Review: Slide & Marked by Garrett Leigh (Roads #1-#1.5)

 

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

Until he’d said those words, I’d never been sure of him. I knew he loved me. It was in every touch, every grin, and intense stare we’d ever shared, but I’d never been certain he loved himself enough to stay with me and build the life he truly deserved. Now, with everything stacked up in front of him, more real and imposing than it had ever been, I was suddenly convinced that he did.
Or at least that he wanted to try.

Why did it take me this long to read this series?! Gah! But thank goodness Garrett Leigh decided to add a third full-length novel to her Roads series. Had she not, I would probably have taken my sweet time going through her back list. These books broke my heart time and again, but the angst and intensity and goodness me, that undeniable connection between tattooist and artist Ashley Fagin and paramedic Pietro Adams--or simply Ash and Pete--proved to be my undoing. I started reading book one late at night and stayed up till mid-morning until I finished every single one of the three full-length novels and the two "missing moments" (aka short stories) in between. But this particular review is focused on just the series starter and the free short story that follows, which are Slide and Marked, respectively. I'll be covering the other books via two other separate reviews right after I finish writing this.

Ash Fagin was only twenty when Pete Adams first met him and took him on his new roommate in late 2007. The three-year difference between them wasn't that big of deal, but with varying schedules and a lack of communication, there didn't seem to be any hope for them to forge any sort of friendship. But all it took was one moment in time where they both found themselves in their apartment together and late-night hunger pangs for them to forge a friendship of sorts, one that barely hid their underlying attraction to each other. Soon, that friendship becomes something more, but it's a transition that neither one is ready to put a name to. After all, Ash isn't entirely sure what it is about him that Pete seems to like, not when his troubled life doesn't make him worthy of someone like Pete. But when fate and Ash's past collide, can Pete prove to him that he's in it for the long haul?

Slide was such a layered and complex tale of secrets that have Ash's and Pete's minds and hearts entangled, leading to a complicated relationship that could implode if not handled with the utmost care. Getting to know both men was fascinating, but more so Ash than Pete, and that's mainly because of Ash's history. He was in the foster system, became a runaway, then an addict, and yet somehow found solace with more than one person who saw him as more than his past. The twist in the story was a devastating one. But this was a story about love and acceptance--both the kind given to you by someone and the kind you give yourself. Just when hopelessness ensnares both Ash and Pete, love and faith save them from sliding further into despair, as does fate who manages to somehow make some amends...for now. Marked takes place between parts one and two of Slide. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 02 September 2017

Learn more about Garrett Leigh.

Purchase Slide on Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.

Download Marked for free on Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.

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