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review 2018-05-19 20:07
"They say there's someone for everyone in Porthkennack"...
Junkyard Heart - Garrett Leigh

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is the 7th book in the multi-authored series, ‘Porthkanneck’ and the second one by Garrett Leigh that I have read and loved. While my readings in this series have been very hit and miss I have to say the fact that each story is able to be read as a standalone is one of the things that I really love about this series.

 

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is about two men finding a second chance, starting over and in the end receiving faith, hope and love as they learn to forgive not just others but themselves.

 

Jasper (Jas) Manning has left the London rat race in an effort to regroup after having his heart broken by the man that he believed he’d be spending forever with. His life takes an unexpected turn for the better when he meets Kim Penrose at a local craft fair.

 

Kim and Jas are drawn to each other instantly…no, it’s not love at first sight…but the lust is strong…need I say more?  However, both Kim and Jas come with their own personal set of luggage.

 

‘Junkyard Hearts’ is about starting over, second chances, finding love, acceptance and hope and while there may be angst no one knows how to do it right like this author. I was all in on this one. It was emotionally gripping and tugged at my heart from start to finish but the icing on the cake with this one is how beautifully written Jas and Kim’s story was touching and I loved how well paced it was. Things moved along steadily and from the very start I was engaged and my attention was held firmly in the story’s grip.

 

While ‘Junkyard Hearts’ is a standalone story those who have read ‘House of Cards’ will recognize a few of the secondary characters from that story, especially Brix and Callum (House of Cards MCs) and the story where we first met Kim. 

 

Individually these men were both a bit broken and dealing with issues. Jas is fresh out of a bad relationship and has spend most of his time buried in his photography or swimming around in the bottom of a bottle. Ironically, Kim has spent the past couple of years fighting his way out of that bottle and dealing with a sense of self esteem that’s sorely lacking.

 

While neither man can truly see his own self worth, they are more than able and willing to see the good in one another so easily. The sex may have come easily (no pun intended) for Jas and Kim but the relationship took a lot more work and I loved how it developed there were times of one step forward and two steps back, the insecurity of wondering if you’re really reading the other person right or seeing what you want or hope to see. It was flawed and felt so real and natural.

 

Both Sam and Jas struggled with substance abuse and I liked that for both of them it was portrayed as a part of who they were but not the entirety of who they were these were two talented men who were multi-faceted in both their strengths and weaknesses.

 

In general, I love Garrett Leigh’s writing and her character portrayal is wonderful. While there may be angst in her stories given how much angst we can find in our own lives for me this only adds to the realism of the story and when it’s done right it gives emphasis to moments that can be crucial or pivotal to a story but never really goes over the top.

 

On a separate and maybe a bit more objective note than that of how much I loved and connected with this story emotionally is my appreciation for how the author dealt with the subject of bisexuality. Both Kim and Jas are bisexual and for me it was important that just because they were both men or the fact that Jas’s ex was male, and Kim’s was female didn’t change this…it felt like the author got it, she understood that bisexuality is a thing and it doesn’t change or go away because of the gender of your partner. In the scheme of things this may seem to be a small or even incidental issue but to me it’s also an excellent example of how details can help to refine and define a story and/or the characters it involves when they’re woven into the story and become a part of it without overwhelming the whole.

 

“Junkyard Hearts” is my 7th read by this author and while I still have a few to go in her backlist I can also honestly say that I am excited and looking forward to finding out stories Ms Leigh will present us with in the future…I do know I’ll be right there and read to read them whatever they might be.

 

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A copy of ‘Junkyard Hearts’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-04-10 01:58
Can two broken souls create one happily ever after? They can when they’re strong enough to take another chance.
Soul to Keep - Garrett Leigh

‘Soul to Keep’ is the second book in Garrett Leigh’s series ‘Rented Hearts’ the book that introduced first introduced us to Jamie Yorke…former rentboy and recovering drug addict.  Zac’s friend who we last saw in California where Liam, the other MC from ‘Rented Heart’ who helped Jamie get to California for his rehab.

 

In ‘Soul to Keep’ we catch up with Jamie as he’s returning to England. He’s been clean for a year and while California is warm and sunny for this Brit it’s just not home and Jamie needs to go home.

 

It’s on his flight home that Jaime meets the older and equally damaged ex-army medic and present-day trauma specialist, Mark Ramsey returning home following surgery in Chicago.

 

When Jamie’s nervousness gets the better of him on the flight home, Marc’s need to nurture and fix things takes over and he helps Jamie to overcome his nervousness. Once the plane lands both men go their separate ways and while neither really man really forgets the other they both have their own lives to get back to and are equally surprise a couple of weeks later when their paths cross yet again when they discover that they are living just minutes from each other.

 

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.

 

As well as his addiction issues, Jamie is caught up in the grip of OCD and his self esteem is low, to say the least, but he soon finds that being around Marc gives him a sense of peace and grounds him as few if any other things do, so while he kept running from Marc when things got to intense he also kept coming back. Jamie’s convince that the other shoes going to drop and Marc’s going to send him away but until that happens he’s not going to leave permanently.

 

Marc’s convinced that Jamie’s going to cut and run once he’s had enough of being with a man who’s only got one leg. He’s so conscious of his injury unlike Jamie who sees beyond Marc’s injury to the man and the goodness he contains. To Jamie…Marc is strong, handsome and sexy and so much more than he could ever possibly deserve.

 

But Marc sees Jamie in such a different light. He sees someone who’s fought in a different type of war and he wants to help Jamie feel good about himself to learn to control the things that are controlling him…he’s a doctor it’s his nature to want o fix things but Jamie’s gotten under his skin in a way that goes beyond simple doctor/patient relationships. He’s coming to care very deeply for the beautiful, damaged young man.

 

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 an 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.

 

Garrett Leigh is quickly becoming a favorite for me. Without fail I have loved everything that I’ve read by this author so far and while I haven’t read everything that she’s written I’m working on it.

 

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An ARC of ‘Soul to Keep’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-04-02 23:42
Rented Heart by Garrett Leigh Free! Great Writer!
Rented Heart - Garrett Leigh

Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.

Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for. 

Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.

Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.

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text 2018-01-12 08:41
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
Circle - Garrett Leigh

He flexed to meet me, and my body curved naturally around him. If I’d possessed an ounce of romance, I might’ve figured we were made for each other, but I didn’t need romance to know that shit.

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review 2017-07-14 21:15
Ok so Garrett Leigh is officially on my 'must have' list...
House of Cards (Porthkennack) (Volume 4) - Garrett Leigh

I wasn't going to tackle this series not for any reason in particular just because I have so many books...specifically series on the go right now that I thought I'd try and behave because seriously the books in this series have gotten some really good reviews but I was trying to behave myself and then I saw "House of Cards' by Leigh Garrett...what can I say, willpower...I has none. 

 

Add to this the fact that Calum's last name is 'Hardy' and seriously how could I ignore a book with such an awesome name in it? Well obviously I couldn't.

 

'House of Cards' was one of those books that grabbed me from the start, as seems to be the case with me and Garrett Leigh stories.  First off for me this was not a romance story...it was more...so, so much more. This was friendship, love, second chances, starting over all wrapped up in a beautiful gift of words. 

 

When Calum Hardy's life takes a very rapid nose dive he gets on a train and heads out of London neither knowing nor caring where he's going. When Brix Lusmoore spots a familiar form at Truro station it doesn't really enter his mind not to stop. It's been years since he's seen Calum but he'd know him anywhere. Calum's hit rock bottom both in his life and in the bottle he's been consoling himself with on his train ride to who-know's-where so he's pretty sure he's imagining seeing the friend who disappeared from his life years earlier the friend he's missed every day since.

 

Brix loads Calum into his van and takes him home but for Brix and Calum this is only the beginning. Both men have a lot to sort out and work through before they can find their way home to each other.

 

I loved, loved, loved everything about this book...well, everything except Rob and Jordan they can go die in a fire both of them. They are the dickiest of dicks...yep, I hated them both.

 

Ok enough of that on to better things like Calum. He's so broken seriously, I didn't think a vat of crazy glue was going to put him back together but still there was also such a sweet and decent man there. Thank heavens Brix is better than crazy glue, but sadly he's got his own problems and issues and yet, he's got a strength of character that's amazing. He's a fixer, a nurturer. He takes Calum back into his life and he gives him the a home and the strength to he needs to start rebuilding his life and in doing this he finds the strength to begin fixing his own fragmented life.

 

As well as Calum and Brix there's a wonderful collection of characters in Porthkanneck who definitely keep life interesting, so needless to say I was more than a little happy to learn that book #6 in the Porthkannek series will be Kim's story. We met him here in 'House of Cards' and I have to admit the blurb for his book promises to be every bit as good as this one.

 

'House of Cards' is a story that will make you both smile and cry.  It will leave you wishing that you could visit this quirky, fictional place where people can nurse their wounds and make themselves whole again and at the end of it all it'll leave you feeling like you went to Porthkanneck without leaving your favorite reading chair.

 

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 A copy of 'House of Cards' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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