The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.
Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.
But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This book is certainly one of Garrett Leigh’s, and it is visible from the blurb already. She never goes easy on her characters, and Jed and Max are certainly dealing with A LOT. It deserves to be capitalised.
Jed is a former soldier, now plagued by a stomach condition and a mass of scars and injuries from his military career, and has to return home. To the place he hasn’t been to for more than a decade when he escaped it. But it’s not just going back home, it also means staying with his brother’s family. Honestly, Kim, the wife, and the two kids are the only good things in the house. Max, on the other hand, is Kim’s brother who lives by himself (well, with his dog), near the lake and is dealing with epilepsy.
I enjoyed the story a lot. Not just the main characters, but other people around them, are very complex. I enjoyed their path, from solitary figures with difficult pasts to partners. The romance was there, but alongside it, there was healing too.
The guys weren’t the most outwardly emotional or chatty types. The only times we see Jed open up, he’s under effects of painkillers. They both have difficult past, they each faced different but hard problems, and they are trying to deal with it.
What I really adored, was the town. Jed hadn’t been there for more than a decade, yet after some initial chastisement from some of his (ex)friends, but then they step up. And I loved the cameos from Jed’s former, still living teammates/friends.
Even though I said in the beginning that it is obviously Leigh’s book, I also felt that in some ways…It was different. I didn’t feel as much angst as I generally do with her books, and it was…interesting.
All in all, I loved the book and wholeheartedly recommend it if you like books about broken men, love, and healing.
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.
Dec 11 – The Way She Reads, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, MM Midnight Cafe, Xtreme Delusions, Diverse Reader, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Dilyana’s World, Kimmers Erotic Book Banter, Two Chicks Obsessed, Jessie G Books, Sizzling Romance,
Dec 19 – Bonkers About Books,
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