Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Virtual Book Tour ~ Spun! by JL Merrow (Review + Giveaway)

Virtual Book Tour ~ Spun! by JL Merrow (Review + Giveaway)

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Spun!, the fourth of my contemporary MM romantic comedies in the Shamwell Tales series.

About Spun!

With friends like these . . .

An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?

Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.

Spun! is now available from Riptide Publishing.

Spun! Deleted Scene: Infidelity from the Other Side 

Spun! opens with an amorous encounter between our hero David and a silver fox he’s just met, called Xav—who turns out to be married to Marthe, the sister of David’s boss’s wife, precipitating much of the action in the book, not to mention David meeting our other hero, Rory (who turns out to be much better for him than Xav could ever have been *g*).

 This scene is one I wrote to get into Marthe’s head a little—it turned out not to have a place in the book, but I’m still rather fond of it. One of the themes of Spun! is infidelity (although there’s no cheating in the main pairing), the reasons why it happens and how it might affect a couple. Here, I wanted to explore why a strong woman might choose to stay with a man who was repeatedly unfaithful to her.

In this scene, David has gone round to Xav’s house, ostensibly on a business matter but in reality, he suspects, because Xav’s trying to seduce him—but then Xav’s wife turns up:

They both froze as the front door opened and then shut, the sound carrying clearly into the living room.

“Darling?” A recognisably Teutonic voice called out. “Are you home?”

Oh, God, it must be Marthe. Mrs Xav.

No, this wasn’t awkward at all.

“Darling,” Xav was saying. “We’re in the lounge.”

She came sweeping into the room. Her outfit, by way of contrast with her house, was top-to-toe English country chic.

Xav kissed the cheek she held out to him. “I thought you were at a meeting?”

“So stupid. The chairman is not well, and so they have cancelled it. But who is this charming young man?” She turned an assessing gaze on David, who tried not to cower. Didn’t she recognise him? Surely she recognised him.

“This is David Greenlake, darling,” Xav said nonchalantly. “From the accountants. He’s come to look over some books for me.”

David gave her a panicked little smile in welcome, trying frantically to look business-like and not at all like a man she’d last seen with his lips wrapped around her husband’s cock.

“Ah, I see. But you have not made our guest some tea? Xavier, where are your manners? And I would like some coffee, with just a small slice of the Madeira cake.”

“Of course, darling.” Xav strode off towards the kitchen, having somehow managed to keep his poise even in the face of very trying circumstances.

Mrs Xav sat down on the sofa next to David, who reminded himself very firmly that panicking and/or screaming would not be productive.

Running away, though, there might be something in that…

“So, this is nice, isn’t it?” she said. “Just you and me together. And how do you like the house? Charles and Traute’s house is very grand, but I think my house is more like a home, don’t you agree?”

Oh God. She had recognised him. “Lovely,” David croaked. He tried to surreptitiously scan the room for sharp implements, and desperately hoped Xav would leave the cake slice and any pastry forks in the kitchen.

“You think I got the short straw, don’t you? The poor wife, whose husband runs around with boys. I know people think so. I see it in Traute’s face. She thinks she has done better than me, because she has Charles, and I have Xavier. But she is wrong. They are all wrong. You think I want a man like Charles, with no spirit, no life? So he is never unfaithful to her. So what? Who would want him? But my Xavier, who would not want him?”   Mrs Xav leaned in closer to David, and lowered her voice.  “You think I care that he screws boys like you? Let me tell you this: he runs after you boys, but when he catches you—that is when it ends, and he comes home to me. Because I am the wife, and he knows this.”

 David stared at her, aghast. “But...”

She just smiled like she held all the secrets of the universe. “You think I sit at home crying while he plays? Like the abandoned wife, who lives only for her man? No. I have my own life. And when he comes back—and he always comes back—I make him work to earn his place.”


“Like a trip to Venice. Or a diamond ring. Or...other things. Now, I think that is Xav returning. You must try some of the cake. I made it myself.”

