Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“I’ve been watching you all night,” he said.“Really?” I swallowed thickly. “What did you see?”“Enough.”“Enough for what?”“Enough to know that I want to see more.”I tightened my grip on my beer bottle. Felt the warmth of the glass seep into my palm. “Like what?”In answer, Kim plucked the bottle from my hand and set it on a nearby ledge. “Everything.”
I'll be honest--I was nervous about this book. After the near perfection of House of Cards, my expectations for Junkyard Heart, which is the follow-up to the previous novel and the seventh overall in the multi-authored Porthkennack series, were sky-high. I should know better by now that Garrett Leigh more than knows what she's doing. If you've read House of Cards, Kim Penrose should be a familiar name, what with his being one of the tattoo artists over at Blood Rush and Brix Lusmoore's best friend. Back then, he was in a decade-long open relationship with Lena Gordon, co-owner of the tattoo studio. Things ended between them but the two remain extremely close, and Lena's half of the studio was bought back by Brix. Now, he gets his own chance at a happily-ever-after with fellow thirty-one-year-old Jasper Manning, who was born in Porthkennack but raised by his mum in London. Their love story has its fair share of challenges and issues. From alcoholism to exes who seem to still have some hold on both of them, from a difficulty to asking for help to isolationism, the odds seem stacked but love conquers.
While both Kim and Jas were born in Porthkennack, Kim has stayed there his entire life and Jas would only come during the summers, only deciding to return and call it home when his relationship ended and he decided to continue his photography and graphic design work away from London. Kim is an artist as well, delving in tattoos, furniture design and making, painting, and so on. These two may seem different because one is very much the city boy who wants as little to do with his family's artisan food and organic farm, Belly Acre, while one lives as part of a commune that calls itself Blackbeard's Junkyard. However, there are surprising similarities between them, some good, others not so much. There non-relationship feels anything but and this is one of those times where it desperately needed labeling in order to avoid all the confusion that swirled between Jas and Kim, what with the former still reeling from the four years of deception he uncovered courtesy of his ex-boyfriend and the latter not seeing himself as worthy of much other than hook-ups and relationships that lacked any firm sort of commitment.
It was impossible for me not to empathize with either Jas or Kim. I know what's it like to want to be alone like Jas, but I also recognize that need to have a touchstone nearby, just like with Kim. These two stumbled quite a few times, but what mattered was that they got back up again. They also learned to recognize that they did have a support system that they could rely on, and more than one for that matter! My heart squeezed while Jas read Lena's letter to him after that one particular moment in the book involving Jas, Kim, and Lena (and no, it's most probably not whatever's swirling in your head right now). It was clear that there were people who cared deeply for both Kim and Jas, but they also needed to figure out what sort of life they could have together. Kim's addiction was a very real thing and it was a part of who he was. As courageous as it is for an addict to cope with his affliction, same goes for the one who shares a life with them. I loved how both men came into their own, and how what may be considered junk could turn out to be rare and priceless--like their own hearts. Five-plus stars for Junkyard Heart. ♥
Read my reviews for the Porthkennack series:
Wake Up Call (book one) - four stars - My Review
A Gathering Storm (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
Broke Deep (book three) - four stars - My Review
House of Cards (book four) - five-plus stars - My Review
Foxglove Copse (book five) - four stars - My Review
Count the Shells (book six) - three stars - My Review
Junkyard Heart (book seven) - stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 04 December 2017
Date Read: 03 December 2017
Learn more about Garrett Leigh.