Strays (Urban Soul #2)

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Novel in Series 

Provided by Publisher


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 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.


Review: This romantic suspense was so finely crafted that unless you payed attention, you would miss it. The suspense was the catalyst, however, for Lenny to move in with Nero and start working with him. I really liked how it hovered delicately in the background, never overwhelming the romance but always giving structure to how and why these two hooked up.

Nero’s past hung round him like a shroud. Ensconced in a bedsit above the restaurant he worked it, Nero’s life was narrowly defined by work and sleep. He didn’t allow himself more. He was used to the women he’d had relationships with complaining about him being silent and inconsiderate. He just felt like he’d never be the person anyone wanted to be with. When Cass sent Lenny, a frightened, skinny twink with brightly dyed hair and nerves for days, Nero wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do with him. Protect him? Okay. Keep him occupied? Right.

Fall in love with him? Not likely?

Funny, searing and sweet, this story was wonderfully clunky and bumbling with two characters that just begged to be loved. I certainly feel for them both. Thanks for writing these sweet, inspirational stories, Garrett Leigh!

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