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Release Blitz: Salvation by Garrett Leigh

Salvation | Garrett Leigh

Darkest Skies #3


Release Date: September 2nd, 2021

Publisher: Fox Love Press

Cover Design: Black Jazz Designs

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Reformed gang boss Dante Pope is out after a four-year stretch in prison. But freedom has found him faster than he’s ready for. His only brother hates him, and with nothing but PTSD and a newfound fascination with plants for company, the outside world is a terrifying place.

A prisoner rehabilitation scheme lands him at a stately home that might as well be the moon. Working for gorgeous gardener Sid is a welcome distraction—his shoulders are broad, his rugged jaw unshaven, and his long, tanned legs?


But Sid has problems of his own. A life-changing disease has left him limited in ways he can’t bear and accepting help, even from a stranger, makes him want to curl up and die.

If Dante would let him.

Newsflash: he won’t, and he’s not a stranger for long. With his dark smile and sinister ink, Dante Pope is the most beautiful man Sid has ever seen. Life is hard, but falling for each other is easy.

Sunshine and shadows.

Old ghosts can haunt Dante all they like. Loving Sid is the only salvation he’ll ever need.

Salvation is a sweetly angsty standalone MM romance novel in the Darkest Skies series. Expect: second chances, forced proximity, friends-to-lovers, and buckets of hurt/comfort themed loveliness. Content warnings for childhood trauma, violence, and chronic illness.

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About The Author

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

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Dante Pope is not who I thought he was and I have all the feels

salvationSalvation by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, just OMG.

That’s it, I’m not capable of writing an actual review just yet 🤣


Right, three days later and I think I can about marshall my thoughts into a coherent review.

Dante Pope. Where to start with Dante Pope. At the end of Redemption and I hated him and wanted him to go to Hell in a fiery ball of destruction, even after his one good deed.

But the Dante Pope in this book? OMG he was something else, he’s vulnerable, he’s desperate to find a sense of peace, he’s aching for love because he’s never had it, and he’s so very much deserving of finding a family who is there for him.

He’s complicated, complex and compelling, as a character. And I have so many feelings for and about him it’s unreal.

This isn’t really a redemption story, it’s a story of new beginnings, of finding a new way to live and of discovering that when you find your person, they will love you unconditionally, even through all the hard times.

In comparison to the other two in this series, this one is almost angst free when it comes to the road life, there is little threat because Dante has served four years in prison and he’s kept his head down and his nose clean.

When he’s told he’s been found a placement scheme helping as an assistant gardener on a big country estate, it’s a relief, something he can do and not have to think about anything other than the feel of soil under his hands.

And like the prison gardens he’s been tending inside, his freedom is tied into this growth and development, where he finds more than just the solitude he’s become accustomed to.

He also finds Sid. I have so much empathy for Sid, who isn’t really coping with his life-changing diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. The degenerative nerve disease has caused havoc and left him unable to do his job properly.

The sparks when they meet are instant. They gravitate to each other, even when both are trying to convince themselves it would be a disaster and that they have nothing to offer.

Dante is utterly convinced he’s still an evil man while showing every day that he is actually a gentle soul who was set on his criminal path by the circumstances of life rather than deliberate choice.

Sid is doing everything he can to try and not show the vulnerability his illness has given him, he’s frustrated and thinks his body’s betrayal means he’s not worthy to have a relationship.

This is understandably a slow burn-ish book, but it’s not lacking at all. The connection between the two men is palpable and as they each open up to the other, we see how their lives can adapt and move to accommodate even the hardest of circumstances.

I adored everything about this. Even the arrival of Asa Gerrard, who brings the same sense of menace and yet who also carries the same weakness – of love – as Luis, Benito and now Dante have fallen victim to.

Honestly, I could discuss this book forever, the changes Dante makes to his own life, the way he chooses to make the best of his second chance, the way Sid lives as best as he can with his condition.

if you’ve not picked up this series, please do, it’s absolutely fabulous!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Tensions abound in this peek at London life from Garrett Leigh

53904933._SY475_Redemption by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Garrett Leigh kept me awake until half one this morning with this book. I started reading it around 10pm, thought I’d just get a few chapters in and then could not actually put it down until I’d made sure that Paolo and Luis were going to be okay.

I mean, it’s a romance, so I knew they’d be okay eventually, but oh my gawd the tensions throughout this book were immense.

Not between them, they’re just utterly perfect for each other, the way they just meld together is a joy, fraught as it is with all the extra complications that come from who they are as individuals.

And this is why Garrett’s writing is my book drug of choice.

She crafts characters and settings which feel like you’re just sneaking a peak into real peoples’ lives who she knows and who just said yeah, go for it Garrett, write our story when she puts forth an idea for her next release.

Nothing is easy about this book, Luis spent six years in prison for a pretty shitty crime, he’s not an innocent man by any stretch. But he’s also not a bad man, family pressure gave him a life he wouldn’t have chosen and he was happy to do his time.

Now he’s out and life is confusing and oh how my heart hurt for Luis. He’s not the man his reputation painted him and his six years inside have markedly changed him, both mentally and physically.

Paolo’s grandfather Toni’s caff (because that’s how you pronounce a London greasy spoon 😉 ) gives him his first sense of peace in years and the man running it, his first spark of attraction in just as long.

I loved their relationship development. From wary work colleagues, through to friends, into intimacy and the wonderful emotionally vulnerability of falling in love, but with this overpowering sense of foreboding threatening everything.

Because Luis might have turned his back on his former life, but that’s not a decision he’s allowed to make on his own and my heart was racing so much as the narrative sped along to the eventual conclusion – hence why I was still reading at 1.30am.

The big major drama plot surprised me in one way, but – and there’ll be no spoilers here – also didn’t at all. Because this book’s main driving thread through everything is about family, about loyalty, about making decisions on the knife’s edge.

The Epilogue is just all ends up wonderful and I really, really wish that Toni’s Cafe did exist in a tucked away corner of a South London High Street, filled with builders and locals alike, passing hipsters with annoying mustaches wanting beans on toast with the smell of fried bacon and Italian tomato sauce on a Sunday.

I think I’d like to spend hours there just watching Paolo and Luis work together, seamlessly blending love and found-family into a Happy Ever After that feels utterly grounded in truth.

Now I can’t wait to see if there will be more, and who is the focus of the next Darkened Skies novel, because there’s one candidate here who I think would be a fascinating character to explore and a great redemption narrative to work.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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