What Remains (LenaR’s Review)

What RemainsTitle: What Remains
Author: Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 4th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 283 pages
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

Amnesia as a tricky health condition offers actually a thrilling twist for many novels, not unnecessarily romance novels. I read some books where a memory loss was an important part of the plot, and I am not averse to it. There are also many popular movies based on this phenomenon.

For a romance novel it is simple: you have to find two partners, let something terrible happen to one of them (you can do it to both, but then it will be difficult to find a way out of this misery), and then accompany them in their journey through life, until the lost memories come back. Or not. (However it is most likely rather a topic for a literary fiction.)

Don’t worry, What remains is a romance novel and you’ll get your HEA at the end.

Jodi Peters and Rupert O’Neil are already almost 5 years together when he’ll have a car accident that causes serious head injuries. After many days in coma between life and death in a hospital, when no one can give Rupert any guarantee that his partner will ever wake up, Jodi suddenly opens his eyes. Only he didn’t just lost his memories of the last 5 years, and has no idea who is this stranger near his bed, but he also lost his memories about his sexuality, what of course gives the story some more pepper. When Jodi wakes up, he is straight, annoying and even less likeable than before. For me at least.

So, we don’t have to witness how his memories slowly comes back to Jodi, but also how he discovers anew his sexuality.

All in all – it is a sweet story, predictable and even if I found it boring, I prophesy that it will have a lot of fans. I’d say that my issues with this novel were rather of a personal character.

A romance novel could only work for me, if I am

    heartattracted to the protagonists
    heartI am in love with the story itself
    heartif I am bowled over the writing
    or even
    heartall of these factors altogether.

Unfortunately, neither of the points listed above have been met for my liking. For me. I found the characters uninspired and fade. I couldn’t emotionally connect with the story. I skimmed many sex scenes and ended up skimming through the lines towards the grand finale – that is seldom a good sign – as well as the writing style didn’t bring any great surprises.

This one goes to my everyone likes but me shelf, because even if this novel is not yet officially released I know that it will have many admirers.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of What Remains provided by NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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