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ARC Review: The River Leith by Leta Blake

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Published: May 15th 2014

Pages: 173

Summary: Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

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Read from August 04 to 05, 2014

Braved the forests, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I’m helpless by the river.
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?

Pay no mind to the battles you’ve won
It’ll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands, my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river.

The lyrics of this particular song (Puscifer-The Humbling River)came to my mind as soon as I finished The River Leith. The song and its lyrics are beautiful. As beatiful as the book.

I’ve read some various realizations of the plot idea, but I don’t think it was a cliché. The author apologized in afterword for oversiplification of amnesia and brain trauma and said that she’d decided to explore the well-worn romance idea. And it was a good move.

The River Leith was a very good read for me.

My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher for an honest review.

 

Rating: 4/5

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in reviews

 

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Stained (Carpetbaggers, Rebels, & Yankees, #1) by Elizabeth Marx

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Published August 20th 2013 by Elizabeth Marx Books

Summary: What happens when your darkest truth is revealed to the world?

Scarlett Marbry was just sixteen when her mother, an acclaimed Sacred Harp singer, committed suicide in front of her, sending her running from rural Alabama and the darkness that pushed her mother over the edge. Now, after five years of building a fragile cage around her heart to protect herself, she must return to Crossroads for her grandparents’ funeral. There, she’ll not only be forced to deal with the reality of her deep Southern roots, but she’ll have to face the one she left behind.

Revell Marshall is used to working with fragile objects. He’s built a life and career around reassembling the delicate stained glass windows that have put Crossroads back on the map. He’s also been pining for Scarlett all these years . . . Determined to win her heart, he helps her piece together the facts of her mother’s past. Except these revelations, once exposed, could set Scarlett on the downward spiral she barely escaped the last time. Especially when the truth that stained the past may be the same one that shatters her faith in the one person she thought she could trust . . .

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Seven times I went down
six times I walked back.
And I don’t fear the dark anymore
’cause I’m become all that.

I will be rocks, I will be water.
I will leave this to my daughter:
lift your head up in the wind.
When you feel yourself grow colder
wrap the night around your shoulders
and I will be with you even then
even when I cannot see your face anymore.

Don’t forget the time
I wooed him with red wine.
The devil he wore such a fine, fine shirt
and it stayed so clean while he dragged me through the dirt.
Now, honey, don’t trust anyone who looks you in the eye
don’t take any kindness, it’s a demand in disguise.

I have seen such things child
on this, and the other side.
Words cannot show you
the midnight owl it does not know you.
You will see for your sweet self
by and by.

And I will be rocks, I will be water
I will leave this to my daughter.

This book ought to be read with the Sacred Harp song humming in the background. Here’s my favourite:

What I loved the most in Stained is the southern theme, southern wisdom and southern charm. It’s South – a place where the sweet southern belles are crafty and greedy, chivalrous gentlemen are sneaky and perverse, and righteous preachers are manipulative and evil.
Elizabeth Marx created the beautiful story about suffering, guilt, redemption and forgiveness.

6 stars. Seriously.

 

Rating: 5/5
 
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in reviews

 

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