Monday, December 17, 2018

Review & Giveaway: ONLY LOVE by Garrett Leigh

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Length: 355 pages
Cover Design: Book Cover By Design


The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.

Carra's Review

One thing I can be absolutely sure about when I pick up a book by this author—I know there will be a huge serving of angst, and most likely a lot of emotional stuff, and definitely exceptional writing.  Only Love has all of the above—plus a slow burn romance—tucked into its pages.

Jed has seen plenty of horrors in his time serving in the military; too much really, to the point that he’s numb to it all.  It shows in his personality, which at times can be flat and lifeless (illustrated quite vividly in the story at times when he’s been hurt or ill when you can see he’s basically given up).  Once home he craves the quiet and calm—the opposite of Max’s sometimes manic energy.  Max has his own physical difficulties which complicate his life, but has developed ways to deal so he can continue to live independently.  Max and Jed complement each other, and slowly develop their friendship and then relationship even amidst all the drama of their respective health limitations.

This was a hard story for me to read, mostly because it moved to slowly for my liking.  It is extremely heavy on the emotional angst, with even more strain delivered in the form of graphic descriptions of moments from Jed’s time in the service in the form of flashbacks.  There are also events from Max’s past that are described in detail that are uncomfortably disturbing.  The overall tone of the book is pretty heavy and dark, though in the end things do still work out.  There is a lot of concentration on both Max and Jed’s health issues, and not a lot of on-page time devoted to their relationship development…but even so, the connection between them still comes across loud and clear.

With a lot of challenging subject matter and a overwhelmingly angst-filled storyline that tended to drag as I read, Only Love was a 3.5-star read for me.  If you like your stories filled with the darker side of emotional angst, this one will probably be a must-read for you.  For me, I now need to head off to find some super-fluffy romantic comedies to counteract this one for a while.  This book is definitely meant for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content, and scenes of a disturbing nature from the main character’s pasts.

About the Author

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, and co-owns the specialist stock site with photographer Dan Burgess.


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