Title: Heated Beat
Series: Heated Beat, 1 & 2
Author: Garrett Leigh
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 2 Novella’s (240 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 5th 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 ½ Hearts (Combined)
Blurb: A Heated Beat Collection
My Mate Jack
Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate Jack for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.
Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds, and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.
In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow fifteen years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate… his best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?
As a diehard music fan, a dirty, smoky gig is Vice Squad Detective Danny Jones’s idea of heaven. While watching one of the most popular bands in Northern England, the sight of gorgeous rock star Finn McGovern changes his life forever.
Beneath the tattoos and leather jacket, Finn is kind and sweet, but when he confesses a dark secret to Danny, it tests their fledgling bond. Danny digs deep to accept Finn, but before long, a terrifying trail of death threatens to tear them apart before they’ve even got started.
A monster is killing prostitutes on Danny’s patch, and when a dead girl turns up too close to home, Danny discovers a heartbreaking link between the girl and his bright new life with Finn, a life he’ll do anything to protect.
My Mate Jack: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Despite of the few issues I’ve had with this book, I couldn’t put it down. I adore Garrett Leigh. I liked every single book she’s written so far. My Mate Jack is no different, the friends to lovers team is my favorite by far. Add to that the British terms and phrases and I was sold.
Will and Jack have known each other before their teen years, have always been best mates and had each others’ backs. Jack is the first person Will came out to and he supported him unconditionally. Will has a secret crush on Jack that he will never admit to for fear of destroying their precious friendship. Will and Jack experiment together a few times, first a kiss, then something more, but Jack is not gay and never will be.
Fast forward a few years and Will and Jack each go their own way in life: Will to Uni and Jack to Ibiza to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a famous D.J. They keep in touch through sporadic emails and text messages but their relationship has cooled a lot. It frustrated me to no end because you could tell they still care about each other, but I guess when life gets in the way, there’s nothing to do but live it.
Eventually Jack and Will get together again, they visit each other but things between them are tense. Will is still very much in love with Jack and Jack is still as clueless as ever. And if you think that’s not dramatic enough, there is family drama, unresolved issues, and jealous boyfriends as well.
The guys do get their happy ending (at least for now) but Jack is still not gay; he’s not straight either. Jack simply likes Will and nobody else will do, and I absolutely loved that about him.
What annoyed me was the lack of communication between characters. All the drama and heartbreak could’ve been avoided if Will and Jack talked through their confusion and mixed feelings. And the length of time between their emails got me very mad. I do understand they were busy but you should still make time to exchange emails with your best mate. They were both acting twatish and I wanted to whack them upside the head.
I can’t wait for the next book because we’re going to see how they handle their relationship now that they live together. Recommended for those who love friends-to-lovers and gay-for-you stories.
Lucky Man: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
So far I’ve never read any book written by Leigh that I didn’t love and this one isn’t an exception.
Fenn is Jack’s very close friend and band mate and he is such a likeable character. He is honest and truthful, real, sweet and flawed. Leigh did such a good job writing his condition, because while it wasn’t overly dramatic, it still packed a punch. Finn’s day to day life is constantly impacted by his condition, and we got to see it all, the good days and the bad. It was all presented to us in a way that raises awareness to the fact that people affected by this illness are still able to lead happy, content lives and that they shouldn’t be treated any differently than anyone else.
When it was all set and done, I feel like I’ve learned a few things about this illness I didn’t know before. Leigh is one of those rare authors who manage to show us characters that suffer from different illnesses, and make us see them as real, flawed, people who are no better or worse than the rest of us.
Danny is a young police detective who’s distanced himself from his family. He is a very lonely person and the way he bonded with Finn is very real and heartwarming. I love that there’s no drama in his past, no abuse or anything like that, which caused his separation from his family. Sometimes families are just not that close and manage to drift away from each other, which is the case here.
I like Danny a lot, and I like him even better with Finn. But I appreciate his dedication to solving the string of murders that form the plot that’s woven around Finn and Danny’s budding romance. When the danger came, it wasn’t over done, and it wasn’t too long, just short and to the point, which I appreciated tremendously.
Fenn and Danny’s sexual relationship is sweet and hot, passionate and just plain beautiful. They have that deep connection that I always crave to see, and while the sex scenes are not extremely wordy or detailed, they pack a punch.
This book was amazing, I enjoyed reading it and couldn’t put it down (yep, I was still awake at 2AM reading this).