My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think this is my favourite Garrett Leigh book. I don’t know what, exactly, about the book makes me say that, but I just know that as I was reading it, my heart felt full and my head was quiet and calm as it absorbed the growing love between Jamie and Marc.
And oh did they need each other. As with any book from this supremely talented author, there is such a driving need for finding peace with what life has thrown at you. Both Jamie and Marc had such scars, not only the visible ones crossing their bodies, but the mental ones which are the hardest to come to terms with.
One of my friends has said she feels wrung out and sad after reading a Garrett Leigh book, but for me, I have the exact opposite result. Yes, the subject matter is always brutally real, but I am always left with an overwhelming sense of hope.
Her men are always left in a better place, even if they still have demons to live with, than they were at journey’s start. Her men always manage to find the one person in the world who understands them, who can bring them a sense of peace and of belonging. They learn how to live with their troubles, even knowing they will never be fixed or free of them.
You can’t cure an addict, no matter what they’re addicted to, but you can give them the tools to learn to live with it to their best ability and in Soul to Keep, we see Jamie slowly come to terms with the knowledge that he doesn’t have to spend his life as if spiders are crawling all over his skin all the time.
The relationship between Jamie and Marc is very much slow burn, and it has to be, both of them have pasts which have irrevocably changed them and trust is something which takes time to build but let me say, when they finally do break through the barriers of what’s going on in their heads, the resulting sex scene might be one of the most emotionally powerful (and volcanically hot) I’ve read in a book from Garrett.
I adored every single bit of this book and there’s a little piece of my heart that fervently hopes that Jamie and Marc really do exist in their little bit of Derbyshire and they’re happily getting along with their lives in Chesterfield General’s A&E department and the food project kitchen 🙂
Oh, secondary characters – yes, another wonderfully drawn collection, one of whom is utterly real even though he only ever is described off page and I seriously hope Garrett is going to give us Nat and Connor’s story even though they’re together in this one. I’d love to know how the SAS CO and the journalist got together.
And, a final thought, big props to Garrett for the research into the special forces which is hinted and obliquely referenced here. As someone with an uncle who was once based in Hereford, all aspects of that side of this story felt very real.
#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
All the gushing and fangirling, as with all my favourite authors, is done completely off my own bat 😉