Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Rented Heart
Author: Garrett Leigh
Heroes: Liam Mallaney/Zac Payne
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 228 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 10, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.
Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.
Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.
Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.
Review: This had some pretty big shoes to fill after the last book by Ms. Leigh, What Remains, which I thought was amazing. It doesn’t pack quite near the punch, but it was still a great story and one of the reasons Ms. Leigh remains an auto-read for me.
This was a fairly typical story about Liam, a man grieving the loss of a lover but who ends up finding he can love again when he meets rentboy, Zac. But, things don’t happen so easily that they just ride off into the sunset, a la An Officer and a Gentleman. These guys have quite a bit to overcome before they can be happy ever after.
Zac is a rentboy. It’s how he pays his bills, and he’s okay with that. He is a recovering drug addict who has gotten clean and is trying to get his life back on track. He and his bff and roommate, Jamie, have been on the streets since they were 15 and found ways to survive. But, Jamie is a bit of an albatross for Zac, as he hasn’t gotten to the point where he is ready to be clean and straighten out his life, so he is on a bit of a downward spiral. But Zac loves him and does his best to help, even after Jamie ends up bringing everything crashing down around him.
Liam is grieving the loss of his partner of ten years, but is pleasantly surprised to connect with Zac. Things move along for them at a nice pace until things happen with Jamie that send Liam running as fast as he can. It doesn’t take too long for things to get cleared up, but be prepared for some angsty bumps on that ride to get there.
This was well written, as I’ve come to expect from Ms. Leigh. It was a bit predictable which I believe is why it lacked that complete wow factor that is present in some of her other books. But, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for those who love a good Pretty Woman style rent boy story that covers some serious issues and gives you some heavy emotions before they reach their sunset ride into happiness.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*