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Soul to Keep

Rented Heart, Book 2
Narrated by: Dan Calley
Series: Rented Heart, Book 2
Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Stand-alone second book in the LAMBDA nominated Rented Heart series. 

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place - he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie - so wild and beautiful - bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

©2016 Garrett Leigh (P)2020 Garrett Leigh

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I loved Jamie's story.

This book can be read as a standalone but I am really glad that I listened to Rented Heart first. That book is where we first meet Jamie and learn all about his problems with addiction. After I listened to Rented Heart I couldn't wait to listen to Soul to Keep but life had other plans so it's taken me a few weeks to get to it. Jamie has changed a lot from how he was in Rented Heart. He's spent the last year or so in California rehabbing from his drug addiction but we don't get any real details about that in Soul to Keep. It's a year later and Jamie's now returning back to England to make a fresh start. He meets Marc on the flight back and Marc helps him curb his fear when the plane runs into some turbulence. They have a friendly conversation during the trip but Jamie never expects to see Marc again. Marc and Jamie are both shocked when they run into each other outside the hospital where Marc works. This is the beginning of their friendship that eventually turns into more. Dan Calley's voice is so nice and mellow and very easy to listen to. I did have just a bit of trouble differentiating between Jamie and Marc's voices with this one but the way the dialogue was written it wasn't difficult to know who was speaking. The story gets really hot once Marc and Jamie start getting it on but it takes several chapters for that to happen so there's a nice build up to the sexy time. While Jamie is doing great at fighting his addiction, we learn that he has another problem he must overcome. Marc loves him and wants to see him get better and he is so patient with Jamie. While this book wasn't as heartbreaking or angsty as Rented Heart I still enjoyed it very much. I spent a lovely evening listening to it straight through. And I loved the Epilogue where Jamie is visiting with Zac (from Rented Heart). A copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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  • Christina Wade
  • 09-08-20

Better than book 1, excellent performance!

Just as with book one, I loved the vocal performance. There is distinction between all the voices and great emotion in the characters and the story. I don’t know that I would have made it through as quickly if reading instead of listening. I liked this one better than book one, it just felt more complete to me. Jamie is recovering but Marc is still suffering the effects of being in war. They don’t want to need each other but seem to anyway. They balance each other in many ways. Marc understands Jamie in a way most wouldn’t. They see past each other’s scars to the heart of their very soul. I would love stories about Wedge, and I assume Ludo as him meeting Marc was bigger than a coincidence. I was curious if there is a book about Connor and Nat, so I looked and found it. It’s on audiobook as well so I’ll be listening to that as well.

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  • Pat Johnson
  • 28-07-20

Perfectly perfect.

Another winner by GL I was drawn into the book now living their life through this wonderful audiobook . Wonderful words GL . Wonderful narration Dan Calley.

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  • JennDonald
  • 13-07-20

Touching Story

Two broken men who find healing together – that’s what this story felt like for me. Jamie is a recovering addict, getting out of California and returning to England. Marc is recovering as well, from injuries he got in the war and now dealing with the aftermath. The two meet on a plane and have a brief connection but their real journey begins when they learn they live in the same area. Marc and Jamie both have deep scars but together things seem a bit more manageable. I really enjoyed Dan Calley's narration of the book, I think he brings a uniqueness to the stories he narrates. He has a great way of capturing emotion and bringing characters to life. I thought I felt a lot reading this book, but a lot was added to this story by Dan Calley.  I loved both of these guys right from the start. They are both damaged souls in need of love and care, not that they initially expect to find it together, but there it is. As their friendship grows, so do their feelings for each other. That doesn’t make the issues go away though. Their journey isn’t overly dramatic though, there are things they need to work through, but the idea is learning how to do it together. It’s a tender healing, falling in love and finding that magic when they are together. I think Garrett Leigh does a great job of bringing emotion and passion and a good story. Right from the start I just wanted these two to find happiness together, they so deserved it! Overall a very enjoyable read!

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  • Trio
  • 12-07-20

Beautiful Story - Calley's Wonderful!

