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Heart by [Leigh, Garrett]
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Heart Kindle Edition

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Length: 204 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1245 KB
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (Oct. 27 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00OOCT6T6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,446 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0d112b8) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d451ec) out of 5 stars Fabulous! Oct. 31 2014
By JustJen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I’m a huge Garrett Leigh fan and have yet to be disappointed. I was a bit unsure about this one at first, but knowing the author, I put my misgivings aside. It didn’t take long for me to be happy I did so.

This starts out slowly as we meet Seb and learn about his fudge and pastry making. But it doesn’t take long before we are introduced to the seemingly down on his luck vagrant, Dex. Boy, is there more to him than meets the eye. Thankfully, Seb sees it too. It starts with Seb taking him into his shop on a rainy night with the guise of keeping him company while he works. Seb has to tread very lightly with the easily spooked young man, but he does it beautifully. The two begin a friendship of sorts until one day when Dex vanishes.

Dex, he just completely stole the show for me. This poor guy was a slave to his upbringing, being sold to his uncle at a young age. He lived in the Gypsy camp doing his uncle’s bidding or paying the price. He has seen and been made to do many horrible things, but he believes this is his way of life. He has such a poor self image and sense of self worth it just breaks your heart. He truly believes he is nothing but a worthless whore.

He manages to make a break and then catches one when a restaurant owner gives him a job and place to stay. He does well, learning the ropes and the hearts of the owners. He is then reunited with Seb when the restaurant hires him as their new pastry chef. It is not an easy road for Seb and Dex, as they basically have to start from scratch with their relationship, earning trust all over again.

I know how much Dex won my heart, but it must be said that Seb was a wonderful character as well. He was so understanding and comforting to Dex, wanting nothing more than what Dex would willing give him. He was patient and caring, finding ways to teach Dex in ways he could easily understand. He also never gave up which is ultimately what saves Dex.

This was such a beautiful story shining through the horrible details of Dex’s life. It quickly won me over and had a tight hold right to the very end. I highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f6724c) out of 5 stars Painful to Read (and not BDSM) Dec 14 2014
By Xanlthorpe - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story starts with a contrast between a normal life and one of trial and travesty. As the story develops, the characters come together, develop around each other and eventually form a relationship, not egalitarian, but working towards a regular life together. But when the past takes Dex again and drags him back under, subjecting him to countless beatings and pain, It was more than I cared for. I know people are evil but reading about how bad they can be is not entertaining. It was tough to finish and the end came too late to save the story for me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb68324ec) out of 5 stars Really enjoyable read! Nov. 17 2014
By Dan Mitton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
When we meet Seb, he is running the family fudge pantry in Padstow in Cornwall. I instantly got nostalgic to the days when I was stationed in nearby Newquay and it drew me instantly into the story. Seb is working tons of hours, struggling to keep the business afloat during the non-tourist season in Cornwall.

When Seb drops his wallet late one night, a young man appears from the shadows to hand it back to him. Seb notices the young man is one of the Travelers, a Gypsy. He appears very malnourished and dirty, and very skittish. Over the next few weeks, Seb develops a friendship with the youth, who he now knows is called Dex. After one night of sex, Dex disappears from Padstow.

Dex is dragged back to his “Uncle” Braden where he is thrust back into a world of BDSM prostitution. Fed little if at all, hired out to violent BDSM sex parties and johns, Dex struggles to survive. Finally he escapes and makes his way to London. Will he survive? How will he get by? Who will he meet? Will we ever learn the story behind “Uncle” Braden? What will happen when his “Uncle” finds him? What about Seb, will he come back into the story? All thoughts that kept me eagerly turning the pages.

Heart is a very well written book, with interesting characters and a good plot. I very much enjoyed the interplay between characters and the way the author wrote Dex’s extremely damaged psyche and his lack of self worth. The book was a fictional account, but could have been pulled from headlines around the world as we learn more and more of the extent of youth slavery in First World countries.

I very much liked this book and highly recommend it. It is rather dark in spots, but there is light in the end. I look forward to reading more of the author’s books in the future.

RATING: 4.5 Stars (Originally Reviewed for Love Bytes Same Sex Romance Reviews)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1313dec) out of 5 stars Book Review by Lirtle Nov. 6 2014
By PrismBookAlliance - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
3.50 of 5 Stars

For original review see The Prism Book Alliance Blog online

Atmosphere isn’t just physical description but how characters behave within it. From page one, Leigh shows why she’s so good at this. I wanted to be in Padstow.

Seb and Dex. Their stories start out separately, odd and local like so many things in life. My curiosity yawned awake and took notice. What was coming down the road for these two? Which road would it be? Where?

Something else Leigh does very well is letting us in on the intimacy her characters share. The heat, the passion and need. Emotion is tangled up in her sex scenes, making them feel real, imperfect and warm.

The first few chapters are from Seb’s point of view, while the next few are from Dex’s. Seb’s are well paced, while Dex’s lost a bit of that forward movement and tension. Dex’s past is incredibly difficult to read (no problem there, you know I like and can handle darkness) but it’s clothed in the whole abused young man who needs to be saved by a lonely slightly older guy (at least the older guy sees it like that), which takes something away from the intensity. For me, it’s an overused and thinly veiled plot device.

