Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Slide by Garrett Leigh

Reviewed by SinChan
Slide (Roads #1) by Garrett Leigh
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 274pgs
4 Pants Off

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.

This is a really emotional story that leaves me thinking about the MCs beyond the story ending and leaves a slow burning feeling in my heart. This book definitely has a lot of emotional impact.

Part one of the story focuses on how Pete and Ash interacts and forms a romantic relationship. Part two of the book gets into their relationship on a deeper level and shows how Pete and Ash's relationship will last in the face of Pete's unreasonable working schedule, crazy murders in the city that is somehow too connected to them, and Ash's sudden withdrawn personality and emotional depression.

By the end of the book, I really like both characters and I care about how their relationship will work out and if they'll get their happiness in life or not. The first part of the story is more lighthearted. Ash is shy, a little antisocial, and completely out of his comfort zone living in a house when he spent years living on the streets and selling art to survive. He's a total opposite of Pete, but Pete manages to worm his way into Ash's heart and form an emotional connection. They started out as roommates but eventually become lovers. Their journey is sweet but not without trials. Ash is going through the trials of becoming a tattooist and Pete has insane working hours as a paramedic. Their relationship doesn't feel forced and somehow, their personalities are perfect for each other and they just clicked.

The second part of the book is darker and disturbing because the feelings of danger and the instinctual response of flight or fight is evoked in the MCs and in the readers. I am afraid for these characters because of the odd murders in the city and all the victims look like Ash. Combined with Ash's sudden change in attitude, I think he knows more than what he reveals to Pete. However, in the end, I find out that it's all in Ash's head. The danger is real and the killing definitely happened but as the reader, I almost feel cheated on because no actual danger came to Ash or Pete despite all the anxiety and worrying about them. The negative consequences of the events impact the mind more than the physical body and that is the bigger implication that stayed with me beyond the ending of the book.

Overall, I really enjoy reading this book. This is a very emotional read, but it's also not an emotional roller coaster read. The feelings just continue to buildup until the very end with a shocking revelation that answers all the questions about Ash's sudden change in personality and the murders. I love Ash and Pete's romance but it's the emotional impact of their story that will stay with me.

4 Pants Off

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