I love him…but he’s forgotten why.
A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.
Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.
Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it.
*a copy of this was provided via Signal Boost Promotions
When Garrett Leigh announced this books I was beyond excited. Slide and Rare, the first two books in this series, were my first LGBTQ-romance novels ever. I had previously read Gypsy Rain by her (which is now out as full-length novel Heart – you should check that out as well!), but other than that I was completely new to this subgenre. So, Ash and Pete will always be quite special to me, because they were my first – but also because they are Ash and Pete!
Circle is the third in the Roads series and can not be read as a standalone. The series features the same MC’s in every book, so you have to read them in order.
It took me no time at all and I was in the story. You know this familiarity you have, when you meet people again you haven’t seen in years, and it’s simultaneously like you’ve just seen each other yesterday, but you’re also aware that years have passed? And it’s noticeable that time has passed because both guys have matured, or maybe mellowed-out is a more fitting word. (Deep inside) they’re still the same people they were when we left them in Rare. They’ve now been together for six years and have this familiarity and feeling of safety you only get over time. And only those two would make it a romantic thing to call each other “fucker”.
I will admit I had a short moment – right before opening the book – where I was afraid to start it because I thought “what if it doesn’t feel the same?“. Would it be able to take me back and create this same atmosphere that Slide and Rare had? I really shouldn’t have doubted that, because it was – to put it simple – everything I had hoped for and more. It really, really was.
The blurb already gives you a pretty good idea that this is not an easy read. It’s a Garrett-Special with heartache, angst and uncertainty. Pete is hiding something from Ash – and the reader as well, which is why I’m so vague – that is weighing him down. He withdraws more and more from Ash – until Ash has had enough.
They’ve already been through so much together – from Ash’s addiction to Pete’s accident, and the lasting effects that had, that my heart really hurt when they had to take on another obstacle. But I never doubted that these two wouldn’t make it, because if there’s two characters who belong together, it’s them.
I loved seeing Pete slowly open up, trusting Ash would still be there. I really believe that these two can take on whatever life throws their way – if they’re together. They need each other, but Pete needed a bit of reminding about that in Circle.
Of course I wouldn’t mind visiting them again, because I really like those two, but at the same time I’m content with the ending they got now. And they’re at a place I always hoped they’d be – now I really feel like they can just enjoy their life together. Something I wished for them since the first book came out in 2013.
I loved seeing a bit of Jed and Max too. Only Love is (another) fave of mine from this author, so I was especially happy when they got a bit of page-time and checking-in with them was fantastic.
One thing needs to be said before I finish this review: Damn it, Garrett for making me cry! I almost made it through to the end, but then you got me!
Trigger Warning: Please be aware that there is talk about assisted suicide in this book.
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
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 sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.