Posts Tagged With: JL Merrow

Audio Review: Caught! by JL Merrow

Reviewed by Morgan

Title: Caught!
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.
Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Morgan's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giveaway Winners!

It’s time to pick some giveaway winners! Woohoo!

Buck Baxter - Disappearing Divas

The winner of an eBook copy of Buck Baxter, Love Detective by Geoffrey Knight is… Continue reading

Categories: Giveaways | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger JL Merrow: The Damaged Hero + Giveaway!


The Damaged Hero

by JL Merrow

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here with the Blogger Girls today, where I’ll be taking a tongue-in-cheek look at that much-loved character in romance: the damaged hero.

Who can resist a Man With a Tragic Past? Battered and bruised by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, he’s just hurt_comfortv2gagging to have his boo-boos kissed better. And we all know where that leads! 😉

Of course, there are many different types of damaged hero. Here are a few I’ve written about, and I’m sure you can think of plenty more:

1. The Wounded Soldier

Ah, here’s a bullet-proof trope if ever there was one. (Sorry. I have poor impulse control!) He’s a soldier, so he’s a strong, manly man who’s been injured in the course of protecting the weak. He may be stoic, or he may be bitter—at the start of the book—but we all know that by the end, love will have helped him come to terms with his altered life. And there can be something very seductive about a guy who refuses to let physical damage affect his spirit.

In Permanently Legless, I had poor Chris lose both legs in Afghanistan—but he didn’t lose his strength of character—or his sense of humour. Chris’s character was inspired by real-life British soldiers I read about who’d lost limbs while serving yet still displayed incredible courage and humour.

2. The Betrayed Lover

Poor love. Up to his armpits in trust issues, and who can blame him? He laid his heart at some undeserving cad’s feet some time before the book started, only to have the rotter stomp all over it. No wonder he’s dragging his feet over getting together with Hero #2, even though, as the reader knows, this guy is a thoroughly nice chap who’ll never let him down.

tragic pastv2Robert in Caught! starts the book by swearing off men for the next thirty years, although *spoilers!* once he meets Sean, it doesn’t take long for his resolve to waver! 😉

3. The Widower

He doesn’t have to have actually been married to the guy, of course. Particularly in historical fiction, where it would be more than a little tricky. And illegal. But a man in mourning—especially if it’s long after most people would think it’s time to start moving on—has certain attractions, and it’s not just all the soulful looks. First, he’s shown himself capable of deep love and commitment—and second, who wouldn’t like the challenge of getting the guy out of his widower’s weeds? 😉

Philip in Poacher’s Fall has been a virtual recluse since the death of the man he loved in the Great War, but Danny soon coaxes him out of his shell. And Ted in Trick of Time is not only in mourning for his lover, he also has elements of #1, as he’s yet to make a full recovery from his injuries in the car crash that bereaved him. (I feel like I should apologise to him…)

4. Down and Out 

Not so much damaged as disadvantaged—although the two often go hand in hand—he may not actually be homeless, but he still hasn’t got two brass farthings to rub together, poor lamb. He’s been down on his uppers so long, his feet would make a podiatrist weep. In extreme cases, he’s been forced to survive by trading the only commodity left to him: his body.

This, of course, is the basis of the classic Cinderella story—although our updated version is likely to come with a healthy dose of cynicism, so prepare for Prince Charming to be put through the wringer in proving his devotion. We find Jem in Trick of Time in such a  situation—although curiously, this impoverished Victorian rent boy still isn’t as damaged as his lover, Ted (I’m so sorry, Ted!)

5. The Amnesiac

What on earth happened to this guy? Nobody knows, least of all the man himself. In extreme cases, the poor love hasn’t even got a name to call his own. Maybe it was a bump on the head. Maybe something so traumatic he’s blocked out all memories to protect himself. Maybe something even more sinister, if this is sci-fi and there happens to be a mind-wipe machine handy.

Everyone loves a romantic hero with a touch of mystery about him, and mystery is something this guy’s got in spades. Feel his pain as he struggles to find out what happened to him—and whether he’s one of the good guys or not. I have to confess, this is a personal favourite, although I didn’t get around to writing it until Paul in Fall Hard took a tumble down a rather scenic waterfall in Iceland.

Of course, there are many more types of damaged hero, for example the abuse survivor, or the man forced by circumstances to deny his sexuality. Serious issues, but stories about them can be intensely moving and uplifting—and isn’t that what we read romance for?

Question: Do you have a favourite trauma (if you’ll forgive the phrase!) you like to see your hero overcoming? I’d love to hear from you!


About Caught!

11You can run from the past…but the past runs faster

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

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.

Available at: Samhain & Amazon


About JL Merrow

Waterhouse_a_mermaid hiresJL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.

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

Find JL Merrow online at:, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at


JL has kindly offered up a chance for THREE WINNERS to pick an eBook of their choice from her backlist!! The giveaway starts now and ends September 27, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Early Review: It’s All Geek to Me by JL Merrow

Reviewed by Heather C

20418325Title: It’s All Geek to Me
Author: JL Merrow
Heroes: Jez and Rhys
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance, Comedy
Length: 13,600 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 10, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing
Add it to your shelf at: Goodreads

Blurb: 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? Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment