Release Day Review ~ Out by JL Merrow ~ (Review)
Title: Out! The Shamwell Tales #3
Author: JL Merrow
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 80,000 words
Release Date: 19th January 2016
When the costs are added up, will love land in the black?
Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet—at least, the small part of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Divorced when he could no longer deny his sexuality, he’s sworn off his workaholic ways and moved to Shamwell with his headstrong teen daughter to give her a stable home environment.
His resolve to put his love life on hold is severely tested when he joins a local organization and meets a lively yet intense young man who tempts him closer to the closet threshold.
Patrick Owen is an out-and-proud charity worker with strong principles—and a newly discovered weakness for an older man. One snag: Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter, and Patrick will be damned if he’s going to start a relationship with a lie.
Between Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and a camp, flirtatious ex-colleague who wants Mark for himself, Patrick wonders if they’ll ever be on the same romantic page. And when Mark’s former career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, it could be the one stumbling block they can’t get past.
Warning: Contains historically inaccurate Spartan costumes, mangled movie quotes, dubious mathematical logic and a three-legged pub crawl.
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*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest reviews. ***
Mark Nugent is a divorced workaholic, and so far inside the closet he isn't likely to find the way out without a compass and a map. When his stubborn teenage daughter, Fen, is expelled from school, he decides to step up to the plate and become the father she needs by quitting his demanding job and relocating them both to Shamwell in the hopes of giving them both a fresh start.
In Shamwell, he joins a local organization and there he meets Patrick Owen, who is 14 years younger than him and while both of them are interested in the other, the age difference and Patrick's reaction when he finds out what Mark used to do for a living might get in the way of a relationship.
I adored Mark! He was a fabulous, flawed character. Self-deprecating and with the type of humor I love. His scenes with Fen were hilarious and very realistic! Fen was your typical rebel teenager, much more perceptive than the adults in her life gave her credit for. I also adored David, Mark's ex-PA, and I have to admit I was hoping David and Mark would get together at first, but since that's not going to happen, I hope JL Merrow writes David's story sometime in the future.
I was a bit ambivalent regarding Patrick, not because he isn't a great character or that he doesn't have chemistry with Mark, because he so does. I liked Mark and Patrick together, I found them sweet and hot, but I wanted to slap Patrick when the whole blowout with Mark's career happened (actually cheered when Fen did just that to Patrick, delivered with a few choice words!).
All in all, a great, enjoyable, fast-paced read! I loved JL Merrow's writing style, combining humor and light angst to provide us with hours of uninterrupted entertainment! Definitely recommendable!
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!
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 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.