one, the other one wasn't too perfect or rather it wasn't just about one fixing the other. It's a love story. Love is found from the first few pages but as healing goes, there is more than just one person being there for the other to right the wrongs. 

The book is written from both MC's POV. Yet the way it is set was brilliant and left us wondering and speculating. The Prologue is from Pete Adams's POV, he is a paramedic who lives with his boyfriend Ash Fagin whom he loves dearly yet the hours that Pete spends from home is starting to show on their relationship though Pete isn't sure exactly how and what the consequences are going to be. 

The first part of the book is told from Ash's POV and takes place about two years before the Prologue, portraying how they became a couple. It was simply beautiful. Ash is an artist, yet since he comes from a broken home and foster care he found himself on the age of 17 living on the streets of Philadelphia and drawing on the pavements. He was found by Ellie, a rich girl who becomes a very close friend even though he is reluctant to let her in in the first place. After 3 years she gets him to come to Chicago with her, for a short while living with her and then she finds him an apartment with a guy who was looking for someone to share his apartment - that guy is Pete. Ash describes their connection and how it was made. It was heart breakingly beautiful. There are no words. Pete is such a gentle heart, even though he doesn't back up most of what he does with words, it's obvious there is something there between them even before there was actually something "there". Pete's sensibility to every gesture and expression Ash makes and how he reacts was so touching. He isn't the one to ask questions and Ash isn't the one to answer so they manage their relationship as it is. Ash is broken from the inside. It's quite obvious, yet with Ellie's help and Pete's love he forms a life for himself as a tattoo artist. The demons as there but as long as he has Pete on his side he is able to keep them at away.

About half way through when Ash and Pete's relationship is at it's best we go back to Pete's POV in the "present", taking place after the Prologue. Now is the time when their relationship crushes down - Ash's past comes back to haunt him but since Pete is dealing with his own demons and is away a lot due to his work he misses just how much Ash has slide away from him into a black hole he didn't believe Ash was capable of returning to. It takes him time to do the right thing (which was annoying and realistic at the same time) but when he is finally ready for some sort of confrontation it's almost too late for Ash. 

When the truths (some obvious to us, some not) starts being revealed Pete and Ash realize in a way they have been fighting the same demons but as Ash's demons are crushing him down Pete is willing to do anything he can to save Ash from himself and his past.

The only problems I had with this book (which are not enough to even reduce half a star..) was the "ignorance" of Pete to what actually happened to Ash and why he is the way that he is. For me, personally it was obvious from the start, but well, lets not forget I had Ash's POV ;) yet some things weren't hard to guess. Thing is I think that Pete truly didn't WANT to believe what his head was trying to tell him. Which I guess happens to all of us at some point in life where we want to believe that life isn't THAT horrible.  My other issue was Pete neglecting his medical skills when Ash is at his worst. Yet again, at that point in time Pete is worried sick about Ash and almost doesn't sleep only sits by Ash's side so I guess being so observed in his head and also sleep deprived could mean that he acts from his heart and not his head. In a way opposite to what I half complained about in the beginning of this paragraph. 

Pete and Ash are quite young. Ash is around 20 when they met and Pete only 3 years older. It's not really a New Adult novel though, I don't see it as such. The reason I'm mentioning the ages at all is Ash sometimes acts a lot younger than he is. He forms a dependency on Pete that while is endearing it's also quite childish when you think about it. It makes sense though, and it's not that I had any "problems" with is, it's just the way that he is. I guess in a way he was NEVER a child, never had anyone he can depend on so when he finds Pete he sees in him a lot more than his boyfriend / significant other. Pete is his whole world and he is only truly happy and at ease when Pete is there which is part of the reason Ash was slipping away from Pete in the first place. When the demons returned Pete was physically away too much to notice and to be there for Ash so the demons won't consume him. 

The Epilogue from Ash's POV was sweet and ended the book with a happy note (I was sure it would be left in some sort of cliffhanger since it's a two part story - so happy it didn't!). Can't wait to delve into the next one!


Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 262 pages, 25-26 February 2015 / On GoodReads
Roads is a MM Romance series by Garrett Leigh telling us the heart breakingly beautiful love story between Pete Adams and Ash Fagin. 

The series is compiled from two parts. There are also two short novellas containing extra scenes from each of the novels, but a few years later another book was added which brings a better HEA for the couple. 
You can download those for free from the publisher's website right here - 

Ash had a rough childhood, living in several foster care houses before he ended up living on the street of Philadelphia drawing with chalk on side walks. That's where Ellie finds him. A rich girl with a heart of gold who does her best to help him build some sort of a life. After rehab and finished his studies to become a tattoo artist she brings him back with her to Chicago there she introduces him to Pete - a guy who is looking to rent his free bedroom. 

At first they barely speak to one another. Ash isn't a very communicative guy and Pete is working a lot of consuming hours as a paramedic. Yet somehow through few talks they do have something forms there. Pete holds his hand out to Ash, and surprisingly Ash accepts. From there it was a beautiful slide into an amazing love story, against all odds, or rather against Ash's horrible past who doesn't stay there and comes roaring back. 

The first book was outstanding. An amazing, angsty read. I loved it to pieces. Pete was a sweet heart and Ash, he was something else. It was impossible not to fall for the both of them. They had quite a long way to go to deal with Ash's past and present but with the faith, acceptance and strength Pete showed it's no wonder it all worked out in the end. 

It's a beautiful beautiful love story for the "wounded hero" lovers.  

1. Slide (Published 13 October 2013) ★★★★★  
1.5. Marked (Published 14 October 2013) ★★★★★ 
2. Rare (Published 17 January 2014) ★★★★
2.5. Freed (Published 17 January 2014) ★★★★★
3. Circle (Published 5 September 2017) ★★★★

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