The Word Nerd Reviews
Wildfire (In Vino & Veritas #1) ~ Garrett Leigh
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
"There you are."
I've got nothing but truth. "I missed you."
Wildfire is the first book of the In Vino Veritas series. Wildfire is the quintessential story of two lost and damaged souls finding each other, and it is a beautiful one at that.
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.
Garrett Leigh's writing has an almost lyrical feel to it. At times, the ebb and flow of the rhythm and phrasing put the reader into an almost hazy and dreamy state. The story's emotional core is strong for both Kai and Joss, particularly Kai, who has PTSD from a traumatic experience.
The humour in the story, sometimes subtle, sometimes laugh out loud, breaks up this emotional core ensuring the story never becomes heavy or depressing. Joss provides much of the humour with his basically sunshiney personality, but like all sunny days, he has his dark clouds too.
"I love his honesty. It blows the cobwebs from a messy world..."
In Wildfire, we re-connect with the characters from Garrett Leigh’s addition to the original Vino & Veritas series, Heartscape. It was wonderful to catch up with Tanner and Jax again in more than just cameo experiences. Both men played a significant role in this story. It was also fun to touch base with Molly (who appears here and there throughout the original series) too. Harrison and Finn (from V&V Featherbed) are also mentioned, and I was really hoping there would be a scene where Joss visits Finn's chicken farm – the potential for humour there was huge, but alas it didn’t happen.
"Because, mate. I'm so fucking in love with you I couldn't leave this place if I tried."
Garrett Leigh has once again proven that she can produce the goods when it comes to beautiful, broken characters and strong emotional storylines that connect with her readers. All while providing humour and amazing found family connections that prevent the story from becoming too intense. I’ll admit I shed a couple of tears, but to see Kai and Joss not only find each other, but to feel their slow realisation that they were loved and, more importantly, needed, by someone else was beautiful to witness.
"I've thought about wildfires a lot since I met him. About how he is one, a runaway blaze that blew through my life, scorching the earth. Then loving him came with green shoots that grew after."
Wildfire was a beautifully captivating read; I was hooked from the first chapter. Despite it being an emotional story, it was ultimately a feel-good one too. The love and chemistry between Kai and Joss was there from the first, and it was refreshing that neither of them doubted the other. The drama or pressure came from outside forces, or at least what were perceived as external forces, rather than a lack of feeling or communication between the two. They were both trying to protect the other from themselves, by not holding the other back rather than being undecided on whether they really wanted a relationship.
I don’t think I've explained it adequately or done it justice, so I highly suggest reading it yourself! If you enjoy this type of story, you won't be sorry!
Wildfire is available as an ebook and/or in audio from Amazon US ǀ AUS ǀ UK
Check out the blog's other review for this book here!