“The River Leith” is a poignant m/m erotic novella that follows the travails of a MMA fighter, Leith Wenz, who has no memory of the past three years. Even more shocking, he has forgotten his relationship with his partner Zach Stephens, who pours his anguish out in a vlog that he updates intermittently. Unfortunately, Leith is struggling to adjust to his new reality and is unable to cope with the betrayals he encounters, especially since he may never remember everything that was most important to him. The question is whether Zach’s love will be enough for both of them to get past the damage to their relationship or whether they will have to forget all that they have ever had with each other.
I love the play on the concept of the mythological river Lethe which conferred amnesia and the twist that requires that Leith learn of his attraction for males after the traumatic event that fractures his memory. This is a fantastically emotional tale that gives a wonderful portrait of a love story that has to flower once again after it is virtually destroyed. The intriguing insights provided by the video entries that Zach has made and the gradual revelation of pieces of Leith’s past makes this a compelling read and the yummy sensual scenes are nicely balanced by the intensely emotional interactions. This is the first story I have read by this author but I will definitely be looking for others.
Memory is everything.
After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.