Heart - Garrett Leigh

As usual for this author, this is the story of a young man who has to fight his way to happiness from horrible circumstances.
Dex is a victim of human trafficking - he has to work for his "uncle"

(probably not his real uncle, although it was never clarified, I think)

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, simply dirty jobs by day, prostitution by night. Since he's in that situation since he was quite young, he doesn't really see a way out. One summer, though, he meets Seb, a kind-hearted man who owns a fudge shop and invites him in from the rain. Things progress slowly (they are forced apart for a while), but when they meet again after a while, Dex can't keep the distance any more and needs to learn how to be in normal human relationships.
I think it's quite realistic how it is shown that Dex can't fight his way out of the situation on his own and he definitely has some luck in finding kind people who are willing to help, even if Dex doesn't know how to ask for it. All the lucky coincidences probably make this a little less realistic, but sometimes you just need a bit of magic in your stories, right? :) Of course, Dex also has to face his own inner struggles, and it was excellent how the author managed to show that intimacy and friendship were hard to handle for him, but he found some will to fight for what he wanted himself, and wasn't just a passive recipient of help. And all the little victories (like, for instance, the bandanna-buying) were just heart-warming to read about. Still, there wasn't a magic healing like in some books - it was shown that Dex would still face several problems that would hard to get over completely, but we were still given a lot of hope that he would be able to face them.

There was one thing that didn't feel natural at all, and I didn't understand the need for - the man at the orgy who later turned out to be an undercover cop, but still had his way with Dex instead of simply pretending and giving him some reprieve. Why was it necessary? Would a policeman really do such a thing, and not even regret it afterwards? This wasn't properly explained later either - the short dialogue with him at the hospital wasn't enough in my opinion. Still, that's only a small detail.

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Overall, this was a tough but gripping read which I very much recommend to all M/M romance fans who are able to suffer through some really dark things in order to reach the all the more rewarding HEA.