Erryn reviews ‘The Edge of the World’ by Garrett Leigh. The ebook was published January 16, 2020 and is 212 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Dan Calley. It was released April 20, 2020 and is 5 hrs and 48 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved the last Leigh/Calley collaboration so was quick to nab this one.
Shay Maloney is living his dream – on tour with his pirate/folk-rock band. But you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’re from, and that’s where moody filmmaker and researcher Ollie Pietruska comes in.
The band’s management persuades Shay to let a television company film a documentary about his roots beyond his adoptive Irish family, and Ollie comes into his life knowing more about Shay than Shay’s ever known about himself.
But while Ollie holds the key to Shay’s past, he’s also hiding deep scars. Even as the hardships of the tour bring them closer, Ollie’s demons threaten the blossoming romance. They might both reach the breaking point before Ollie realizes he’s been standing on the edge of the world for too long, and it’s Shay who holds the key to his future.
A friends-to-lovers, rock star, road-tripping romance, with a guaranteed happily ever after.
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Who are you really?
When you’re adopted, you have a different perspective on life. Some of us are lucky enough to not have any doubts. Being loved by our adoptive parents is enough, and there’s no burning need to know. To know where we came from. To know who are family were. To know why we were given up for adoption. To know our origin story.
Some of us, on the other hand, want answers to all of those questions. We have little niggling doubts in our minds. What if my parents hadn’t given me up? Why did they give me up? Why did they not want me? We may understand in our rational adult lives that there’s a good chance our parents did it out of necessity. That they couldn’t give us the life they believed we deserved and so placed us in the care of someone better suited to raising a child.
That was also a crapshoot. Some of us wound up with amazing and loving parents while others of us were saddled with people ill-equipped to be a mother or father. Just because you want a child, doesn’t mean you’ll make a great parent.
Okay, so where does Shay Maloney fit in this spectrum? He had loving adoptive parents. His father is still alive and keeps tabs on him. Still loves him. Accepts him for who he is. Shay’s never felt a pressing need to know his origin story. In fact, until Ollie Pietruska shows up to shoot a documentary about Shay, he’d never spent a lot of time ruminating over who he might have come from. Shay is the lead singer in an indie pirate folk/rock band who are currently on a successful tour. He’s gone from playing gigs in front of a dozen people to serenading several thousand. He and his bandmates have kept their down-to-earth attitudes, for the most part. When management insists he partake in this video, he pretty much feels railroaded but isn’t willing to piss off the higher ups.
Ollie has his own history that he’d rather keep hidden. He had been on the rise when tragedy struck and he’s still finding his moorings. Going on a tour bus with a bunch of rock stars isn’t really his idea of fun, but he wants to do this profile of Shay. Wants to do the research and then unveil each discovery for the other man. Hell, in the end he just wants Shay. The project takes a backseat at times to the budding relationship.
I like slow burn friends-to-lovers books. There’s something magical about two men falling in love gradually over time. Of course each is slow to see the possibility of what could be. Both men have medical issues they’re dealing with. Those can cause self-esteem issues, especially if you believe you have to be healthy and hearty in order to be a true partner in a relationship. But, in the end, Ollie and Shay face their reality head-on and take a chance on love.
This book was narrated by Dan Calley and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. He has a deep voice and this works with Garrett Leigh books. His accents work for me as well, although I admit being Canadian, I can’t tell a Derbyshire accent from an Irish or Londoner. I always knew who was speaking and that’s the real key for good narration. I look forward to more collaborations between these two.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
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 renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.