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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Only Love (Only Love #1) by Garrett Leigh ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Oh lord, I just finished the book and frankly I don't have any intelligent words to utter except for A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-! I loved this novel to pieces. LOVED both MC, rooted for them from the start and yet I really enjoyed the journey they went through mostly together (but also alone and with the people around them) to come out in the end better. Better on the inside and capable of being a part of a couple, being able to lean on each other, as well as offer to be leaned upon. 

Garret had me from the first book I've read by her (from the "Roads" mini series) and this one is no different. She is a cruel woman, mind you, she TORTURES! I do think she likes her characters but she seems to be a real believer in fighting for having something good in your life or maybe sacrificing yourself somehow in order to be worthy of a HEA. Actually I somehow believe in that as well, maybe that's why I"m guessing she does.. I do think that nothing good in your life comes without a price tag, problem is, we never actually SEE the price tag before we find ourselves unable or unwilling to pay for it. I wonder if it means I'm a secret romantic. I really hope not, it would destroy the cynical way I enjoy seeing the world around me ;)

Where were we? I'm a bit distracted today..  The neighbor's dog is barking like crazy (as usual..) and I seem to be in a urgent need for a cup of tea (reading so much today I forgot to drink.. I need a Max to take care of me..). So yeah, lets get started with our two MC - 

Jed, coming home (to his brother's house) after being badly injured as a soldier. Jed isn't even sure why he agreed to go there since he doesn't even like Nick, his little brother, but since he and his family is the only thing he has, he agrees. Jed actually comes to like Kim (Nick's wife) and ADORE their two little girls but staying there as their guest is not something he is really capable of doing. Kim suggests he rent a room in a cabin her brother rents somewhere in the woods near town. Nick thinks it's a good idea since "they are the same" (meaning - they are both gay..) Jed doesn't think this fact is ever relevant but away from Nick is surly better.

Max' (Kim's brother) isn't very excited by the idea of another person living with him, he has enough problems of his own and he doesn't like Nick so taking in his brother? nope. Doesn't appeal to him AT ALL. Until he actually sees Jed, then he changes his mind.. Damn, Jed doesn't look OR behave anything like his douche of a brother. So after another unfortunate fight between Kim and Nick at a holiday they spend together with them and the kids he just tells Jed to pack a bag and come home with him.

If you think this is where the romance starts that it doesn't (and not only because Max doesn't know Jed is gay as well..). A LOT has to happen before that. They both see each other's vulnerabilities BEFORE, even though they still have their own secrets kept from most of the world. I don't really want to say what they are though Jed's illness is mentioned right at the beginning. 

They start by just sharing space with one another, it's obvious from each of their POVs how much they see in each other, how much they understand without really knowing. They both somehow start taking care of each other without talking about it, sometimes without really acknowledging it to themselves (or maybe the importance of it). But when the truths starts revealing themselves they have a decision to make. One that it almost being made for them with how they already feel about each other and the dire situation they find themselves in. 

I really loved them both. Though in most novels I have a "favorite" in this one I don't, they are both very special. I loved Jed and his protective side towards Max but also towards his other family members, but I also loved Max the sensitive sweet guy that knew with a gut feeling what Jed needed and will appreciate and what kind of help he wouldn't accept. He would put a Rooibos Tea in front of him in the morning, but he won't give his a hand when his injured leg is making him sore. There was something beautiful in the way their relationship worked. They were both injured men, trying to keep the world away from them while both needed someone special to be able to understand them and take care of them. It was simply perfect. 

I also really enjoyed the side characters. The Valesco family (parents and siblings) as well as Kim and the little girls (who didn't overpower the story, it annoys me to no end when "those sweet little kids" take over the book). It was fun near the end also getting a few glimpses of Jed's friends from his military service. 

This book was truly a joy to read, even though I was worried sick in the last quarter, not knowing what's going to happen and how and though I knew there is going to be a HEA in the end I was still quite worried! (and unable to put the book down and I tell you, there were actual things (quite important things!) going on in my life that I simply IGNORED (!) till I finished..

I really recommend this one (as well as everything else I've read by Garrett). I think for reader who are a bit reluctant to try gay romance this one would be quite good since it doesn't have a lot of explicit sex scenes. I think there is one somewhere in the middle than in the end a few scenes. I"m not saying they are not kissing or making out.. It's just that I think this one is a lot more about the emotional journey and a lot less on the sexual side.  Also though the both of them were somewhat "tortured heroes" IMO it wasn't overly done. Yeah, Max has his past but mostly I don't think it defines who he is today as much as his medical problem and with Jed it's somehow the same. The medical problem is far more dominant than the psychological shit he carries around. 

I really want to have my hand on the next short sequel called "Awake and Alive" It's free and can be downloaded from the publisher's website - RIGHT HERE. But I have a offer I can't refuse to meet with a really good friend of mine. So excuse me Jed and Max but I"ll be with you later on today :) 



Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 272 pages, 20-21 March 2015 / On GoodReads

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