Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.
Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.
Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.
Finalist: Best Gay Romance in the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards!
Urban Soul series:
Strays (Book #2) Out March 27th
Misfits was the first of Leigh’s books I ever read. The first time I read it, I remember being impressed and liking it. At the time, I had only just begun reading romance in the LGBTQAI+ genre (having come from fan communities previously). When the opportunity to participate in this retro tour came around I jumped on it, as I’d been wanting to re-read it anyway after being blown away by What Remains.
I am so glad I revisited this book. With many, many more books within this genre read and under my belt, I can say that Leigh’s work definitely stands out. Her work strikes a fantastic balance of gritty and romantic; it explores stories and topics that in the wrong hands could easily devolve into cliches. Misfits is no exception.
To start, I must say I have rather limited experience with Tourette’s. The only person I know who has it (my father-in-law) has a mild form, so I cannot speak to the accuracy of the portrayal. I do appreciate that Leigh makes it clear she did research and spoke with someone who lives with Tourette’s. Her portrayal of what Jake goes through is moving and insightful; the dynamic between himself and Cass and Tom independently is really well managed as well.
This is one of the places the writing shined for me: these men have different relationships with each other as individuals and together, and Leigh does the work of balancing those very well. I struggle at time with menage when the navigation and complexity of the relationships aren’t present and explored in books. Leigh in no way cheats the reader of this.
I did love all three men in different ways; the characters were well crafted and fleshed out. While I loved Tom, both Cass and Jake might have pulled ahead in a race for my heart. Jake for his insight, for his heart, for the resilience he demonstrates at every moment. Cass because…well I do love a mysterious and kind of brooding man. I will say that while Leigh absolutely made me fall for Cass, if I had to pick any part of this book or story to develop or explore more, it could be more nuance in why Cass was pulling away from Tom. It’s there, but with everything going on in the book, this was one area that I felt I needed a tiny bit more from.
I would definitely recommend this book to any reader. I have recently pre-ordered Strays, which is the next book in this series, and am so excited to find time in the future to read it.
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 renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
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Jude began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”.
As a sucker for happy endings and well written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room.
She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive, and many that have found a home in a fanfiction community.