Stray, Outcast Mates #3 by Lee Colgin

"Your soul sings to mine like a siren, Leonas. Don't you hear it?" Stray was a hit with our reviewers.

From the blurb:

Leonas is a cranky panther shifter set in his ways. He handles security for an exclusive brothel and

takes the safety of the staff at The Twig and Berries seriously, to the extent of sacrificing his personal life in favor of work.

When the young vampire messenger Jeno shows up with heart eyes and disturbing news, Leonas is taken aback. Who is this curious youth and why is he hitting on Leonas of all people? More importantly, when is he leaving? Because Leonas has no time for romance.

Though Jeno is running from a dark past, he can’t help but to stop in his tracks for Leonas. The grumpy cat shifter might be prickly on the outside, but inside? Well, Leonas is prickly there too. He needs someone like Jeno to escape the lonely trap of his own making.

Will Jeno escape the snare of Hungary’s notorious opium slingers? Can Leonas break the chains of his past? Together, they stand a chance, but suffering alone is all they’ve ever known.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

I was so happy when I found out our resident grumpy panther shifter was going to have his own book. I couldn't wait to Leonas fall in love and it couldn't have been with anyone more perfect for him. Jeno is new to the vampire life and like a toddler learning to walk, still hasn't really grown into his changes. He's adorably clumsy, yet determined and sweet. No one is more surprised than Leonas when the young vampire messenger sets his sights on him.

I loved how much Jeno could get a rise out of Leonas. He's always much too serious. He needed someone like Jeno, someone to bring joy back into his life. Someone to teach him that there is more to life than working at the Twig. As expected he fights against their attraction at first, but with both his panther and Jeno working on him to open his heart he is helpless to stop them.

Hearing about a few of the past MCs was great, especially Sebastian. I adore that little fae. I also really enjoyed getting to know Valius a bit, one of the incubi who works at the Twig. I'd love for him to get his own book. Without his help, I do not know how long it would have taken Leonas to open his eyes. He is a stubborn panther if there ever was one. It would just make me happy for Valius to have some love of his own. Here's to hoping!

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Third in series (Outcast Mates), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read in order. Paranormal fantasy. Grumpy/sunshine. Instalove. Hurt/comfort. Found family. Dual POV. 

Shifter Leonas is fine with his few friends and his full time job as protector for a preternatural brothel, even if he is lonely at times. Leonas wasn’t expecting the young new messenger Jeno to want to spend time with him, why would such a sweet vampire want to date an old grumpy panther? 

Jeno and Leonas fall for each other quickly and we get moments of them sharing their personal histories and painful pasts as well as caring and steamy interactions. 

I thoroughly enjoyed every interaction between Jeno and Leonas, the infatuation, the swoony banter, the first time they kissed that felt like “as if this isn’t our first kiss but one of thousands.” Jeno is so earnest and loving and Leonas (and his panther side) is instantly enraptured, an entertaining read with characters to root for, action and adventure, and some wonderfully supportive friends.

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacquie's Review:

Grumpy panther Leonas is persistently pursued by young vampire, Jeno. There's a number of tropes here: grumpy/sunshine, hurt/comfort, and age gap with some humor that left me smiling.

I really loved how Jeno made his feelings for Leonas clear and with some interference from friends, he gets his man.

The panther side of Leonas was so fun! I really loved all the interactions with the cat.

This outing reads less like a standalone to me since Sebastian features quite a bit and there are mentions of other characters. I liked that though, there's s network of supernaturals building.

A good amount of steam and mystery to solve. That epilogue was lovely 😍 

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Stray is the third book in the Outcast Mates series. 

Leo is a panther shifter that is head of security for The Twig and Berries. He takes that seriously, he very cranky and grumpy. 

Jeno is a new turned vampire that is running from his past but also trying to make up for it. 

Jeno was perfect for Leo, his innate curiosity, he’s sweet and sunshiny. Leo just plain made me laugh, his grumpiness was fun to read. We do get a few cameos from previous stories. 

Overall, a fantastic addition to the series! Well written with nice pacing that hooked me into the story. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Stray is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription.  Want more?  Check out the release blitz post by clicking the graphic below: