Series: Urban Soul #2
Author: Garrett Leigh
Length: Novel (249 pages)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 27th 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: 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.
Product Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/strays
Review: For me Garrett Leigh is the author I go to when I need a dark, angsty read, because she never fails to deliver. It takes a lot of talent to write angst with taste’ and without melodrama, but Leigh knocks it out of the park every single time. Strays is a beautiful and dark love story with a constant edge of danger that is anticipated but not overwhelming.
The focus stays on Nero and Lenny, and the slow and steady chemistry that’s building between them, regardless of the element of danger. Nero is dark and broody and remains mysterious for the better part of the book. We know that he’s been to jail and that he’s missing a finger, but it takes a while for Nero to unveil that part of his past. Nero’s nights are plagued by nightmares, and he spends his days trying to keep people away; nothing screams ‘stay the fuck away from me’ more than Nero’s dark looks and constantly pissed off mood.
Lenny is a scared little rabbit when he comes to hide in Nero’s living room and restaurant; a deranged stalker has been tormenting Lenny for a long time now, and it doesn’t look like the cops will do anything to stop him. Staying with Nero does Lenny a world of good, because little by little Nero brings Lenny out of his shell. The chemistry between them is slow burn and delicious as hell, and the sex is much anticipated throughout the book. The sex, when it happens, is steamy and passionate and emotionally fulfilling.
What I loved the most about Lenny and Nero together was the reassurance I got that they’re a solid couple; nothing about their relationship read as fleeting to me, just a sweet affair that weathered the storm and was made stronger because of it. If you haven’t read Misfits yet don’t hesitate to do it, because not only is it an amazing book, but the guys make a lot of appearances in this book and play a very important supportive role.
I hope for more books in this series, but if this is the end, I’m perfectly content.