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review 2015-06-11 00:00
Muscling Through
Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow Sort of brought to you by Reading Project 2015.

Felt vaguely bad for being tepid on Slam (not that anyone cares, except me) - so I thought I'd write something about how much I adore this.

I think Merrow might be the Queen of short-form fiction. It's just a perfect little jewel of a book. An ideal comfort read - "like your favourite cup of tea" as Liz says in her review.

An unlikely love story between a Cambridge professor and ... well ... a tattoo-ed giant of a man who is generally considered to be a bit stupid, the twist being that the narrative is told entirely from the latter's POV. What that they have in common -- apart from desire, and then love -- is, hilariously enough, sensitivity. They are both a little lost, a little melancholic, a little inclined to to be too-hurt by the world, despite their disparities in appearance and life experience.

It's so completely lovely to see them come together and slowly, carefully learn to make each other happy. And, obviously, the book very gently explores a lot of the issues closest to my heart: class and masculinity and the mutual care-taking of love.

Because it's a Merrow book, this is funny as hell, but it's got as much as heart as it's narrator.

I reiterate: I have all the love for this book.
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review 2015-06-07 00:00
Muscling Through
Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow Lovely story about Al, who you supposed could call simple, and Larry, the man who saw the real Al and fell in love with him.

Very refreshing to be inside the head of Al. Al was so sweet. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body.

And how these two met, hilarious.

“You should let me take you home,” I said, ’cause I was worried he might not make it on his own. “You want money ?” he said, and he was shaking a bit. “I’ve got money.”
I tried to give him his wallet back, but he had his eyes shut again, so I put it in my pocket. I think
he needed to get to bed. “I’m going to get you home and in bed,” I told him. He wasn’t walking too good, so I put my arm round his skinny little waist. I could have snapped him in half. “I could snap you in half,” I said, and I smiled so he’d know it was a joke, but he still had his eyes shut.

Why only 3 stars? These kind of stories don’t really do it for me. The kind where 2 people fall in love at the start and the rest of the book is about their lives together. But it’s a nice story. Very heart warming.
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review 2015-05-12 00:00
Muscling Through
Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow
Yes, this story is incredibly adorable! Very heartwarming and Al was such an awesome character. But his simple and naive nature were at times a bit too much like a child and that didn't sit quite well with me.

Still this story made me smile and I had a great time with it!
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review 2015-04-04 10:05
Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow

This just got upgraded to 5 stars after another re-read (5th or 6th, I think). A book guaranteed to make me feel good (and shed a few tears in-between).

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review 2015-01-29 21:00
Book Review: Muscling Through by JL Merrow
Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow

My good friend Julio wrote a review for this book, and I really don't have anything I could say to make it more clear that everyone who loves M/M romance books should read this one. Immediately.


This book is a warm blanket you use to cover yourself on a cold winter's night. This book is that special piece of chocolate, the ooey-gooey kind that just melts in your mouth. This book is a tall drink of sweet lemonade on a hot summer's day. This book will make you feel like saying "aww" and "oooh". 



Read this book! Read this and rejoice in the glory that is Al Fletcher. 



** Given to me as a Christmas present by Heather, whom I can't thank enough for dropping this gem into my lap and waiting patiently for me to read it. **

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