Book: Junkyard Heart
Part of the Porthkennack Universe
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh
Publication date: December 4, 2017
Length: 195 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart.
Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life.
But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.
There are very few authors out there, in the romance genre or otherwise, that consistently--no matter the setting, characters, or plot--delivers a fantastic book each and every time. Garrett Leigh manages this without fail. Her newest book, Junkyard Heart is the perfect blend of angst and hope that only she can pull off. If you're a fan (and omg you should be!) of her work, you'd know it within the first few paragraphs. There is this unique mix of melancholy and a heavy atmosphere that never overwhelms but sucks you completely into the story.
Jas Manning has returned to Porthkennack, the place where he spent his summers while growing up. He's weary and emotionally bruised after getting his heart broken. It doesn't take long for him to cross paths with Kim Penrose-a secondary character from House of Cards. I was so excited when I saw he was going to get his own book because I found him utterly charming and fascinating. Getting to know him more in Junkyard Heart, I wasn't disappointed in the least. Kim is a recovering addict, a talented artist, and his sexual reputation precedes him.
When Jas and Kim meet, the sparks fly immediately. These two had such amazing and believable chemistry! The sex was on fire hot, but it was the intimacy, the emotional connection that really pushed my buttons. It's difficult to have two people meet and the reader feel like the two characters have known one another for years and not merely days or weeks, but in Junkyard Heart, that's exactly the impression you get. There is never a sense of insta-love or any of that over the top, contrived connection between Jas and Kim, instead there is an organic coming together physically as well as emotionally.
What really got me in this story was how neither man tried to change the other. They're not without numerous flaws and lots of baggage, but it's never too much. The issues Jas and Kim must overcome makes their happily ever after all the sweeter. What also was fabulous was the part Lena--AKA Red--plays in their relationship. She's awesome and I am SO keeping my fingers crossed we see her again sometime. Seeing Callum and Brix, also from House of Cards, was great as well.
Garrett Leigh delivers another standout. Junkyard Heart is full of hope and joy and acceptance. It's not without it's dark moments, but that just makes the happiness even more poignant and fulfilling. I can't recommend this book (and ALL of Garrett's books!) enough!
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack
About Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the release of Junkyard Heart, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 9, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!