The River Leith

Leta Blake
The River Leith
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Leta BLake
Release Date
May 2014
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

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After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date.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.

Book Review by Carly (Carly's Book Reviews) (reviewer)
Jul 01, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
242 people found the following review helpful
The past is what makes a person who they are in the present, but what if the memories of the past are gone? How do you move forward when you can't remember who you are?

Leith lives for boxing; it's the most important thing in his life and defines who he is. At least, that's what he thought, before everything changed. Waking up in the hospital after surviving a horrific blow to the head that could have killed him, Leith has lost all his memories from the past three years. Once confident, outgoing, and driven to succeed, Leith is now uncertain and drifting. His memories are gone, he doesn't recognize his friends, boxing is no longer an option, and he's being handled like a fragile glass globe that could shatter at any moment.

The sad-eyed young man who comes to visit is a stranger to Leith, but something about him tugs at Leith's heart. Zach's scent moves him in ways he doesn't understand, and the unfamiliar desire to protect the fragile-looking bird who hovers just beyond his memory confuses Leith beyond reason.

Zach is devastated when Leith, the love of his life, no longer remembers him. In fact, Leith doesn't even remember that he's gay. Once loved and cherished, Zach now must be strong for the man who used to be his rock. Determined to rekindle their love, Zach is willing to do whatever it takes to win his lover back, but Leith has changed, and Zach must decide if he can let go of his own memories of the man Leith used to be and love who he has become.

THE RIVER LEITH is an exceptionally well-written story about self-discovery. With a complex storyline that slowly builds from the past into the present, I was captivated from the very beginning. Leta Blake weaves a story of love and loss with emotional depth and flawless character development. Delving into the past, while at the same time discovering the future, her characters will take readers on a journey of life, love, and loss that is unique and mesmerizing. With sensual love scenes and tender emotionalism, THE RIVER LEITH is a perfectly balanced romance that will captivate readers' hearts and carry them away on a river of love.
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Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Jul 15, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
235 people found the following review helpful
Leta Blake makes a good case for amnesia being akin to death in this poignant tale of a man losing himself only to have his lover, family, and friends help him find his past.

During a boxing match, Leith Wenz was hit on the back of his head and knocked out. He comes to in the hospital after being in a coma, only to find that he can't remember the past three years. These are pivotal years in which his father died and he came out, met and fell in love with his partner Zach--all huge changes in his life.

Fortunately, Leith's brother is by his bedside to help him wade through the rough waters of his awakening. Also easing him into the changes of the previous three years are his psychologist, his friends, and a very freaked out Zach.

Leith doesn't recognize Zach at all. Because of this, Zach reacts as if Leith, the Leith he knew and loved, has died. So while Leith is trying desperately to figure out who he is with this huge gap of years obliterated, Zach is going through the stages of death.

Since Leith assured his psychologist in his initial interview after coming out of the coma that he was straight, the doctor decides to keep the fact that Leith and Zach have been partners for over a year from him. This too devastates the fragile Zach and nearly drives him away from contact with Leith.

The story itself, without the strong characters, is intriguing as it asks how the last few years of our pasts impact on who we are. Also, how close to death the loss of memory is becomes an interesting sidelight to Leith and Zach's relationship.

As a dry exercise, this story would be compelling enough, but add to it the personalities of Leith and Zach, and you have an unusual and brilliant book.

In the relationship, Leith was always the leader, the one whom Zach leaned on for support and comfort. But that dynamic flies out the window when Leith, shaken by his injury and by his missing past, must rely on everyone around him for his identity.

Leith is nearly drowning in what he doesn't know and doesn't understand. He not only needs to relearn who he is but he also needs physical therapy for his balance and coordination. Fortunately, he recognizes his brother, but as all of us would, he's pushing himself to fill in the blanks and go back to the status quo.

Zach, on the other hand, is not only grieving the loss of his lover, but he's also hopeful he can find the old Leith in this battered copy of him. Through an online vlog, Zach shares his fears and hopes with the world. Through his posts, we watch the dynamic of the relationship shift and change as Zach realizes he must become stronger and more assertive if he wants to have a life with Leith in it.

Not only are readers given a well-written, hard-hitting and emotionally-fulfilling romance but they are presented with important questions about self.
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