Tag Archives: J.L. Merrow

Book Review: Blow Down (The Plumber’s Mate, #4) – J.L. Merrow

Blow DownPublished July 12th 2016
Date of Publication: July 12th 2016
Theme & Genre: LGBTQI, Crime, Mystery, Supernatural
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Format: 249 pages, ebook
ASIN:B01CKFUN6I
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Characters: Tom Paretski, Phil Morrison

Blurb: Death is what happens while you’re making other plans.

The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, Book 4

The last thing newly engaged plumber Tom Paretski needs is to stumble over another dead body. He’s got enough on his mind already as the reality of his impending marriage sinks in. Not only is his family situation complicated, his heroism at a pub fire made him a local celebrity. Now everyone and their uncle wants a piece of his psychic talents.

Hired to find a missing necklace, Tom and his fiancé, private investigator Phil Morrison, wind up trying to unmask a killer—and there’s no shortage of suspects, up to and including the local bishop himself.

As Tom and Phil try to uncover the truth, they find themselves pulled in all directions by the conflicting pressures of their families and their own desires. But the murderer they’re up against is a ruthless schemer who won’t hesitate to kill again. If Tom and Phil aren’t careful, their love—and all their plans for the future—could be blown down like a house of straw.

Warning: Contains a bishop of questionable Christian charity, a necklace of questionable taste, and a plumber of questionable nationality who may be running out of time.

*****

I thought I was already done with this series but remembering my fondness for Tom’s character won me over so I decided to give this another go, and you know what, I totally enjoyed it! I easily remembered why I was so charmed by Tom’s character from the get-go. He’s still funny, charming and good-hearted. He’s just too fascinating a character that I didn’t mind that he’s about to get hitched with Phil – not a big fan of the guy but I am starting to “really” like him here. I just wished that he’d stop being so uptight. I think his abrasiveness is what I don’t like about him in the first place. It also feels like we’ve got so much to learn about his character whilst Tom being Tom is just an open book for everyone to feast on.

 I thought the murder angle was just the side-ploy of the story and the central focus was actually on Tom and Phil’s impending wedding. I loved seeing Phil’s “romantic” side. It’s actually a bit refereshing coming from him. And there’s the rather complicated linage of Tom. I mean, I honestly don’t see the big deal about it but Tom being the nicest guy ever was stressing over it. Oh, who wouldn’t love this guy?

Here’s a nice J.L. Merrow book I’ve been dying to read since the first book off the series and that oh-so-perfect Muscling Through. I hope the next one is as good as this! Ta!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy Link
Amazon | Samhain Publishing

About The Author
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy. Her novel Relief Valve is a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Awards.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: http://www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

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Book Review: Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate #3) – J.L. Merrow

Heat TrapThe main reason I got this book was  to find out things about Tom’s identity – or at least who his real father is. I think that’s what’s keeping me glued at this point in the series. I absolutely adore Tom and his cheeky personality.

The book centered on Tom and Phil trying to help one of their “friend but not exactly friend” lesbian pub owner, Harry on getting one of her customers to back off from one of her barmaids. Then we also have the dealio about Tom’s father’s identity and the couple sorting out their relationship.

This installment however left me at a loss yet again because I couldn’t quite connect (still) with Phil. There’s just something not working for me about their relationship. Now, it’s very understandable for readers like me not to get the couple since apparently, they’re still at the very early stage of their relationship as a couple and we’ve only got the meet and greet with Tom’s weird-ass family and the novel hasn’t even covered Phil’s side of the family. Now I thought that was just way overdue at this point. But yeah, I guess we’d see that one sometime soon in the series.

Now off to some nice parts in the story, Tom’s best pal Gary finally tied the knots with his little darling Darren and as usual, he’s still a drama queen but a good drama queen at that! And outrageous, of course.

I mostly loved the whole relationship “talk” in this book (which I didn’t get much) and didn’t care at all about the mystery part involving Harry’s pub. The only mystery I was curious pre and post-reading the book is all about Tom’s dad! And we’ve got a cliffhanger for that. I was like, OHMYFREAKINGAWD. But after a bit, I was like – okay, I thought it’s a pretty good cliffie and at least we’ve that to expect next time.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m still not convinced with their relationship or maybe I’m just looking for more “Phil time” (maybe a POV from Phil next time?) but I loved that at least they’re progressing in their relationship. This is way better than the last book and was more realistic and I’m hoping next time that it’d capture more romantic time with the couple. Overall, I thought it’s a fun read.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 Published March 17th 2015 by Samhain Publishing

Buy now:
Amazon | Samhain Publishing | Barnes & Noble

About The Author
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: http://www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

Book Review: Caught! – J.L. Merrow

[Book 1 of The Shamwell Tales]

[Book 1 of The Shamwell Tales]

I’m a bit sad because I hate giving the author of one of my favorite MM books [Muscling Through] a one star rating for her latest effort. This one just didn’t work for me. The storyline was mediocre at best, characters totally charmless except for Rose and young Charlie and the rest about it was blah-blah.

Crying GIF

I thought of actually not finishing this book but I was still hoping that it’ll pick up eventually. I was about 67% in the story and decided to just toss my reader and take some aspirin *wink* because it totally gave me a good amount of headache.

Frustrated GIF

But as I’m still holding a lil’ amount of faith for it to get better, I soldiered on and it resulted to a catastrophic disappointment. The flow of the story was consistent yet awfully slow – boring and too indulgent. I won’t even remember the main characters from this book after today.

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.
Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.
Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…
Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense. – BLURB via Goodreads.

 

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars 😦

BUY LINKS
Amazon HERE
Samhain Publishing HERE

 

Book Review: Relief Valve – J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve[Book 2 of The Plumber’s Mate Series]

I actually liked the first book better than this installment. I thought the first one was more focused in comparison and a lot funnier. Now that Tom and Phil are officially dating despite their rather unpleasant past, they are now in the stage of really getting to know each other more including their respective families. I really loved how J.L Merrow writes her stories – the usual sarcastic and dry humor was there, the quirky characters and the story most of the time just goes with the characters so smoothly. Tom’s character here is just one of my favorite characters I’ve read from her and it pains me that I didn’t get much from him in this book despite having his character telling the whole thing. Perhaps, I’m just too annoyed with Phil’s character up until now since reading the first book (I think he’s really got it pretty easy) and the way Tom viewed him really irks me. Tom’s a pretty laid back character with a self-deprecating attitude to go with it. Phil, the grumpy detective was rather too shelled for me. I’m still waiting for that moment where I’ll warmed over his character but it didn’t happen in this book. This book isn’t less enjoyable though, even if I liked the first one better. I still love the way their relationship developed. At least there’s something happening yeah? And there’s Tom’s cats – Arthur & Merlin!!! I loved their scenes whenever Tom talks about them. It was a good book, a good follow-up in the series and I’m really looking forward to reading the third installment. I’d like to give Phil the benefit of the doubt 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Pleasures with Rough Strife (Mistletoe Madness) – J.L. Merrow

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

There’s really not much to this story. Philip Luccombe is the reclusive owner of the manor and the estate where young Danny Costessey does his poaching. Danny had an accident while picking up mistletoe after poaching and was brought inside the manor where he meets Phillip, the master of the house for the first time. Instead of condemning Danny, Philip surprises himself and Danny with the turn of events that may lead into something unexpected.

It was actually a fairly quick read with succinct narration. Set just a few years after the First World War, it does have a side of bleakness and somehow a glitter of hope concerning both Danny and Philip. It’s an okay read but nothing really special.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars