Titles: My Mate Jack | Lucky Man
Series: Heated Beat
Author: Garrett Leigh
Release Dates: 10 December 2014 and 11 March 2015
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.
Heated Beat Collection Paperback
My Mate Jack
I really enjoyed this one as ‘friends to lovers’ is one of my most favourite. Yes there was a lot of angst, frustration and miscommunication to get through but for me that only added to the HEA we finally got.
Will and Jack have been friends for a long time and are closer than close. In fact Jack was one of the first people that Will ‘came out’ to. Ever since Jack has been an enormous support to his best friend in more ways than one. Hint to the ‘practice’ make out sessions which was one of the first ‘light bulb’ moments that I knew where this was leading to. But then life gets in the way and the two are separated by Will moving to Leeds for university and Jack to move forward with his passion as a DJ in Ibiza.
From then on the communication was down to sporadic emails and calls, putting a further block in their ability to work out all their insecurities and understanding of each other. Just what is this connection between them? What does it mean about the feelings they have that can’t be worked out with a distance in between them? But even when they finally get to meet up again when Will visits Jack who is now a sought after DJ around Europe, nothing gets resolved as Will witnesses Jack man whoring and also he takes his boyfriend to meet Jack!
Oh this was lovely and angsty and got me all in a twisty teeth clenching mood just wanting to push both their heads together and shout at them to just talk. Finally though, FINALLY, after all they had gone through and yearned for when something kicks off they both realise it’s a make or break time.
I loved that this was mainly UK based and in my very own part of the World. They were some bits I could have been nit-picky about saying ‘nope that would never happen and ‘no that’s not right’ I just went with the flow and fell into this story. The connection between the two was easy to grasp and had me rooting for them from the start.
I can’t really say if at the end Jack was gay or bi but what was clear was Will was IT for Jack. I just wanted more of them and didn’t want the book to end. Magic. Four and a half stars.
The second in the Heated Beat series, Lucky Man can be read as a standalone although the characters from the previous book, Will and Jack are included in this story.
Danny is a vice squad detective with a passion for rock music. His career takes up most of his time so he doesn’t have many friends and when he does have the rare time off he takes off to one of the local bars to catch up with the music scene. It is on one of these nights that he is mesmerised by the singer in the band. At the end of the night having a final drink he is surprised when said sexy singer comes and sits with him at the bar.
Finn is a quintessential rock god with his tattoos and leather garb but Finn is hiding something, something that makes him reticent to reveal to new potential partners. But there is something captivating about Danny that has Finn wanting to take a chance this time and hoping he can find the strength to reveal his darkness.
I liked that this book included mental health awareness and did not parade it as something to be disparaged. So kudos to the author for including it and yes schizophrenia is a condition that gets a lot of hype in the media but there are plenty that lead a fulfilled life with this. I loved the reaction from Danny and his strive to understand Finn and his needs and when to support these. On the other hand I also loved how Finn guided Danny to be true to himself and accept the things he could not change.
The sub plot of the serial killer that Danny was investigating did take the storyline in a different direction but was then cleverly brought back to tie in with links to Danny and Finn.
Although I loved the first book more (and it was good to see Will and Jack again although they seriously need to sort out their relationship!) this one took another direction that was less angsty and frustrating but was darker.
Overall another enjoyable read from Garrett Leigh. Four stars.
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 is 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.