As Xav and Mrs Xav ate and drank cordially together, David sat upon the sofa in a state of shock, his plate of Madeira cake neglected in his lap and his tea untasted upon the table.

5 Stars!!!

Spun! is book 4 in the Shamwell Tales series by JL Merrow and it can technically be read as a standalone. I suggest reading at least book 3, Out! first, though, because we met David there and Mark and Patrick, the couple featured in that book, make several appearances in Spun!

David is, without a doubt, my favorite character in this series and I have been dying to read his story ever since I read Out! for the first time last year. I have to admit that I was kind of bummed that JL Merrow didn't pair him off with Mark, I thought they had great chemistry and frankly, I didn't like Patrick for most of the previous installment. However, after seeing David with Rory and his kids, (and getting sort of disillusioned with the way Mark thought of David when David helped him so much in Out!) I think Rory and David make a whole lot more sense. 

David could charm the pants off almost anyone he meets. He's friendly and despite what everyone seemed to think, I didn't really think he was all that flighty. He has a penchant for older men, preferably handsome and rich, or at least he did until the latest of his conquests turned into a frog after he went down on him and ended with David being fired from his job and having to ask Mark, his ex-boss, to employ him and get him some place to live in Shamwell. David made some mistakes and was a bit immature, but really at 24, anyone would be, so that was very realistic. I loved that Gregory (his teddy bear), was such a big part of his life. He was truly adorable.  

Rory is a straight, divorced man in his 40's, with two kids, Lucy and Leo. He's easy going and laid back and accepts to take David in as his lodger when Mark asks him to. While he's never given much thought to men as being attractive, that changes as he gets to know David and they hit it off, bonding through their lack of cooking skills, their similar tastes in movies and series and the fact that David is just great with Lucy and especially Leo. 

This was a slow-burn romance, but it all happened so naturally that even if it took a long time, it felt right. There was a lot of British humor, especially where David was concerned, he was just fabulous and made me laugh so much. I was also in tears, though, my heart absolutely broke at one point of the book for David and loved that throughout it all, he could count on Rory to make it better. 

All in all, in my opinion, this was the best book in the series. It was witty, fun, captivating, sweet, somewhat angsty, but above all, it had David, Rory, Gregory, Lucy and Leo, who were just about as perfect for each other as they could be. 

Definitely a must-read!!!

*** Copy provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About the Shamwell Tales

Welcome to Shamwell! A sleepy rural village in Hertfordshire, England, it’s the perfect place to move to for a little peace and quiet—or at least, you’d think so. But as a succession of newcomers to the village find, there’s more going on in these idyllic surroundings than cricket matches on the common and pints of ale in the local pubs.
As a place where everyone’s connected to everyone else, Shamwell’s rife with mishaps, mayhem, and misunderstandings—and the path of true love is no smoother than the ancient stone walls of the parish church.
Each contemporary romantic comedy in this series stands alone, but all feature a cast of characters drawn from Shamwell and its surroundings.
Check out the Shamwell Tales, available from Riptide Publishing!

About JL Merrow

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.
She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.
JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:


To celebrate the release of Spun!, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. Grrr... so glad I have finished reading Spun! before this deleted scene. Otherwise, Grrrr!!! I just want to smack Xav and his missus!! X-P
    Thanks for the peek into not-in-the-book scene, JL. Love this book! :)
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Yes, it's not what I'd look for in a marriage, that's for sure!
    So glad you enjoyed the book and the scene! :D

  3. Thanks for the review!


  4. Thanks for the review. colby69@verizon.net

  5. Thank you for the review!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  6. great review


  7. Congrats on the release. I had loved this series and am looking forward to picking this up.
    flutterfli01 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Thanks - I hope you'll enjoy it! :D

  8. Congrats and thanks for the scene and good review. The book and series sound like fun, and I like the English countryside setting. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  9. Congratulations for book release and thanks for the deleted scene