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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Soul to Keep (Rented Heart #2) [Jamie & Marc] by Garrett Leigh

Heart breakingly beautiful. As I finished this one, I looked again on the cover and the name of this book and it clicked in such a way for me. The title is SO accurate. For both Marc and Jamie, it's that place they found in one another which allowed them to share their souls. What they went through in life left marks, some visible, but most of them invisible, they each needed to learn to put their trust and love in someone who might be unexpected but is the absolute best person to guard their hearts. 

We've already met the two MC in this one. Jamie is Zac's best friend from the first installment "Rented Heart" and Marc appears in "Between Ghosts". It isn't necessary to read neither of them to enjoy this one as a totally standalone novel but I would recommend both of them as I do with every one of Garrett's books. Yes she is a bit sadistic with what she makes her characters go through but it's SO worth the journey we get with the characters and the best kind of a future she enables each one of them to get - in the end. 

It's been a while since I've read the first one so it took me a bit of time to remember the whole situation with Jamie Yorke. While his best friend Zac managed to clean himself up from drug abuse, Jamie needed a sterner push and with Zac's intent and his partner's money they flew him to California to a rehab center. After a year there, finally clean, he feels he had enough of Cali, and while he can't bring himself to get back to where he grew up, he DOES want to go back to England. Finding a small town to build roots feels the logic step and yet, he hasn't really thought things through. In such a small town with his record and past and the fact he doesn't really qualify to do anything work is hard to come by. 

Marc Ramsey might be a doctor but it's the only "conformist" thing about him and though it defines him in a way it says nothing about who he is and what his life have been for years as a military doctor. During his service he got injured and now he lives a civilian life in a mansion of a home his mother owned. This house is far too big for him and the hordes of stuff his mother left behind doesn't make it easier. But he doesn't have the energy to go through it all. When Jamie stumbles into his life through a few chance instances he offers him the "job" of sorting everything but actually it's so much more than just that. 

Though on the surface you wouldn't think Marc and Jamie would connect they do. With a big age gap and a very different background they each SEE each other in a way their surrounding simply doesn't. They both don't let anyone get close, but somehow as they spend more time around each other, they both want to help and make the other more content, happier. You'd expect Marc to be the "care giver" to the younger and more confused Jamie, but thing is, it's not really like that. Marc DOES make his best to help Jamie but he is also in need of caring for and Jamie somehow knows exactly what it is he wants and needs without Marc saying a word. There's this understanding between these two, a vulnerability they share which allows that and as time goes by and with more intimacy between these two, action transfer into words which allows them to express their aches so they can help each other heal. I also really appreciated that it wasn't about them healing EACH OTHER, it was enabling one another to make the process while the other is always there to hold the other's hand. 

I can say much more about this one. About meeting old friends from the two previous books which gave this book more depth and allowed us a glimpse into the future of these couples. I could also say so much about the pain these two carry in their heart, about the sweet and endearing way they got closer together. In every instance Jamie leans his head unto Marc's chest my heart expanded. It was truly as I first wrote a heart breakingly beautiful love story. It has the most HEA I could ask for these two. They went through hell and back. They are alive and as well as they can be, now it's their turn to make the best of life having each other for love and support. Somewhere near the end I highlighted a sentence I absolutely LOVED 

"Living with it doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy. I suppose it’s about acceptance, and being kind to yourself?"

You know what, it doesn't matter what "living with it" means. Each of us have his/her owns personal pain or difficulty but it doesn't have to define us or our ability to live a happy life but truly the one thing that can enable us to do simply that is to be kind toward ourselves. To accept that this is who we are and smile at our reflection as we gaze into the mirror. 

Another great read by Garrett. Is it a wonder she's an insta-pre-order for me? Nope! 

Read on:
3-4 April 2018

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