Melissa reviews Strays (Urban Soul #2) by Garrett Leigh Published March 25th 2017 by Riptide Publishing, 249 pages.
Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.
Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.
Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.
An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Because it’s Garrett Leigh!!! And I enjoyed the first book in the series, #Misfits.
This book struggled to hold my attention. Partially because Nero wasn’t a key character in Misfits and therefore I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in his life or him personally. Lenny’s character on the other hand I did care about and I can’t explain why him and not Nero. Lenny is an adorable minx of a man who is struggling with a stalker who is driving Lenny crazy – quite literally. And so Cass suggests that Lenny live with Nero while the stalker situation is taken care of. And some sexy hijinks ensue. 😉
What I did like about the story is the romance between Lenny and Nero. Nero is a loner who’s gruff and grumpy and has kind of an attitude with everybody. And Lenny is a cute and cuddly guy who just wants to jump Nero and lick him all over. 🙂 I liked how their relationship developed. There was a lot of “fade to black” when Lenny and Nero are kissing and in bed, which frustrated me because I wanted to read every second between these two men.
This book has an entirely different feel to Garrett’s other writing and I don’t know why that is. It simply is. With Garrett’s other books (What Remains; Slide; Rare; Rented Heart) – I had a hard time putting them down. I didn’t have that problem with Strays.
On a whole, I enjoyed this story; it was cute and had some good points. Fans of Garrett Leigh and Misfits will want to read this story. I do recommend this one because as I said, overall I enjoyed it.
Garrett also writes under the pseudonym Gracie Leigh, her page is right HERE >> https://www.facebook.com/thegracieleigh/
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.