Misfits was an absolutely beautiful story and I loved every page of it. What you should know first and foremost about Misfits is that while it is a ménage it is a ménage romance. By that I mean that the focus of the book is on the relationships that develop between Tom, Jake, and Cass. If you’re looking for a novel that is more sex than story, then Misfits is probably not the book for you. However, if you’re looking for a book that focuses on the characters, their lives, their hardships, their successes, their relationships, and their love, then Misfits may be right up your alley.
Tom and Cass have been partners for years. Because they have built a highly successful company together and both work at different parts of it, they do not see each other as often as either would like. During the course of the book, Tom’s dissatisfaction with their time apart is very obvious as he has no problem making his complaints known, but the reader has to pay closer attention to Cass to detect that he is equally as unhappy with spending too many of their nights apart because it is Cass’s inner demons that hold him back from accepting what Tom so freely wants to give him. At first glance it would seem that their open relationship would be due to their frequent geographical separations, but it seems as though they have maintained such a relationship from the very beginning. Likely because of their honesty about their one-nighters, that they don’t get attached, and the fact that they are always one another’s first priority, it works for them. Until Tom meets Jake.
When the author first revealed Jake’s condition, I was hesitant about his character because I feared that we were going to see the clichéd and popularized version of Tourette’s syndrome. While Jake did engage in some verbal obscenity outbursts, he had far more physical tics that he exhibited throughout the book. When I read the Author’s Note at the end of Misfits I understood why Jake’s character felt so authentic and I applaud Ms. Leigh for her efforts to create the best Jake she could. I don’t know how other readers will respond to Jake, but I completely adored him and appreciated how his Tourette’s gave me the opportunity to fall in love with Cass even more (you’ll understand that if you read the book).
I like that Ms. Leigh gives each of the characters his own voice in the story. Rather than shifting points of view within the chapters or from chapter to chapter, the story is broken up into parts and is told from a different character’s perspective. There is no overlapping of the story, but rather the beginning of the book is told from Tom’s perspective and several chapters later Jake takes over and we see the goings on from his point of view – by doing this, the author allows us glimpses into each of the characters’ head while keeping the story moving forward. While we spend the shortest amount of time seeing the relationship from Cass’s perspective, it makes his turn at the helm no less powerful than Tom or Jake’s. And each character’s section is crucial to the book because it is their story. We get to see Tom fall in love with Jake. We get to see Jake fall in love with Cass. We get to see the love between Tom and Cass grow even stronger within the ménage relationship. And because Ms. Leigh does such a good job of infusing realism in the book, I hit the lows right alongside the characters when life – or should I say death – reared its ugly head (and no, none of the three main characters die). Fortunately I was able to experience their highs just as fully when their efforts and hard work paid off. And no doubt about it, I felt the heat too when the guys found their way to each other, regardless of which combinations they occurred in. Ménage romances are among the top of my list of preferred reading genres – whether it be MMF, MFM, or MMM – and Misfits has been added to the list of those I plan to reread because I cannot wait to fall in love with Tom, Jake, and Cass all over again.
As with all of Garrett Leigh books that I’ve read, I just loved this one. Different from the rest, and yet the same, we are around restaurants, troubled souls and the men who love them. But this time we deal with a semi taboo subject of “open relationships” and bringing a third in. Cass and Tom have been together for nine years and during the whole relationship they have slept with other men. The whys are explained very well throughout the book, but they always come home in the end to each other. Jake happens to meet Tom in a restaurant and over drinks and conversation end up sleeping together. I enjoyed how the attraction was instant but Jake never having to deal with a situation like Cass and Tom was wary and the buildup took a while. Even for the next sexual encounter. I also enjoyed that we had a real story going on, not just these three meeting, and falling in love. The other thing I always love about this authors books, she never tries to Americanize them. They are true British characters, with British slag that at times is difficult to follow even for someone that grew up over there. Bloody cockney never understood it even back then.