At the time when I first read this, I’d almost never read about a poly relationship before, so this was… really eye-opening and amazing and wonderful for me in a lot of ways. We start with two of our main characters‐ Tom and Cass, restaurateurs, business owners and, in Cass’s case, chef, who have been in a committed but open relationship for almost ten years. And the two men don’t seem to want to change anything in their relationship. But when Tom meets Jake, a sweet young man with Tourette’s, he starts to really care about him. More than he’s cared about anyone but Cass.
(Seriously, Word? We don’t know Tourette’s? All righty.)
Anyway. It’s not long before Tom’s falling for Jake, and meanwhile, Cass starts communicating with Jake and the two become close. And it’s pretty obvious that the three are falling hard and fast for each other. But Cass is dealing with some serious issues of his own, and they keep getting in the way of his relationships, both the older one with Tom and the newer one with Jake.
Honestly, when I picked this book up (which I say un‐literally because I read the ebook) I seriously thought that Tom and Jake were going to be in love and Cass was going to split from the equation. At least, that’s what my brain told me it was about. If I’d really stopped to consider that it was a romance that included three people, I don’t know if I would have done it. I have never managed to get my head around the idea of three people in a committed, loving relationship. I know it happens, in reality, and I’ve always found the idea very intriguing and kind of beautiful, but it would just never quite click in my head. I remember the first time I read about a three‐person relationship, very briefly, in a manga, and the way it was presented seemed so easy and lovely. But… I’d never read a book that was written in a way that made me believe that the relationship presented was going to actually work. I could see where it could work, and I wanted to see that, an honest, strong poly relationship, but it just never…
And then I read ‘Misfits.’
I’ve read the author, Garrett Leigh, before, and I’ve really enjoyed her. Her writing is solid and lovely and just very satisfying. Her books make me feel good. But ‘Misfits’ is like… I don’t know. Her masterpiece, maybe. Or maybe her masterpiece so far, because every time I read her, she seems to get even better. And this book is just so beautiful, really strikingly beautiful, and it makes so much sense.
This book is so important to me, because it is gorgeous and romantic and just wonderful, but also because it opened my eyes to poly relationships. It’s so obvious that these three men are completely in love with each other, and that they form a unit that’s whole and equal, and that they each have an emotional role to play for the other two, as well as themselves, just like you would in any tight‐knit group. But of course this group is far more tightly knit. And it was so obvious that something was wrong between Cass and Tom when it was just the two of them , just as it was obvious that they were meant to be together… And then the way Jake came in and glued them back together, and glued them to him, without trying to weasel his way in‐ just by being himself…
I don’t know. I was reading along, enjoying it, but still not totally… getting how a poly relationship could work (I'm a jealous person, so the idea of, essentially, sharing someone, was, I’ll admit, totally foreign to me, even as I wanted to understand it,) and then there was an interaction between the three characters, something so simple and caring, and holy shit, I got it. I saw it. Click.
Add in the excellent writing, and Cass’s intriguing, dark past‐ which is presented so, so well. I mean, Garrett Leigh always writes tough subjects, and she does it so honestly and truthfully, without a lot of drama, just facts, just like it’s someone’s life and this is what happened. And that’s how she writes Cass, and god, I loved him. And it’s how she writes Jake and his Tourette’s and his tics‐ so believably and without fluff or any kind of glossing over.
Ah, it’s great. I get it. And I loved this book. I don’t know that I’ll ever find another book that writes a relationship like this so neatly and wonderfully. And the relationship doesn’t even take up the whole story… It’s really just the whole package, a great plot and romance and wonderful writing and fantastic, believable characters‐ everything about this book is enjoyable. I mean, the romance and relationships were the big things, but they definitely weren’t the only reasons I enjoyed the book. I kind of wanted to just read it over again when I was done. I didn’t. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished. I think I’ll probably still be thinking about this book, right up until I get the chance to read it again.
You can purchase 'Misfits' from Riptide Publishing: