Author: Garrett Leigh
Genres: Romance, Mystery, Abuse
Part of Book Series: Standalone
Summary: Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.
Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.
Post’s Author Opinion:
Note: This is a personal opinion, it does not reflect YaoiOtaku’s official position towards the novel.
I started reading this and I didn’t put it down until I reached the last page. By now I can safely assume I am biased, I see Garrett Leigh and I know I am in for a good story. Heart didn’t disappoint. By the way, do you know why this novel is called Heart? My guess is because it will take the reader’s heart and make it flip and tumble.
The first few chapters felt like things were moving rather fast, and I don’t know if it actually did or if I was still on the pace of the last novel I read. I could get a proper grasp of it after the, um, seasons changed. I think it’s fair to say this novel has three parts, so the first part felt rushed, but not necessarily in a bad way, it felt more like a long prologue.* The second part is where things settled in a nice rhythm and continued likewise throughout the rest of the novel.
Now that I got that out of the way, I did enjoy it a lot. Garrett Leigh has a way with words that even when you are expecting something it still takes you by surprise. I did take a few deep breath breaks while reading this, things just come at you and you want to both keep reading and groan into your pillow.
I am grateful to the author for not describing everything Dex went through. It is clear what happened, but I am glad for the lack of details. It’s not that I wouldn’t have read it, I definitely read a certain amount of disturbing things before, but here I think it wouldn’t have fit the tone of the novel. That is to say, if you are sensitive on mentions of sexual abuse, tread carefully.
I liked the characters very much, starting with Seb and Dex and finishing with the restaurant staff. The novel is a collection of coincidences and happy choices that went well together and brought up a pretty nice crowd. If anything, I would have liked to meet more of the characters. Even so, great read, enjoyed it a lot.
*after reading some reviews, I think the first part is the whole of Gypsy Rain, a short story Garrett Leigh published a year before transforming it into a full length novel. If that’s the case, it makes sense why it read more like a prologue to me and why the pacing is not the same.
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