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5.0 out of 5 starsHeartfelt Story
Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2017
When I read the blurb for this book I could not wait for it to come out. It is all I had hoped for. Nero grouchy self and the Lenny who at the beginning of this book you feel his fright and frustration, which awakens Nero’s protective side. Once I started reading I could not put it down. I had not read Misfit the first in the series, I was able to easily along, but ended up purchasing and reading the book. Strays is a great book and I strongly recommend reading this, it has all of the great things I have come to love in Garrett Leigh book and cannot wait to read more of this series if she decides to continue which I hope she does. Garrett Leigh is so talented. I love that she writes about imperfect people and makes them so damn cool that I actually want to meet them. Great story, warm, full of heart.
I don't write reviews for books very often. Rather very rare. This time is one of those. Garrett Leigh's Urban Souls series is one of the best in MM contemporary romance genre. Strays can be read as s standalone book but to be able to fully understand the setting of it I would highly recommend to read Misfits before digging into this one. What I love about Garrett Leigh's books is she presents well developed and complex characters including secondary ones. Her stories are heartbreaking but with hope of redemption and love. I won't spoil the story plot here. Just let me tell that if my fellow reader give a chance to read Strays they won't be disappointed at all. It's an incredible story about two men who found and saved each other from the real danger and inner demons alike. One more thing to add. If as I hope this book will ever get narrated by Craig Beck it would make it even more a perfect reading. I for one would buy the audio version with no hesitation at all.
The thing I can most recommend about Strays (and pretty much all of Leigh's books) is that the characters are so well developed, so consistent, and believable. There are lots of things about this book that put it above most others in the genre (good plot, believable dialogue, good pacing), but the thing I appreciate most is the excellent character writing. So many books in this genre set aside character traits and patterns when the slightest sniff of romance comes into play - but not so Leigh. Rather than using the plot and specifics of the characters as simply excuses to get to an erotic scene or idealised romantic declarations of undying love, you get to see the relationship develop, see trust form, and see these characters interact in a believable way. You see them evolve, but stay true to the underlying nature of their characters. Can you tell I quite liked it? Because I did. I'll keep Garrett Leigh on my auto-buy list, and if you like this genre, I'd suggest you do too.
I really like the world Garrett Leigh has created. I love the restaurants, the camaraderie, the writing style and coherent punctuation. And I liked Lenny, a lot. He was charming and bright and sparkly. I guess I just didn't love Nero as much, or at least didn't connect to their angsty love as much. I loved the first book - Misfits - and this is pretty much more of the same. Is it too similar? I don't know. I was happy to spend time with it, and would definitely read another book set in this world (though there are no dangling threads - this book is a stand alone, everything is fixed by the end.) The ending was a bit too sweet for me, but I did enjoy spending time getting to it.
The wait for Nero's book was definitely worth it! I adored Lenny and thought these two were a perfect match. Garrett Leigh's writing was spot-on. While not as angsty as some of her other writings, this was a well balanced story with all the feels. I loved that my favorite trio from Misfits was here and that they're doing so well. These are fantastic characters, I love the family that they made together. Very enjoyable and I highly recommend! 5 stars
Nero, is the chef that has been the go to guy when Urban Soul wants to start up another enterprise. He has a a history with Cass, but they remain best friends even though Nero is known to be difficult and seldom a happy man. Enter Lenny, a young man in trouble, and another stray for Cass and Tom to help. It soon becomes a matter of who is helping who.
Nero and Lenny are complicated, engaging characters. I would love to be a part of Urban Soul.
I didn't think Garrett Leigh could top Misfits or my all time favorite Between Ghosts, but did she ever. This is at the top of my list for best book this year. I hope there's an audio!
Wow. Without any snark at all I just can't help but think, how nice to have waited for months to read this book only to discover after a lovely binge read that it is everything I'd hoped it would be and more. Garrett Leigh is so talented. I love that she writes about imperfect people and makes them so damn cool that I actually want to meet them. Great story, warm, full of heart, and enough vinegar to keep it interesting. Loved it just as much as Misfits and that's saying something!
Honestly, I wasn't sure Misfits could be bettered but this book was just wonderful. Whilst we only caught a glimpse of Nero in book 1, I fell for him completely in Strays. Lenny and Nero have a beautiful dynamic, one that comes easily but they have to fight for and the story, it's journey and the conclusion of the tale feels earned and completely satisfying.
I loved every word of their world and can only hope we see more of the Urban Soul crew in the future.
I was thrilled that see this book was out as I really enjoyed the first book. I love the relationship they all had together, the link with London, restaurants, art and the idea behind the chain of Urban Souls restaurants. Nero and Lenny were so good together and I just wanted to keep reading it and not put it down. Fantastic.
5.0 out of 5 starsGegensätze … ergänzen sich perfekt!
Reviewed in Germany on June 26, 2017
Größere Gegensätze als den zurückgezogenen, introvertierten Nero und dem eigentlich extrovertierten Künstler Lenny kann es gar nicht geben. Aber Lenny versucht gerade verzweifelt unsichtbar zu werden: Ein irrer Stalker verfolgt ihn und niemand will ihm glauben, bis sich sein Boss erbarmt und ihm ein ungewöhnliches Asyl anbietet. Nero ist zuerst alles andere als begeistert, als sein Freund Cass – für den er gleichzeitig auch arbeitet – mit einer Bitte an ihn herantritt …
Wie schon „Misfits“, dem ersten Band aus der Serie „Urban Soul“ findet man auch in „Strays“ von Garrett Leigh eine spannende, berührende und sehr erotische Geschichte um zwei Männer, die diesmal zuerst einmal sich selbst finden müssen, um dann vielleicht eine gemeinsame Zukunft zu haben. Auch in diesem Buch spielt die vibrierende Metropole London mit ihren vielen, unterschiedlichen Gesichtern eine große Rolle. Gut gefallen hat mir außerdem die lebendige und anschauliche Schilderung der Abläufe in einer Restaurantküche. Schließlich sind Cass und Nero Köche! Der Beruf war zwar vielleicht nicht ihre erste Wahl, mittlerweile betreiben sie ihn aber mit Leidenschaft und Können. Außerdem hat „Urban Soul“ ein neues Projekt: Die Jungs wollen wieder einmal ein Restaurant eröffnen, das ganz anders ist, als alles bisher dagewesene. Zusammen mit Nero und Lenny feilen sie am Konzept, dem Design und der Speisekarte …
Trotzdem bleibt natürlich Zeit für die langsam wachsende Beziehung zwischen Lenny und Nero. Beide glauben am Anfang aus ganz unterschiedlichen Gründen beim jeweils anderen keine Chance zu haben, obwohl die gegenseitige Anziehung da ist. Garrett Leigh hat dabei nicht nur ein Händchen für sehr erotische Schilderungen, sondern auch für wirklich gefühlvolle Momente, die problemlos ohne jeden Kitsch auskommen.
Fazit: „Strays“ ist ein toller Nachfolger von „
Misfits (English Edition)
“! Von mir gibt es auch für „Urban Soul Book 2“ mehr als 5 Punkte und eine Leseempfehlung. Ich hoffe wirklich, dass es irgendwann mehr von den Jungs und ihren tollen Inn-Lokalen zu lesen gibt.
Übrigens: Auch wenn die Storyline fortgeführt wird, kann man jedes Buch für sich verstehen. Man sollte sie zwar in der richtigen Reihenfolge lesen, muss es aber nicht unbedingt.
È stato veramente molto piacevole leggere la storia di Nero e Lenny. La bisessualità è stata presentata in modo realistico e rispettoso (e da bisessuale apprezzo molto lo sforzo) e le storie dei due protagonisti si intrecciano bene. Toccanti ma non troppo. Felice di aver ritrovato Cass, Jack e Tom e spero in un libro numero 3!