Tag Archives: author: j.l. merrow

Muscling Through by J.L. Merrow

Muscling Through

Muscling Through by J.L Merrow

Published by: Samhain Publishing on July 19, 2011
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Al Fletcher never expected what would happen when he helped a drunk Larry Morton home. His efforts were not exactly appreciated as Larry sent him away and threatened to call the police. Though he came and apologized after he sobered up, it was still a bit of a jarring experience. But the two started spending time together, finding after a short time that the last thing Larry would want to do is send Al away. It might be too good to be true, though, as they come from two completely different worlds. And as much as they seem to click together, Al can’t help wondering if Larry can truly see past those differences in the long term…

This is a short read that moves quickly while managing to bring the reader right along for the ride. Without a lengthy exposition, the conflict that exists for these characters is made real rather quickly. Readers get a strong sense of both characters, even though the story is written from the perspective of only one of them. A well-written and entertaining story!

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve

Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

Series: The Plumber’s Mate, Book 2
Published by: Samhain Publishing on March 25, 2014
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

It wouldn’t be accurate to say that things have been smooth sailing for Tom Paretski and Phil Morrison since they reconnected and became romantically involved. They both agreed to put the past behind them, recognizing they’ve both changed. But there’s still something tentative about the relationship. And that’s even without family opinions being considered.

Tom’s older sister, Cherry, gets back in touch with him to let him know two things. One, their former neighbor, a woman he knew affectionately as “Auntie Lol” has died and he’s named in the will. Two, she’s met a man that she would like him to meet. Of course neither of these are as simple as they seem.

First, Auntie Lol’s will is incomplete. The second piece of it is hidden in her old home, and she asked that Tom use his “gift” for finding hidden things to fetch it. And this is something her ex-husband and current resident of the home isn’t very keen on.

Second, Cherry’s new man, Gregory, has asked her to marry him. It seems a bit sudden considering they haven’t been together long. And it gets even more complicated when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party.

Suspects quickly emerge, from Gregory himself to members of a writing circle of which Cherry had previously been a member. With Tom’s gift and his boyfriends private investigation skills, they are hot on the trail. But can they find who wants Cherry dead before they strike again?

I absolutely love how fun and cheeky this books are without losing any of their seriousness or legitimacy. I enjoy a good whodunnit, and the added humor that the author provides here is honestly icing on the cake for me. The twists and the reveals are always dramatic (while not being over-the-top) and Tom is just one of those characters you have to love.

Boy Meets Boy Meets Boy by J.L. Merrow & Josephine Myles

Boy Meets Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy Meets Boy by J.L. Merrow & Josephine Myles

Series: Mad About the Brit Boys, Book 4
Published by: Self-Published on March 15, 2016
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

A trio of trios! (Or should I say a threesome of threesomes?) In this three-story anthology from J.L. Merrow and Josephine Myles, they assemble previously published stories with an M/M/M flair. And there’s definitely a lot of flair in this book. Featuring a shy guy working in a gym, a birthday celebration, and a trip to the dentist, there’s quite the range here. And not a single one of the stories disappoints.


  • Kit Bag by J.L. Merrow
  • Unwrapped: The Birthday Gift by Josephine Myles
  • Getting a Filling by J.L. Merrow

These two authors are ones who always put together unique and fun stories. These shorts are prime examples of their ability to do just that. Even though they’re all previously published, I hadn’t read any of them before. And I’m glad I finally got the chance to do so. This is part of the Mad About the Brit Boys collection, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more of those books after reading this…

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

To Love a Traitor by J.L. Merrow

To Love a Traitor by J.L. MerrowTitle: To Love a Traitor
Author: J.L. Merrow
Published: September 15, 2015
Pages: 167
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★

In post-World War II London, George Johnson seems to be your average solicitor’s clerk looking for a room to rent. But there’s more to George than meets the eye. For one, that’s not his real name. And the reason he’s seeking the specific lodgings he’s chosen is so that he can investigate Matthew Connaught, a fellow lodger who served with his older brother during the war. The circumstances surrounding George’s brother’s death were questionable, and he’s recently learned there may have been betrayal involved. And if Matthew is the traitor, George intends to find out. But as George gets to know Matthew, he wonders if the man is capable of doing something so heinous…and he finds himself drawn to the man in very unexpected ways. But secrets can only be kept for so long, and eventually the truth will out…

I enjoy a nice historical romance, and this one definitely hit the spot. The investigative aspect, the subterfuge, and the way the relationship develops create an intertwining plot that makes for a uniquely original yet familiar-feeling story. Matthew is a great character that I truly enjoyed getting to know. He’s not only likable, but he’s fun-loving, noble, and deeply caring. The contrasts that exist in this story are stark when they need to be, and there’s a rich world in what is a relatively short novel.

Definitely recommend this one!

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]

Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow


Title: Pressure Head (The Plumber’s Mate, Book 1)
Author: J.L. Merrow
Published: September 18, 2012
Pages: 279
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Tom Paretski isn’t just an ordinary plumber.  He has a special talent–one for finding things that people are trying to hid–that gives him unique insights into people and places.  He’s sometimes called on by the local police to help with their investigations, so it’s not entirely out of the ordinary when it’s asked to help with a case of a missing woman.  But what makes this case unique is the involvement of private investigator Phil Morrison, Tom’s childhood crush and a man partly responsible for an injury that left Tom with a messed up hip that still bothers him to this day.  But has Phil changed or is he still the same macho bully Tom remembers?  Can the two of them really work together on the case?  And what is it that Phil really wants from Tom?

As interesting as the description might be, I found this to be an enjoyable light mystery.  Obviously there is heavy content here between the disappearing people, murder, possible suicides, and much unresolved childhood angst, but I really enjoyed Tom as a character and the story is an easy and engaging read.  I definitely look forward to continuing with this series and seeing what’s in store for this interesting pair…