Only Love - Garrett Leigh
I want to go on record saying that author Garrett Leigh just keeps turning out work that gets better and better with each new story she unleashes. Only Love pairs up two of her loveliest character to date and leads them on a journey of healing and love that made my heart just melt.

Jed Cooper is a broken, wounded ex-soldier who lives in physical pain his every waking moment. Whether from his shattered leg or his intensely painful stomach disease, Jed is continually tortured by a body that no longer works. When he returns to his birthplace and to a brother who is following in their alcoholic father’s footsteps, he realizes he cannot remain a border in his brother’s home for long despite his desire to get to know his two nieces. His only solution is to move in with his sister-in-law’s brother, Max. Unfortunately, Max also suffers from debilitating epilepsy and short term memory loss. Can these two struggling men reach beyond the physical boundaries their illnesses impose on them and possibly live whole lives? And what about the secrets that each of them hold close that threatens to tear them apart? There is decided attraction between Jed and Max, but only time will tell if love can truly conquer all.

This novel was a life lesson on how to break down the barriers that keep us from allowing people into our lives. Both Jed and Max desire to love someone but neither man is really capable of doing that in his current state. Garrett Leigh allows us to watch as she literally tricks her main characters into loving another person more than they love their secrets and, in fact, their pain. Jed and Max cling to their physical ailments with an almost feverish desire to use them as a shield that will prevent others from getting too close. While Max is the more trusting of the two, he harbors a secret that very well may mean exposing himself to those potentially wanting to end his life. Jed, on the other hand, is grappling with emotions for a fellow soldier whom he watched get gunned down in the line of duty, and whom he loved dearly—perhaps more than a friend should love.

As each man grapples with his demons, Garrett Leigh exposes one raw nerve after another, only to have her men embrace each demon that is revealed with each other’s help. Such a magnificent journey these two men go on. Page after page in this novel, bits and pieces of both Max and Jed are meted out and we slowly put together a back-story that is both horrific and heart rending. The pacing with which the story unfolds, as well as the interspersed flashbacks, are near perfection as the story races to the finish and we slowly fall in love with these two flawed men. Only Love was a poignant story of healing and redemption, and I highly recommend it to you!

Reviewed by Sammy at The Novel Approach