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What Remains

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Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

278 pages, ebook

First published July 4, 2016

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About the author

Garrett Leigh

81 books2,073 followers

Bonus Material available for all books on Garrett's Patreon account. Includes short stories from Misfits, Slide, Strays, What Remains, Dream, and much more. Sign up here: https://www.patreon.com/garrettleigh

Facebook Fan Group, Garrett's Den... https://www.facebook.com/groups/garre...

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British romance author and artist. Her debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and she is a 4 time LAMBDA finalist.

In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.

Garrett is also an award winning cover designer, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 525 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,801 followers
March 13, 2017
I had a weird reading experience with this book because I started off sort of... disliking it.

It was:
-Too British (lots of slang)
-"Boyo" <--- that nickname... just didn't work for me
-It felt like a few books that I've read before (The River Leith, especially, with the "I think I'm straight" vibe and the roommate/best friend assumption)
- Too little build-up between the MCs.

I read this book in the bath, and I thought that I would want to put it down after just a few chapters.

But then, something changed.

I started getting into it. Like, really into it. I have a HUGE weakness for amnesia tropes, and this one started getting under my skin.

I honestly don't know when or why it happened, but I went from "meh" to "hell YEAH" over the course of the night, and I stayed up until 2 am to finish it.

The relationship went from underdeveloped to beautiful in my mind, and I fell hard for Rupert and Jodi. I liked seeing Jodi go from viewing Rubert as a stranger to seeing him as someone he couldn't live without, and I felt like I got my slow-burn romance after all.

Give this one a shot, folks, especially if you adore a good amnesia story. I couldn't put this one down, and I think many readers will feel the same way.

P.S.- that cover is everything

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Snjez.
769 reviews473 followers
August 20, 2023
This was such a great story. Jodi and Rupert as the main characters grabbed me right from the start, it felt like I already knew them. I also really liked the structure of the story and the way it was written.

The first part was my favourite. It alternates between the past and the present and I loved that we got to see how Jodi and Rupert met and how their relationship developed.

The second part was heavier and depressing at times, which was to be expected. I felt for Jodi, but I think I felt for Rupert even more. It was very satisfying to watch their story slowly unfold and come together in the end, though. It was realistic and hopeful. I only wish

I need to mention Sophie and Indie, who were wonderful characters and a great addition to this story.

Amnesia trope is one of my favourites, so I have no idea why it took me so long to read this story.
Profile Image for Sheziss.
1,332 reviews441 followers
August 3, 2016
This is the best I’ve read of Garrett Leigh in a very long time.

I’ve read almost every book she has published so far (you don’t believe me? Check this out: Garrett Leigh's shelf) and, although none of her books measure up to the Slide series, I’ve found great stories in her record. She has the talent, and the means, to write great books.

But there is always something, a little detail, often a subjective one, that refrains me from loving each one of those stories to pieces. There is always some corner of my mind who whispers there is something missing there. I really can’t say for sure if I’m just comparing everyone of her books to the Slide series, or if it’s really something more profound than that. The thing is that, none of her following books has touched my heart as that series did, and I feel that absence, that almost-enraptured-but-not-there vertigo like a hammer blow.

However, I must say this one met my expectations, more than the other ones did, anyway.

It’s true her stories would probably not happen in RL. Sometimes the plots are so excessive they are far from being truly believable. But somehow, this doesn’t trouble me. I just get so invested in what the author is writing (and how) I simply forget how rare everything she conveys would happen to someone in a day-to-day basis.

The problem I had with this book is how perfect it all is. I don’t mean the circumstances, which are far from ideal. Jodi is a victim in a car accident and he goes into coma and after a few month he wakes up, but 5 years of his life has been erased from his mind. That means that he “lives” and “thinks” in a time when he just liked girls, so it’s kind of earth-shattering when he gets to know he had broken up with his girlfriend Sophie and lives with a male flatmate that looks at him in such an intense way he doesn’t know how to deal with.

Rupert was so perfect, so patient, such a good person.

When Jodi recovers they get their past together back very “easily”, no real inner conflicts at sight.

I believe a more tortous path would have made it all more credible. Don’t take this the wrong way, I really loved how they grow and destroy the barriers between them, but I missed some true disputes here. Some true challenging scenes that would make them really consider throwing in the towel once and for all.

What I’m trying to say is that this situation would change anyone’s life, and anyone’s mood. But still, they are so loving and never lose their good spirits. Not really. I expected some hint of them being imperfect, furious with their status quo, furious with the limitations they find themselves in. Furious with each other.

Resentment of some kind.

I don’t mean that they have to be cheerful 24/7, I mean that their arguments happen but then were forgotten. Surely these experiences would take anyone to the limit but I never saw that limit coming close. I expected some bad shouts and bad habits and lots of go-fuck-yourself and more door slams and I-don’t-wanna-speak-to-you-for-a-decade. But here is was all so decaffeinated, here they were so zen...

Also, before the car incident, they needed each other in such a way that was very beautiful, but this devotion went a little too far, in my opinion. It should have been dragged back to Earth, because it felt a little so forced.

