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.
I believe Only Love is a prime example of the great potential audiobooks hold. Though it was complex and slightly overwhelming at times, it was engaging and I was impatient for more. The narration was smooth and I was fascinated with Max’s intoxicating voice. There was a LOT going on with flashbacks and dreams, as well as a pretty good size list of characters, and yet it flowed flawlessly from scene to scene. Max and Jed were easy to love and I was head over heels smitten with Flo. Quite frankly, she almost stole the show.
Jed is a soldier who is no longer a soldier but will always be first and foremost a soldier. Warriors are complicated and despite their fierce exteriors they tend to have the softest cores. Getting there is the challenge. It requires careful navigation of a tricky labyrinth to reach their hearts and Jed has only allowed one person to arrive at this destination and he died in his arms not long ago. Trauma to his body, anguish to his heart and finality to his career has tossed him into the depths of despair. He has no home, no partner and a damaged body. How can he have a happy future? Once he’s discharged from the hospital he finds himself returning to the one place on earth he never dreamed of going back to…his hometown. More surprises await him and opening his heart was the greatest of them all.
Max creates a gravitating force and pulls you into his sunshine. He has far too many nightmares of his own but he chooses to focus on the joys in life. I admire his determination to create his own happiness. His life is ruled by his epilepsy. He only manages to live on his own because of the sharp watchful eye of his service dog, Flo. Flo grants him his freedom and in doing so, gives him his life back. He is a carpenter and relishes in the peace and quiet of his lake home. A new roommate adds complications to his life, but he’s more than willing to tackle any hurdles Jed brings to the table.
What happens when two wounded stubborn men fall in love but refuse to admit it? Something BIG demands their attention. They have no choice but to stop and listen. Leigh dangles us on the precipice and I was certain I was going to fall. If you’re up for an angty climb and don’t mind a tough scale to get there, this is what you’re looking for.
Slow build delivers a solid foundation to their relationship. If you are not a fan of insta-love and require time and patience before you hit the high marks, you’ll be pleasantly satisfied. Strong secondary characters add to the depth of the story. From a long time best friend to an amazing sister and a team of brothers and more adopted family, well, the list is long and fantastic. This tale has a lot of layers. I enjoyed almost all of them. There was a twist with Paul that I struggled with but I think I see what the intention this thread had…I just didn’t care for it.
Strong writing and captivating narration. I’m so thrilled I chose to listen to this one, I am certain it added to my enjoyment. I loved Max. I loved how quietly and passionately Max loved Jed. I loved both of their courage and perseverance. Life got hard and harder and they continued to fight back. I absolutely adored Flo and enjoyed the nieces too. Characters appear to be an influential trait of Leigh’s and I eagerly anticipate my next introductions.
Heavy angst, slow burn, and little sex. Also prepare for powerful connections, burning desires and beautiful romance. Painful war flashbacks and surviving the loss of loved ones should also be noted.
Patient readers desiring intricate love stories that linger and stay with you. The road that brought them together was anything but happy, but their ever after is filled with….Only Love.
TITLE: Only Love (Only Love #1)
AUTHOR: Garrett Leigh
NARRATOR: Michael Stellman
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 9 hours 5 minutes
RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2015
BUY LINKS: Amazon, Audible, iTunes