“Kiss Me Again” by Leigh Garrett— A Loner Finds Love

Leigh, Garrett. “Kiss Me Again”,   Fox Love Press, 2019.

A Loner Finds Love

Amos Lassen

Aidan Drummond is a tree surgeon who is content with his own company. He works and lives alone he has no ideas of wanting it any differently. When  a life-changing accident sends him to the hospital, he sees a beautiful guy in the bed opposite his and suddenly everything changes. Then a glimpse of  Ludo Giordano, the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything. The ward is filled with old men and Ludo can’t sleep. Then late one night, Aidan appears and they become fast friends. Their unlikely friendship is addictive but it doesn’t last. Aidan returns to the real world and his lonely way of life. However, he misses what Ludo brought to his world and then by chance the two meet again. It did not take long before you did not see one without the other.

Happiness always seems to involve complications of some sort. Aidan’s recovering is going well but it seems that Ludo has never been well for his entire life. Aidan can love him bit is unable to help Ludo health-wise. The two men accept and love each other for exactly who they are with the complications, injuries, mental health issues, moods.

What a beautiful story!! But it is heartbreaking to read that Ludo had a difficult life. His family basically left him behind and he had to learn take care of  himself. He suffered from a Bi-Polar disorder. He finds a way to live his life. When he meets Aidan at the hospital, it is a nice distraction from others in his ward. Aside from being handsome, there is something else about Aidan that makes Ludo like him.  However, as I said earlier, Aidan is a loner and we learn that he had enough human interaction with his father (who died a few years ago) and he isn’t interested in more. Somehow he strikes a friendship with Ludo. Surprisingly enough talking, helping each other out (the little they can), being there for one another is somehow easy.

When Ludo’s time at the hospital comes to an end, both men leave and do not find out about each other.  Of course, they meet again and Ludo realizes how much Aidan needs him and he is determined to help him out. Ludo, with all of his problems, insecurities, anxieties and paranoia, wants what’s best for Aidan.  The sharing the two do caused both of them to move forward and to better appreciate the life around them and the time they spent together.

They began as friends and sharing time together and opening up was difficult. Aidan didn’t always understand Ludo yet he accepted him for who he was and never questioned him. Ludo was aware that Aidan was not social or caring but he threw those labels to the side and was able to see Aidan for who he really is. Together they were a better version of themselves.

The characters were honestly drawn and they certainly were not stereotypical gay men. They were every day guys who saw the beauty in each other and we watched them develop.  

Aiden saw the whole Ludo and sought professional help for him, knowing that he could not help him on his own. Aiden supported him in the ways Ludo needed, by did not seeing him as defective or abnormal when he was ill. When he was on track and not manic, we understand what Aidan saw in him.

Even with his condition, Ludo managed to be selfless and sweet, despite the obvious difficulties he had had to deal with and that he would probably continue to have. He was prepared to accept the help he was offered, and he did listen to reason and rationale and tried to help himself. I loved Aiden because of his treatment of Ludo but it was difficult to understand why Aiden hadn’t tried to break his destructive pattern earlier. It seems that Aidan began to live for Ludo and thus found a more likeable, better person deep inside himself.

Writer Leigh Garrett creates strong personalities in lovely prose, But I especially loved how these two came together. The romance is slow but real with the guys’ connection forming early on and the emotional and physical chemistry building throughout the story.

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