I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The River Leith by Leta Blake
Published by Self Published on May 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M
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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After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.
Leith Wenz, an amateur boxer, takes an illegal punch in the ring. When he finally wakes in the hospital, he’s lost the last three years of his life. Unfortunately, a LOT happened during that time…like his discovery that he’s bi-sexual, his lover, Zach and his freedom.
What really works
The story is told from Leith’s point of view, giving insight as to just how frightening and frustrating it might be to not remember important people and events in your life. What’s equally riveting is to also have the perspective of those loving the person who doesn’t remember them. Blake uses Zach’s vlog to convey his feelings and point of view and it’s an effective device that doesn’t weigh down the story as a typical narrative might have. What’s even more brilliantly portrayed is how Leith’s memory of details are missing but the residual emotional effects aren’t. First example, though he doesn’t remember Zach, Leith is inexplicably drawn to him, which is confusing given he believed himself to be heterosexual three years ago.
Imagine having to experience a sexual reawakening all over again but not really understanding or trusting those feelings. Combine that with the balance needed to not tell an amnesiac too much, allowing him to discover or recover memories on his own as much as possible and the complexity of the situation is compounded.
The bottom line
The strength of Leith’s and Zach’s emotional bonds are what sustain Leith and help him find his way forward, even though they’re sorely tested. This is a pretty amazing story that stretched my imagination and the limits of my knowledge about the impact of brain injuries on relationships. I’m glad I read this book, which is still a vivid memory after two months.
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