Friday, September 28, 2018

Review Tour: Lucky by Garrett Leigh

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 70,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Dominic Ramos is a Premiership football player with a secret. There are no trophies for being gay in his game. Locked into his rep as the meanest defender on the pitch, keeping his secret is soul-crushing, but love has no place in his sport, even if his soft heart craves it.

Lucky Coleman is on his knees when he meets a man with more money than sense. It’s a Grindr hook-up for cash, not a love match, but dreaming of his desperate, kind eyes earns a place amongst his numerous bad habits.

Meeting once was risky, twice pushes Dom’s courage to the limit. Losing Lucky seems inevitable, but his tight grip on his image counts for nothing when Lucky starts to fall.

Catching him could cost Dom everything, but if he can set his heart free, getting Lucky long term might be a risk worth taking.

Jewel's review:

I sure do love Garrett Leigh's brand of angst. Her characters seem so real to me. No matter their situations, or social standing, I can always find something to relate to. Lucky had the perfect balance of angst and was I glad there wasn't a bunch of melodrama mixed in. What we get is a believable mix what I could see as real life.

Lucky is about a homeless young man down on his luck and a closeted professional footballer desperate for affection. Neither expect to find anything beyond a release, but they actually find a connection amidst the fear of discovery.

Lucky is homeless when he decides to try a hookup for cash exchange. He's got acquaintances that do it and so he figures he might as well, too. He needs the money to try to get off the streets. He wants to find a job and a place to live and lead as normal a life as he can. A Grindr hookup for cash was a means to an end.

Dom is in a completely different world. While he does come from more humble beginnings, he is way beyond that now. A professional footballer, with a contract and tons of endorsement offers, he should be living it up. Sounds great, of course, and it probably would be if he could be himself. But being in the spotlight means Dom has to hide the gay, like he's done his whole life. When he went pro, he locked it away, only acting on it when he was desperate for another person's touch. Being on guard 24/7 has also given Dom a bit of a rep as an asshole because he doesn't socialize or party it up.

What starts as a one-time hookup, becomes two, and then all bets are off when neither of them can get enough. But life has a way of interfering with people and when one or both have something to hide ... longevity isn't in the cards. Dom's fears get the better of him and he runs.

The story also touches on a segment of society the comfortably middle class just doesn't see. Not just the homeless, but those trying to find their way off the streets and how bad some of those situations can be. Even when Lucky finds himself a spot in a halfway house, he feels safer sleeping rough, and that broke my heart.

Lucky and Dom are both very different and exactly the same. They both hide, they both hold their cards close to the chest, the both only reveal what they must when they must. But where Dom is emotionally closed off, Lucky is more comfortable in his skin. And in spite of the fact they are world apart financially they are also both stronger than they realize.

Stories with characters experiencing self-loathing can be touch and go for me. I know that there are plenty of people that experience it, but my problems generally are because the character seems to get over it way too easily. I didn't feel that was the case, here. While Dom did experience plenty of self-loathing, it wasn't because he was gay, but because of the pressure to play it straight. Every time he gave in to his need for affection, he felt like he failed and his career was on the line. I never got the impression that he actually hated himself or the fact he was gay. He just hated that he could't actually BE himself. And that made the world of difference to me.


** A free copy of this book was provided as part of this review tour in exchange for an honest review. **

About the author:

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, and co-owns the specialist stock site with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


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