Review: ‘Kiss Me Again’ by Garrett Leigh

46129556Published June 7th 2019
227 pages

Tree surgeon Aidan Drummond is content with his own company. He works alone, and lives alone, and it doesn’t occur to him to want anything else until a life-changing accident lands him in hospital. Then a glimpse of the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything.

Ludo Giordano is trapped on the ward with a bunch of old men. His mind plays tricks on him, keeping him awake. Then late one night, a new face brings a welcome distraction. Their unlikely friendship is addictive. And, like most things in Ludo’s life, temporary.

Back in the real world, Aidan’s monochrome existence is no longer enough. He craves the colour Ludo brought him, and when a chance meeting brings them back together, before long, they’re inseparable again.

But bliss comes with complications. Aidan is on the road to recovery, but Ludo has been unwell his entire life, and that’s not going to change. Aidan can kiss him as much as he likes, but if he can’t help Ludo when he needs him most, they don’t stand a chance.

This book was everything. It’s no secret that Garrett Leigh is one of my favourite authors and I love everything she writes, but there’s solid reasoning behind that. She’s really just that good. The first time we ever meet Ludo is in Soul to Keep. It was only a brief glimpse, but as soon as he appeared on the page I knew he needed his own story with his own happy ending. And I told Garrett this in a conversation we had in January 2018 after I’d finished Soul to Keep, and in return I got a glimmer of hope that one day I’d get to read that story:

Screen shot 2019-06-07 at 22.14.59

A year and a half later, Ludo’s happy ending is finally here and it is exactly the kind of book I love to read. It is classic Garrett Leigh, depth and complexity with that perfect level of angst. Both Ludo and Aidan have their own demons; Ludo is living with bipolar and having to deal with everything that entails largely on his own (but he does have a truly excellent canine companion – A++ dog content); and Aidan is far lonelier than he would ever admit, using alcohol as a crutch to deal with not being able to do the job he loves after a freak accident has left him seriously injured.

These two men have an instant bond even though they’re pretty much opposites; but although the friendship happens quickly, the romance burns far slower. There’s a lot they need to understand about each other, a lot of trust they need to build, and when they finally get there it’s a truly beautiful thing.

And this book’s greatest strength for me was that once they were together, that was it! No, things weren’t always easy or smooth; yes, they each had their doubts and insecurities; but they never once got scared and ran away from each other. They communicated, they worked together, they were so goddamn mature about everything…it was bliss. It’s the book I’ve always wished someone would write – Garrett absolutely nailed it.

5/5 stars

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