Welcome Birthday Guest Garrett Leigh!


Taken from Strays (Urban Soul 2), by Garrett Leigh


“Lenny scowled, looking, thanks in part to his turquoise hair, like a stroppy teenager. “Where are we going?”

“Berkhamsted,” Nero said. “Now get on the fucking train.”

Lenny glowered some more, but he got on the train and flung himself into an empty seat. “I don’t see why we have to go all the way to the Dragonfly to see Gloria. She comes to see Efe often enough.”

Nero shrugged. He was running out of things to say about his fictitious meeting with the head chef of Urban Soul’s Berkhamsted bistro, and Lenny’s obvious hurt feelings that Nero would do such a thing on his birthday were hard to take. “She’s got those jerked sweet potatoes she brought us last week on the menu this week if it’s any consolation.”

Lenny sighed. “It shouldn’t be, but it is.”

“I don’t get why you’re so upset. You said you didn’t want to do anything tonight.”

“Uh-huh.” Lenny pulled his phone from his pocket and became instantly engrossed in the Urban Soul Twitter account he’d taken over from Jake.

The conversation was apparently done. Nero left him to it and sat back in his seat, contemplating a twenty-minute catnap, but Lenny’s conciliatory hand on his thigh—squeezing—kept him awake, like Lenny did most nights when they crawled into bed.

A bolt of heat zipped through Nero’s veins. He’d always known he’d get off “n having a man inside him, but that man being Lenny? Jesus. The only thing that came close was when they switched—


“Hmm?” Nero looked down at Lenny, who’d lolled his head on Nero’s shoulder. “Sorry, what?”

“Lenny frowned. “I thought the Dragonfly was on the high street?”

“It is.”

“So why are we headed in the opposite direction?”

“How do you know what direction the high street is? You’ve never been here.”

Lenny inclined his head at a nearby sign. “Can read, though, innit? And isn’t this where the bosses live?”

Balls. Oh well. Nero pointed down the street. “The house is down there. They wanted to see you on your birthday, so I said we’d drop in.”

“Drop in?”

“For fuck’s sake!” Nero finally lost patience with the daft secret that had been forced on him by a mischievous Cass. “There’s a few people there, okay? From work. They wanted to surprise you, if you’d just do what you’re fucking told and get in there.”

Lenny burst out laughing. “I knew you’d crack. Do you honestly think I didn’t know you were up to something? Man, I thought you’d at least hold out until we got to the doorstep.”

“You knew?”

“Course I knew. Why else would you voluntarily take a Saturday night off work?”

“Because it’s your birthday?”

“I already told you I don’t give a fuck about shit like that any more than you do.”

“Yeah, but I really don’t give a fuck about my birthday. I saw your face when Spanks came in with that cake this morning. Made your day.”

“That’s ’cause I like cake.”

“Whatever. I heard a rumour that there’s cake in that house too, if you want to go in and have a look? You’ll have to act surprised though.”

Lenny sighed. “You’re an arsehole, you know that?”


“And I love you. You know that too, right?”

Nero pulled Lenny close and kissed the tip of his nose. “Yes, and that’s why I took tonight off, ’cause there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”


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.



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29 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Garrett Leigh!

  1. Happy birthday Amber, I hope you have a happy day with your family and friends. I’ve never read Garrett’s books, but this one sounds like one I could get into.

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