No one writes a more beautiful hurt/comfort romance than Garrett Leigh, and Soul to Keep is absolutely lovely. This one touches on some powerful issues, and it’s wonderful to watch these two damaged characters work towards a place where they can find some peace. The second book in the Rented Heart series, Soul to Keep can be read as a standalone, but don’t miss the first novel, Rented Heart, because it’s fantastic. I never had a chance to read Soul to Keep, so when I heard the audio version was released, and performed by the marvelous Dan Calley, I could not resist! Dan Calley has an impressive range of voices, and his warm, rich tones deliver what I love in a Garrett Leigh novel. He captures every bit of the angst and longing, and brings this relationship to life as the characters tentatively attempt to establish a friendship. Both of these men are struggling and trying to find a way to move forward in their lives. Jamie has hopes that a move to rural England will give him the fresh start he needs. He quickly discovers that with no support system in place, the issues surrounding his recovery are overwhelming, and poor Jamie is floundering. Marc is an Army veteran who's still figuring out how to live with injuries he sustained in Iraq. Living in a cold, empty house, and working nights as an emergency room doctor, Marc is one lonely guy. Deeply damaged, both of these guys are carrying demons on the inside, as well as the scars visible on their skin. From the moment they meet, Marc and Jamie have terrific chemistry. They acknowledge that neither of them is in a good place for a romance, so they approach their relationship cautiously. Over the course of the story their walls slowly come down, and they learn to trust each other. It’s a devilishly slow burn, but when Jamie and Marc finally do get together their passion is incredible. This is seriously one of the hottest love scenes Garrett Leigh has ever written, and Dan Calley performs it beautifully! Reading about poor Jamie’s struggle to find support for his recovery is heartbreaking, but Garrett Leigh sends a positive message: there is hope, and help is out there. It’s going to be a long process, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it will be worth it. There’s a little bonus in Soul to Keep. I always enjoy when Garrett Leigh pulls in characters from her other novels and we get some great scenes with the characters from Between Ghosts. You don’t need to have read that novel to thoroughly enjoy this one, but Between Ghosts is an incredible story and I highly recommend it. Just be aware that Garrett Leigh novels are an addiction. I’ve already purchased the audio version of Rented Heart so I can hear Dan Calley read it to me, and I can’t wait!

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  • Karen Hardy
  • 12-07-20

If you've read, "Rented Heart"...

than you've met Jamie Yorke and if you've read "Between Ghost" or "Hometown Christmas", if memory serves correctly, than you've encountered, if only somewhat briefly, Dr. Mark Ramsey. In "Rented Heart" we first met Jamie when he was at his worst. Solidly planted in an addiction that he seemed to have no interest in losing. Wrecking havoc not just in his life but in that of his bestmate, Zac and we left him on a plane to California where he was heading to hopefully fight that addiction and turn his life around. We first met Mark in "Between Ghost" while he still in the army as a medic under the command of Sergent Nathan Thompson. "Between Ghost" was Nathan and Connor's story and while they make a brief appearance here in "Soul to Keep" this story is very much about Jamie and Mark. Things pick up about a year after the ending of "Rented Heart" and Jamie's made good on his rehab although as any addict will tell you...you don't get better and recovery is an ongoing thing. But every day you don't give in to your addiction is a win and some wins are harder won than others. Jamie and Mark meet for the first time on a plane when Mark is returning home following surgery on his leg and Jamie is returning home to England after having been away for a year. Jamie's a nervous flyer and Mark's a natural caregiver. After the flight both men go their separate ways only to reconnect a short time later through another chance encounter...only this time neither Jamie or Mark's are willing to walk away...Mark offers Jamie a much needed job. While I really loved reading and listening to "Rented Heart" for me "Soul to Keep" was the book that gripped my heart and left me hugging my teddy bear for all he was worth (yes, it's been a while but I still bring out the bear when the feelz are strong). Dan Calley was once again the narrator and once again gave a stellar performance for this story. Providing the characters with accents that felt true to their place of origin, enabling me as a listener to easily imagine a story set in England and helping to create images of the characters that were in sync with what I had envisioned when I first read the book. When I originally reviewed this book I made a couple of statements that still hold true two years later, so I'm going to once again borrow from my original review... <blockquote>I really loved this story for me it clicked. While the attraction happened fairly quickly and was easily felt between these two men that didn’t mean that the relationship was instantaneous. For as much as they felt their attraction to each other both men were also hesitant to enter into a relationship because of their own personal demons. and I admit I’m totally a sucker for second chance stories, stories about people who life has repeatedly sucker punched but who have just as repeatedly pulled themselves back up only to keep going, keep trying moving towards their goal of becoming the person they want to be…someone better and stronger than who they were…someone they can be proud of…someone who deserves love and happiness as much as anyone else in this world and that’s what Garrett Leigh writes and writes so incredibly well are stories like this. Stories that remind us that the human spirit is strong and indomitable that giving up should never be a part of anyone’s vocabulary and that everyone is worthy of a second chance at both life and love.</blockquote> The final thing that I said in that review was that Ms Leigh was fast becoming a favorite author of mine...well, that's changed because without a doubt she is one of my favorite authors and I would strongly recommend her books to anyone wanting to read a story that connects with the reader on an emotional level that touches the heart. ************************* An audio book of "Soul to Keep" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Dilyana
  • 11-07-20

