Review: What Remains, by Garrett Leigh


cover-garrettleigh-whatremainsWeb 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.


Date read:
Edition read:
July 4, 2016
Riptide Publishing
Contemporary, M/M, LGBT+
278 e-book pages
3rd person
July 4, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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What Remains. Is that a question? I feel like that should be a question.

Because what remains…of me…after reading this book, is a pile of goo and a busted heart that’s been bounced around in a rock tumbler and then put on life support. And I have that crying induced headache across my brow. It’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. Really. I…think?

GAWD this squeezed the life out of my emotions. These beautiful souls put through the wringer. The pain, the heartache, the fear, and the power of love and the gift of second chances.

Bear with me…because books like this? They turn me into a blubbering idiot. I’m (sort of) not sorry about that. And…if you’ve been around me a while, you get me. (I hope.)

I’ve developed a horrible habit of not fully reading blurbs. Sometimes not at all. Sometimes skimming them and not attempting any sort of retention. This is usually the case when the book is by an author I adore. Because would it matter? Wouldn’t I pre-order/one-click the hell out of it anyway? I have a list of authors who fall into that category. I’m not sorry.

What’s not to love? I loved every moment of this. I felt every moment of this down to my bones, all over my soul.

The prologue took a double-read before delving into the first chapter. That’s all me…because of the blurb neglect. I spent a minute confused, did a quick re-read, then sallied forth.

Jodi, in the before, came across as the best. Funny, kind, a little quirky, absolutely adorable and the perfect partner to the newly out Rupert. Together they were so in synch and oozed utter perfection as a couple. Total happiness.


Then it all got turned on its ear with a random sort of tragedy. The kind of thing that could happen to anyone, anywhere, in the blink of an eye. And is that reminder to tell people you love them. Often. Make sure they know. Ya know?

Rupert…God, did he step up to the plate. Because of course, he would. But the fear and agony of the unknown, and no power to do anything but wait…hope…pray, day by day by day. It tore me to shreds.

They get that bittersweet second chance. But it’s slow-going. And…every step is unsure, hurt, angry. Because it’s not the same. But still, there’s hope. And still there’s love…tentative and cautious, mostly patient. Unsure. Not like it was. Can you ever really go back? Especially when today and tomorrow are such a gift?

The reawakening and rediscovery were beautiful. Slow. As it should have been. Never once did this feel rushed. All of it felt authentic. Raw.


It really was. Every word and emotion. All character-driven meaty perfection. Just the kind of thing I love. It tore me apart, bit by bit, for about the first 60%. But I knew I’d get pieced back together again. Of course, that happened. That’s what awesome authors do.

Garrett did it again. Every book by this author has been an absolute joy — even through the heartache and tears.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

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