What Remains by Garrett Leigh ~ Book Review by Caroline

29317012Title: What Remains

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Riptide

Cover Artist: GD Leigh

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 07/04/2016

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: Gay Romance


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.

My View:

All the stars for this one! As usual Garrett Leigh completely took me apart and put me back together and all in the space of 278 pages!

The prologue to this book introduces us to two men very much in love. Their lives aren’t perfect but they are perfect for them. It’s just a normal evening – Rupert is off for his shift at the fire station and Jodi is tempting him to stay home for just a little longer. They have been a couple for four years and as you progress through the story you are given flashbacks to how they met and many of their important firsts.

Rupert leaves for work. Jodi leaves for dinner at a friends……

Drip, beep, drip, beep, drip, beep.

Life for both Rupert and Jodi has just changed irrevocably. One small moment in time when Jodi didn’t pay attention is the catalyst for something neither one could have predicted. In just a small space of time we have grief, despair, devastation, loss and then a small glimmer of hope.

Jodi is in a coma and he remains in one for weeks. Rupert is like a bystander to his own life at this point. He sits, he begs and he cajoles the still life of the man he loves but nothing works. He has bleak moments, moments of incomprehensible grief and then moments of sheer determination. If his determination and love could bring Jodi back to him they would already be there, but it doesn’t and it can’t, so all he can do is wait.

When Jodi opens his eyes it should be time to celebrate but we aren’t there yet – in fact the journey seems to have become more difficult. When Jodi finally speaks that journey seems to lengthen once again. Rupert should be devastated all over again, he should be jealous and angry but all he wants is the man he loves to be well. The fact that Jodi’s recovery is even more difficult than watching him waste away in a hospital bed should be the final nail in Rupert’s sanity, but he gathers himself once again with a strength he probably didn’t even realise he had.

Jodi’s recovery is long and arduous and a true testament to their love. It’s like starting all over again and before they can learn to love again Jodi must learn to trust. Rupert almost feels superfluous to begin with but slowly, very slowly, Jodi starts to remember. It would have been so easy to chuck in a magic fix at the end and to take them back to where they were but that would have felt very wrong and been a huge disservice to them both. Jodi suffered a massive trauma and even though he has fought for his recovery he is not fully recovered but slowly the missing pieces are replaced with new memories.

They are the same yet different and that is their new reality.

The remnants of their broken dreams lay scattered all around … but what remained was beautiful.



What Remains on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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