Listening Time: 6 hrs., 34 min.
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.
It’s been 3 years since I read this story and...
even after all that time and all the books so many books e-books, audio books, hardcopy books as soon as I saw the title I had total recall on the story. I loved ‘Misfits’ the first book in this series and this one was every bit as good as ‘Misfits’ so once again when I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to revisit this story on audio it was without hesitation that I said “Yes please!”
Dan Calley is once again the narrator for this book by one of my favorite authors and he’s once again done a superb job of bringing these men to life through their voices.
I’m not sure what I have to say about this story that’s new from my last review except that maybe I fell a little more in love with Nero and Lenny than I did the first time around. I cannot lie stories about people like Nero and Lenny…people who no matter how broken and battered life may leave them…people who have the resilience to pick themselves up and not just keep going but keep trying. That’s who both Nero and Lenny are they’re two people who refuse to stay down or give up no matter what hand life deals them.
Nero’s haunted by a past that won’t let go of him. Lenny’s terrors are in the present and it’s the reason why Nero suddenly finds himself with a roommate…a roommate that Nero can’t help but notice.
I wish I had a whole lot of words to express how heartfelt this story is and how perfectly the author has captured the beauty of these two resilient souls as they find a life together, but I feel like I used my best words in my original review so I’m just going to leave you with the same words that I did in my original review…
In a nutshell these two men have embedded themselves in my heart. I loved them. Every moment spent in their world felt real. There was love and warmth and laughter but there were also moments of heartache, frustration, anger and uncertainty.
In the background of all this we are given moments of Tom, Cass and Jake. It was so awesome to have these three back even the little bit that we got was enough to make me smile and just like in the end of 'Misfits' we were gifted with another Urban Soul restaurant this one was called 'The Stray Tiger' and it specializes in pizza...seriously PIZZA!!! I feel like I'm being teased here because damn! gourmet pizza is totally one of my favorite food groups and I love tigers...they're a close second...ok, third to dragons and panthers...I want to go eat at an Urban Soul restaurant really these places sound incredible so...who wants to join me?
*************************An audio book of “Strays” was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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