Review: Misfits (Urban Soul #1) by Garrett Leigh

misfits.jpg

Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: March 16, 2015
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 277 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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BLURB

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.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. I had seen this cover around and I remember people recommending this series, but I didn’t know what this book was about. And true to form, I also didn’t read the blurb before I decided to dive into this book. I was delightfully surprised to see how much I liked this book. Some disclaimers…this is not a book about cheating. No characters are ever cheating at any point in this book. Misfits starts off with an open relationship between two men, and while I didn’t know this was going to be a M/M/M ménage novel, I really loved it. I really loved reading Tom, Jake, and Cass’ story. As emotional as it was, there was something human about their stories, and I couldn’t wait to read more in the Urban Soul series.

Misfits is told mainly from two points-of-view, even as the story focuses on three characters. It makes sense from the way the story unfolds. We first meet Tom and Jake, and the story is mostly told from their POV. Jake is a waiter at a fairly crappy restaurant, and Tom happens upon the restaurant since he was in the area and in need of some food. Tom’s a restaurant owner and isn’t all too impressed with his order, but Jake catches his eye and, by luck, they are brought together later than evening. One thing leads to another and they wind up sleeping together. Being the morning person that he is, Tom skips out a bit early with full intentions to returning to the apartment and talk to Jake, but Cass gets there first.

Tom and Cass have been in a relationship for nine years. An open relationship. So, they date or sleep with other men, always knowing that their love for each other is the greatest bond between them. Jake is angry at not being told the truth and assumes that Tom was cheating on Cass with him. Jake is also not quite convinced of Tom and Cass’ arrangement. It’s a story that slowly builds a relationship in a way that feels organic and never feels like any one character is being sacrificed for another.

Tom and Cass are absolute workaholics and Jake is the balance they need. Between their Urban Soul restaurants, Tom and Cass have started a few restaurants, and are always looking to expand. Cass works as the head chef at one of them and the hours he puts into his job is the distraction he needs to keep him from thinking about his younger days when things weren’t so perfect. For most of the story, Cass remains a mystery.

“Cass isn’t like me. He grew up fighting for everything he ever had. I think he forgets sometimes that it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.”

Jake got fired from the restaurant he was working at and is looking for a new job. He’s used to being fired unceremoniously and he’s positive that he’ll find a new one as he always does. But what makes it difficult for him is that he has Tourette’s. Some days are worse than others – depending on if he’s agitated or nervous, but I like that he doesn’t let that define him. TS is just what he has, and he lives with it. I really liked that this book showed Jake as the awesome, optimistic, hard-working person that he is and that he works around his TS. And that we also see how Tom and Cass are around Jake when his TS flares up and he says things that he doesn’t mean. Tom tries his best to ignore it, and Cass tries his best to understand it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one of them is doing it wrong, but this book does show a contrast to how others might view Jake, even if the two people doing it may love him a lot.

“Fly him to the moon.”

Tom couldn’t help but grin. He liked that tic. It always seemed to come out when Jake seemed happy.

There’s sex, yes, in this book, but this story is less focused on that and it’s more about the character development and how these three men are so deep in their love for one other. It shows that the missing link between Tom and Cass was Jake all along, and I loved how everything in this story came together. Jake and Cass have had a tough childhood that Tom will never fully understand, but I liked how the story played out and there was a nice balance between all three of them. This book is also very British, so there’s some terms, phrases, or place names I had to Google, but nothing that really takes you out of the story.

Misfits is beautiful, it’s well-written, it’s gut-wrenching, and I loved every minute of reading Tom, Jake, and Cass’ story.

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