Soul to Keep

A Rented Heart Novel

“Soul to Keep by Garret Leigh is a character study that explores the struggle with addiction and a health professional’s response to it. It turns out that Dr. Marc Ramsey has almost as many demons to deal with as Jamie Yorke, who has fled sunny California for familiar England. The two men seem worlds apart until they each discover that they might be able to find common ground in the old house that Marc inherited, if they can overcome their respective pasts.

This contemporary m/m romance is part of the ‘Rented Heart’ series and is compelling and thought-provoking in its exploration of coping mechanisms as well as the challenges of providing support to all of the people in need of care, both mentally and physically. I like the slow burn between the two men who each have a painful past and are just existing, rather than enjoying and embracing life. There is no sugarcoating of the challenges of dealing with the insidious disease of addiction and there is a happy for now ending.

This can be read as a stand-alone story, but I wanted a little more backstory and I wonder if the first volume in the series would have given that to me, plus I want to know that things are continuing to work out for this charismatic couple. I love the idea of a tattooed prosthetic, and the way these two wounded yet functioning men find a way into each other’s hearts makes this a sighworthy read for me that I will undoubtedly revisit.

Book Blurb for Soul to Keep

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.

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2018 4.25