Melissa reviews Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack #7) by Garrett Leigh Published December 4th 2017 by Riptide Publishing, 195 pages.
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.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Because I love Garrett Leigh and want to ready everything she writes.
Wow, what a ride. Kim and Jas’s relationship was anything but easy. I have read this book twice now and enjoyed it each time. And I still wanted to hit Jasper over the head and tell him not to be so touchy regarding Kim’s relationship with Lena. Granted, he had every reason to be gun-shy after what his ex did, and I have never experienced anything like what he went through. I am far from an expert, so my opinion here might not have a lot of merit. I still think he should have listened to Kim’s explanation about his relationship with Lena instead of storming off.
And boy did I love Lena. She is the kind of friend you wish and dream for. Loyal, smart, kind and talented; her looks are irrelevant. She is a big part of Kim’s life and it’s understandable that they have difficulty letting go. Their relationship is no longer sexual but it is intimate. Kim states early on that they are soul mates, but they would never be together again. I completely understand that and felt so sad and yet at the same time happy because Kim and Jason are fated too.
This was such a lovely and gritty story in that it doesn’t gloss over the realities of life. No, Kim doesn’t fall off the wagon, but he does have moments where he needs help, whether he admits it or not. This is Garrett Leigh’s specialty: giving you real characters, real plots, and a roller coaster heart twisting journey.
Although I truly enjoyed this story, there were elements that didn’t work for me and I thought (personal opinion) could have been done differently to show the characters growing and maturing together. A prime example is when they are somewhat in the middle of their relationship and Kim is stressing over meeting the barn opening deadline. He is putting way too much pressure on himself. Yet he doesn’t ask for help and it’s only after something goes wrong that Jasper basically brow beats him in to asking for help from his friends. I felt Jas should have recognized Kim’s stress earlier and done something about it before it came to this point and beyond. This part bothered me because I didn’t think it gave Jasper enough credit as an observer or as someone who cares about Kim’s well-being.
The writing is excellent – Garrett Leigh is a true talent and treasure to have in the MM genre. These characters are genuine and flawed, which is perfect for me. I especially love how they loved each other, and can’t wait for the chance to read more about these men if Garrett ever decides to write more.
Overall I rate this with 4.25 stars/8.5 pots.
Where to buy: Barnes & Noble; Kobo; Amazon; Riptide Publishing
Bonus Material available for all books on Garrett’s Patreon account. Includes short stories from Misfits, Slide, Strays, What Remains, Dream, and much more. Sign up here: https://www.patreon.com/garrettleigh
Facebook Fan Group, Garrett’s Den… https://www.facebook.com/groups/garre…
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her 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, and was again a finalist in 2017 with Rented Heart.
In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.
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 photographer Dan Burgess.