Misfits by Garrett Leigh
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 16th March 2015
Genre ~ M/M/M Contemporary Romance
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 have sat here mulling over exactly what it is about Garrett Leigh’s writing that makes me as a reader connect with it so passionately (I’m a Virgo, I analyse the shit out of everything) but I can’t find the words. I could wax lyrical as always when it comes to Garrett, about the characterisation, plot, her simple observations of life that enhance the realism of the characters, or just how visually stunning her books are. How the familiarity of her work makes me feel that her books are written just for me. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that I just ‘get it’. I understand what she’s trying to say, I see the interpretation of the characters, from their whisperings to the finished result on the page. I feel the spectrum of emotions from her boys, all of which enables me to relate to them… and with Jake, Tom and Cass I felt it all… and it was fucking beautiful!
I fell for Jake straight off, he is such a cutie, and so endearing as he battles and struggles in life with his disability, one which has left him incredibly lonely. But he’s a feisty character too and stubborn… oh boy, these two men had their work cut out for them, gently and subtly coaxing this lost boy out of his self imposed isolation.
I like how Garrett Leigh introduced us to Jake and Tom first and established their connection before we learn of Tom’s long time lover Cass, thus warming to that, instead of getting worked up about cheating, as Tom and Cass had always had a healthy open relationship… and I believed in the solidness and commitment of that relationship, despite the ‘open part’. I also loved this introduction to Cass.
“You left me something pretty in bed”
Jake however has issues with what he sees as the infidelity part, the whole concept is alien to him and this was where Jake’s belligerence and stubbornness had me laughing at their banter, as he’s totally pissed off with Mr. Cool, calm and collected for putting him in that situation.
“No offence, but I don’t want to be part of some weird ménage trip. You’re a good shag, but you’re not that good.”
Tom is intrigued by Jake, drawn to him like he’s been to no other than Cass and not just because the boy was drop dead gorgeous. He liked his easy going manner and uncomplicated honesty… Jake was a fascinating study and he wanted more.
Tom was the quietly confident fixer and after Jake’s stubbornness had reared it’s ugly head yet again, only to this time bite him in the arse, it’s Tom that put’s him back together and gives him the security and love he craves… and by this time he’s totally fallen hook, line and sinker for Tom. But still wary of Cass, the bad boy with the wild side simmering below the surface, yet insecure and vulnerable at the same time.
“…We love each other, and Jake’s amazing. All this feels right, just …don’t leave me behind.”
As care free and fun loving as he may appear on the outside, for me it was Cass who was broken and hiding from his demons, only Cass needed both Tom and Jake to fix him. That man just about broke my heart… his unselfishness and the love he has for Tom and later Jake was profound. Despite the fact that his past made him feel unworthy of that love. The man just made me cry, and I really liked how Garrett didn’t make this relationship a quick fix, it was a slow build that required a lot of patience. I especially like how she worked Cass into the equation with the subtle way he cautiously cajoles Jake with text messages, over time becoming friends and letting him know that he too can be trusted and loved, it had me tearing up and smiling at the same time. It was almost conspiratorial, but worked in that I could feel the emotion as well as the sexual tension growing between these two men… and the the club scene, oh my… that was hot!
Jake was the catalyst that finally made Tom and Cass face facts, he was the missing piece needed to complete them. Loving Jake made them realise they had been burying the unresolved issues of the past in demanding jobs, with long working hours and little free time, which despite their undeniable love, had put a strain on their relationship.
This is not as angst filled as I’m used to from Garrett Leigh, neither is it a sex fest, considering it’s a ménage. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt romance where we see them gradually explore their emotions, tentatively approaching the dynamic in a realistic way… and I was always confident in Tom’s strength, Jake’s commitment and transparency and Cass’s huge heart… knowing they could deal with what life threw at them.
Tom and Cass had their past, and Jake was their future: the link they’d never known was missing.
There is a reason Garrett Leigh is one of my favourite authors… she’s bloody brilliant!
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