Standalone second book in the Skins series.
Lonely physiotherapist Harry Foster has the world at his feet. A full client list, a six figure Instagram following, and a publishing deal for a book he doesn’t have time to write until his agent offers him a break—a retreat to the wild south west coast.
Cornish horseman Joe Carter is lonely too. Rescuing horses and managing Whisper Farm takes up most of his days, and by night he plays chicken with the farm’s perilous bank accounts.
At his sister’s unwelcome suggestion, he rents his only bedroom to a bloke from the city, and when Harry arrives, he’s everything Joe isn’t—calm, patient, and gorgeous enough to be exactly the kind of distraction Joe doesn’t need.
Harry doesn’t have time for distractions either—even shirtless farmers riding bareback past his bedroom window—but his moody host proves impossible to ignore.
On paper, they have nothing in common, but Joe is beautiful…glorious, and when an accident puts his life in Harry’s healing hands, the whisper of true love is inevitable. If the trouble that put the farm on its knees in the first place doesn’t get in the way.
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When I get books by Garrett Leigh, I know that what I’ll do for the next few hours is read the book. I just love her stories and I know they will captivate me enough to ignore the rest of the world.
This is the second book in the Skins series and you can read the review of the first book, Dream, here. Whisper can function as a standalone, but the characters from the first book do appear in it, although they do not play the central role.
Whisper is happening on a horse farm, where Joe, the ‘man of the house’ is trying to make his ends meet and help animals, especially horses. But since the money is tight, and they have a free room, his sister rents the room to a stranger from London.
Harry, on the other hand, needs time to write. He has a deadline coming, but he just cannot write. His brother finds him a place for a writing retreat and he ends up on the farm.
Harry and Joe are very different, but they somehow find the way to function. Harry is helping everyone on the farm, taking Joe’s mother to the market, helping Joe’s sister deal with anxiety, all the while he is dealing with his own issues, which only get discussed near the end of the novel, and even then just briefly. The connection that Joe and Harry form, a partnership, is something that was an interesting read. In some cases, Harry even helps with the horses, especially when the situation gets bad. Not to mention that Harry cares so much for Joe that he takes the blame when things get REALLY complicated.
Harry is a helper, in most senses of the word. He always helps other people, his career involves helping people, and even the book he is writing, is a book supposed to help other people 🙂 And he is absolutely incapable of actually acting like a guest, but basically becomes a member of the farm’s team. Joe is basically a workaholic. He cares for the farm and, as said, tries to make ends meet.
And the prevalent theme in the book was just that, how to help, and how to recover. From people to animals, when the rowdy and violent horse gets better when he is not isolated to. As it is usual for Leigh’s books, there are very different issues in it. Joe’s sister is dealing with crippling anxiety, while people around her do not know how to help in the ‘right way’. Harry has his own issues. There are ‘father-issues’, both with Joe’s and Harry’s father. Things like that, some of them can be just minor, not necessarily in the foreground, make a book feel very realistic. It is real life that is described here, and not just some cheesy variant of it. Life is a mess and it can be depressing, but it can also be good. And THIS is why I love Leigh’s books. Life is gritty, but the characters get a (realistic) HEA anyway.
(By the way: if you have read Garrett’s other books, you might recognise Dex, one of Joe’s friends. And Angelo and Dylan also appear in the book, with a delightful cameos. Of course the cast of characters would not be complete without Harry’s brother Rhys 🙂 )
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s 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.
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.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.
May 11 – Open Mind For A Different View
May 14 – Jim’s Reading Room