Saturday, June 28, 2014

The River Leith by Leta Blake

Title: The River Leith
Author: Leta Blake
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Leith and Zach
Release Date: May 2014
Publisher: Harlequin 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.

My Review:
Okay, I'll admit it...I have a weak spot for amnesia story lines (as if Snowcroft Lost didn't tell you that) so when I heard Leta Blake came out with one, I knew I had to read it. And I did enjoy it. 

This amnesia story is a bit different in that the doctor's don't believe that Leith will ever get the three years worth of memories back. Normally, that would be enough...he lived and three years are nothing when compared to the options. But for Leith and Zach this is huge because it was within that three years that they met and Leith discovered he was bi, not straight. Everything about their lives is gone from his memory, including the possibility of even being attracted to men which is completely devastating for Zach. 

The other problem with all this is that Leith is a prize-fighter and the injury to his brain means that he gets violent when there is too much input at once that doesn't match with what he knows. As a result, the doctors recommend that they not tell Leith what Zach and he meant to each other before. That would be too much of a shock too early in his recovery. 

This is an emotional, angst-filled story and Leta Blake did a phenomenal job of conveying that on the page. While I hated what the vlog's meant for Zach (I really hated that he put all that out to complete strangers on the web rather than keep it seemed way too ego-driven doing it that way), the emotion shown through those vlog was painful to read. My heart hurt for him. The sense of loss that he has even though Leith is still alive jumps off the page, as does his guilt for mourning for Leith even though he's still alive. I can't imagine being in that position. And poor Leith...he knows that he's missing something, but has no idea what even though he feels the pull to Zach. 

That is the one thing that I truly loved about the story. I loved that that need for Zach is still there. The pull Leith feels toward him is very real throughout the book, even when Leith doesn't understand what it stems from. For me, that made this book work completely for me. It gives a sense of soulmates that I love in my romance and worked for me 100%. 

I was NOT a fan of Leith's therapist. While I enjoyed some of his little zen-like questions, I thought that he was too vague most the time and really hated that he's the one to recommend that they not share the truth with Leith. I could understand why they did it, but thought that he should have better been able to read Leith and lead him to figuring out what Zach meant to him earlier. But this is just a book and that wouldn't have worked for the author's story so I get it. I still remained frustrated by it though. 

Overall this was a good book. There were a few things that i had issues with about it, but the overall story and characters were more than enough to make up for the things that bugged me. I definitely recommend this one if you like amnesia stories as much as me.

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