REVIEW: 'Whisper' by Garrett Leigh


Title: Whisper

Series: Skins #2

Author: Garrett Leigh

Published: May 1, 2018

Publisher: Self-Published/Fox Love Press

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh/Black Jazz Designs

Genre: Contemporary Romance; Erotic Romance

Length: 260 pages

Tags: Gay; M/M; Angst; Comfort/Hurt; Family Drama; Opposites Attract; Standalone; Disorders: Eating and Agoraphobia; CW: Alcoholism

About Whisper

Lonely physiotherapist Harry Foster has the world at his feet. A full client list, a six figure Instagram following, and a publishing deal for a book he doesn’t have time to write until his agent offers him a break—a retreat to the wild south west coast.

Cornish horseman Joe Carter is lonely too. Rescuing horses and managing Whisper Farm takes up most of his days, and by night he plays chicken with the farm’s perilous bank accounts.

At his sister’s unwelcome suggestion, he rents his only bedroom to a bloke from the city, and when Harry arrives, he’s everything Joe isn’t—calm, patient, and gorgeous enough to be exactly the kind of distraction Joe doesn’t need.

Harry doesn’t have time for distractions either—even shirtless farmers riding bareback past his bedroom window—but his moody host proves impossible to ignore.

On paper, they have nothing in common, but Joe is beautiful…glorious, and when an accident puts his life in Harry’s healing hands, the whisper of true love is inevitable. If the trouble that put the farm on its knees in the first place doesn’t get in the way.

5 HEART READ

REVIEW:

Like a whisper in your ear might tickle your lobe, Whisper, the second installment of Garrett Leigh’s Skins series, tickled two unlikeable men straight into my heart.

Harry Foster is a human-doing. He manages a successful physiotherapy career, plus private clients, as well as a blog which showcases his own gorgeous physique. Of his looming book deadline, he contemplates, “Eighty thousand words exploring the value of mind over matter. Of what benefits positive thinking…. By September. I could do that, right?” In all his perfectionism, even he can’t do everything. Irritated, he rents a farm house room as a summer retreat.

The harder Joe Carter works, rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned/mistreated horses, the faster Whisper Farm slides into disaster. Grandpa Joe, who died four years earlier, left the farm to him, because his father is a ne’er-do-well alcoholic, who repeatedly jeopardizes the homestead. Joe’s beloved sister Emma’s agoraphobia limits her usefulness to him as well.

Over-work allows Harry to deny his (out of) control issues. Or, as he almost admits to himself, “A whisper of something I didn’t quite understand argued that I had no business writing a book of the power of the mind if I couldn’t reason with my own” …. “over the years I’d learned that I was a better teacher than the mess in my head deserved.”

Meanwhile, Joe’s favorite defense (other than barring papa’s desperately needy hands from the farm) is to growl or hit first, and ask questions later. “Sense wasn’t my strong point when my temper burned,” he admits to himself. Unfortunately, anger pushes away help he sorely needs.

Readers cannot fail to identify with these men’s myriad flaws. But unlike Harry and Joe, who despise their weaknesses, Ms. Leigh crafts defects with such a gentle pen, that we find compassion for Harry and Joe’s irascible defenses, and thus for our own.

Like a whisper in your ear might tickle your lobe, Whisper, the second installment of Garrett Leigh’s Skins series, tickled two unlikeable men straight into my heart.

“’(Fear) becomes a problem when we lose sight of what it’s protecting us from,’” Harry coaches Emma. She answers, “’So…if I’m too afraid to go out because I’m afraid of being hurt, and then I become scared of being afraid instead, that fear is limiting me instead of protecting me?’”

Ah yes, Winston Churchill’s “‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’” As Whisper shows, all of life is easier said, than done.

I love how horses’ healing is used to foreshadow growth. Describing a horse, Emma notes, “‘We want him to be more socialized, but that’s not going to happen away from all the others. I think he’s lonely, and he acts like a prick to compensate.’” In response Harry muses, “it was hard to tell if she was having a dig at herself or me, but the theory fit us both.”

Joe and Harry, both prime examples of hypocrisy, can confront one another with empathetic solidarity. And in such non-judgmental mirroring, they receive support to let go, to accept help, and to risk vulnerability. In fact, Ms. Leigh implies they aren’t hypocrites. No imperfect human can live up to all our ideals.

If you’ve ever succumbed to the “imposter syndrome,” knowing you don’t live what you preach, wondering if anything you contribute has value, this standalone romance is for you. And since such exhausting doubts plague the twenty-first century, where we sell our brand and forget ourselves, Whisper’s five-heart warmth is for all of us.

A copy of Whisper was provided to Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, by Signal Boost Promotions, at no cost and with no expectations in return. We offer our fair and honest opinion on behalf of our readers.

Amazon/KU

Meet the Author

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 site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTAQ+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Facebook; Facebook Group; Goodreads; Twitter; Google+; Instagram; YouTube; Amazon

For more from Garrett be sure and visit her website!

#Annie #GarrettLeigh #Whisper #SkinsSeries #ContemporaryRomanceMM #EroticRomance #Gay #MM #Angst #ComfortHurt #FamilyDrama #OppositesAttract #Standalone #Disorder #Alcoholism

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