Sunday, July 3, 2016

ARC Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

Jewel's rating:

It's been too long since I've read an angsty Garrett Leigh book, and What Remains is masterfully done.

The first part of the book is done with flashbacks to when Jodi and Rupert meet and then fall in love​, all mixed in with the present and Jodi's accident and hospital stay. The flashbacks really give you a sense of who Jodi was and how he and Rupert were as a couple. They were young, in love and so damn happy I could weep. But sometimes really bad shit happens to really good people and their whole world fell apart.

Jodi's recovery takes months and he never really recovers most of his memory of the last five years. I cannot imagine what that really must be like. Feeling like there's a hole in your being that you just can't patch. So he has to get to know Rupert and his daughter, Indie, all over again, along with relearning so much of what we all take for granted.

But Jodi isn't the only one who has lost everything. Rupert - my heart almost didn't survive his shattering. Having the love of your life not remember even having met you...that's rough. But Rupert is a stand up guy and he takes care of Jodi even though day after day his hope dwindles a little more. His love for Jodi was present in everything he did.

You might get the impression that this book has a little bit of angst. You'd be right. But Jodi and Rupert make a new normal together and I think they come out of it even stronger.

What Remains is a beautiful story of finding love and managing to find it again just when you think all is lost.


ARC of What Remains was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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