Garrett Leigh
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
March 2017
Book 2 of Urban Soul
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

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.

Book Review by Ana (reviewer)
Feb 19, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
126 people found the following review helpful
The second book in the Urban Soul series kept the same charm and tortured souls as its predecessor. Complex characters with trouble past made a beautiful combination with the goodhearted trio we met and loved in Misfits.

Nero's life is little monotonous, and that's the way he likes it. His job keeps him busy enough, preventing him from spending his day thinking about his past. Things are about to change when his best friend asks him to take an apprentice. Lenny, a beautiful young man, is living a nightmare and seeks refuge under the wing of the lonely man. Both men might end up getting more than they were looking for, when after a couple of weeks together, they realized they just can't stand being away from each other. But, for Nero, sharing his life is something new and is proving to be a very challenging task. Will he be able to share his past with Lenny, in order to make the relationship work or will his issues prove to be bigger than they can handle?

STRAYS was a great book. It is a little slow pace, but I think it was perfect for the kind of story that was being told. I was hooked from the first pages. The part I liked the most was the character development; it was great to get to know Lenny and Nero. I don't think I had a favorite, I generally do in most books, but I think in this one, both main characters were equally amazing. The plot was interesting, I liked some fast pace and very exciting moments near the end, but I still think the characters were the best part of the book.

The romance between Nero and Lenny was something I really enjoyed. I'm always looking for books that show realistic relationship, something that I can really believe is love and not just lust, and this book gave me just what I was looking for. I truly believe they care for each other. I'm a big fan of slow burn romance and I just couldn't be happier with the result. There aren't much of sweet moments, even the sex scenes were a little rough, which suit their personalities perfectly.

The secondary characters were also very good, I already knew them from Misfits, but I think it would have worked just as fine as a standalone. Overall a very interesting book, I would recommend it to any reader.
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