Simone "The Horse Whisperer" tells us about Garret Leigh´s Whisper: Book #2 in her Skins series: animals, hot men and a delicious slow burn.

Whisper (Skins, #2)Whisper by Garrett Leigh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***4.5 Stars***
"Emotions are wild horses. It is not explanations that carry us forward, but our will to go on." ~Paulo Coelho~

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And emotions are running high in Joe Carter. There is no denying the wildness inside of him, which got him into trouble quite a few times. A wildness, maybe part of his Roma ancestry, but definitely part of the responsibility lying on his shoulders to keep his inheritance up and running when the odds are stacked against him. Whisper Farm is a sanctuary for old, ill-kept and mistreated horses, already run-down by his beloved dead grandfather and his wayward father, a man he wants to hate, but the boy in him is still longing for his love. The farm and the animals are his lifeblood, ...
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... however, dealing with the lack of much needed funds and space for the animals, family issues and prejudices becomes a daily struggle that weighs heavily on him and makes him weary to the bone, but it is not in his nature to give up. Although, when a stranger is supposed to spend the summer on the farm as a rent payer to make the cash tills ring, he is anything but fond of the idea of having an intruder sleeping in the bed of his grandfather.
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Physiotherapist Harry Foster dampens the wildness inside of him with an iron grip on his self-control to fight the demons of his past. He is his worst own client, though, and when he is drowning in work, an upcoming deadline for his book, loneliness and his own anxiety, his brother Rhys takes matters in his own hands and sends Harry to a remote farm as a much needed retreat for his writing career. When he arrives at the farm he is immediately intrigued by the mystery of a man whose greeting is rather hostile.
"He's not grumpy. He's--." He's what? I couldn't find a word that quite fit Joe. Mysterious. Raw. Kind. Funny. Rude. They all fit, but none told the whole story.

Both men discover slowly but surely an unexpected side in the other one which leads to a mutual friendship - well, rather grudgingly on Joe's part - but the attraction between them is also growing and deepening into something more and soon Harry finds his thoughts gone more and more astray when it comes to his book and Joe relies increasingly on Harry being his lifeline and anchor. But time flies, summer will soon be over and Harry has a life to go back to, so there is no chance for them anyway, right?. When an event threatens everything Joe has been working hard for and also his relationship with Harry, both men have to decide how far they would go to give the whisper in their heart a chance.
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His flawless skin was hypnotising--addicting, and however many times I got to lay my hands on him, it would never be enough.

Damn, Garrett Leigh exploits all my weaknesses. First men with cats, now men with horses. Well, and cats. When I read the blurb and saw the word 'horseman' popping up - combined with the title - at first I thought this would be about a horse whisperer, just like me. Umm, I wish. Well, I'm whispering a lot, just my horse won't listen. ;-) But it was more than that. Way more. I tend to be emotionally attached to stories that involve animals and when I kept reading and learned that Joe's farm is a rescue center for animals in need, I braced myself for the heartbreak to come. Because let's face it, this author is known for going for the kill when it comes to feelings and not going easy on anyone, therefore it was sometimes pretty tough for me to read some scenes.

But it was all counterbalanced by the delicious slow burn romance and the atmospheric writing I came to love from this author. This book is not as kinky as Dream, but the sex scenes in here left nothing to be desired.

I was once again impressed by the research she did, especially on dealing with horses, except for one small niggle: no way would a rusty rider go on a three-hour-ride (bareback!) with an untrained horse, unless he is a masochist and the horse is running on batteries. Believe me, you and your horse won't be able to do more than crawl along the next day... Personal experience here and for me it was not even one hour!!!

People who know and love Heart will be thrilled to hear that Dex had a cameo here and he made me so curious that this book will definitely be my next read by this author. And since I was already dying to get Rhys's story while reading the first book, I'm even more so now. So dear Garrett Leigh, don't be surprised when you hear a scratch at your door one day and find me camping on your doorstep until I finally get it. ;-) Highly recommended!

Trigger warning: mention of domestic violence

***ARC generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!***
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