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.
Beautifully written and poignant. When I am in the mood for an angsty story, I know I can turn to Garrett Leigh and get exactly what I need. She writes characters with real problems and layered pasts. Her people just feel so genuine to me and I've never had trouble identifying with them.
Junkyard Heart is about overcoming ones past. It's about not letting addiction determine your future. It's about letting someone else into your heart, even though it's a risk. And I loved it.
I've been looking forward to getting Kim's story since I read House of Cards and I wasn't disappointed in the least. I love this little sea side Cornish town and its eclectic inhabitants and Kim fascinated me from the start.
What I loved, and what I tend to love about this author's books, is that while her characters tend to be just a little broken (sometimes a lot broken), there is always a thread of hope, no matter how dark things might get. Kim and Jas fall into the 'a little broken' category, I think. They've both lived and loved and lost and they each battle their pasts. Don't we all/
I loved Jas and Kim together. I wouldn't call their romance a slow burn, at all, since they do have sex when they first meet, but their relationship took time and I very much appreciated that. It felt organic and real. I liked that there was no magic potion to cure their individual problems or pasts and they dealt with things as they came. There was some miscommunication, but nothing huge and I appreciated that it wasn't used too heavily. Mostly, Kim and Jas were learning to navigate the waters of a new relationship and I think they did pretty good.
We also get to visit a bit with Lena, Brix, and Calum from House of Cards, with a cameo from the prickly Lee, as well. It was good to see them all again, and I was ecstatic to see Brix and Calum doing so well.
The angst in the story, while tangible, I never thought was overdone, and I loved their HFN. It's real and a touch gritty in it's own way, but still so full of hope it made me sigh.
ARC of Junkyard Heart was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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