Rented Heart (Steph’s Review)


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Title: Rented Heart
Author: Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 228
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.63 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.

Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.

Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.

Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.

At 23, Zac Payne really cannot complain about his life, since he is better off than he was six months ago. Having a roof over his head and having kicked his addiction; he really did have it better than most. Better than his best friend Jamie, whom he met on the streets and now tries to look after. So what if he was numb inside; being a rent boy and being able to pick his Johns’ was a luxury most did not have.

All before the age of 34, Liam Mallaney has traveled the world, fallen in love and gotten married; not to mention building a successful business with his husband. Sadly, due to an accident his life changes and a year later he is still trying to get over the loss of his husband. That is until he happens to go to the only gay bar in King’s Lynn, where he happens to acquire the services of Zac.

After their night together, both accept and reject their feelings that they have for one another. Determine to keep it professional however, they keep each other at arm’s length. Then things do start to change between them, and hope starts to nudge its way in. Nonetheless, miscommunication, a misunderstanding and of course the ‘trouble that comes crashing through his door’, sends them on an emotional tailspin.

In the end, they wind up saving one another. Zac gives Liam his life back and Liam in turn gives Zac a life to live.

This is my first book by this author, and it definitely will not be my last. OMG this so tugged on my heart-strings! Two damaged people afraid to let one another in; like they have given up on life. Seriously, wow! This is a non-stop roller coaster of a book that I really could not put down. I do wish the author would have a spin-off or make this a series so we can get Jamie’s story. As much as I wanted to smack him at times, I am really intrigued by his story and would like him to get his HEA.


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Galley copy of Rented Heart provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I love reading books about boys who love other boys <3. Sometimes there is a HEA or HFN, but sometimes it just is. Yes, I love all outcomes even it is not what I hoped for. We all need a good cry from time to time. As you can probably can tell, I love cliffhangers as well. Yeah, I am one of those people :) I read a variety of genres, whether it is dark/taboo, historical, shifters, GFY, SciFi, mysteries/thrillers; I love it all.

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8 Comments on "Rented Heart (Steph’s Review)"

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Mary Grzesik

Oh Steph, you lucky girl. So many books to read by this author. May I suggest for your next Garrett Leigh book one of my all time faves? It’s called Heart. Can’t wait to read Rented Heart. Marked the date on my calendar.

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Garrett-Leigh-ebook/dp/B00OOCT6T6/ref=sr_1_1/161-3858285-9238614?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1472929152&sr=1-1&keywords=heart+garrett+leigh

Larissa

I’m going to critique this a little (and hope I do it constructively), but your review, as sweet as it is, doesn’t tell me anything about the writing, the characterization, the plot or themes or generally why you gave it almost five stars, other than that you really liked the story and the damaged characters.

If I read a review, I want to know why this book is as good as it is, not have the blurb extended. 🙂

One of the nice things about our blog is that we try to have more than one person write a review for a book. That gives readers some choices of the style preferences of a review and differing options about the same content. Maybe this one is more to your liking: http://gaybook.reviews/2016/09/01/crabbypattys-rented-heart/

My preference is not an extended blurb but the emotions the reviewer experiences while reading the book.

To that end, no review is right or wrong, but the style the reviewer chooses,

Larissa
True and to each their own, I guess. I guess I’m just old school or it might be my literature background, but reviews such as the one above are more or less just promo’s for the author and not really objective in my eyes. But then that is also the trend these days for a lot of blogs. As many reviews as possible, but no real insight into a book. I see it with one star reviews too, reviewers who are afraid of hurting the author’s feelings and the couple of lines review is just: “this book was not my… Read more »
Mary Grzesik

I like that you guys cover the technical stuff below in the overall star ratings. I do miss the editing one you used to have which is one of the first things I look for in reviews.

crabbypatty

Speaking for myself only, I tend to delete the editing rating when I’m reviewing an ARC, which is an uncorrected proof that hasn’t had the final go-through for spelling, grammar, etc. I don’t want to penalize a book for less-than-stellar editing when I’m not reading the final finished product.

Mary Grzesik

Of course! I forgot about ARCs. 🙂

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