After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.
This book reminds me of one of my favorite piano accompaniments, A River Flows In You. A river is a body of water that is constantly in motion, grounded to the earth by something encasing it, encouraging and allowing the flow to continue. Leith is very much the river, and Zach is what surrounds him, protects him and allows him to flow. Without each other, neither would be complete.
Leith Wentz wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of the past three years. Three years ago, Leith was in prison for a fight gone bad, his father was still alive and he hadn't yet met the love of his life. All of those precious memories were wiped out with one blow to the back of the head. Leith's recovery is long and painful. He's angry and lashes out at everyone and everything, and who is the man named Zach that visit's him? His brother says they are best friends but Leith just can't remember. But his soul can. From that first look into Zach's frightened eyes, Leith is drawn to him, inexplicably, and he has no idea why. The more time they spend together, the stronger the pull becomes. And when Zach isn't there he misses him, and it only confuses him more. Something is going on, Leith's family and friends are keeping secrets, and it's only making him madder.
Zach is broken and spent. The man of his dreams, the man he's spent the last three years loving, fighting with, growing closer than possible to doesn't remember him. The man, in fact, assures his doctor that he is straight. Can you imagine? In the blink of an eye, your entire life, everything you've lived for and loved is wiped away with the ease of an eraser on a chalk board, leaving behind only dust and a musty smell. Zach's only solace is his job at the bar he co-owns with Arthur, Leith's brother, his lesbian roommates and his online vlog. Zach can't tell his best friend and lover about his pain and misery because that person doesn't remember him, so he pours his heart out to his online followers.
In the aftermath Leith is welcomed back into a life that is anything but a distant memory. He has to acclimate into situations that are above his comprehension, and learn to love a man he can't remember, but deep down in his soul, he knows he belongs with Zach. And Zach will have to learn to stop comparing this Leith to the Leith before the accident. That Leith basically died, because this one not only can't remember, but refuses to continue to be compared to that shell. If these two obvious soul mates are going to find their second happy ever after, they are going to have to love each other in the now, start a new life, and make new memories.
Do you remember that movie The Vow, with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams? This is the gay version! I am a huge fan of soul mates whether it be in books or movies, and Leith and Zach are definitely soul mates. It was both painful and beautiful to watch both men dredge through the pain and turmoil of getting past Leith's accident and moving forward together, overcoming every obstacle that was thrown into their path. Blake did an excellent job of making sure the reader was right there with both men as they dealt with the pain and love every damn day. We were there inside Leith's mind as he would analyze, verbalize and sometimes act out in his mind with the utter helplessness he felt at not being able to remember. And Zach's vlog posts kept us inside his mind as he dealt with the same issues, just in a different way. I highly recommend this book, especially to those hopeless romantics out there that love an epic love story that transcends the mind and digs down deep into your soul.
*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
While Leta Blake would love to tell you that writing transports her to worlds of magic and wonder and then safely returns her to a home of sparkling cleanliness and carefully folded laundry, the reality is a bit different. For as long as Leta can recall, stories have hijacked her mind, abducting her to other lands, and forcing her to bend to the will of imaginary people. This absence from reality results in piles of laundry and forgotten appointments. In between abductions, Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family. Author links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon