Monday, July 4, 2016

What Remains by Garrett Leigh

What Remains by Garrett Leigh 

Review by Lauren

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryWeb 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.

Review: What Remains is a very different sort of love story. In the beginning, Jodi is out as bi and knows what he likes, but Rupert is an ex-husband with a young daughter. He knows he likes guys, but he doesn't know anything about being with one. Jodi shows him the way though, and the two of them fall in love and start to build a life together.

The first half of the book goes back and forth between time, showing the current moment - five years after the guy's first meet - and the past when the two are getting to know each other and build a relationship. The second half of the book takes place completely in the present. Don't worry, it's easy to follow!

Rupert and Jodi are different in some ways, but they really do complement each other. You root for them and want everything to work out. It's a tough ride though because five years after they have met and are in an established relationship, Jodi gets in an accident and is put in hospital for a couple months. Even when he gets home, he's not the same. He's on medication and often in a lot of pain...but the worst thing of all is that he doesn't remember the last five years of his life. That's right, he's forgotten his whole relationship with Rupert. I don't think this is much of a spoiler, because it essentially hints at it in the summary. I'll leave the rest for you to read about though!

Will Rupert and Jodi make it work a second time around? Is Jodi able to call himself bi, or will he only ever remember being with women? There are a lot of questions and it's not easy for either man, but it's so worth reading about their journey.


Linda said...

Interesting premise. I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Unknown said...

traumas like this can and will really put any relationship to the test. Their growth must be amazing!

Lisa Mandina said...

Wow, this sounds like the twist could be a really good one and get you emotionally wrapped into the story. Great review!

JezzebellJC said...

Losing memory books are very captivating. I'd be incredibly freaked out if I couldn't remember 5 years of my life.

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

It sounds like you've been reading some pretty good m/m novels lately, and ones that don't necessarily fall into some of the tropes in that genre.

I love the sound of one of the MCs being bi. That is so exciting, because bi characters are often left out of romances, which is super sad.

Books set in two different time periods are really interesting, but this one sounds like it could be a bit heartbreaking. I hope that the two guys ended up with a happily ever after!

Lola said...

Wow I can't imagine how hard it must be for these two when Jodi forgets the last five years and for the reader after you've seen them building that relationship. I am glad it's easy to follow even with the time switches.