Review: Rare & Freed by Garrett Leigh (Roads #2-#2.5)

 

Note: The full-length ebook was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review. The short story is a personally owned copy.

My chest heaved and my heart ached, and I was stunned when I felt my eyes sting. There’d been many times with Pete when I’d felt like the final piece in our puzzle had clicked into place, but as he started to move inside me, in a way I never thought I’d be able to let him, I realized how wrong I’d been. This was it, this was the final piece. The two of us, together like this.

With the epilogue in Slide, questions lingered in my head and I knew I was only going to get my answers in the second full-length novel in the Roads series, Rare. Their story began a few weeks before the first part of the series starter, which is dated October 2007, and then the second part takes place beginning January of 2009, with the epilogue in September of 2010. This second full-length novel picks up soon after the epilogue, with Ash Fagin returning to the home he shares with Pete Adams in Chicago. The trip he took with his best friend to Philadelphia is one that may not seem all that important, with him brushing it aside, but what he saw there will play a vital part in what happens in the next chapter of his and Pete's lives, and that isn't exclusive to their lives as individuals either. People will come along and events will occur that will forever impact these two men and their relationship.

Ash and Pete are moving forward with their lives after Ash's breakdown. Ash continues to work on his mental wellness, but Pete's beginning to feel the negative aftereffects of life as a paramedic. When an unexpected yet mostly unknown part of his past reappears in the most surprising of ways, Ash is unsure as to what to make of this latest development in his life. Could this be nothing more than coincidence or could it be fate finally bridging one of the gaps left behind by his tumultuous and traumatizing childhood and youth? Ash likes his life the way it is, limiting himself to those who have made a mark on his life--Pete, his best friend Ellie and most of her family, and his other close friend Joe. He isn't willing to allow someone who could potentially hurt him into his life. But when Pete is hurt on the job and his life hangs in the balance, will Ash turn to the person he doesn't want but may need?

The tables have turned in this sequel, with Ash now feeling helpless and desperate to bring back the man he loves from the brink of what's taken him away. It was heartbreaking to see Pete push Ash away and then realize his mistake when he finds him again in Slide, and there's some of that here again, but in a completely different complex. But while it was gut-wrenching to have Ash struggle to be there for Pete, I couldn't help but want to stand up and applaud the young man for how far he's come, both in terms of his mental illness and with the firmer footing he has in his life, including his relationship with Pete. I don't want to give anything else away, so I'm going to nip it in the bud before I actually end up mentioning what'll end up becoming a spoiler. Just a reminder to read them all in order: Slide, Marked, Rare, and Freed, though Marked and Freed are "merely" bonuses. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 03 September 2017

Learn more about Garrett Leigh.

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