For lovers of romance with heart, hurt and healing

I was very excited about this book for two reasons: one – I’ve read and loved Rented Heart and while Jamie was only the best friend of one of the main characters, I wanted to read a book about him; two – I read a sneak peek from Soul to Keep online and it got me even more hyped up about this novel. Did it live up to said hype? Almost. I can’t help compare it to the other books by Garrett Leigh that I’ve read and especially to Rented Heart, and I have to admit: I was left with the feeling that certain scenes that the author wrote in more detail in other books were sped through here. I’m not saying that all of Leigh’s books are the same, but there are similarities and there’s a particular type of writing that I’ve come to expect from this author. I would’ve liked a little bit more detail and slower pace at some places in this novel. But even so, it was a very enjoyable read. As always with Garrett Leigh books, the characters won me over right away. I was worried Jamie might’ve changed too much (some time passes between the two books), but he was as troubled and likable as ever and it was interesting getting to know Marc too. As for their chemistry: it’s there so they work as a couple, as well as individuals. Now let’s talk audio. The previous time I reviewed something narrated by Dan (and coincidentally also written by Garrett), I mentioned that I mostly liked the narration, even though this wasn’t how I imagined the characters to sound; I think his voice is much more suitable for Jamie so in my head, it fits the book better. As for my complaint that there wasn’t enough of a difference between the voices of the main characters: there’s more of a difference here, although there are a couple of mixed-up lines. I probably would’ve switched Jamie and Marc’s voices too. As per usual with Garrett Leigh books, I’d recommend this to people interested in a contemporary romance about heart, hurt and healing.

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  • psl
  • 02-07-20

Outstanding story & author

Her books are always so rich and touching. Stories and characters of depth and meaning. Always beautifully woven stories with this author. Loved having Jamie's story. He and Marc were perfect for each other. A quiet, engrossing story of love and life.

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  • Shea
  • 29-06-20

4.5 stars

I was really glad to see this book come out on audio as it is one of my faves by this author. This book makes a little more sense if you read "Rented Heart" before it, but if you don't, the book should stand on its own fairly well. There are characters and events from "Rented Heart" that are mentioned in this book, so if you can, I would recommend that you read it before this one. Dan Kallie's performance is great, but I wish his voice came through louder. I think the recording levels were too low or he wasn't quite close enough to the mic. That's my only major issue with this audio book, otherwise, I enjoyed the story of what becomes of Jamie from "Rented Heart", and I also love Mark and the romance that developed between them even though they both had a lot of baggage to deal with. If you like anxty romances with broken heroes, then you'll probably really like this one. If you are more into light and fluffy, then I'd give this one a miss.