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REVIEW: “Slide” by Garrett Leigh


Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.


Drawings scattered all around a flat as little pieces of Pete’s beloved, a rush of love, warmth, a welcoming body, comfort, heat,  playful sex until we sense that something is amiss and  that ugliness is lurking behind; great chemistry made of focus on the other, tenderness and patience that make it better and good again.

“Slide”’s opening scene is quite simply great, introducing in a few sentences an established couple, a hint at a damaging past on the streets, a hurt/comfort dynamic and an understanding without words that seems enviable, but could also be the couple’s downfall.

My buttons were humming with delight and I went happily with the flow until  this passage where we’re still learning about Ash’s absent father and dead teenaged drugged mother  :

“You couldn’t miss something you’d never had”

Yeah. And “better be safe than sorry”, “a closed mouth catches no flies”, “a good deed is never lost”, “better bend than break”… and all that jazz.

Apart from the fact that I beg to differ, this sentence is a sample of platitude trying to pass for a sample of wisdom, and  I read it one too many times as it is invariably thrown in the mix of the lost-and-found trope. It put the kibosh on my enjoyment as I dreaded that  it set the tone for this book, and that after its great prologue, “Slide” had nothing more to give than ready-to-feel emotions and ready-to-think reflections.

From then on, the story dragged me like a bored and petulant child alongside an oblivious Pete and a forgotten Ash while we avoided the elephant dancing on the sidewalk. It ruffled my feathers with unnecessarily-depreciating words about  obscure characters, misogynistic comments about any  female who wasn’t the desexualised lesbian bestie or the  I-live-to-feed-my-boys mama, and an astonishing take on bisexuality.

Was it all bad then? To be honest, no. There were sweet moments, the author is good at picturing intimacy,  the story picked up at 71% in a blaze of hurt/comfort glory, but it  didn’t prove the bad omen wrong, and pushed all my irritating buttons. Even though I wasn’t expecting an essay on childhood trauma, or a documentary about life on the streets, I was counting on something less superficially dramatic and more genuinely questioning.

I think that a lot of people will love Ash and Pete and will angst and melt without reserve. I will gladly follow their enjoyment, but it was a bad reading experience for me because I honestly think that the author didn’t deal with the topic, only used it as a plot device.




18487180Title:  Slide
Author:  Garrett Leigh
Publisher:  Dreamspinner
Pages:  274
Release Date:  October 14, 2013
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner, Amazon, ARe

4 comments on “REVIEW: “Slide” by Garrett Leigh

  1. Sheri
    October 15, 2013

    ohhh my….’the story dragged me like a bored and petulant child.’…..this does not sound good.
    sorry for the rough read. hope your next book knocks your socks off :)


  2. ilhem3606
    October 15, 2013

    K.A. Mitchell and smut comfort will help.:)


  3. deirdre
    October 20, 2013

    Ilhem. Gosh I love your take on books!!! I agree that the elephant in the room thing was an issue. But, that felt real to me. Perhaps that is my Irish Catholic upbringing. We are very good at avoiding elephants in our relationships. ha!! The sequel holds much hope for me . . .but it could also hold much disappointment. I am hopeful the sequel in not about another character but how Ash learns to care for himself. And how Pete learns to love him in their new space . . .without the elephant. Great review.


  4. ilhem3606
    October 20, 2013

    Thanks Deirdre.:)
    What annoyed me wasn’t so much that Pete was oblivious (although it’s quite surprising for a paramedic) than the fact that we’ve only been given platitudes about Ash.


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This entry was posted on October 15, 2013 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Ilhem and tagged , , .

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