House of Cards

House of Cards

by Garrett Leigh


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626495456
Publisher: Riptide Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 07/15/2017
Series: Porthkennack , #4
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

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House of Cards 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
This is a contemporary M/M romance set on the Cornish coast town of Porthkennick. Calum is a young and talented tattoo artist who’d been making some decent money in his studio, but his abusive partner had been stealing assets, and messing around on him, and he’s at his wit’s end. He tosses out his phone, grabs a bag of essentials and gets on a train to Truro, out near where he’d grown up, and ends up running into Brix Lusmoore. Calum had met Brix years ago and thought they had a connection when they worked together in a tattoo parlor back in London. But, Brix disappeared without explanation four years before, and none of their common friends had any info on where he’d gone. Meeting now, in a time where Calum is vulnerable, is right time, right place. Their friendship is not difficult to rekindle, as Brix provides a haven for Calum to live and recover from his abuse. He’s trying to build a clientele in Brix’s shop, to help pay for his lodging, and though he does this anonymously, his unique skill at dot-work have pulled some of his clients from the city into Porthkennick. That brings Calum’s ex to the area, looking to browbeat, or beat, Calum back into being his obedient meal ticket. The resilience he develops by living with and connecting to Brix gives Calum the strength to stay out of the negative situation. Brix has mixed feelings about having Calum pop in from his past. He’d liked Calum a lot, but he’s afraid to fall in love again, knowing that he’s not well enough to have the kind of relationship he’d want with Calum. That said, the companionship they begin to experience with each other seems to be enough for the moment, and, as Calum investigates Brix’s odd mannerisms–and pirate family members–he’s drawn even more closely to Brix. I really liked how this story developed. It’s sweet and slow-burning, with fun elements, like Brix’s penchant for rescuing retired laying hens from the chicken pie/soup. Calum is such a tender-hearted guy, it was hard to witness his abuse, and the after-effects of it. Brix was frustrated that his departure impacted Calum, and feels guilty that Calum met up with his abuser, knowing that had he’d stayed they would have been together…and Calum would have been safe. Calum realizes that he was so timid, and his insecurity allowed him to become prey to his ex. His new life with Brix is more satisfying than any part of the years before combined. Their building trust and honesty lead to a satisfying relationship for both of them. I read a review copy via NetGalley.
Trio More than 1 year ago
House of Cards was written by Garrett Leigh as her contribution to the Porthkennack universe series published by Riptide Publishing. This is the first of the series I’ve read, and it can be read as a standalone, but after looking at the previous books in the collection I’d definitely like to read them all. Centered around the seaside Cornish town of Porthkennack, with its rugged natural beauty and host of wacky characters, House of Cards is a friends to lovers story with several intense issues at its heart. Running from an abusive relationship, Calum Hardy stumbles into his long lost friend Brix Lusmoore at a train station in Cornwall. The friends have lost touch but their reunion turns out to be perfect timing for both men. The abuse Calum has suffered from his recent ex has wreaked total havoc on his self esteem. Garrett Leigh paints a picture of a once confident, smiling man who is all but unrecognizable to Brix when they meet up again after four years. After reconnecting with his friend, and living and working in Porthkennack, Calum is able to get healthy again and find some joy in life. Brix, on the other hand, has returned to his boyhood home to escape a deeper, more life altering problem. Including any details in this review would spoil the skillful way Leigh has crafted the reveal, but it is safe to tell you that Calum’s stalwart support is just what Brix needs. I’m typically not a huge fan of the friends to lovers trope, but this story really worked for me. Talk about a slow burn...well this one’s pretty slow, but it is exactly what these characters need to be able to come to terms with their issues. It also makes these guys’ past history believable. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, but their friendship is the foundation. House of Cards isn’t your typical Garrett Leigh novel, but it won me over with its steady pace, creative characters, and interesting story line. There’s enough going on in this novel that I didn’t miss the high angst and intensity of her usual writing. This book is a soothing comfort read which I highly recommend.
amatate More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars--Calling all fans of slow burn romances, House of Cards is your ticket. This is the fourth book in Riptide’s Porthkennack series, but each book reads as a standalone. I have a soft spot for this author’s books, so I was excited to see she’d be contributing to this series set in a small town on the Cornish coast. Once again, Miss Leigh doesn’t disappoint in delivering a well-written, heartfelt romance between two genuine characters. House of Cards is as much a story about righting oneself and self-discovery as a romance. Brix and Calum are old friends who lost touch four years ago. Following an emotional break-up with his long-term partner, Calum finds himself on the Cornish coast and unexpectedly reunited with Brix, his former mentor and crush. I found both characters relatable in a number of ways and Brix’s unrelenting desire to help those around him is particularly admirable. I couldn’t help but empathize and root for these two. The pacing throughout the book is more languid, letting feelings build and take hold. The drawn out timeline gives the characters ample time to come to terms with their own demons while lending strength and understanding to one another. Fans of the author know to expect a good amount of angst in Miss Leigh’s books, and this certainly isn’t an exception. However, the emotional turmoil has purpose and is never just an insubstantial plot point. While there are definitely heavier aspects to their story, it never feels insurmountable or like the plot is weighed down by the issues facing Calum and Brix. I really liked seeing these two work through their insecurities, regain self-confidence, and realize they deserve love and happiness. Although I wouldn’t consider this romance particularly laden with heat, the physical and emotional chemistry that builds throughout the book ensures the sexy scenes count. If you’re looking for a romance that isn’t rushed or lacking substance, House of Cards won’t disappoint. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*