Leith Wenz is a boxer who got hit too hard in the head and lost the last few years of his memory. He doesn’t remember his boyfriend, Zach, and on top of that he doesn’t remember that he liked guys. The tension in this story is powerful and Leta is a master at “the slow burn”. She’s one of my favorite MM authors.
Even though Leith is a fighter, he’s vulnerable in this story. Everyone knows what’s going on but him. Everyone thinks that they know who he is, but he isn’t the same person. Because of their assumptions, they hide the truth from him and it inevitably blows up in their face.
My favorite parts were when Leith puts himself in time out because things got too hard for him to process. Even though he’s a fictional character, I still think about those times, they were that powerful for me. I felt closest to him then, and I could relate to his desire to run away from everyone, including himself. He’s not the same man he was.
I love how Leithe remembers being close to Zack, but he doesn’t remember why. I love how he remembers how to mix drinks and where the lemons are in the pantry, but he can’t figure out why Zach’s smell is so intoxicating to him, why everything feels so familiar but yet so strange.
Blake introduces Zach’s point of view in an interesting way. His POV is represented in vlogs, where he talks about how he feels to an online audience. It gives us as the reader a better idea of his struggles and how the old Leith used to be.
The doctor was another favorite character of mine. His quirky humor and anecdotes were a delight, and he had a way of breaking through Leith’s defenses in a gentle and understanding way. Even when Leith was acting out, I think he felt the safest when the doctor was around.
The sex in this story was hot, hot, hot. There’s nothing like your first time…or at least there’s nothing like your first time as you know it.
Some people had a problem with Zach’s actions in the story, but I did not. I guess I could also relate to Zach’s desperation. From his point of view, he had lost a boyfriend and gained a stranger who looks and talks just like his old boyfriend. That would wear on anyone. This is just a small warning, but I think you’ll be fine.
I don’t reread books often, and because I am such a voracious reader, I mostly purchase e-books so I don’t clog up my bookshelf. I’ll sometimes obtain a hard copy when I’ve read a book at least three times. I have a copy of “The River Leith” sitting on my bookshelf right now, but I haven’t read it three times. More like six.