Tag Archives: angsty

Release Blitz: Heartscape by Garrett Leigh

Heartscape | Garrett Leigh

Vino & Veritas #2

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Release Date: March 22nd, 2021

Cover Design: Christine Coffey

Universal Link: https://geni.us/AmazonHeartscape

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3roFo6y

Vino & Veritas Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

I’m not the obvious choice to run Burlington’s coolest wine bar—quiet, brooding, clueless about tannin content, and always one wrong turn away from another downward spiral.

But no one seems to mind that I’m a wreck. Besides me. I just focus on getting through each shift until the night a beautiful stranger appears, looking as lost and damaged as I feel.

When a mutual friend calls in a favor, the sexy newcomer winds up crashing on my couch. I don’t know if it’s his melodic Cornish accent, or his ocean blue eyes, or the rock-hard body with the mysterious scars, but I get the feeling whatever happened to him runs far deeper than those wounds.

Having Jax in my home makes my chest warm. Makes me shiver. Makes me want more. But I’ve got a pile of baggage and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone let alone a man who seems to have enough demons of his own.

Our chemistry is off the charts. His arms feel like home. The last thing I want is to screw this up. Is it wrong to hope we can heal each other? Or will one of us die trying?

HEARTSCAPE is a heartfelt MM friends-to-lovers romance in the True North world, with a brooding bartender, a rugged outdoorsman, sweet angst and lots of Shipley cider. Triggers: contains mentions of depression, suicidal ideation and PTSD recovery.

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Excerpt

Jax kisses me. In my wildest dreams I’m expecting it, but it still catches me off guard. His lips are soft, but demanding, and there’s nothing I don’t want to give him.

So I kiss him back.

I slide my hands under his layers of winter clothing and pull him close, and we kiss and kiss and kiss as if it isn’t the first time we’ve done it.

His lips feel like home.

His soft touch dances along my jaw.

I want to kiss him forever, but we run out of air.

Startled, I draw back and instantly find myself lost in Jax’s blazing stare. His gaze usually calms me—it really is like the deepest, bluest ocean. But right now, his eyes are stormy and hot. I want to dive back in headfirst, and for once what I want makes sense.

And it’s right here. I don’t need words. I stand, cup a hand around the back of his neck, and kiss him again. Jax makes another low sound, and the fact that he’s spent the night in my bed to babysit me stops mattering. Shadows fade. Heat draws us ever closer, and it’s easy to pretend we spent all night doing this. I can’t contemplate that it has to end.

But it does end.

Jax pulls back with a rueful smile, cheeks flushed, breathing hard. “I have to go. I promised Jerry I wouldn’t be late again.”

The mention of Jerry jars something in my brain enough to form a sentence that has nothing to do with how fast my heart is beating. “How did last night go?”

“Okay, I think.” Jax steps away. “Dude talked so much I stopped listening, but the apartment was all right. I can move in whenever I want.”

I should be happy for him. I am happy for him. He didn’t deserve to lose all his things in the hostel fire, and it sucks he had to take help from a stranger when he needed so badly to depend on himself. But I’m still dazed from his kiss. I say the first thing that comes into my head. Raw. No filter. “I’m gonna miss you.”

He gives me a soft grin. “I’ll miss you too.”

Then he leaves, and the reality that it might be the last time we do this hits me like a train. Jerry’s buddy’s apartment is probably outside of the city, closer to where Jax needs to be for his work. It isn’t a million miles away—nothing in Vermont ever is—but it’s not waking up to find Jax in my bed. It’s not drinking his weird tea together or eating dinner on the couch with him. It’s not opening my eyes every morning to feel the comforting hum of his presence.

It’s not being there to let him know, every day, that he fucking matters.

So tell him now.

I lurch from my bed and snag a T-shirt from the clean laundry pile I haven’t even thought about putting away. My shoes are by the front door. I stamp into them and fish my keys from the dish. Then I make a run for it down the stairs and out into the morning gloom.

The sidewalk is icy from the plummeting temperatures that are starting to move in from the mountains. But I’m a Vermonter; I know how to handle that shit. I dash to the parking lot where Jax is waiting for Jerry, his broad back to me as he contemplates the ground.

I grab his arm. “You don’t have to leave.”

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About The Author

Garret Logo

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

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 photographer Dan Burgess.

Social Media

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5893561.Garrett_Leigh

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garrett_leigh

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Heartscape brings all the feels to Vino & Veritas

Heartscape+FinalHeartscape by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If Annabeth Albert’s Featherbed was the gentle and sweet romantic introduction to the Vino and Veritas setting, then Garrett Leigh’s Heartscape is the one which brings all the emotional feels.

As is ever the case with her writing, Garrett squeezes the reader’s heart tightly with her tale of V&V bar manager Tanner and Cornish ex-surfer Jax when their paths collide unexpectedly through mutual friend Eve.

I have to say from the off, there wasn’t a bit of this book that didn’t have me sighing in satisfaction or have my heart pounding with tension as the two very different men find they’ve got a soul deep connection which makes each of them find a place to rest.

They’ve both suffered intense trauma in their lives, both have issues they’re still dealing with (or in Tanner’s case, avoiding dealing with to a lot of extent) but the comfort they find in the presence of the other, even without words, is palpable.

It constantly pulls at the heartstrings as they start to open up to each other and the UST is off the charts, as are their encounters once they both give in to the attraction which is grounded in their friendship.

However, while most of the tension arises from internal issues, the narrative also includes a very believable secondary plotline which focuses on the wilderness trails which Jax works as a videographer and which Tanner used to be a ranger at until an incident triggered a crisis.

I’m not going to go into that element of the plot as I think it works best being unfolded on the page but lets just say I was on the edge of my seat.

The payoff in the book is a completely solid romance with foundations set so deep you know this pair aren’t ever going to be parted.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Hearts Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Garrett offers up an excellent second chance romance opener to this new series

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s rare that I pick up a traditional romance that isn’t a historical but I knew that Garrett Leigh wouldn’t steer me wrong.

This is an excellent examination of how someone can find their true love, but it still gets all messed up.

It’s a great second chances romance too, former teenage lovers (17+ not younger teens) reunited 10 years after one leg without a word.

There’s recriminations, there’s loads of angry sex which they both try to keep emotionless and fail miserably at.

It has hurt/comfort and angst by the bucket load, but it never becomes overwrought or too dramatic.

The secondary plot also works well, it adds a sense of foreboding without ever really defining what the problem is until almost st the very end.

It also has Gus and Billy, the younger siblings of Mia and Luke, who are the subjects of book two, out in February next year.

Garrett’s signature ‘realness’ is all over this book too, and it doesn’t matter that it’s an MF romance. She treats the sexual intimacy with the same care she gives to her same sex pairings.

Luke and Mia clearly have unresolved feelings and the simmer of love and care is lying at the heart of even their supposed ‘it’s just sex’ encounters.

Once I picked it up, I didn’t want to stop reading until I knew they’d be okay. The conclusion worked for me, I also felt the outcome of the side plot was completely believable too.

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on the second one.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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