Author: Garrett Leigh
Book: Soul to Keep
Series: Rented Heart, Book #2
Page/Word Count: 239 pages
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2018
4✨s – I do so enjoy a Garrett Leigh novel and becoming captivated by her intriguing characters. Jamie is Zac’s drug-addicted friend from book one and the story picks up a year afterwards. Jamie has been in California for rehab and has found stability but feeling homesick, he returns to England. Serendipity and coincidence bring Marc and Jamie together in the same town and Jamie starts work clearing out Marc’s house, formerly owned by his parents. Their attraction simmers while they get to know each other, a slow burn until later in the story, which I liked better than seeing them jump into bed right away. The focus is on Jamie struggling with more than just staying sober and portrays other factors contributing to his addiction. Marc has his own problems, like a missing leg, long traumatic shifts in the ER and fighting his urges to act like Jamie’s caretaker rather than his lover. It’s a thoughtful look at addiction in various forms and how certain mental conditions can affect people.
Alternating POV’s give powerful insight into Jamie’s fears and struggles and Marc’s motivations in his actions toward Jamie. I loved Jamie the most with his determination, plodding forward the best he could to take measures to combat his issues. I didn’t think Marc’s character was quite as well done because I couldn’t always grasp why he acted in a certain ways and his thoughts sometimes weren’t clear. There was no major drama around the couple, just a steady unfolding of Jamie’s progress, Marc and him finding their way to love with a few bumps along the way. I suppose some might feel the lack of action and conflict make the story seem slow but I was utterly engrossed in the character driven plot. Great secondary figures make the narrative rich and give Jamie and Marc extra dimension. A flurry of activity just before the epilogue offers hints, I believe, of future subjects for the series. This can stand alone but a reader will benefit more from reading book one, as it reveals the greatest catalyst for Jamie’s recovery. Recommended for the hurt/comfort theme around both characters with plenty of redemption and romance.
About Garrett Leigh:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her 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, and was again a finalist in 2017 with Rented Heart.
In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.
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.
Where to find Garrett Leigh: