Guest Review: Junk (The Bristol Collection, #1) by Josephine Myles

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.

Product Warnings
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.

Reviewer - R *A Reader Obsessed*

Unique in topic, I was intrigued about this story on hoarding. Often fascinated and a bit uncomfortable, I felt empathy and sympathy as I rallied for the two MC's to achieve success in their lives and each other.

Jasper definitely has some issues. He knows it and wants to change, but he’s just so scared to take that first step. His stash of books, magazines, and various paper paraphernalia, all with potentially useful knowledge, has taken years to acquire. Such a collection has filled his house to the brim, as only a small pathway from the door to the kitchen and his bedroom remains. Jasper knows he’s a prisoner of his own making, however, just the thought of throwing even one thing away sends him into a tailspin of anxiety. In a moment of frustrated desperation, he makes a call for help.

Help shows up in the form of Lewis and his sister, who makes it their business to empower people to get rid of their hoards. Thankfully, Lewis is a calm and steady force, never with any judgement. He slowly urges Jasper to figure out the reasoning behind his need to collect, and gently coaxes him out of his hoard induced safety net. Lewis wants to help because that’s what he does, making his desire for Jasper all the more conflicting. When it’s reciprocated, he knows this is the worst time to start up a relationship.

What ensues is a back and forth between these two - yearning, resisting, giving in and pushing away. For what seems like the first time ever, indecisive Jasper knows what he wants and that’s Lewis. Jasper sees how good they are together, how perfectly they match up, but Lewis is not without his own personal problems and tendencies, all mocking him in the form of a slew of bad past relationships. Lewis knows his faults and somewhat doubts his own judgement, afraid to get too attached to Jasper, knowing that once he achieves success, Lewis will no longer be needed. Despite his inner turmoil, he can't resist falling hard.

These two were very likeable guys. That always makes difficult topics or situations go down nice and easy. There was a definite poignant vulnerability seen in both these men that added emotional weight. It doesn’t hurt at all that they were also quite hot and smexy in between the book piles and packed boxes, not to mention just plain, simple bed sheets! Not surprisingly, both Jasper and Lewis finally get their shit together, and it was a sweet, though abrupt, happy ending. I’m going to assume that that was on purpose, urging readers to read the next story about Jasper’s friend Mas. So yes, I’m hooked and look forward to seeing a thriving Jasper and Lewis in the periphery of the next installment!

Thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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