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review 2018-03-16 17:07
It's All Geek to Me by J.L. Merrow Review
It's All Geek to Me - JL Merrow

Jez is on a mission of mercy: to replace a tragically deceased comic book for his injured best mate, Tel. Venturing into the Hidden Asteroid bookstore in London — the temple of geekdom itself — Jez is bowled over by the guy behind the counter.

Rhys is the poster boy for hot geeks: tall, gorgeous, and totally cool. Jez is desperate to impress him, so he bluffs his way through comic book jargon . . . and then dashes back to the hospital to beg Tel to teach him how to speak Geek.

Tel’s happy to oblige, and Jez is over the moon when Rhys asks him out. He’s even more thrilled when they discover a shared love of rugby, something he won’t have to fake for Rhys. The question is, how long can Jez keep up the deception, and what will happen when Rhys realizes he’s going out with a Fake Geek Guy?




I breezed through this light read. I am glad I got it on sale though as it came ended too quickly.

We get lured in by the promise of geek culture but there is less geek here than we think. I like the self esteem issues that get brought up. I like less the perfect heroes but these issues are left out there.

The romance is cute but the novella is over just when something really interesting might happen between the two.

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review 2018-02-04 01:23
Slam! by J.L. Merrow
Slam! - J.L. Merrow

Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes

Amateur poet Jude is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe. His little dog, Bubbles, is the only man in the Anglo-Japanese graduate’s life—but Jude yearns from afar for “Karate Crumpet”, a man who runs past the cafe window every Saturday night leading a martial arts class. Jude’s swept off his feet when he’s rescued from muggers by the object of his affections—and when Jude finds out the calm, competent, hunk of muscle is also gay, he’s in seventh heaven. 

Trouble is, the universe seems to be conspiring to stop them getting together. While Jude’s ready to jump straight into bed with his saviour, David’s still got one foot in the closet and wants to take things slowly. Then there’s Jude’s best friend, who has a dangerous secret, and his mother, who’s desperately trying to keep her own love life on track by lying about her age—meaning Jude has to pretend to be a schoolboy!

With a maze of different stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather to keep happy, and ex boyfriends who keep turning up on dates, Jude’s getting increasingly confused. Poetry in motion, it’s not!




This romance is a lot of madcap fun. With dog and really bad poetry and all kinds of other hijinks.

This is trademark Merrow with the Small Village feel. However, we get a lot more couple time than usual and that makes for an even better read.

This is an engaging love story between two very different heroes.

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review 2018-01-03 18:45
Spun by J.L. Merrow
Spun! (Shamwell Tales Book 4) - J.L. Merrow

I decided to take a mini-break away from the horror-fest I’d been on and finally read this way overdue Netgalley title. I think I may need to stick with horror a wee bit longer because I found Spun all too sweet for my current mood.


It was also very hard for me to stick to and when it starts there are so many characters from previous books I haven’t read popping in that I had trouble keeping track of who was who and who was connected to who. I’m not sure if it was the dialogue, the accents or just the sometimes overly wordy prose but I found myself going back and rereading many a paragraph for whatever reason and at times it felt a little too much like work to finish this book. It also has kid characters and they’re featured quite heavily and while it added to the characterization and connection between the couple, kids in a romance aren’t exactly my favorite.


The story opens with David getting fired from his job after he is discovered doing sexual things with the husband of somebody at a work event. Oops. He decides to move out of the city and rents a room from Rory. Rory is a divorced dad of two who has just been dumped by his latest girlfriend. Rory is straight or at least always thought he was until he starts thinking thoughts about David that he’s never thought before.


You can guess how it goes from there right? Okay, good.


So I liked David. He is a bit of a nut. He’s quirky, flirty and flamboyant and carries around a teddy bear he’s named Gregory. It is impossible to dislike David even when he’s making poor decisions and doing the whole jumping to conclusions sort of thing. This brings me to the main issue I had with this book, the misunderstandings and lack of talking about those oh-so-pesky feelings! Rory and David talk about everything else but jump to conclusions and listen to outside forces and get themselves all hurt up for no good reason except maybe to make the book a little longer. It kind of wore on my last nerve and made me want to grab them both and clang their skulls together if I’m being completely honest. I also liked Rory. He’s a quite a few years older than David and he is a kind, sweet and open-minded guy. Their attraction and slowly developing romance felt genuine. But again it was too slow for my tastes.