I just expected some “reality” so sink in. Yes, “reality” is the word here.

However, despite all of this, I truly enjoyed the book. Apart from the medical aspect, there are lots of thing to revel in. I liked that Jodi never truly recovers from his brain injury, and never would. Not because I like seeing people suffering, but because the world doesn't work that way, and I appreciate the author didn't give in to the temptation of building a pink cake with a cheer on top.

I loved how at the beginning Rupert’s life is shattered to pieces, with a underpaid firefighter job he has to compensate with bouncer’s hours in a pub, and a shaky sexual identity he’s scared but eager to discover after the divorce from which the only good thing that came out was his daughter. I liked how this unsure Rupert meets Jodi and he begins to truly enjoy what life has to offer.

Jodi, on the other hand, is confident of who he is and what he wants. And when he meets Rupert, he really knows what he wants.

So every 26th of each month we get a little glimpse of them getting closer, getting to know each other. Exploring Rupert’s needs and fulfilling Jodi’s longing. They just “clicked”, and it was heaven on Earth. Their relationship was enviable. The sex and the chemistry are hard to miss. They can’t live without each other. And maybe it was too rushed and the dancing too sweet, but I loved it.

And then everything they had together disappears all of a sudden.

Suddenly it’s Rupert the one who longs for something really tangible, whereas Jodi is not sure where his feet are standing on. The change of roles is not exactly the opposite of what it was before, because their characters are very different. Where Jodi was cautious but self-assured in their seduction, Rupert doesn’t believe anymore that there would be another “us” ever again. And he’s scared of hurting Jodi and ruining it all.

Can a love arise from its own ashes?

There was this book, Memorizing You, which said that the falling in love was a combination of circumstances, the exact time and place, and a combination of past experiences, and glances, smells and chemistry, that make it possible for someone to find in each other the half they had been looking for their whole lives. And once you lose all those memories, the love story probably would not happen again.

But here it happened. And I could really feel the longing, the devotion, the combination of their present experiences, the collection of glances, smells and their chemistry, all of them new, intertwining their paths forever again. Maybe it’s not the same they had before. Maybe it’s not perfect. But it’s as powerful and as beautiful. And was worth fighting for.

Can they find those moments together? Build since square one what was meant to be?


***Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,369 reviews1,507 followers
April 18, 2018

Gah! So much of this book was really heartbreaking. Going from totally happy, then losing everything in the blink of an eye.

I really enjoyed how the story alternated between the "before" and the "now", as a way to both introduce you to Jodi and Rupert, and make you genuinely care that they got back to where they once had been.

The first half of the book was my favorite, before the middle parts felt a bit too slowly-paced for my liking, then the end was a bit less engaging than the first bits.

And the final health scare, toward the very end, felt a bit unnecessary. There was definitely sufficient drama to be found without it, so I would've been fine if that part had been omitted.

The steamy bits were enticing, but not the most sizzling that I've read by Leigh.

The epilogue was nice, but came up a bit short on my feel-o-meter, unlike the earlier parts of the story.

So while I didn't find the story to be entirely perfect, it was for sure worth the read and I'd rate it at just over 3.5 stars.


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Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,458 followers
July 6, 2016
4.5 Stars!

I requested this one months ago from NetGalley and I tried reading it a few times but I just wasn't in the mood. I kept saying soon, I'll read it soon. Then all of a sudden it was release day....whoops!

And as it usually happens with Garrett Leigh's books, despite my hesitations I always end up liking them. This one was no exception.

Yes, it was on the heavier side. Emotional and depressing at times. But I knew this...so maybe my expectations were high? Low? Regardless....I didn't honestly find it to be too much. I mean Garrett Leigh can write the hell out of heavy, emotional, depressing reads.

My heart absolutely broke for what happened to Rupert and Jodie. I honestly think my spouse not having any clue who I was and the life we shared would be devastating. Was what happened to Jodie realistic? Plausible? Likely? I have no idea. But it felt real.

I don't usually like flashbacks but I think it was absolutely needed here to show the love that Rupert and Jodie had for each other. The true impact of what happened to Jodie had on their relationship. After about 30% the book stays in the present. This was the hardest part to read, for obvious reasons.

Lower on the steam side, which again makes sense given the story. And I was okay with that.

So yes, despite my personal preference for happier books....this was a great read and I'm happy I finally took the plunge and read it.
Profile Image for Josy.
973 reviews3 followers
March 25, 2017
YAY!! I got a late Christmas present!!
Thank you so much, Simone :)


~ 4.5 stars ~

This was a really great story!! So emotional, heartbreaking and beautiful!

I can't remember when I read the last amnesia story so even if this wasn't anything new, it's still a trope I don't read every day and it was refreshing.

And I loved it! Seeing how Jodi learned to love Rupert all over again was everything. And Rupert... OMG, I was weeping for him. He was so supportive and loving and caring. At first, I thought he was too perfect: too calm, too quiet, too in control. I expected, at some point at least, anger and rage about the unfairness and irony of it all. I mean, he's the firefighter who risks his life every day he goes to work and still it's Jodi who had the accident that had him fighting for his life. But after talking it through with my cyber momma Karen, I got to the conclusion that nothing is certain in life and unexpected things happen. And, most importantly, the realization that Rupert put Jodi's well-being above his own feelings. That even if it broke his heart that Jodi didn't remember him and the life they shared, he did everything in his power to keep strong, to hold up the facade, to not fall apart, to not go down the route of despair. And it paid off!!

In addition to being very well written, I loved that the whole story felt real without having to resort to magical solutions. Having dual POVs gave a great insight into both MC's feelings and thoughts and the back and forth between past and present was used perfectly to show the beginning of their relationship.

Craig Beck's narration was great even if I was cringing every time little Indie spoke. I know it must be very difficult for a grown man to do a good impression of a little girl but I was still glad she didn't have too many lines.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
June 25, 2016
This was my first book by this author and I'll post a full review once my brain quits exploding and I get my thoughts together...but for now HOLY CRAP!!!! This one impressed the hell out of me...reasons to follow at a later date.

Update: June 25/16 full review posted below...

I find myself wondering "If I took away the memories of the love I have...
What Remains...and is it enough?

Try to imagine, if you will, suddenly having your memories of your entire life for the past five years wiped out, gone in the blink of an eye. Honestly, you can try but whatever you're imagining is probably only a fraction of what it's really like. I know I've been there and thankfully for me the memory loss only lasted for a few hours and yet over 25 years later the thought of it can still reduce me to tears...tears of fear that it could have lasted much longer and tears of gratitude that it didn't. Ironically the memory of those few hours are still so vivid for me and the thought of sitting there in a hospital bed not really knowing who I was, who my husband was or if I was even married and that I had a child. Things that I would have told you in a million years nothing could ever, ever make me forget and yet in the blink of an eye something happened that did just that it made me forget everything that I held most precious in this world...now try to imagine those years getting stolen from you again. Look at your husband and your children and think who are these people? Why are they here? Do they know me? Do I know them? Will they hurt me? and yes, don't forget the most important questions...who am I? and what's happened to me? Imaging not being able to answer those questions...any of them.

In 'What Remains' that's exactly what Garrett Leigh does. She shows us what can happen when one person's world is ripped away in an instant and the people he loves are left to try and help him find a new reality.

Jodi and Rupert are basically living the life. They met by accident and what started as a friendship with a strong dose of attraction turned into love. Life couldn't be better...well, maybe Rupert's ex could fall off the face of the earth but other than that everything's pretty idyllic. They've got each other, Rupert's daughter, Indie who they both adore. Jodi's ex and current BFF, Sophie. They've made a home together in Jodi's loft. What more could they ask for everything's perfect...until it isn't. In one unguarded moment for Jodi it's all gone. He doesn't remember who Rupert is what they're suppose to mean to each other or Indie and what the hell when did Sophie stop being his girlfriend?

For the first part of this book the author took us back and forth between the beginning of Jodi and Rupert's relationship and events leading up to Jodi's accident. While I'm not normally a fan of time shifts, in this instance it worked as a highly effective way for the reader to not only get the background information but for the author to bring us into the events that are going to reshape the lives of Jodi, Rupert and those around them and while I really enjoyed this part of the story it was at the point where the story stayed in the present that I found myself becoming truly involved.

'What Remains' is a love story, there's no denying that but it's also a story about second chances, facing adversity and overcoming life's obstacles, pain/comfort/healing and believing that while it may not be all you need, love can be the cornerstone upon which to build or re-build your life.

I loved that this story asked questions many of us either don't want to or never ask or if we do the answer is given without realizing what it could truly mean... 'if I could do it all over again, would I fall in love with you?' or 'if something happened to me and I wasn't who I am now, would you still love me?'

And more than anything I loved the realism that came with this story. What happened to Jodi and how it affected him. The fact that while Rupert was awesome he wasn't perfect we saw his frustration and inner turmoil over how things did or sometimes didn't seem to change, the tole that events took on him...personally and professionally. The impact that things had on Sophie and even Indie and most of all the ending. This was not a fairytale HEA ending where things suddenly got fixed. The HEA that these MCs got was won through hard work, sheer determination, endurance and love. Jodi wasn't magically all fixed but with time and effort he began to get control of his life again and accept how it had changed allowing him and Rupert to find their way back to each other.

'What Remains' was my first read for this author and has definitely left me wanting to read more of which, thankfully, I have many.

An ARC of this book was graciously provided by the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,666 reviews299 followers
July 12, 2016
4.5 Stars - This book makes you think!
Two men in love. Rupert and Jodi - living their lives. A normal day. Doing something you do every day. Then everything changes. The ones you love are left to put life back together with What Remains

This book takes you through the world of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the author does a really good job of realistically representing the life of someone with a TBI. As a nurse, I really enjoyed this story because it gives you a look at the injury from the patient perspective - yet it shows what the loved ones go through also when one day, in the blink of an eye everything changes.

In addition to the medical aspect of the book there is a great romance and love affair between Rupert and Jodi. These two are made for each other and watching them first meet, then fall in love -- only to have life drastically changed, then essentially start over and fall in love again - was an amazing tale.

