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.
Oh my goodness, what can I say about Soul to Keep? There are so many descriptive words floating around my head right now but none of them seem right. The cover is beautiful. I could just stare at it all day. But, that would be weird wouldn’t it? I’ve never read a Garrett Leigh book before and I’m not sure why that is. I know I will read more of her work in the future.
There are so many good things to say about this book. The book dealt with some serious subject matter (addictions, military trauma) and handled it beautifully. While addiction is a very important topic to see in books, I think it takes a brave author to tackle it. There are so many layers of addiction and Garrett managed to peel them all back in a very honest and realistic way.
I loved Marc and Jamie both so much. They were incredible. I felt like I was right there with them, struggling with their demons and insecurities. When they were sad, I was sad; when they were happy, I was happy. Both characters were well developed. There were times during the book when Jamie and Marc were both breathtakingly vulnerable. It was wonderful to read.
With all that said, I have one itty-bitty complaint. Soul to Keep is a beautiful story about two men overcoming their demons and falling in love. But, I’m not sure if I saw the plot of the story. I found myself looking for the rising action, the climax, the resolution. Although there was penty of climaxing, I’m not sure who/ what the enemy was. While both Jamie and Marc have a lot of tension and angst as individuals, nothing ever affected their relationship. Their disagreements were followed almost immediately by apologies and kisses within a couple hours. While I want them to be happy, I wish something came between them to rock the boat and offered something for them to overcome together.
Overall Soul to Keep is a wonderful read that offers a look into the life of a person struggling with addiction. It’s not an uplifting feel-good book but I think it’s a valuable read. I’d recommend it to anyone.
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.