Rented Heart (Rented Heart #1) by Garrett Leigh: Review by Lost in a Book
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.
Can someone tell me WHY I waited so long to read this? I feel like it’s been on my TBR forever. Can someone also explain to me how it’s even possible that I’ve never read Garrett Leigh before? How the hell did that happen? I’ve got many other reads from her just chillin’ on my TBR that I need to tackle STAT. Anywhoo, my GL cherry is popped and this rent boy read was definitely the way to go.
“Oh, and by the way, it’s a hundred for the fuck . . . three if you want to stay all night.”
The blurb does a great job of setting the stage for this story and the events that follow. I was swooning big time with its Pretty
Woman feel. Zac and Liam worked for me in a huge way. Their connection is instant yet they are slow to identify it as more. Liam is an oasis for Zac away from the exhausting reality of his difficult circumstances. He never acts like a john to Zac and slowly begins breaking down his walls. The sneaky thing about crumbling walls is daring to hope for a better life.
“You’re not a john.” Liam pushed the money back. “Then you’ll never be my whore.”
Liam is lost after the death of his husband and Zac becomes the perfect distraction while providing physical release and then friendship. He understands what Zac is doing when they aren’t together and doesn’t let it interfere with what they’re building. Misunderstandings and Zac’s loyalty to his best friend cause some heartbreak and gut punching angst. Their HEA is hard-fought and shines a bright light through the melancholy that hangs over much of the story. I knew it was going to hurt and it hurt so good. Liam’s support system outside of Zac was positive, accepting, and encouraging. They want Liam happy and don’t care how that came to be.
Trigger warning for drugs. This was a successful cherry popping. They say you always remember your first. *wink* I wish there was more backstory on Zac’s life prior to being a rent boy. Other than that, I definitely enjoyed this and can’t wait for Jamie’s story.
“There’s someone worth knowing in every smile you see.”
Copy provided for honest review.