Soul to Keep – Rented Heart, Book 2*
Note: This book can be read as a standalone as Book 1 – Rented Heart, was about another couple.
Themes & Genres: LGBT, Contemporary Romance, trauma, addiction
WARNING: Mature Content
Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place—he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.
Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie—so wild and beautiful—bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.
Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.
What I think of the book:
As I’ve pointed out in my note above, Soul to Keep might be the second book in the Rented Heart series, but it can be read as a standalone. This is common with Garrett Leigh books; the author would write a book about a couple (once about three people, actually) and then write another book about their friends or family members, or co-workers. In this case, the connection between Book 1 and Book 2 is Jamie who is the best friend of one of the main characters in the first book. Now that you know why you can read this without having read the Rented Heart novel – although I’d recommend it; it’s a favorite of mine – let’s move on to what I think of Soul to Keep.
I was very excited about this book for two reasons: one – I’ve read and loved Rented Heart and while Jamie was only the best friend of one of the main characters, I wanted to read a book about him; two – I read a sneak peek from Soul to Keep online and it got me even more hyped up about this novel.
Did it live up to said hype?
I can’t help compare it to the other books by Garrett Leigh that I’ve read and especially to Rented Heart, and I have to admit: I was left with the feeling that certain scenes that the author wrote in more detail in other books were sped through here. I’m not saying that all of Leigh’s books are the same, but there are similarities and there’s a particular type of writing that I’ve come to expect from this author. I would’ve liked a little bit more detail and slower pace at some places in this novel.
But even so, it was a very enjoyable read.
As always with Garrett Leigh books, the characters won me over right away. I was worried Jamie might’ve changed too much (some time passes between the two books), but he was as troubled and likable as ever and it was interesting getting to know Marc too. As for their chemistry: it’s there so they work as a couple, as well as individuals.
Who would I recommend this book to? I said that this book isn’t as well paced as others by this author, but if you are a fan of Garrett Leigh, check it out. I’d also recommend Soul to Keep to lovers of Contemporary LGBT Romance who aren’t looking for a cute story, but for something with realistic and troubled characters.
My rating: (5 out of 5 books*)
*It’s a bit odd for me to use books to rate a book, but Jamie likes to read and some scenes take place in the library inside Marc’s house, so I thought it was appropriate.
Would I re-read this book? Yes.
Am I interested in other books by this author? Yes! This is one of my favorite authors.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (the link takes you straight to the book)
Add Soul to Keep to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Other books by this author that I’ve already reviewed:
- Misfits – Urban Soul, Book 1 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT Fiction, Contemporary Romance, polyamorous | Mature Content)
- Bullet – Blue Boy Studio, Book 1 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT Fiction, Contemporary Romance | Mature Content)
- Dream – Skins, Book 1 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT Fiction, Contemporary Romance | Mature Content)
- Whisper – Skins, Book 2 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT Fiction, Contemporary Romance | Mature Content)
- Crossroads – Skins, Book 4 (Contemporary Romance, LGBT, gay, novella | Mature Content)
- Kiss Me Again (standalone | Contemporary LGBT Romance, gay, bisexual, bipolar, anxiety, depression, trauma | Mature Content)
- Junkyard Heart – Porthkennack, Book 7 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT Fiction, Contemporary Romance | Mature Content)
- Lucky (standalone | LGBT, MM, Contemporary Romance, gay, pan, football/soccer | Mature Content)
- Cash – Lucky, Book 2 (this book can be read as a standalone | Contemporary LGBT Romance, gay, bisexual, hunting saboteurs | Mature Content)
- Jude – Lucky, Book 3 (this book can be read as a standalone | Contemporary LGBT Romance, bi, gay, coming out | Mature Content)
- Only Love (standalone | Contemporary Romance, LGBT Fiction, gay, trauma, angst, army | Mature Content)
Have you read anything by Garrett?
What did you think of it?
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