To follow up, there are very emotionally difficult subjects included in this story. Important subjects. Riding along next to those is the story of two people encountering something (each other) wholly unexpected and discovering what it means for their lives. They can not only coexist but augment each other, these two major aspects of a story, but each one needs to have more than what is offered here in order to make it all work. Instead, a lot of this feels like emotional vignettes strung together, making it a challenge to connect to all of it. I made some connections, especially with the characters, but it ebbed and flowed instead of remaining steady, consistent. The minor time jumps – whether a day, a week, a few months – probably added to this uneven mix of magical moments and overexposed suffering.

There are definitely emotional, humorous and incredibly hot and intimate scenes in this story. Each time I read one of those scenes, it was like getting a fresh glass of the best raspberry lemonade, only to have it go a bit bland during the next transition. The thread binding all of these scenes together felt thin sometimes. Despite this, it was very easy to see how much heart was put into this story, how important it is, to what depths the author must have gone in order to portray a lot of it.

Luckily, things picked up, my interest reawakening. We were getting to the meaty stuff. It took nearly half the story to get there, but we’d arrived. Seb and Dex allow more of themselves to be revealed, to us and to each other.

The closing third of the story was sort of predictable, though it did tie some things together, if a bit too perfectly. If the story had been made of more, if Seb and Dex had been given more time together, I may have felt more invested and therefore more impacted by these events. More.

This is a well written story, just not a sock-knocker-offer for me. It felt like it couldn’t decide between being an exploration of serious subject matter or two people working their way through those very subjects. As I said above, you can have both, undoubtedly, in a single story. It just feels like this was somewhat shortchanged in that attempt.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d1375c) out of 5 stars I know going into one of her books to expect an amazing love story about characters that are complex or broken Nov. 25 2014
By It's About The Book - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

True to this authors previous work she will crush you a little. I know going into one of her books to expect an amazing love story about characters that are complex or broken. I know she’s going to write some pretty heavy content that hurts but transports you so completely you feel every minute of it. I’m not one to willingly pick up these types of books but I trust this author to make the payoff worth it. This book was everything I expected. I loved it.

Seb is lonely. He’s working in his the bakery his family left in his care. It’s in a smaller village without a lot of excitement. One day he notices a beautiful young man working on the pier. Seb realizes he’s the type that floats into town a certain time of year. Only to leave after the tourists money leaves town. Sort of like a gypsy stereotype. Seb feels an instant need to help the young man out. What starts out as a friendship turns into more one night. When Seb wakes up Dex is gone. Seb has no idea where he came from or where he’s going. Ending whatever Seb had hoped was blossoming between them.

Dex is summoned back to his awful life of a slave to a local wanna be kingpin of the Travellers. He’s treated horrible and sold as a sex slave to vile men. This is the part of the book that literally made me sick to my stomach. It’s nottoo much to take. Even for a wimp like me. Just know this part of the book hurts. Thankfully it’s not a large section of the book. It does make you understand the world Dex comes from. The reasons for his fears and feelings of being worthless.

Dex eventually finds the nerve to escape and lucks into getting a job at a restaurant in London. Where he hides out while living the most normal life he can remember. Daily meals and a warm bed to lay in at night. Then there’s a new pastry chef hired for the restaurant. Dex is shocked to see it’s his lover from that one night last summer. Seb. Neither man expected to meet again and there are issues to work through but the spark is still there. But the danger of being found and forced back into his old life are always present in Dex’s mind. He’s also afraid of wanting something he can’t have. Seb doesn’t know the true Dex. How could he possibly love a whore.

Uhhhgg….it’s hard to even type that. Poor Dex was so thoroughly abused and mistreated for years. He has no idea about human worth. He literally believes he isn’t allowed in shops because there are notes on the doors. He can’t read them, but that’s what he’s been told they all say. This must have played a huge part of why he never ran from his captors before. The fear that he had no where else to go. I notice this author has a way of making something so simple like a note on a door mean so much. The realization of what goes on in Dex’s head is immense. Reading this book you definitely get why people want to take care of Dex. He’s so sweet and damaged.

I love Seb. He is so totally perfect for Dex. Fun and kind. Patient. Reading about Dex learning to trust and fall in love with Seb was such a beautiful thing. I love how Seb could read him even though Dex almost had no sense of who he was. He didn’t even know what he liked. Yet he was utterly charming! Dex was so used to being without he never even considered buying himself a blanket for his bed. With a little coaxing from Seb, Dex starts to realize he does have value. That he does deserve love. Basic comforts. Happiness.

Although the book does have a very sad tone, you are always hopeful. You need to know Dex will be happy. One of my favorite parts of reading a book is actually feeling what the characters are feeling. In this book you get why Seb is drawn to Dex. He’s this broken beautiful man who shouldn’t be. I felt so much anger at the way he was treated. Dex is always hard working. He’s always functioning but there’s more to life than that. With Seb he learns to enjoy life.

There were a few niggles I had in this story. Like why would his abuser let him go to work the village when he was his major money maker for the camp. Or why the scumbag cop let him be abused. I know that’s probably looked at as for the greater good but that reality sucks and I will always reject it.

This story wasn’t always heavy. Parts of the book were very sweet. The MCs falling in love was so wonderful to experience. Slow and tender which is exactly what Dex needed. Great complex characters that elicited very strong emotions from me as the reader. Another great book by this author. I highly recommend it.