A Stella Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh

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RATING  4 out of 5 stars

What RemainsWeb 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.

Jody and Rupert met on a December night four years ago. Since then they shared a flat and the love for the little Indie, Rupert’s daughter. Everything changed in their lives when a car hit Jody as he was crossing the road and sent him in hospital with a damaged brain and a new life to rebuild cause he can’t remember his whole time with Rupert.

Yep the plot could be summarized in these few words but there is so much going on into the book. I very  much liked this story cause it gave me a lot of emotions and made me feel the characters emotions, all of them, fear, love, happiness, despair and braveness. While waiting for Jody to wake up from the coma he is in for weeks, the author brought me through a painful journey of the discovery of the MCs’ story, how they met, how they fell in love.  And following them when Jody finally wakes up and needs to relearn who he is and who are the people who wants to take care of him. Although in general I’m not a fan of flashbacks or switching from present to past in the writing, the author had the ability to never bore me, on the contrary the writing style in this case worked perfectly for me.

I particularly loved Rupert, I never doubted  his courage and spirit, always so patient and caring, hoping for his lover to learn how to love Rupert again isn’t easy at all, but I cheered him on in his determination to get Jody back. Both of them never giving up on what could be called their second chance at love and exactly that had me glued to the book till the end.

Garrett Leigh never disappointed me in the past, What Remains was another winner, engaging and powerful, well written and developed, with some interesting second characters too. It was emotional and real. I feel to simply recommend it.

I found the cover art by Garrett Leigh perfect for the story, fitting and amazingly done.

Sales Link: Pre order at Riptide Publishing | other links to come closer to release date

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 278 pages
Expected publication: July 4th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626493979 (ISBN13: 9781626493971)
Edition Language English

A Jeri Review: Like No One is Watching (Dance, Love, Live #1) by Jaime Samms

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

Like No One Is WatchingDusty has finally landed a job he thinks he’ll be able to keep long-term, even with his broken brain and bum knee. He didn’t anticipate that cleaning a dance studio would reawaken his yearning to dance—even though he is no longer capable—or that meeting the studio’s director would rouse his dormant libido. Or his sleeping heart.

Conrad thinks his life is finally complete with his successful dance studio and a steady stream of students. When Dusty arrives, he rediscovers his thirst for a man who will let him hand over control and give him the undivided attention he’s never had. The trouble is, Dusty isn’t sure he’s worthy of the studio director’s submission.

To make their relationship work, Dusty will have to trust his ability to dominate the powerful and beautiful dancer, and Conrad will have to stop talking long enough to hear Dusty’s promise

Dusty is a custodian at a local dance school. He has resigned himself to jobs like this since he has a bad knee and a brain injury has left him “slow”. Conrad is a former professional dancer and owner of the studio. And he can’t stay away from Dusty.

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the romance blooming between Dusty and Conrad, the way Dusty did the best that he could, determined to do his job. I also enjoyed the secondary characters- the dancers.

The issues I had with the book were that even though there were a few small instances of what Dusty’s limitations were, I felt like for the most part he didn’t have limitations. At least not with his mind- and that is what was stressed over and over again. He couldn’t do this because he brain was broken or he couldn’t do that because his brain was broken. But I really didn’t SEE that in the story. It was almost an after thought.

Dusty and Conrad also play with the idea of, not so much D & s, but at least a bit alpha and beta. But again- it almost seemed as an afterthought.

I realize I am nitpicking. But I wish Dusty’s disability was explored much deeper. More a part of his life rather than “I can only be a custodian”.  And apparently Conrad also had an injury which kept him from the professional stage, but again- we didn’t get too much of that.

So while a good book, a sweet story, I wanted more. When something big is hinted at but not really explored enough, I am left with questions. Dusty’s character seemed a bit like an actor who wasn’t taking his role seriously, slipping in and out of an accent.

The cover art is absolutely gorgeous and would draw me in immediately, but ultimately it would have been nice to see both characters represented.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 154 pages
Published November 11th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623807298 (ISBN13: 9781623807290)
edition languageEnglish
url
seriesDance, Love, Live #1