Author: Josephine Myles
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: novel, 351 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: A delightful, character-driven romance, which digs under the surface to reveal the painful cause of Jasper’s hoarding problem.
Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.
When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.
Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.
What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.
Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.
Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.
What is it about hoarders that’s so fascinating?! I’ve seen the TV show about them a couple of times, but I mostly find it depressing. It’s about like watching a train wreck for me. I’m horrified and disgusted by how these people live, but yet I have trouble turning away once I start looking. Luckily, Jasper isn’t the type of hoarder the show usually focuses on. He is not surrounded by animal excrement and rotting food, Jasper is being enveloped by his books. I can understand how that could happen. 😮
Anyway, Lewis is the guy going in to help Jasper sort through the dangerous clutter and get to the heart of the issue. The ironic part being that Lewis has plenty of issues he needs to work on as well. The attraction is instantaneous for both of them, but they need to get their own lives in order before they can start into a relationship.
I feel as though I say this every time I review a Josephine Myles book, but it’s always true, the character development is fantastic. You really get to know both Jasper and Lewis. It’s only once you understand their fears and motivations that you can truly appreciate them. They’re great together, but they have their own separate identities. I love when authors do that because it brings another dimension to the characters, and in turn, their relationship.
The main characters shine, in part, because of the side characters. The first is Lewis’s twin sister. She is his partner in the clutter clearing business and provides both emotional and professional support to Lewis and Jasper. Then there are Lewis’s parents. They are hilarious! 😆 They drop trou every chance they get, they discuss their sex life at the dinner table, and they are the living definition of unconditional love. I think they have become my new role model for great parenting 😀 The last person, and the one who stole my heart, is Mas. He is Jasper’s former hookup and current best friend. His upbeat spirit lifts everyone around him, but there is such desperate loneliness beneath the surface. I must see more of this man!
Junk is everything I was hoping for. I loved how the author used the public’s fascination with hoarding disorders as the gateway to delve into the deeper issues. It’s exactly the type of character-driven romance I expect from Josephine Myles. Recommended