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.
In full disclosure, I’ve never met a Garrett Leigh book I didn’t like. Actually, most I love with my whole heart. So it’s not a grand surprise that Ash and Pete swept me away with their powerful story. This story will grab you and seize you, whether or not you wish to be held, the choice is no longer yours. One of the essential elements in Leigh’s stories is her ability to pen with rare authenticity. The emotions are raw and paralyzing. Her characters idiosyncrasies singe into my brain. I see them, I feel them, and they consume me. Barely a few chapters in and I was grateful this was the beginning of a series, for I knew I wouldn’t want to let them go. Its only been days since I discovered them but I have no doubt I will never forget them. Slide is a stunning story about two souls desperate for the peace and security of a future together. Can their love help free them from a haunting past? Or will they have to face their demons once more?
I’m only a stone’s throw from Chicago and I enjoyed Leigh taking us there. It’s a city I know better than any other big city and it was presented well. Granted there was a time or two I wanted to shout, “ohh, your Brit is showing” but nevertheless, I found myself smiling. I also have tremendous respect for our first responders and thought Pete’s profession was portrayed with nail-biting accuracy. Then we have Ash and his artistic brilliance. *happy sigh* I was instantly charmed, quickly hooked, and utterly captivated when they came together. They begin with trepidation but it’s clear from the very start they are perfectly suited for one another. I might as well take this to the next level…
So much. I absolutely adored both Ash and Pete. They are quite different but compliment each other beautifully. Pete is a people person. He may not freely admit it, but he is driven with a need to care for and help people. He is stubborn, loyal, and could give grumpy cat a run for his money, but he’s a natural caretaker. Ash is most definitely not a people person. He has mastered his invisible man routine and sticks to bare minimum human contact. Before you form any harsh judgment, he has valid grounds. For some reason, despite his best intentions, Ash can’t hide from Pete. Pete not only sees him but he sees into him. He slips into a place no one has ever been before. The core of his heart. And he proves there is such a thing as unconditional love. Pete loves Ash without expectations or limitations. Ash leans on Pete and feeds off of his confidence and conviction that he deserves to be happy. He may be a work in progress but all showpieces start at the same place, the beginning. By no means is this creation the only part of this story. Between the stellar cast, both primary and secondary, their stirring story and the glorious writing…I was done for. It was as if they collided with my heart and a permanent mark remains.
The triggers here are plentiful; history of sexual abuse, drug abuse, and homeless youth. And a ruthless battle of mental illness. Ash has tried to move forward but he keeps…sliding back. He is forced to accept and confront the force that has him shackled and it’s darker than he ever imagined. He can’t do it alone and fears he won’t find his way back. But for the first time in his life, he has someone who shows him the fortitude of boundless love.
If you are in the mood for a powerful and potent story that is sure to knock you down but will lift you to places you’ve only dreamed of…Slide is everything you need.