Lovers Leap by JL Merrow, narrated by Mark Steadman.

Lovers Leap audioWhy I read it:  I received a review copy via the publisher.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This book was an audio delight. The narration was, with only small exceptions, excellent and the story entirely suited the audio medium. One of my favourite things about JL Merrow books is her sense of humour and here I was actually laughing out loud in places.

A word of warning however: Michael says things, most especially at the start of the story which are biphobic, homophobic and transphobic. While he does gain something of an education in the book, the time frame is very short and it is not clear that at the end of it, he has resolved all of his issues. He, at least, acknowledges that he has them and he’s working on them but he’s incredibly lacking in self-awareness (awareness in general, really)  at the start of the story and his journey doesn’t go into the kind of detail which fixes all of his… rough edges.

February Round Up

on Paper/eBook

Geek with the Cat Tattoo**NB This review first appeared in the February ARRA newsletter**
The Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir – B+ 
This delightful novella is the second book in the “Cool Cats” series.  There were supposed to be three, but I think the third book has been shelved for now.  The first book was Girl With the Cat Tattoo (scroll down the link for my mini review).  I liked Geek better but both a fun and quirky stories.  Both stories feature a cat’s POV.

In Geek, the cat is Sam.  He has been through a number of different owners but has yet to find his “forever owner”.  When he meets Emerson Foshay, maker and repairer of musical instruments,  he has high hopes.  Sam has a secret super-power – he can “mindmess” with people.  This is usually only in the form of getting them to empty the cat litter tray or buy him the expensive cat food, but when he sees how tongue-tied Emerson gets around Lola Brown, a regular customer in the shop, he steps in to help.  Both Emerson and Lola get a POV but I admit I had a soft spot for Sam here.

With Sam’s help Emerson and Lola begin a relationship and Emerson starts to overcome his shyness.  However, it’s not all smooth sailing and when Sam is “found” by his former (evil) owner, Emerson no longer has Sam’s “mindmessing” to help him and things fall apart.  Even worse is to come however, when Sam’s former owner (because: reasons) wants Sam destroyed and before too long Emerson and Lola have to put aside their own problems to rescue Sam before it’s too late.

It is a fairly short story but the romance is very satisfying and Sam the cat is just awesome.



 geek to meIt’s All Geek To Me by JL Merrow – B  This is a cute little short – just under 50 pages. JL Merrow is one of the few authors I’m prepared to spend $2.99 on at that word count.  I think it takes a particular talent to write an engaging and complete short story and while the subject matter is fairly light, I think she does a good job here.

Jez is a non-geek rugby-loving lab technician who has a bit of a complex about his looks after his ex did a number on him.  When his friend Tel is in the hospital having broken both legs in a car vs. bike accident where he came off the definite loser, Jez is tasked with finding a comic book to replace the one damaged in the crash.  Upon arrival at the comic store, he becomes deeply smitten by Rhys, the gorgeous guy behind the counter.  Jez, desperate to impress Rhys begs “geek lessons” from Tel.  It actually plays into his Jez’s lack of confidence and so it made sense and even though it was a bit of deception it was the kind I find fairly easy to forgive.

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