“I don’t know you. I don’t even know why we’re friends, and I still like you. I like you…” Leith swallowed hard and exhaled a shaky breath, searching for the right word. “Desperately.” – Leta Blake
Author: Leta Blake
Pages/Word Count: 173 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: 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After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.
Review: Leta Blake is a new author to me, and, as with every time you read a new author, you aren’t really sure what to expect. Her Training Season has been highly recommended to me by more than one person, and the second I read the blurb to this book, I knew I wanted to try it. But, you guys…I was in no way expecting to be sucked in and blown away like I was. The River Leith is a FANTASTIC book. It will immediately grab you, and hold you, and you won’t want the ride to end. Also, the cover is breathtakingly amazing.
This is an amnesia story, yes, but to me it was in no way predictable. Of course, I was wondering whether or not Leith would get his memories back, and whether or not I even had a desired outcome one way or the other…but, the story was so well laid out, and the characters were so engaging, and the writing so good, that I found myself just going with the flow.
The Leith that we get to know throughout the book is the ‘new’ Leith – we get one glimpse of the old Leith through one of Zach’s vlogs, and little snippets of descriptions of him, but really we are meant to connect with Leith as he is now. For me, the investment in both main characters was immediate and strong. Through Zach’s vlogging, we get to see just how much pain he’s in, and how completely lost at sea he feels. His pain, as well as his utter relief when it becomes clear that Leith wants him, is so palpable and believable…I thought that the author’s use of the vlogs was a great tool. However, as the story is told in Leith’s POV, we get all of his emotions first hand. His reticence at meeting new people – until Zach. His anger. His loneliness. His fear. It’s all right there.
I absolutely love how Leith’s discovery of his feelings for Zach is handled. His brain “itching” at certain smells, looks, feelings. His gradual realization that the relationship is much more, at least for him, than friendship. And, the scene in the hospital garden…THE scene – when you read the book, you’ll know the one I mean – could not have been more perfect. Their connection and chemistry are amazing, and I’ll tell you what… Leta Blake writes some beautifully steamy sex scenes. ;)
The title also really spoke to me; the author’s use of water imagery and metaphors throughout the story is absolutely gorgeous. There are several breathtaking passages such as this:
“As Leith had watched Zach, and heard the anguish in his voice, the powerful undercurrents he’d felt driving him for weeks rose to the surface and crashed onto the shore of his consciousness.”
Honestly, the writing style overall just really spoke to me. I could say so much more about how much I loved this book, but I’ll let you all, discover it for yourselves. I will say, though, that I’ve been looking for a long time for a book to recommend as a first time M/M read to one of my best friends, and I think I might have finally found it. I highly recommend this book, folks. And, I plan to rush out and get Leta’s other stories!!