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