I bought in, 100%, every last chip tossed down onto the felt, ready to take this emotional journey with Leith and Zach. I thought I knew but I had no idea. Would their hearts find their way back to each other? Would it be the same? Something new? Anything?
Author: Leta Blake
Publisher: Leta Blake
My Rating: 5 of 5 Kinglets
From the Publisher:
After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.
For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.
Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.
The heart and mind, battling for love…
From the opening chapter, I could feel it, that this wasn’t going to be an easy read emotionally. Leith really wants to move forward with his life, but how do you do that when you’re missing parts, important parts, important memories about very important people? Zach wants the same… with Leith. It all started with a gentle scent of a reminder, cologne, and that heaviness settled into my heart. Would Leith remember? And not just remember but want to remember? Want to do what he did before? Love who he loved before? His brain wasn’t going to make it easy but maybe his heart could lead the way.
See what I mean? Difficult. Emotional. I tried to prepare myself.
“What I know is that you’re the artist of your life, and you can mold this hunk of clay into anything you want. You don’t have to take anyone else into consideration, unless you want to do so.”
Unless you want to do so.
How the hell are you supposed to try and decide which path you want to take when you can’t even see the signs? That’s essentially the position in which Leith finds himself.
We get both Leith’s and Zach’s points of view in this story. Don’t worry, there’s no mistaking whose thoughts we’re getting, no head hopping. We get Leith’s confusion, struggles and desire to find what his heart seems to be reaching for but his mind can’t find. We get to witness Zach’s anguish, uncertainty and difficulty in quelling his hopes for the future he and Leith had wanted together before everything happened. These two characters feel incredibly real and that only happens when their author takes the time to know them, inside and out. She does.
The high level of quality to this author’s writing is here, on full display. It had its way with me. I felt helpless and didn’t fight it. This story was destroying me and doing so quietly. No tears yet, no blubbering. It was almost like my body was holding everything at bay, waiting. There was a low buzz in my head, and anything but shallow breathing was difficult.
Fear. Fear of being forgotten. Of losing love. Of the most important thing slipping through my fingers, flitting away like it was nothing more substantial than a dried leaf caught on the wind, weightless, meaningless. That’s the part of me that was exposed by this story. On the other side of fear is hope. It’s the hope that love knows, that love remembers, that love can never forget. Ever. Is it true? This is the battle going on in this book. I mean, what would you do? Leith feels what he thinks are attraction, happiness, safety, truth, love and peace, but all towards a stranger. Powerful confusion.
And Zach. His suffering is just as palpable. His love is overwhelming as he’s trying to hold it back, trying not to hurt Leith. Zach has all of the memories but he’s lost so much. He’s lost the Leith he knew. Would this Leith still love him, or is that gone forever, too?
This doesn’t feel fabricated, fake, forced, nothing like any of those things. When a story has one or more of these ingredients, there’s a barrier between the words, the emotions and I. I have a place to protect myself from the story. There are no barriers here, nothing to hide behind, no protection from the lung-piercing pain and brain buzzing hope.
Raw, beautiful, lyrical, painful, sensual, hopeful. This author gets inside all of it and then lays it open, exposed, for us. It feels generous and I’m grateful. And there is no respite from all of this emotion. There are a few moments of levity, some smiles, but not many. Is it all worth it? Yes. To me it was, yes. Truthfully? I’m in that strange place, a mix of being in a daze and yet bouncing around with joy. The writing. The dialogue. The characters. The love. They’re all here.
I recommend this to everyone.
I would like to thank Leta Blake for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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