Possibly my favourite Garrett Leigh book yet – this one seriously delivers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just awesome. Full review tomorrow when I’m at the laptop.
ETA: Righty, here we go. This book is very definitely the hottest from the pen of Garrett Leigh that I’ve read. The opening Chapter is beyond hot in fact, it’s scorching and celebrates perfectly the utter pleasure that can be found from having sex.
As Ele says perfectly in her review:
I love that there is no slut shaming in a Garrett Leigh book. This author nails this genre because she gives the readers what they want, but always without fetishizing anyone’s orientation and with a deep respect for people’s bisexuality or pansexuality. This is exactly what Skins is all about.
In this instance, the sex is at a club renowned for its kink and Dylan (who we met in Garrett’s alter ego Gracie Leigh’s book What Matters needs to have an anonymous “pound me into the mattress” encounter in which he doesn’t have to involve any feelings other than the bliss of release.
What he gets, albeit by accident, is Angelo. He doesn’t know this at the time, their encounter is everything he hoped for but – quite against the rules – they exchange a few words and when Dylan next hears the same voice working in his day job for the Citizens Advice Bureau, he can’t help but be enthralled by the sexy as all out British Italian who comes with it.
“I’m never going to think any less of you when you’re unwell. It’s part of who you are, but it doesn’t define you.”
But Angelo isn’t all he seems, his career in New York as a professional ballet dancer – and again I loved the shout out to English National Ballet (one of my absolute favourite dance companies) – had been cut short with an unexpected illness leaving him with huge debt to American insurance companies.
I bloody loved how his illness was dealt with. There are so many conditions which people live and struggle with on a daily basis which allow them to appear okay on the surface when they’re struggling underneath to deal with constant pain, forgetfulness and other symptoms.
Her exploration of Angelo’s highs and lows as he battled with a chronic disease were genuinely felt and came across as absolutely real.
This book is also Garrett Leigh at her unashamedly British best. This book is set in the unlikely setting of Romford (look it up, it’s not the most glamorous of locales 😉 but it has a heart to it indicative of a historic market town before it got eaten by Greater London). There’s an amusing shout out to Cass and Tom from Garrett’s Misfits and their swanky new deli which made me laugh (and a reference to Dylan’s encounter with those two hotties).
There is angst but, for me, this was also one of the least angsty of Garrett’s books. She writes about real people, they’re gritty and reflect true life, they’re raw with a honest truth to them which isn’t perfect and light and happy all the time. Both men have issues which makes their relationship stutter and falter at times.
But, they also both need the other man desperately and they both recognise there’s more than just friends with incendiary hot benefits. Their relationship brings cathartic relief for the stresses and strains each one is dealing with but they don’t always communicate when things are tough.
This is the start of a new series and I’m really hoping Rhys (who participates in one of Dylan and Angelo’s ridiculously hot club encounters) will get a story too.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review