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.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strays
About Garrett Leigh
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.
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 blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover art enquiries: email@example.com
What a great follow up to the first book, Misfits. But (and it’s a big but! Heehee..I like big butts and I cannot lie!) It can also be read as a standalone!! Yes, Jake, Cass, and Tom are featured…. But you won’t be confused in the least if you haven’t read Misfits first. Strays is about Nero, their hard working floating chef, and new comer waiter/apprentice, Lenny.
Lenny is a bright young thing, with his colorful hair, clothes, and sometimes makeup, but something is stealing his shine and forcing him into hiding. His new hiding spot is with Nero. Grumpy, mysterious, Nero.
Our “hero” Nero generally likes to keep to himself. He likes order in his kitchen routines, no matter which one he ends up in, and he likes his space. That is until Lenny shows up. Nero hasn’t felt this way towards a man in quite a long time. Well, his friendship with Cass to be precise. So he is a little weary of what it could all mean.
Lenny is just the person to get Nero to not be “so” grumpy. Maybe to also make him feel like there may be more to life than just floating from restaurant to restaurant keeping his mind busy, so he doesn’t have to dwell on his past. For Nero though, talking is out of the question. He doesn’t want to re-live it and he also feels he isn’t good enough for Lenny and doesn’t want to put Lenny though that. Lenny wants to know Nero though, the good and the bad, and this may be the reason to drive a wedge through their blossoming relationship. It is quite the heart-breaker, that. You kind of wanna slap sense into Nero, but at the same rate, you can’t even be mad at him.
I love the cover, it weaves its way through the story so well. Strays is a perfect representation of all of its characters, and the tattoo idea, just like with Misfits and its cover. It is almost like a character in itself.
The story is very well written and the characters are lovable in all their gruffy (or poshy) glory. To all my American friends, be warned. This is a VERY English story lol. I actually had to look up what a “wine gummy” was. I wish I hadn’t, because now I want some!! But, I would not ask for this any other way, I LOOOVE Nero and Cass’s Cockney accents. I might be on my way to being a bit of an Anglophile though :D
I give this story 4.75 Tiger Stars
To celebrate the release of Strays, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!