Author: Garrett Leigh
Book: Believe: A Skins Novel
Series: Skins, Book #3
Page/Word Count: 229 pages, 55k words
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Fox Love Press
Cover Artist: Black Jazz Designs
Flight paramedic Rhys Foster is hooked on adrenaline. By day it’s blood and guts, by night it’s the thrill of the club. With a different face in his bed most nights, he doesn’t have time to be lonely…right?
Entertainer Jevon Campbell is a play therapist like no other—dancer, magician, acrobat, he brings it all to his global mission to help children in need laugh again. He’s on a rare home visit when he encounters enigmatic Rhys in a London bar.
Their connection is instant, but Rhys fast realises Jevon’s easy confidence doesn’t stretch as far as the bedroom. He has no idea how mesmerising he is—how beautiful—and Rhys resolves to show him.
They grow closer, but time isn’t on their side. Rhys seems unable to articulate how he feels, and with Jevon’s imminent departure from the UK hanging over them, their separate commitments could tear them apart forever.
As the days slip by, Rhys must learn to believe he’s worth the happiness Jevon is offering.
4.5✨s – I’d been looking forward to Rhys’s story and it became my favorite of the series so far. Rhys appears in book one as Dylan and Angelo’s third at the sex club, in book two we find he’s Harry’s brother, who is Angelo’s therapist, but neither book defines who Rhys really is. The series name “Skins” fits him best of all. He disappears into his stoic paramedic persona then slips into his reckless party boy facade but that’s a skin he’s trying to shed as the story opens and then he meets Jevon in a local pub. Jevon is a beautiful character, devoted to a career providing play therapy for traumatized refugee children in camps around the world. He’s a Jamaican man with a loving family and a huge heart. Taking a chance and going home with Rhys clears up the confusion he’s been experiencing over his sexuality.
Rhys was so surprisingly gentle and understanding with Jevon and experiences an intense draw he’s never felt before. Jevon leaves in the night though, so it takes weeks before they find each other again, only by chance. Deciding to pursue their mutual feelings, they often become ships in the night with their busy lives. Not seeing each other frequently, deeper feelings grow slowly since Rhys also struggles with psychological scars left by a toxic parent and unstable childhood. Rhys’s massive insecurities have him doubting a future with Jevon, so he continually tries to distance himself out of self-protection. It’s a gloriously romantic, unhurried transformation, changing Rhys into a man who can believe in himself, in Jevon and the benefit of closer ties to friends and family.
I love the way Garrett intertwines the prior series characters and London backgrounds, weaving Dylan, Angelo, Harry and Joe into the story. There’s even brief glimpses of Urban Soul characters and Marc from Soul To Keep. The city settings become very relevant as the terror attack on London Bridge provides a backdrop for Rhys, Jevon and the work they both do. I could see the resolution to the couple’s pending separation early on but watching Jevon and Rhys getting there was the highlight. Both plot and subplot give this installment a lighter feel than the first two books and sweep the narrative right along. I enjoyed every moment reading this one. I would not recommend it as a stand-alone since the previous characters are such a big part of the story but I do highly recommend reading all of them!
About Garrett Leigh:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her 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, and was again a finalist in 2017 with Rented Heart.
In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.
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.
Where to find Garrett Leigh:
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