Heart by Garrett Leigh


 Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23288462-heart?ac=1
This is my first and certainly not last book by this author. Couldn’t stop reading; 5 rainbowsThis is a gut retching story about a young Irish man, Dex that was ‘given’ to his Uncle at age 13. He is now 19 and has been forced into manual labor during the day around the carnival site and at night into prostitution. He feels he has no self worth and just zones out during all this horrendous activities.  He has no one to turn to but has managed to keep some sort of human side viable by talking and treating the horses at the carnival site. This is how he’s managed to hang onto his humanity over the years. One summer Dex is dropped off at a seaside village in Cornwall to earn his keep and meets Seb. Seb owns a fudge shop and meets Dex and than keeps seeing him over a period of weeks. Over the course of a few wks Dex and Seb develop a friendship that does turn sexual. Then one day Dex is gone. Dex has been taken back to his Uncles site to be past around again. Finally he runs away for good and ends up in London. Lands a job and a few wks later Seb shows up at the same restaurant. They slowly get to know each other again, than the Uncle comes a calling.
I really enjoyed this story right from the beginning. I was a little nervous when Dex was sent back to the Uncle, but the Author does a good job at describing the scenes without making your cringe. This is definitely Dexs’ story and a good part of it is spent on him. Dexs’ living conditions, his way of life with his Uncle and other carnie mates.  But once he and Seb meet backup in London, the slow build of the friendship into relationship is perfect. This book is full of heartache, and joy, it will make you think about the other side of life. But you do get your HEA in the end!