A gorgeous new sexual awakening romance with sizzling first times, snarky British banter, and off-the-charts chemistry.
Life doesn’t always pan out as you expect. When it explodes in my face, literally, an old friend offers me a place to heal and a job renovating the kitchen of Burlington’s coolest wine bar.
V&V is a chill fest. Living above it should be a blast. But I’m not built to be a social butterfly. Not anymore. I’m a damaged man.
And I’m not its target clientele.
At least, I think I’m not until I come face to face with the most beautiful human I’ve ever seen. Joss is the new chef and my roommate. He has hair like spun gold and it’s as pretty as the rest of him. Crystal blue eyes. Megawatt smile.
I can’t stop staring. Or thinking about him. He chases my nightmares away. And when he spots my crush a mile off, his solution to our chemical attraction blows my mind.
An experiment of sorts. Science. Is this sexual exploration or sex education?
Either way, Joss is only here for the summer. He’s leaving.
I can’t fall in love with him.
Shame my foolish heart never got the memo.
WILDFIRE is a heartfelt MM friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort romance in the True North world, with a brooding lumbersexual, a wild-hearted chef, sweet angst and all the Vermont food. Content warning: contains mentions of depression, ADHD, suicidal ideation, and PTSD recovery.
I am a big fan of Garrett Leigh. Often dark and gritty, definitely not what you would call light hearted. But those are my jam. I love a good messed up character. And these guys were messed up, but not in a way I’ve come to expect. Not a bad thing at all.
Let’s discuss. First, almost all of Garrett Leigh’s books are set in the UK. This one is part of the In Vino Veritas world so it is set in Vermont. One of the characters, Joss, is British. The other, Kai, is Vermont born and bred. What struck me a little funny is how often the Americans say “Dude”. I mean, we really do say dude. Probably too often. But it didn’t really fit the vibe of the characters to me. It doesn’t take away from the story at all, but I couldn’t NOT say something. Dude.
Kai has some serious PTSD from an incident not even a year ago when he worked mountain rescue. Ironically, the incident happened on his way home from work. He has left that job and another former mountain rescue guy, Tanner (from Heartscape, another book by Garrett Leigh in the In Vino Veritas world) pulls him back from the brink of mental health collapse and is a support to him in more ways than one.
Joss, self described wanderer, chef and friend of Tanner’s husband lands at the bar to head up the new kitchen there. And to share an apartment with Kai.
How are these guys “messed up”? Well besides Kai’s PTSD that is triggered by things that have nothing to do with what happened, he is also straight. But Joss is so pretty with his long blonde hair and blue eyes. Joss has pretty severe ADHD and nonverbal Tourette’s Syndrome. And while that mostly manifests when he is sleeping or soon after waking up in the morning, it can still pop up.
I loved that ADHD was described in a completely different way than what so many people think it is. Being hyper focused. Or completely zoning out. Or going down a google rabbit hole because he couldn’t remember what he was originally looking up. Burning food, or pots, or kitchens, because he forgot what he was doing. And there is no way to predict any of those things. AND he is medicating twice daily.
Both guys are really down on themselves about these issues that they have no control over. Joss’s ADHD/Tourette’s doesn’t bother Kai in the least. In fact, he kind of steps in quietly to help steer Joss in the right direction when he can. And Joss’s presence in the apartment alone helps Kai. And even though he is straight, he feels such a strong connection with Joss.
Their connection and subsequent relationship, such as it is, is so organic. Nothing is forced. Even formerly straight Kai just kind of goes with it. He questions things, but those questions don’t seem to hold him back.
I loved these guys. Seeing ADHD through Joss’s eyes was enlightening. And Kai’s PTSD that slowly gets better, but will probably never go away.
Must read for any Garrett Leigh fan.
4 pieces of eye candy