Hi there! Today I’m sharing a “retro” review and giveaway for a menage M/M/M romance from Garrett Leigh. I’ve really loved WHAT REMAINS and RENTED HEART, but the first book I ever read by Ms. Leigh was MISFITS. I honestly hadn’t read many M/M/M menage love stories, to that point, and I found it sweet and charming. A recent re-read confirmed my initial impression.
Catch my review and enter a book giveaway below.
About the book:
LAMBDA FINALIST 2015
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.
Because MISFITS was published a few years back, it’s had time to receive a couple of notable awards, including being a Lambda Literary finalist.
This is a contemporary M/M/M romance set in/around London. Everybody knows I’m an Anglophile, and a book about three sexy Brits building a relationship was too intriguing to resist.
Tom and his long-time partner, Cass, own five restaurants together. Cass is the head chef and creative force, while Tom minds the business end and helps scout new locations/concepts for their uniquely developed eateries. They have been together 9 years and are in a stable, committed relationship…that is open. See, Tom and Cass work long, long hours and–with schedules like ships passing–don’t spent many nights together so they are cool with each finding a bit of companionship when necessary. They have also sometimes shared a lover, but this has been rare.
Tom meets Jake one night while scouting a potential new location. Jake is his especially candid waiter whose tics are curious. The meal is a disaster, but Tom and Jake make an impression on each other. Tom isn’t even put off by Jake’s many tics and outbursts, finding his Tourette’s syndrome oddly endearing. Tom takes Jake to his nearby flat for a good time, and Jake wakes the next morning to find Cass offering him a cup of tea. Eep!
Okay, so the thing is, Tom is a wealthy guy–has been his whole life. He’s what Cass calls a ‘fixer’–and Cass should know; Tom loved Cass back from a history of poverty, drugs, theft and incarceration. Cass figures Jake caught Tom’s eye not only because he’s attractive, but because he could sense Jake’s need for a bit of TLC. Cass encourages Tom to find Jake again, and help him if warranted.
It’s not a conscious search–Tom and Jake encounter each other randomly a few weeks later. Jake is angry, and embarrassed that Tom never mentioned Cass. He doesn’t understand Tom and Cass’s open relationship, and his attraction to Tom is frustrating. It brings out all the tics. Tom offers Jake a job, but Jake is too proud to accept it. He does offer to do some work for Tom–without pay. So, Tom takes Jake under his wing on his latest restaurant venture. They work well together, though the touchy-feely bits are not happening because Jake doesn’t want to get between Tom and Cass.
Over the course of a few months Tom, Jake and Cass interact regularly and become very close. There is a lot of relationship building here–not a short seduction moving into a whole lotta three-way sex. Nope. This book is really about relationships and I loved that. Jake is initially attracted to Tom, and feels so guilty about his feelings when he sees the deep love between Tom and Cass, but Cass makes heroic efforts to develop a friendship with Jake. Cass knows he’s distant with Tom–he has always felt inadequate to Tom’s love–and wants Tom to have a partner who really loves him and who can be around more than Cass. Not that Cass wants to leave-he doesn’t–he just wants to know that Tom has a stable lover that can see him more than one or two nights a week.
The POV shifts between Tom and Jake for the bulk of the book, though the end is all Cass. It was interesting to get Jake’s POV, because he is, quite literally, the man in the middle. Enfolding him in Tom and Cass’s relationship is platonic for a good bit of the story, and there are only a few key sex scenes that hit the page. Jake is a very compelling character due to his emotional issues, and how hard he works to have a normal life. He is unsettled by Cass–how can Cass accept him knowing how he feels for Tom?–but comes to depend upon Cass’s efforts at friendship. Cass isn’t delicate about Jake’s TS, he is blunt and Jake appreciates the freedom in talking about this condition that has been a stigma for so long. The love that Tom and Cass lavish on Jake sparks his growth into a more confidant person–and an equal partner in their developing relationship.
I really enjoyed how these men worked cooperatively for the benefit of all. A menage story is always susceptible to issues of inadequacy and dominance, but this book felt tender and compassionate. I would have read the whole book in one sitting, but I (foolishly) began it 11:30pm and had to get SOME sleep in that night.
Interested? You can find MISFITS on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon (US, or UK) Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an ebook of MISFITS.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
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.
Otherwise you can find her on her website, twitter or Facebook.