Audiobook Reviews ~ My Mate Jack and Lucky Man by Garrett Leigh

My Mate Jack: A Heated Beat Story

 

Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate, Jack, for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.

Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long, all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.

In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow 15 years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate…his best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?

 

4.5 Stars

My Mate Jack is told from Will’s POV, except the epilogue where we get Jack’s. Will’s been in love with his best mate, Jack, for almost as long as he’s known him. He’s out, at least to his father and Jack, since in the little town they come from being out and proud is unheard of.

Jack is straight, but he offers Will the chance to practice kissing with him when they’re fifteen or so. The kiss rocks both their worlds, but they don’t let it affect their friendship and just let it go, at least until they are older and Will’s about to go to Leeds to University and Jack to Ibiza to take on a DJ job, and Jack asks Will to have s*x with him, so he wouldn’t be going to Spain still being a virgin. After that, a series of misunderstandings and their hectic schedules converge to reducing a lifelong relationship to a few e-mails here and there. Will they ever be able to recapture both their friendship and their chance at a HEA?

Jack and Will were both very likable characters and despite wanting to scream at them a few times to see what they had in front of them, I just couldn’t help wanting them together. They were just so perfect for one another and it was obvious from the start.

The whole story was like going two steps forward, two steps back, but even if it was kind of annoying at times that Jack and Will couldn’t get to the point where everything was resolved and move on, without something else happening, it was nice to see that their friendship was at the forefront for both of them, no matter what.

Dan Calley is just the perfect narrator for Garrett Leigh’s books. There’s something about his voice that suits the kind of characters she writes. It’s gritty, yet pleasant and he always delivers a great performance.

Overall, this was such a lovely audiobook, fast-paced, sweet and angsty. Very recommendable!

 

~ * ~ Amys Review ~ * ~

4.5 Stars Overall
5 Stars Narrator
4 Stars Story

This was a short, but heartwarming story of two, long-time friends. They’ve been there for each other, seen it all, and even lived next door. They were as close as two people could get. Will was gay, Jack was not, right? Right?

The story follows them over the course of a few years. Upon finishing school, Will moves on to Uni, and Jack goes off in search of living his dream of being a DJ. Their communication is spotty, superficial, and only through email. That is, until Will brings his friends, and current fling, with him to visit Jack for the first time in ages. Things started getting more emotionally driven from that visit.

There is a lot of angst—as expected with a book from Garrett Leigh—in this short story. These boys don’t seem to like to communicate. It’s like watching water boil. I wanted to yell at them so one would finally crack, and admit his feelings. People are so stubborn, but they’re also scared to lose an important relationship.

Garrett Leigh is a talented writer and storyteller. She’s also ridiculously talented at developing complex characters that draw you in and make you feel their pain. It’s a beautiful thing.

Dan Calley does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. He puts so much emotion behind his narration. I enjoyed listening to him give the book a voice.

 


Lucky Man: A Heated Beat Story, Book 2

Amazon  |  Audible US  |  Audible UK

For a diehard music fan, a dirty, smoky gig is Vice Squad Detective Danny Jones’ idea of heaven. While watching one of the most popular bands in Northern England, the sight of gorgeous rock star Finn McGovern changes his life forever.

Beneath the tattoos and leather jacket, Finn is kind and sweet, but when he confesses a dark secret to Danny, it tests their fledgling bond. Danny digs deep to accept Finn, but before long, a terrifying trail of death threatens to tear them apart before they’ve even got started.

A monster is killing prostitutes on Danny’s patch, and when a dead girl turns up too close to home, Danny discovers a heartbreaking link between the girl and his bright new life with Finn, a life he’ll do anything to protect.

 

~ * ~ Amys Review ~ * ~

Overall 4.5 Stars
Narrator 5 Stars
Story 4 Stars

Garrett Leigh is brilliant at creating a story around flawed characters. There isn’t anything perfect about Finn and Danny. Yet, I found myself captivated by their story, despite not having one case of the goofy grins I normally like to have with books I am reading. People are fascinating creatures, and Finn and Danny are no exclusion.

Finn is a talented musician, who just happens to have a mental illness bad enough that it gives a lot of people pause. Many don’t stick around. After meeting Danny, one night at the end of a gig, they hook up, and proceed to spend more time with each other. When Finn tells Danny, he doesn’t immediately run away, but he has his concerns. On top of that, Danny is under pressure on the job. He’s a cop, and someone is killing prostitutes under his nose. He’s got a lot on his plate and it’s taking a toll. Watching these men struggle with finding a balance, and a proper understanding of each other, is heartbreaking at times. I felt bad for Finn, because his battles with paranoia, and fear, are never-ending.

This story was well written, thought-provoking, and reminds us there are some unpleasantries in life, but it doesn’t mean that love can’t be found in them.

Dan Calley continues to amaze me with his narrating skills. He really nails the emotions of the characters, so you feel what they are feeling. You’re IN the moment with the characters. It’s one of my favorite parts of audiobooks. The ability to multitask is another!

3.75 Stars

Finn is the singer for one of Northern England’s most popular bands and Danny is a vice detective who happens to love music. It’s attraction at first sight for both of them when they meet during a festival, even if Danny is surprised that a gorgeous man like Finn would even notice him. They get along great, though, and Danny discovers Finn is kind and sweet and nothing like the idea of a rockstar that he has. However, Finn has a secret and revealing it to Danny might put a damper to any kind of relationship between them.

While I loved My Mate Jack, unfortunately I can’t quite say the same about Lucky Man. I liked Finn and I felt bad for him because of all he had to go through with his mental illness. I would’ve liked to read more about it, and less about the case Danny was working in. I can’t say I liked Danny much, I just didn’t feel his connection to Finn and I didn’t think he was as invested in their relationship as Finn was.

All in all while the book didn’t quite hit the mark with me, it was definitely well-written and the case was intriguing, even if as I said before, I would’ve liked to know more of Finn’s illness and how it impacted their relationship. Still, it’s worth listening to it, if nothing else because Dan Calley is amazing and he consistently delivers quality perfomances that I can’t get enough of.