Audiobook Review – Strays by Garrett Leigh

 

Strays

By: Garrett Leigh

Narrated by: Dan Calley

Series: Urban Soul, Book 2

Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release date: 08-07-20

Publisher: Fox Love Press

Buy Links: Amazon |Goodreads

 

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.

 

 

 

Overall – 5 out of 5 stars
Performance – 5 out of 5 stars
Story – 5 out of 5 stars

I’m not gonna lie, after listening to Misfits I was a little nervous to listen to this book. I was afraid I would love it as much. And to see the vocal performer changed, I was a little heartbroken because I absolutely loved the performance of book one. I needn’t have worried…Mr. Calley NAILED it. I was just as wrapped up in his performance as I was in the performance of book one. I could SEE Nero’s grumpiness and FEEL every emotion of this book right along with the characters.

While I think this could be listened to (or read) as a standalone, I HIGHLY recommend book one, especially the audiobook for several reasons. Nero is in book one. The heart of Urban Soul truly can’t be understood without meeting the original trio. Cass, Tom, and Jake are in this story quite a bit and play a major role in Nero and Lenny ending up together. And it is a damn good story and amazing vocal performance.

Nero is a prickly b*stard. But boy does he have a heart of gold which you cannot help but fall in love with. His backstory is appalling and the outcome even worse. I honestly thought he should have been given a free pass on the crime he committed. Lenny handles him perfectly and I just love them together. He never backs down from or gets offended by Nero’s blustering. I love their banter and I adore how Nero is so no-nonsense with him in the kitchen.

I really enjoyed getting chunks of the book from each character’s POV vs. switching per chapter. We still get to know each character personally but didn’t get as much whiplash from the more frequent switches.

Cass, Tom, and Jake show up quite a bit in this one and are just as amazing in this one as they were in their book. I love the idea of the Urban Soul concept; I love what they do with each location and how they treat their employees. They are still one of my favorite triads.

This will absolutely be a duet I listen to again and again.

 

 

Listen To/Read The Series

 

 

About the Author

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 photographer Dan Burgess.

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