Thursday, July 20, 2017

Virtual Book Tour ~ House of Cards by Garrett Leigh ~ (Reviews, Interview + Giveaway)

About House of Cards

Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.

Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.

Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Today we’re very lucky to be interviewing Garrett Leigh, author of House of Cards.

Hi Garrett, Welcome to Bayou Book Junkie and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Oooh, let me see. I’m Garrett, and I’ve been a published author and professional cover artist since 2013. I work with Riptide, Dreamspinner, and Harmony Ink, as well as self publishing and designing for many indie authors. When not working, I’m generally cooking, eating, or driving my children around.

What inspired this story and these characters?

The story was inspired by the wonderful world that Alex Beecroft created for us. I was absolutely honoured to take on Porthkennack’s tattoo parlour and the Lusmoore family, and add wonderful sweet Calum into the fray.

What do you love or admire the most about these characters?

In Brix, I admire his ability to be so nice to just about everyone, even though life has dealt him some rough blows. Calum is just a sweet, sweet man, and the world would be a better place if we were all a bit more like him.

Do you have pictures that you use as inspiration for your characters? Can you share them with us?

Actually, no. For the first time ever, both characters are products entirely from my own head!

Which character, from any of your books, do you consider your greatest challenge? 

Jake, from Misfits. Balancing his Tourettes Syndrome without letting is dominate every bit of dialogue he had was really hard. I didn’t want to dumb down his disability in any way, but the book still had to be readable.

We know that you did all the covers for the Porthkennack series and we’ve loved them all, which was your favorite to make?

Foxglove Copse is my current favourite, and also Junkyard Heart, because I love Kim’s beautiful lean, inked-up back. But I’m not done with the series yet—JL Merrow and Joanna Chambers have more books to come—so I may change my mind.

Can you share some information about any current projects(s) you’re working on?

I am currently working on a hurt/comfort novel (shocker) starring a retired ballet dancer and a debt counsellor who frequent the same sex club.

List five foods you can’t live without.
Yogurt, tomatoes, eggs, green olive, smoked salmon.

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

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, and co-owns the specialist stock site with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Social media:
Cover art enquiries:


To celebrate the release of House of Cards, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

5 Stars

When Calum finally decides to escape his abusive boyfriend's hold, he does so with only the clothes on his back. After hopping on the first available train, he finds himself on a bench at the train station in Porthkennack. Shortly after arriving he is rescued by Brix, who happens to be an old friend he knew in London. Brix ran from London four years ago after receiving disturbing news. Back home in Porthkennack, he has slowly managed to put his life back together. Brix is shocked to find a very drunk Calum, a close friend from his time spent in London, sitting on a bench at the train station in his small hometown. Brix takes Calum home and helps him sober up. He gives Calum a place to stay and offers him a job freelancing at his tattoo shop. Can these two men recapture the friendship they once shared?

I absolutely loved this story. Some characters just fit and Calum and Brix fall into that column. The chemistry between them was off the charts. The story is a slow burn loaded with scorching hot sexual tension. I loved the natural progression of their relationship from old acquaintances to friends and eventually lovers. The pace felt organic and right. Calum and Brix were amazing and lovable characters. Their backstories were heartbreaking at times, but I loved watching them grow to trust and eventually confide in one another. Along the way, they begin to heal as they learn to accept the love that's being offered.

The author's writing was fabulous, it pulled me in and enthralled me and I found I couldn't put the book down. I loved the diverse secondary characters featured throughout the story. Their stories were interesting and added substance to the story without straying too far from Brix and Calum's story.

This book is filled with a bit of everything, sadness, fear, healing, sweetness, friendship, love and even a pet chicken named Bongo! Very enjoyable and highly recommended!

*copy provided by the author/Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

5 Stars!!!

House of Cards is part of the Porthkennack series and can be read as a standalone.

Calum escapes from his abusive boyfriend after finding him with another man in Cal's own bed. He climbs on the first train out of Paddington with only a bottle with no clue where he'd end up, only to discover that his boyfriend wiped out the funds from their joint account.

The last thing Brix expected to find after a chicken run was his one-time apprentice Cal, who he hasn't seen in over 4 years, especially looking so bereft and dejected. He offers Cal a place to live and a guest spot in his tattoo shop and slowly they rebuild their friendship. However, there are secrets that could threaten their budding relationship.

I loved both Calum and Brix. They were both caring and loving and gentle, even if they had gone through so much already. My heart broke for them in different instances and I was so happy they'd found each other again and both were so willing to help the other overcome what had gone wrong in their lives during the time they weren't together. They complemented each other perfectly and it was a delight to see their relationship move from friends to lovers. It took time, but I loved that it wasn't rushed, it just flowed so naturally. The chemistry between them was unbelievably hot, but more than that, it was their connection that drew me in.

I adored Brix's friends from the shop and his family, they added a lot of depth to the plot and I just loved the little glimpses into their own stories. I hated Rob (Cal's ex) and loved having some closure in that sense.

Overall, House of Cards is without a doubt my favorite story in the series so far! I was truly invested in Cal and Brix's story and the fantastic set of secondary characters (including Brix's menagerie) and couldn't get enough of them. Garrett Leigh's writing was stellar, the book was extremely enjoyable and I loved that while there were some angsty parts, they were balanced out with a great plot. Highly recommendable!

*** Copy provided to the reviewer via NetGalley, a review wasn't a requirement. ***


  1. story sounds great...congrats
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  2. Congrats, Garrett, and thanks for the interview, and for the great review. And I love the covers. The series impresses me as a wonderful collaborative effort, all authors I'm a fan of. This story sounds like a perfect addition, with its magical setting, the mood, and the evolving relationship. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  3. Thanks for the review and interview!


  4. Love Garrett Leigh's books. Her characters are real and usually there is some really good angst and original story lines. It's not just the same 'ole stuff.
    trialex4 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

  5. Thank you for both reviews and for the interview!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Thanks for the reviews and the interview.

  7. Thanks for the interview & reviews!

  8. Thanks for the great post. I never could build a house of cards.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  9. congrats on the new release


  10. Congrats on the release; I was lucky enough to be granted advanced reader's copy and I really enjoyed this one


  11. Thanks for the interview, I am intrigued by the book you're working on.