There were some laugh out loud moments in this story along with some tear jerker moments - and watching Jodi discover or rediscover his sexuality was quite fun at times (the lube, will never forget the lube and the discovery of his screensaver) - I recommend this story to all looking for an emotional romance.

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`*ARC provided by Author in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Jaime from Alpha Book Club
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Profile Image for Renée.
1,058 reviews331 followers
July 2, 2016
3.5 stars

Garrett Leigh wrote another beautiful story...... shrugs . The end.

Ok, not really. But here's the thing. Magic happens for me when I read m/m because of stories about every day people who go through every day things. I'm "ok" if a not-so-every-day side plot is thrown in there from time to time, but I just love it when authors can make magic out of the lives of you, me, our co-coworkers, cousins, siblings, crazy best friends, neighbors, etc. It just makes reading more relatable and I literally IMMERSE in the story and totally buy into the character- and relationship-build more.

For some reason, Leigh likes to write about characters who go through monumental, happened to one-in-a-million, fuck with your head events. And that's ok - nothing wrong with that. The event from this book, amnesia after an accident, robs Jodi of discovering his bisexuality and living the past five years of his life with his partner, Rupert. So, not only does Jodi go through this horrific medical event. Rupert loses the man he loves.

I concede - it was written really well. As a nurse, a former Neuro nurse even, the medical parts were pretty fairly sketched out (although - like I said - this kind of amnesia is so rare, I've never seen a patient with it, so I can't be entirely sure). The dual POVs beautifully showed both Jodi's and Rupert's pain as they grasped at what was missing in their lives and interactions with each other. All of that was run-of-the-mill Garrett Leigh beautiful.

But I couldn't connect to any of this. Who does this happen to? No one that I know of. Likely no one that you know of either. And if this was one book that the author has written a story like this, no worries. But it seems like EVERY story lately has been like this. And many more based on blurbs and reviews that I'm reading. It's like she needs this to be the foundation to create the story, and she doesn't, because she's so talented.

Honestly, my favorite so far was My Mate Jack. It was just about the MCs with no big, dramatic, life-changing event. Simple, everyday people. That's what I'm looking for. I know I'm in the minority. Everyone seems to 5-star the hell out of her books. And she's crazy talented, so I get it. I enjoy the shit out of her writing and story telling. But I'm kinda done with this "trope" of hers with all the drama. I think I'll wait until a book comes out about the everyday people who just fall in love with a side plot or two.

Profile Image for Jewel.
1,816 reviews251 followers
June 28, 2016
4.5 Stars

It's been too long since I've read an angsty Garrett Leigh book, and What Remains is masterfully done.

The first part of the book is done with flashbacks to when Jodi and Rupert meet and then fall in love​, all mixed in with the present and Jodi's accident and hospital stay. The flashbacks really give you a sense of who Jodi was and how he and Rupert were as a couple. They were young, in love and so damn happy I could weep. But sometimes really bad shit happens to really good people and their whole world fell apart.

Jodi's recovery takes months and he never really recovers most of his memory of the last five years. I cannot imagine what that really must be like. Feeling like there's a hole in your being that you just can't patch. So he has to get to know Rupert and his daughter, Indie, all over again, along with relearning so much of what we all take for granted.

But Jodi isn't the only one who has lost everything. Rupert - my heart almost didn't survive his shattering. Having the love of your life not remember even having met you...that's rough. But Rupert is a stand up guy and he takes care of Jodi even though day after day his hope dwindles a little more. His love for Jodi was present in everything he did.

You might get the impression that this book has a little bit of angst. You'd be right. But Jodi and Rupert make a new normal together and I think they come out of it even stronger.

What Remains is a beautiful story of finding love and managing to find it again just when you think all is lost.

ARC of What Remains was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bev .
1,915 reviews417 followers
November 23, 2019
I love a good amnesia trope and Leigh kept this so real and really got me in the feels with this book. The hopelessness, the struggle to understand and accept what had happened then to learn to love a whole other person even though the old one is staring you in the face.

Great narration too (though at times I though Rupert sounded a little too much like Terry Wogan!)

Loved it! 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Papie.
681 reviews129 followers
August 19, 2022
Amnesia is up there with surviving plane crashes, coming back after years of being presumed dead, and long lost twins in the most unlikely to happen 80s soap opera tropes…and it’s one of my favourites in romance! 😂

It took me a while to get into it because the beginning was so sad and depressing. But I loved the flashbacks, as they helped me get to know Jodi and Rupert and their love story. And once I really got into it, I loved them both so much.

Overall a really emotional read with some 🔥🔥🔥 sex scenes.
Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,436 reviews418 followers
September 6, 2016

2,5 stars

Amnesia as a tricky health condition offers actually a thrilling twist for many novels, not unnecessarily romance novels. I read some books where a memory loss was an important part of the plot, and I am not averse to it. There are also many popular movies based on this phenomenon.

For a romance novel it is simple: you have to find two partners, let something terrible happen to one of them (you can do it to both, but then it will be difficult to find a way out of this misery), and then accompany them in their journey through life, until the lost memories come back. Or not. (However it is most likely rather a topic for a literary fiction.)

Don’t worry, What remains is a romance novel and you’ll get your HEA at the end.

Jodi Peters and Rupert O’Neil are already almost 5 years together when he’ll have a car accident that causes serious head injuries. After many days in coma between life and death in a hospital, when no one can give Rupert any guarantee that his partner will ever wake up, Jodi suddenly opens his eyes. Only he didn’t just lost his memories of the last 5 years, and has no idea who is this stranger near his bed, but he also lost his memories about his sexuality, what of course gives the story some more pepper. When Jodi wakes up, he is straight, annoying and even less likeable than before. For me at least.

So, we have to witness not only how his memories slowly comes back to Jodi, but also how he discovers anew his sexuality.

All in all – it is a sweet story, predictable and even if I found it boring, I prophesy that it will have a lot of fans. I’d say that my issues with this novel were rather of a personal character.

A romance novel could only work for me, if I am

attracted to the protagonists
I am in love with the story itself
if I am bowled over the writing
or even
all of these factors altogether.

Unfortunately, neither of the points listed above have been met for my liking. For me. I found the characters uninspired and fade. I couldn’t emotionally connect with the story. I skimmed many sex scenes and ended up skimming through the lines towards the grand finale - that is seldom a good sign - as well as the writing style didn’t bring any great surprises.

This one goes to my everyone likes but me shelf, because even if this novel is not yet officially released I know that it will have many admirers.

**Copy provided by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Elsa Bravante.
1,135 reviews179 followers
February 7, 2017
Me ha gustado mucho, me ha encantado. Una pareja envuelta en una relación perfecta ve cómo todo se desmorona a su alrededor cuando uno de ellos sufre un accidente que le provoca que pierda los recuerdos de los últimos años, y con ello, la relación con su pareja. La autora nos muestra con unos cuantos flashbacks cómo se conocen los protagonistas y cómo se enfrentan al hecho de que son ahora unos auténticos desconocidos.

La historia está bien escrita, con mucho ritmo, no decae en ningún momento a pesar de que al principio la trama principal se ve interrumpida con los flashbacks. Todo lo que gira alrededor de la amnesia de Jody parece y se siente real, no salido de la mente del autor, como pasa en muchas ocasiones con este tema. La química y el amor entre los MC se siente a lo largo de todo el libro, igual que su tristeza y su desesperación, convirtiendo la lectura en algo muy emotivo en ocasiones. Maravillosos principales y maravillosos secundarios, con excepción de la ex-esposa bruja, algo ya muy visto en el género y que no aporta mucho a la lectura, es más, al principio creí que me iba a encontrar con la clásica misoginia a veces muy presente en el MM. La relación entre Jody y Rupert está muy bien dibujada, todos sus lazos emocionales y sexuales, y con la lenta recuperación de Jody vas sufriendo con ellos, es imposible dejar de leer, el único pero que le encuentro es que quizás el último tramo de la recuperación y de su relación lo veo un poco precipitado.

Muy recomendable.
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,861 followers
July 25, 2017
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Might contain spoilers*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

Web designer Jodi ‘boyo’ ‘Jojo’ Peters (how old is he?) and newly divorced firefighter Rupert ‘Rupe’ O’Neil (how old is he?) met outside a bar, and that meeting changed their lives. 4 year of blissful life full of love came to a brutal stop when Jodi ends up in a horrible car accident. Laying months in coma, where Rupert had no idea if the love of his life would ever wake up, the world felt like it could never get bright again. On top of that, when Jodi finally wakes up, he doesn't remember his lover, Rupert, nor Rupert's daughter, Indie (8). In fact, poor Jodi has forgotten over 5 years of his life, and waking up thinking he's still straight and in love with his best friend, Sophie. Can he learn to love Rupert again?
“Listen to me,” Rupert said. “Something terrible happened to you, to us, and it took everything we had. This,” he gestured around the dimly lit kitchen, “all of this, is just the remnants, but it’s enough for us to build something new. I want to, Jodi, because I want you, because I love you. I know you can’t say the same right now, but maybe, if we go back to the start, you might learn to love me again.”

This book was surprisingly and shockingly a huge disappointment. I had seriously expected way more from it. Something more deeper, more meaningful, more... something. The characters were meh; there was nothing special about them. Rupert was patient and lovable, a really good hearted man. Jodi used to be open, funny and a bit wild before the accident, now he's more of a dick because he's in pain, needs to be taken care of because he sometimes wakes up not remember how to dress himself. He has to learn to find himself again, to learn who he is now and getting to know people he used to know. He needs to get use to this new life he got, to learn it. So frankly, it's not surprising he's a bit bitter, but he gets better once he learn to find his footing again.
“I think I got better because you still loved me, even though I was gone. I must have known on some level, because it feels so right now.”

Together, the couple are cute. But still, nothing out of the ordinary. It's amazing, how Rupert is with Jodi, but other than that... Not much. The plot is really about someone learning to love a person again. A person he used to love, but doesn't remember. Overall, the story was predictable, boring at times, but overall a alright story. I was just looking for something else, I guess.
“I am broken, Rupert, and I can't be fixed. Why the hell would you want me now?”

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (A) Contemporary Romance (M/M)
Series: - Standalone
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - Rupert ‘Rupe’ O’Neil.
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Unsure.
Would I recommend this book/series? - Uhh, unsure.
Will I read this again in the future? - No.
Rating - 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Denise H..
2,957 reviews218 followers
April 15, 2018
*** Here we have a deliciously British tale of two blokes who are destined for each other.
* Emotional, raw, powerful, tragic, realistic, heartbreaking and heartwarming !
A beautifully told tale of newly divorced Rupert, Firefighter,

finding his way and sharing custody of his young daughter, Indie.
Meanwhile he meets Jodi, a Web Designer,

who he's very drawn to, and the men become great friends and then evolve, until Rupert can be comfy with his new found attraction to a man. The story is told in the present; with flashbacks to how they came to be a couple, partners.
It's heartbreaking to see how close they were, and then to be shown how far apart they've become. It's a gentle journey of patience, understanding, unconditional love, and a never-ending hope. These deep characters are amazing; the story immensely interesting, and the sexy times are passionate.

Young Indie, and friend Sophie are important to the story as the glue that weaves these guys back together again.

The reality of brain trauma recovery is a rough road. It affects so many people in their lives. We see and feel, the agony of all concerned. Jodi is re-thinking his own thoughts and reckoning with who he really is. Sweet, patient Rupert struggles, too, with his endless love, devotion and concern. Both are aware that time is what it takes to heal. I thought I'd be crying the whole time, but it wasn't like that at all.

The epilogue is fitting for the amount of tragedy and the work that will be a constant challenge.
Very engaging tale that will wrap around your heart.
Highly recommended ! ENJOY !

Thank you sweet Melissa for the recommendation. :) x
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
May 27, 2017
**4.5 stars** - Thank you so much, Jewel, for this great SS gift !!

Very emotional, but let’s face it, also a bit depressing at times. I couldn’t put this book down : I so needed to see how Jodi and Rupert, being together for 5 years, would deal with Jodi’s accident which put him in a coma and took away his memory and left him with daily challenges – and how Jodi and Rupert would rebuilt their relationship.

I could really relate to this story and the way it unravelled for both MCs and their entourage : losing some part of memories or having a hard time to perform as simple a task as taking a shower is scary as shit.
The writing is great and the story flaws nicely, with a lot of emotion on the way : hope, despair, rage, frustration, uncertainty….and love.
Profile Image for Nark.
649 reviews1,011 followers
August 25, 2022
dnf. no rating, because i didn't read enough to rate it. i am just not connecting with the writing, and the time jumps are annoying me.
Profile Image for annob.
530 reviews60 followers
April 7, 2019
Garrett Leigh is so very talented! The story in this book shook me. It's packed with so much of what we all dread. Loss. Grief. Grave illness. A harsh reality of bills to pay and real life to deal with no matter what hardship befalls us.

And yet. And yet it managed to be an amazing read—romantic, sexy, with the most beautiful and steadfast friendships. Leigh is also clever when it comes to the timeline. In the first half of the book scenes from several year ago are interlaced with current events, which ensure the readers get a break from the heavier stuff every other chapter.

Simply brilliantly done.

Should I find anything to mildly criticize, it would be . I didn't mind the latter, just wanted more of the former.

In my mind Rupert and Jodi will be happy and together forever. <3
Profile Image for BWT.
2,171 reviews222 followers
May 21, 2016
Full disclosure here, the first few chapters annoyed me because it goes from the present to the past in each chapter, and I am not a fan of flashbacks, but I am so happy I stuck it out, because when Jodi wakes up that stops and this story is overall so compelling and engrossing, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Jodi and Rupert have been together nearly five years when Jodi is hit by a car and spends months in a coma and then coma-like state. Rupert rarely leaves his side, and only then when absolutely necessary. However, when Jodi wakes he doesn't remember Rupert, their life together, or even embracing his bisexuality.

Jodi's doctors caution Rupert about telling Jodi anything, recommending they allow Jodi time to either remember on his own. As a result, it's a heartbreaking time on top of an already devastating time for Rupert. It's hard for Jodi as well, who can't remember Rupert, but also can't let him go because of something that he can't define.
“Listen to me,” Rupert said. “Something terrible happened to you, to us, and it took everything we had. This,” he gestured around the dimly lit kitchen, “all of this, is just the remnants, but it’s enough for us to build something new. I want to, Jodi, because I want you, because I love you. I know you can’t say the same right now, but maybe, if we go back to the start, you might learn to love me again.”
Jodi finally looked up. His eyes were red-rimmed and watery. “Do you really love me?”
“Yes. Have done since the moment I met you.”
“Do you want me?”
“More than ever. It just scares me a bit.”
“I know how that feels,” Jodi said. “But I wish I’d known the rest of it from the beginning.”
Rupert swiped at his face. “I’m so sorry. I told you every day until you started talking, then I got scared, because you were scared too, and I didn’t want me loving you to be the reason you couldn’t get better.”
Jodi moved, his body blurring in Rupert’s gaze until they were nose to nose. “I think I got better
because you still loved me, even though I was gone. I must have known on some level, because it feels so right now.”

hurt comfort

I absolutely loved Jodi and Rupert's love story! This struck the perfect hurt/comfort and angst level for me to really enjoy and devour.


P.S. I absolutely LOVE the cover!

Advanced Galley copy of What Remains provided by NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.
Profile Image for oshiiy.
317 reviews44 followers
November 18, 2021
2 stars ⭐️ Amnesia is one of my fav tropes but this book was so boring and uneventful.

Neither did I like Rupert and Jodi nor was I emotionally connected with both of them. The characters were meh. There wasn't any romance, and I should say, something was missing in the whole story.

I skimmed a few chapters with sex scenes and finally read the epilogue. But it was boring too.
Profile Image for Adam.
611 reviews313 followers
December 18, 2016
‘What Remains’ is not an easy book to read. It’s angst-filled from the first chapter, and continues like that for the rest of the book. However, I would say it’s the good kind of angst, the kind that you know will lead to a special ending that makes it all worth it.

I tend to avoid books with an amnesia premise, because it’s often not very believable and becomes too melodramatic. I’m not an expert on the matter, but I thought that the author did a good job of portraying the medical effects of Jodi’s brain injury, and the recovery process.

While the book is told in the present, we get many flashbacks in the first third showing how Rupert and Jodi met and fell in love. I’m not usually a fan of this format, but it was necessary to establish the relationship. Without those glimpses into the past, I would have had trouble connecting to the MCs.

The flashbacks show how deeply in love the two were, and made me root for them from the start.

Rupert stole my heart early on, with his quiet hope that he would win back Jodi. Each time Jodi treated Rupert like a stranger, my heart broke for him. I just wanted to bundle him up and never let go.


When Jodi wakes up from his coma, he not only doesn’t remember Rupert, he also thinks that he’s strictly heterosexual. His gradual rediscovery of his sexuality was sweet, if at times sad. He struggles with his increasing attraction to Rupert, but doesn’t mind exploring once he accepts it.

What I enjoyed most was the cautious friendship that Rupert and Jodi built, and how that became their foundation for a new life together. As Jodi recovers, the two begin spending more time together. For Rupert, this time together is all that’s left of their past life. Jodi doesn’t understand why, but being around Rupert brings him peace and calm when he can barely remember who he is.

That friendship is what makes Jodi falling back in love with Rupert believable. No switch goes off that makes him suddenly love Rupert again. What Jodi feels for Rupert as he falls for him for the second time is as real as it was the first time around.

The happy ever after was sweet and perfect, though it takes a lot of work. Neither Jodi or Rupert are the same men that they were before Jodi’s accident, but it’s clear that they’re meant to be together.

Profile Image for Ula'ndi Hart.
918 reviews15 followers
February 1, 2018
Overall book rating: 4.5
Audio Book: Craig Beck - 5 Stars
Book Cover: 4

FIRST: Craig Beck... please kindly provide me with a list of narrations you do using your Rupert O’Neil voice and accent!

I’m thinking you multiplied my love for Rupert x 10 with that. I’m contemplating listening to the whole thing again, just to experience it one more time. LOL

Second: I really love Garrett Leigh. I have a special little place just for her writing, and it didn’t disappoint.

This one is a little bit of a hard one to review even so. I found myself at times “dis-liking” our dear Jodi a teensy little bit. Let me explain.

I understand that what happened turned his whole world around. But my inner toddler just LOVES Rupert so much, I wanted to smack Jodi for being anything but worshiping towards him.

Rupert was the most amazing guy, and of course Craig Beck gave him a delicious voice to go with my picture mind so what wasn’t there to admire?

Enough said. It was sad and touching and realistic. I LOVED it! One more for the list of great reads.
Profile Image for Vallie.
688 reviews69 followers
July 4, 2018
What a gorgeous book.

As a psychologist in a brain injury hospital, I see patients suffering the effects of brain injury on a daily basis. I was really looking forward to reading this book from this author because I was hoping to see a more realistic depiction of TBI/ABI within the context of a romance novel. I was very impressed with how the author handled it and although some things were a bit far-fetched, the majority was spot on. Kudos author.

The story is told in flashbacks alternating with the present time. I think the non-linear story-telling worked well here, because as a reader, I got to see the intensity of Jodi and Rupert’s love for each other slowly. While the “current” situation as it is presented is pretty dire, the flashbacks were a soothing balm to my soul, making me hope that they will find a way back from the shitty situation they were thrown into.

The writing was spectacular, as always with this author, and the dialogue felt very current and realistic. Simple romances are my weakness and even though there is nothing simple or common about the plot, Jodi and Rupert shared a very ordinary life –the kind that makes you believe love and happiness is at your fingertips and easy to achieve.

So, the brain injury. Brain injury is a lot more common that you would think. It can happen so very easily, it’s stupid really. I think there is more awareness of it in the last 10-15 years, and growing, but in general, we don’t “recognize” people with brain injury as easily as one would a person with an obvious physical disability or a learning disability. Jodi came out of his coma in post-traumatic amnesia with strong personality changes. All that is very typical of TBI. The 5-year memory gap was a rarity indeed although it can happen. I appreciated the thorough depiction of the rehab, physical and otherwise, that Jodi had to do, along with the timeline in which everything unfolded. Bravo for accuracy on those things author.

I also loved how Rupert dealt with Jodi’s changes. Rupert essentially lost his partner after the accident. Jodi was alive and well but he was a different person. The personality changes he experienced were so excellently portrayed. Jodi went from a funny, hard-working neat-freak, to a grouchy, angry slob who could not motivate himself to complete basic personal care. It was absolutely devastating to see how Rupert managed to remain patient and understanding of all of this and how he accepted his changed role from partner to carer. The slowly budding romance that started anew was also beautiful to read. It’s truly a wonderful hurt/comfort story, very well-written, with a HEA that will make you feel hopeful about love that conquers all.

My personal niggles? Personality changes tend to be permanent. And even though patients tend to come out of post-traumatic amnesia and can make new memories again, they don’t slowly become the person they once were the same as one regains use of a broken limb. I am not sure how much was creative license, but when I hit the part of the book where Jodi starts to recover mentally, I remembered I was reading a romance novel. It was not very realistic and although it made for an amazing, romantic read, there were misrepresentations.

But, this is not a textbook on brain injury. It’s a romance novel borrowing a real-life situation of the more extreme side of the spectrum and spinning a hell of a tale from it. I loved Jodi and Rupert together, pre and post TBI. You have to give this a shot if you enjoy hurt/comfort reads because it is one of the very well-crafted ones.

Highly recommend.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. See this review on Gay Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Pavellit.
227 reviews22 followers
March 27, 2017
This one of those books that I picked by its cover, in comparison to one of my favorite book Murmuration by T.J. Klune What Remains by Garrett Leigh . Okay, there is not to much to compere with, in terms of the storyline nor the prose, but still it's a cover artwork of a book that can tell you a lot about the contents. Something about the way your mind plays tricks on you. The cover is very symbolic of the story- the black dusting behind Jodi represent the fracture of his memory and the holes in his brain.

I didn't quite expect all that I found in this book taking me through the world of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Web designer Jodi Peters is a victim in a car accident and his mind seems to be missing around five years of his life.' The doctors say there is a good chance Jodi’s amnesia will fade as he rehabilitates in once-familiar surroundings, but as the days pass and nothing changes, the other side of the coin—the dark, bleak side, where Jodi remains a subdued, bewildered shell of the punchy man he’s once been—become horribly more real.'

It's interesting to see the whole process of building something new, plugging the gap with new memories. How they went back to the start and learn about each other again. Even relearning some of the skills he’d forgotten with a special focus on how to pleasure each other. This heart wrenching story is not an entirely erotic story, it is one of love, patience and rediscovery. The author knows how to break a reader's heart, and then put it back together. It was written so realistically with both MCs sides, and the story moves at an even pace. The only issue that bothered me was the existence of lots of British slang that at times I didn’t get it, but the important parts are all in English. Nevertheless, this book moved me completely, shattered my world, and made me grateful to have a passion for reading.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,468 reviews319 followers
May 16, 2022
This book owns my heart.

For some reason my review of the original first edition has disappeared but this second edition, with an expanded Epilogue, is really the icing on a truly beautiful cake which, as ever, is filled with all the emotional highs and lows you'd expect from Garrett Leigh.

There can't be much more heart-breaking than seeing someone you love lose all their memories of the time you've spent together. It's painful enough when that person is in the later part of their life, when it's a young man like Jodi, the weight of that potential loss is crippling.

Which is why Rupert is one of my absolute favourite Garrett characters. He is so full of love and patience and hope that he deals with all the losses of Jodi's catastrophic brain injury with such gentle caring, rarely showing his devastation.

The other thing I really adored with this book is that Jodi's ex-girlfriend Sophie is an absolute sweetheart - unlike Rupe's ex-wife Jen, who let's just say should be sent into space without a suit.

It cleverly uses time jumps without overdoing it and they're all clearly marked so you know where you're at within the story's narrative. We get to see how Jodi and Rupe met, their falling in love and how everything was so perfect.

Then we get the pain of it being taken away in a split second by an idiot in a stolen car.

What follows is a mastery in slow burn romance as Jodi, who has lost all the five years of his life with Rupe, falls back in love with the gentle firefighter for all the reasons he did originally.

I love this book so much and when Garrett said there was going to be an expanded Epilogue, I was delighted, as I always felt the original version ended somewhat abruptly, although with a very happy ever after on the horizon.

Here the new expanded section brings us a glimpse into the wider interconnected world Garrett writes in as we get a brief moment with Cass from her Misfits series, someone Jodi was involved with pre-Rupe days.

It's a chance to not only catch up with Jodi working out if some of his memories are actually real, but it's an enticing sneak peek at the amazing romance she crafted for Cass, Tom and Jake. So check that out if you haven't read it yet!
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