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4.5 out of 5
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    4.5 stars- Interesting Concept and Good Characters

    Strays is the second standalone novel in the Urban Soul series. This book gripped me right at the start with the introduction of Lenny dealing with his stalker. It was an interesting paradox because it was an easy read in the way it flowed and moved efficiently through the plot, but there were plenty of emotions and past hurt carried by the main characters that made it an “angsty” read. I really enjoyed it and had a hard time putting my e-reader down. The writing style and flow made this a quick read for me. I think the voices and dialogue reflected the characters’ personalities well and it was easy to distinguish the speaker/narrator. The conflicts the characters faced were interesting and the stalker element injected excitement into the plotline. I especially enjoyed the tie in to cooking and restaurants. The way it was used to develop the characters individually as well as their relationship was a bit different and very clever. I really liked the concept of everyone having their place, and their contributions being celebrated. Nero and Lenny’s romance was solid and a bit of a slow burn. With it being the first time Nero was with a man (he’s bisexual), the prolonged development made sense and allowed the characters and relationship to advance between the two men. Nero and Lenny both struggled with pain and heartbreak in their lives. It takes longer to get Nero’s full story, but I actually liked the slow, emotional reveal. His character was firmly established by the time he tells Lenny the details and it kept his past from shaping how I saw his role in helping Lenny get his life back after the stalking. Even laden painful histories, the story never felt weighted down with angst and heartbreak. Instead, it leaned more toward finding love and peace after you’ve been hurt and lost trust. There were steady changes in the characters as the relationship developed, both individually and as a couple falling in love. While their journey was emotional and the characters well-developed, I didn’t feel as connected to the characters or story as I’d expected. I’m not sure if it was that I read it so quickly or maybe the author’s writing style that created that distance. That said, I did enjoy Strays and will certainly read more from this author and look for other books in the series. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
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    Great read

    Excellent MLM romance. Really enjoyed reading it.
10

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