Reviewed by Morgan
Author: JL Merrow
Narrator: Mark Steadman
Series: The Shamwell Tales #1
Heroes: Robert and Sean
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 28, 2017
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Bow ties are cool…but secrets, not so much.
Behind Robert Emeny’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But then he’s knocked for six – literally – by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.
Sean Grant works in pest control, lives on a council estate, and rides a motorbike. Robert is an ex-public schoolboy from a posh family who drives a classic car. On the face of it, they shouldn’t have anything in common. Yet Robert can’t resist Sean’s roguish grin, and passion sparks between them even after an excruciatingly embarrassing first date.
Too bad the past Robert’s hiding from is about to come looking for him. His increasingly ludicrous efforts to keep his secrets are pushing Sean away – but telling the truth could make Sean leave him for good.
Gyn reviewed the book here. I agree with a lot of Gyn’s review. (I thought the original cover was cuter, too!) She gives us the basic rundown of the story and emphasizes how totally BRITISH and funny this is!
Merrow is so good at immersing the reader in her locale and making them feel like one of the locals. Undoubtedly, if you aren’t familiar with some of the slang, you might have to look it up, but – really – it all makes sense in the context and really adds to the flavor of the story.
In this story I felt she did a tremendous job of really giving us a good feel for Robert and who he is. In one description, he feels naked without his bow tie and that his Adam’s apple is “the size of a grapefruit”! There are many of these “laugh out loud” moments and descriptions.
I’m not a big fan of “miscommunication” as a trope, but I do think that the humor and the way the reader feels a part of this village help to overcome that as a “con”.
I didn’t get as good a “feel” for Sean and I wish we’d spent more time with him – in his head – and with the couple – as a couple. The chemistry is there – for sure – but I’d have loved some more time with them doing “couple” things to really feel good about their HEA, as it stands, I’d say they have a strong HFN.
I think this will appeal to anyone who loves British humor and British”isms”. If you’re looking for more of a laugh than a tug on your feels, this will do, as well. Fans of the author will probably be pleased, and fans of bow ties!
3.5 of 5 stars
Mark Steadman is great! I love listening to his accented voice and think this is absolutely the best way to enjoy this story. When you add Merrow’s very British writing to his accented narration – you can’t help but feel you’re in the village itself!
Mark is also good with handling the pacing and timing – which is key to both humor and romance. He kept the characters separate and handled the female and children’s voices well.
I really enjoyed this audiobook and would recommend it highly as a way to enjoy this book.
5 of 5 stars
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*