Strays (Urban Soul #2) by Garrett Leigh Review

Strays (Urban Soul #2)

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.


I’m just going to jump right into my review. I feel the synopsis give all the information you need to know about the characters.

It took me a minute to remember all the characters in this book. It’s been 2 years since I read Misfits. I had to skim read it to just refresh my memory. But once I did… it all came flooding back. And I remembered all the characters. And how much I loved them and the book!

This book was most definitely a slow burn. By the time I got to the 50% mark…. I was struggling a bit. I was having a hard time paying attention. Nothing seemed to grab my attention. There was a lot of shop (restaurant/cooking) talk. Which I get… but, this book needed to be more balanced.

Nero and Lenny were taking things so slow. I’m not saying I wanted a sex fest. But I needed something more. Then we have the suspense part of this book. We get a little bit of it in the beginning. But I also felt things needed to speed up a bit with that too. By 60%… I kept wondering where is this all going. Nero still hasn’t opened up. He’s super grouchy and moody. Lenny’s character is just there. And we get a lot of restaurant talk and food talk.

Nero was so hot and cold. I wish there was a little more to him. I was having a hard time connecting with both MC. I say once I passed the 80% mark it flowed a little better between them. But I felt like that was too late in the book.

Then we have the whole thing with Lenny and his stalker. It all felt a little anti-climactic. I wanted more from it. We get something of it in the beginning. Nothing really at all in the middle. Then a rushed ending to it.

Overall… this wasn’t a bad read. I just wish there was a little more emoticons between them early on. And maybe a little more build up on the sexual attraction too.
I enjoyed reading about Cass, Jake, & Tom. I loved how they looked after Lenny and Nero.

*ARC provided by Riptide Publishing via Netgalley*


NOTE: The best way to keep up to date with the day-to-day chaos that is Garrett is to join her Facebook fan group, Garrett’s Den…

Garrett also writes under the pseudonym Gracie Leigh, her page is right HERE >>

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. In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.

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, and co-owns the specialist stock site with photographer Dan Burgess.



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