Review: Circle (Roads, #3) by Garrett Leigh

I love him...but he’s forgotten why.

A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete's young nephew wasn't in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.

Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.

Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they're both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it.

This book. It’s so much on so many levels and I am going to attempt to not fangirl the fuck out of this review and stick to the story. If you have read a single review of mine, you know how hard this is going to be for me.

Sometimes perspective is physical, even when the problem isn’t.

So, I have a thing for Ash and Pete. They are one of my most favorite couples ever and the fuckers could do no wrong by me. When I first read Slide, I was sat on my ass quickly by the writing of a then new to me author who had me hooked so fast I read the book in a day and then while writing my review for it, went back and read the book a second time. The in-between shorts that give the best scenes you could want from the stories along with the second book Rare, solidified my love for this couple and my adoration for the authors’ ability to write gorgeous romances that fit the addiction I have for heart wrenching angst.

I know people had issues with Pete in Slide and I get why but I never doubted him. Pete slid into my heart fast and he tugged Ash right along with him. I am a reader who usually likes one MC better than the other but with these two, I can’t choose because there is this invisible cord that ties them together and no matter what happens, they are part of one another and I love them equally.

Because, fuck, I’d missed him, even though he’d been right there from the moment I’d met him. Ash was my home, my family, my everything.

On to the review… Pete is going though one hell of a rough time and it was painful to read. Knowing how much Pete and Ash have already gone through since they met and fell in love, I didn’t want them to hurt anymore. But the reason Pete has become apathetic and depressed was unexpected to me as a reader and I got why he was retreating into “asshole Pete” without even knowing it. We know there is something he is hiding and keeping from Ash about this situation and while I had bits of it figured out, when Pete tells what happened I lost my shit and had to stop reading to sob into my pillow to not wake the dude sleeping next to me. I can tell you, it’s not the first time the author has broken me that way and I am honestly going to say I love the hell out of it.

I think Jed and Max are fucking heroes. We learned so much from them, and I’m glad you brought them into our lives.

Now while this is Pete and Ash’s story, we get the lovely addition of another couple from the author’s book, Only Love. I admit I had never read their story but after seeing Jed come on the page, I took a pause for station identification to meet Jed and Max and I cannot say how happy I am that I did. Reading their story, knowing who they are and all they went through, Circle would have felt so empty to read and NOT know them. I get that not everyone reads the way I do, that they don’t need to know everything and everyone in a series but it’s worth the time if you haven’t met them, don’t know about what they went through and even to meet Glenn and the gang before you meet them in this. Trust me when I say, it’s not hardship to watch Jed and Max fall in love and there are dogs so, it’s a total win/win.

If I’d possessed an ounce of romance, I might’ve figured we were made for each other, but I didn’t need romance to know that shit.

But anyway, I love that Pete and Ash still have the attraction to each other, reading them now as an established couple. The way they are still so lost in love and lust for one another after so many years fills my romantic heart with everything but Pete isn’t okay and Ash desperately wants him to be. So when Ash has a chance to go to one of his art exhibitions that he never attends and it just happens to be in Portland, Oregon which is only 20 minutes outside of Ashton where Jed and Max happen to live near a lake… Ash decides to take a leap on the coincidence. He just needs the love of his life to be on board with him, literally.

Life with your soul mate, the person who becomes the world to you is only a half-life if the one you love isn’t okay. Sure, you can get lost in the everyday of work etc. and for Ash and Pete that has happened along with getting custody of Pete’s nephew Liam as well as helping out Danni with Cosmo. But the love Ash and Pete have for one another may be the one thing they have that is real even though this new hurdle pressed upon them makes them work even harder for their HEA.

“Ash, it’s not like I’m sad all the time, because I’m not. Most days I don’t feel anything.”

“Which means when you do, it all hits you at once. I know how it works, fucker, even if our demons wear different hats.” .

I have to give props to the author for her handling of depression and mental health. It’s no secret that Garrett Leigh writes honestly with her characters and the issues they face and she does so time and again with Pete and Ash. I truly get Pete being able to recognize depression in others but not so much in himself. As someone who struggles with depression, there are days where I question my diagnosis and others when I question my ability to not be checked in on a 72hr hold so that I can make it, at all. Knowing what Ash has gone through himself, what he went through with Pete’s accident with the L Train and seeing him now, Ash has become so strong for the man he loves and will do whatever it takes to get Pete back to him. But what will it cost Ash who faces his own demons? I swear, these two are so strong when they are together, I had the ultimate faith they can make it through anything.

One of the things I love most about Ash and Pete is how they communicate. Either with words, a simple look or a touch saying they are there, they communicate beautifully and so intimately that it takes my breath away. But the men aren’t communicating as well as they should and they know they need to talk this shit out so that they can move on. Thankfully, when you’re locked in a van with the only smile you need for days, there isn’t much else you can do but talk.

“It does feel like we’ve lived a whole new life on the road.” .

So yeah. The first half of this book is wonderfully angsty and the second is a road trip full of hope. Ash and Pete do what they do best and that is love one another unconditionally. That’s not saying they are perfect but they get that they are with a lover who has issues and they accept that even when things like keeping secrets force them to face the harder facts of life. But I love that they sought out what seemed familiar in Jed and then in Max once they meet and the time at the cabin was magical for so many reasons.

I will say this book was gorgeous. If you can’t tell, I loved the hell out of it and Pete and Ash remain one of my most favorite couples ever. That epilogue was everything and that very end was cathartic even for me and I cried to let all of the emotions I kept in for the last 20% of the book. I don’t think I can say anything else but a thank you to the author for giving her readers this gift. I am going to go kiss my signed copy of Slide and eat my feelings.


Pete and Ash, I love you fuckers.

A review copy was provided.

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