I liked this story but not enough to give it more than a three.

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review 2017-12-23 20:32
Out! (The Shamwell Tales #3) by J.L. Merrow Review
Out! (The Shamwell Tales) - J.L. Merrow

Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet — at least, the small portion of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Determined to make amends to his neglected teenage daughter from a failed marriage, Mark swears off work — and love — so he can give her a stable home environment. But Mark’s resolve to keep his heart under wraps is tested when he meets an out and proud young man he’s instantly drawn to.

Patrick Owen is a charity worker with strong principles. He doesn’t trust easily, but he’s blown away by his attraction for the older man who’s so new to his own sexuality. Yet Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter — and Patrick refuses to live a lie.

What with Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and his flirtatious ex-colleague who’s determined to come between them, Patrick begins to wonder if they’ll ever be on the same page. And when Mark’s career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, sparks really start to fly — in all the wrong ways.



I liked this romance between with older man with a very grumpy teenager and a young man.


The most intersting part of me, aside of the setting and the cast of characters in the series which I like very much, was the aspect of the story that dealt with what it meant to be queer and coming of age in different decades. This conflict between the heroes was meaningful and compelling.


There is a lot of fun and dashing around and push and pull.


It make me happier this book need to be longer. I wanted much more couple time after Mark and Patrick were all sorted out and really together. I wanted to see them in a full on relationship to earn the I love you.

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review 2017-12-08 22:51
Just another trip back to the village of Shamwell...
SPUN! - J.L. Merrow,Mark Steadman

We first met David in 'Out' and I liked him so when I found out that he was one of the MCs for this series I simply couldn't resist. 


In 'OUT' David pursues Mark, who was his boss and he has a bit of a crush but not being the object of David's affections things stop before they get started, however, David and Mark do remain friends of a sort and when David's world begins to crumble after he gets caught in an indiscretion at work and the friend he's moved in with when he looses his apartment as a result gives him a not so subtle hint that it's time to move on. Desperate and not knowing where else to go David turns to Mark for help.


Mark offers him a job helping to set up his fledgling business and then helps him to find a place to live...enter Mark's friend, Rory.  Rory's straight but he doesn't have a problem with someone who's gay and a boarder to share the expenses would be good. So suddenly Rory has a roommate and he thinks he might like this idea. 


Rory's kids like David and so does Rory. As David and Rory spend time together and get to know each other they each discover that they really enjoy spending time together and Rory finds that as well as David's company, he just likes David...he likes how he looks.


I liked that this wasn't an insta-love relationship. David and Rory spent time together as roommates and friends getting to know each other, doing things together. Rory was uncertain about himself and I liked that we got to spend page time with Rory as he examined his life and his choices trying to sort out how he felt about David and what he wanted for himself and for him and Rory in terms of a relationship. 


While Rory's looking at himself we also get to see David as he begins to realize that he's attracted to Rory, who isn't someone that David would typically be interested in but the more time David spends with Rory the more he realizes that he really likes Rory the person and he likes what he sees when he looks at Rory the man.


I liked the friendship that developed between Rory and David and the loyalty that they showed to each other from the start in spite of their insecurities and the uncertainty that comes with new love. 


Once again Mark Steadman was the narrator for this story and once again he's done a wonderful job of bringing life to this story and it's characters. Providing unique and expressive voices for the characters while keeping familiarity for characters that we've met in previous stories...characters like Mark and Patrick from 'OUT' or Mark's daughter who we also met in 'OUT' and whom I have to say I enjoyed her more this time around. 


'SPUN' is a story of love when and where you least expect it, of second chances and starting over. This has definitely turned out to be my favorite story in this series so far, but if there's more to come I look forward to taking a trip back to Shamwell and finding out whose story is coming next and hopefully seeing how the residents that I'm met so far are doing.



An audiobook of 'SPUN' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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