Ludo Giordano has found himself in the hospital once again. He has always had a battle going on in his mind and some days he can’t pull back. With a bipolar diagnosis, as well as depression and anxiety, every day seems to be a balancing act for Ludo. He’s alone in the world and when he sees the beautiful face of Aidan Drummond in the next bed, it’s a distraction that can easily become an addiction.
Aidan has his job as a tree surgeon and he tells himself his love of nature is enough for him. He lives a lonely existence and he thinks he’s fine until a devastating accident lands him in the hospital and then Ludo crashes into his life. The guys form an unlikely friendship while in the hospital, but then think they will never see each other again and both are half convinced that their meeting was all a dream.
A chance meeting brings them together again and Aidan doesn’t even know what to do with his feelings for Ludo. He knows he will take whatever Ludo will give him and their time together becomes precious. The men crave each other, but Aidan is still recovering and Ludo can be on a new path in a blink, but their kisses feed their addiction for each other. But Aidan doesn’t yet understand the reality of Ludo’s illness and in order for the men to have a future, Aidan needs to be there for Ludo when he is up as well as when he is down.
Garrett Leigh has the ability to keep me hooked and Kiss Me Again has the perfect combination of character development with great dialogue. Leigh’s tone and everyday, yet intriguing, characters work for me. Leigh also has the ability to put us directly into the characters’ heads, which was no easy task here as both men have a lot going on and this was the book where it was effortless to forget I was reading and to become fully immersed in their story.
Aidan likes to consider himself grumpy and most people would agree, but he’s had a rough go and he’s basically just trying to survive. He’ll tell you he doesn’t care about anything, but he does feed the cat (that’s absolutely not his) that hangs out in his yard. When he is injured, he is in incredible pain for a long time and Ludo’s cool fingers and melodic voice ground Aidan.
It was both fascinating and intense to be inside Ludo’s mind. He is all too aware of his issues and he tries to stay to his regimen, but he has no support and he lapses and most of the time those lapses land him in the hospital. His parents never understood his illness and were embarrassed of him and he has not spoken to them in years. Once Ludo has a thought, his mind will spiral and keep spiraling and it takes a lot for Ludo to constantly keep himself in check and Leigh does a fantastic job of letting us see what it is like to be Ludo.
The men are better together. But it is not as simple as that. Neither wants to push and neither wants to pry and Aidan has no idea how bad things can get for Ludo when he has a setback. But everything in Aidan feels better when he is with Ludo, he finds he has something else to do besides drink, and Aidan is willing to do whatever he needs to in order to keep Ludo safe. Aidan is also a more tolerant person when he is with Ludo and Leigh showcases what being with the right person can do for both men.
There was a side story with Aidan’s cousin that was brought in and I would have liked more backstory there to fully understand their history and that was the only area of the book that didn’t fully come together for me. Ludo is also the cousin to Angelo, from Leigh’s Skins series, and they haven’t spoken since they were kids. There is a setup started here that could reunite the men and I am already ready to read that story.
Kiss Me Again offers intense emotions as Ludo battles mental illness and Aidan has many struggles of his own. It’s all worth it to see the men become stronger together.