Review: ‘Dream’ by Garrett Leigh

36423334Published January 23rd 2018
240 pages

When unrequited love leaves Dylan Hart sleepless and nursing his wounds, instinct draws him to the one place he’s found mindless respite in the past—Lovato’s. It’s a place for every fantasy — for crazy-hot encounters — where a night of insane NSA sex brings relief to Dylan’s fragile feelings.

It should be a perfect escape, and for one magical night it seems that way, but then worlds collide, and reality bites when his hookup desperately needs a friend. Surely Dylan can’t trust his instincts when friendship has bruised his heart so badly before?

The deck is stacked against former ballet dancer Angelo Giordano ever finding real love. At least visiting Lovato’s offers respite from a life defined by illness; a glimmer of light in the dull grey of his so-called life without dance. But then he encounters Dylan — a glorious ray of the brightest sunshine — who makes his heart pound once more with purpose.

Angelo’s mind is blown by this man, but the disease that ended his career won’t let him bask in new love. He’s drowning, and Dylan can’t save him while insecurities swamp them both. The only way to make it means confronting their demons.

If Dylan can turn his back on the past, and Angelo can face his uncertain future, maybe they can chase their dreams together.

It’s a new Garrett Leigh release! My favourite kind. And oh my lord….HOT. DAMN. In every sense of those words. It’s packed with everything Garrett is best at; angst and hurt and grit, but also a real sense of comfort and healing. The perpetual ray of sunshine that is Dylan from ‘What Matters’ returns, and meets the heart-breakingly tortured soul that is Angelo.

And boy, do they meet in spectacular fashion. There’s no messing around, it’s straight in with a smokin’ hot encounter in a dark, grungy sex club. Entirely anonymous, blindfold included, but there’s an immediate connection. Angelo is so drawn to Dylan, captured by this angelically beautiful man completely at his mercy, and Dylan falls apart beneath his powerful touch. There’s certainly never a doubt about their chemistry.

This whole book was a constant contrast of light and dark, Dylan with his sunny attitude and Angelo shrouded in dark clouds and mystery. I really like that Dylan had such a normal job, nothing glamorous or sexy, and he really loved it. That whole environment suited him more than I expected it to, and it really emphasised his inherent need to help people. He’s slowly trying to bring that bright spirit of his into Angelo’s world, but Angelo has these walls around him, boxing him in and weighing heavily on his shoulders, and it’s a real battle for them to get any kind of emotional intimacy.

The physical stuff, though? That they can do. There’s such a raw magnetism between the two of them. And the way Angelo transforms in the club is so damn sexy. It’s like he finally gets to be the man who he is deep down, all the pressure lifts off his shoulders so he can stand taller and command everything. He’s understated, he doesn’t need to be brash about it, the power just oozes out of him. But once they leave he starts to crumble, his body can’t hold him up anymore. It was genuinely painful to read how Angelo was at war with himself, physically and mentally, and it’s no wonder he feels so hopeless.

But once they start to get better at that whole communication thing, it finally gives them the opportunity to show a bit of affection and get closer. Dylan is so wonderful at taking care of Angelo, who’s so vulnerable that it broke my heart, and Angelo comes to crave that soothing comfort he provides. He feels like “Dylan’s touch brought him back to life”, and it’s such a fleeting thought for him, but it holds so much truth. And it’s obvious at the time that it’s going to continue to be even more true for them further down the line.

It does get quite heavy at times, being in Angelo’s head. He’s so despondent, forever asking himself why someone like Dylan would want him. He really can’t see it. Angelo’s self-esteem has been demolished by his illness, so he just can’t see anything good about the person he’s become because of it. In his head, he’s just this total mess, and he believes Dylan deserves the whole fucking world, so he’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop; tearing my heart into pieces the whole time because he has so much to give and it killed me that he couldn’t see it.

As deep and dark as this book may get, it’s also real and charming and Dylan keeps injecting these rays of light. As does Rhys, I love Rhys! He’s exactly what Dylan and Angelo needed, swooping in at the right moment to help them fix things. He’s level-headed and easy-going, the calm in their storm, and I’m very much looking forward to his book. I was also very taken with the sexy doctor that Angelo had the good fortune to meet, and a little birdie told me that was the gorgeous Marc from ‘Between Ghosts’! Who is also getting his own book, ‘Soul To Keep’, that comes out in April (that I have been lucky enough to read already and oh holy wow it’s incredible). Yay for wonderful intertwining worlds!

Somehow Garrett manages to get me every time with her little twists. I should learn to expect them by now, but I never see them coming. Just when things are looking up for the lovely boys, when you’re finally starting to believe they’re on the right track, communicating and being mature and falling in love…enter stage left DRAMA THAT HAS MY HEART IN MY THROAT. But all that hurt is always followed by the most wonderful comfort, and the scene in this book where Angelo and Dylan are stretching together, healing together, made my heart so full. Seeing Angelo more positive and in control, recognising his own progress and using it to help Dylan, it was beautiful. These two really felt made for each other.

The epilogue was everything I needed, it was damn near fluff for Garrett (fluff in a sex club, who knew?). Dylan and Angelo are not the same contrast of light and dark anymore; they’re keeping each other in the light. They endured the pain of the journey and came out the other side believing in their future together, and that loveliness mended all the little pieces of my heart that had been shattered throughout this story. I adored it.

5/5 stars

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