Review: Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow … still good but not maintaining the same oomph.

Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate, #3)Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The third book in the Plumber’s series was short and sweet, though unsatisfying for me. The mystery was bland and unappealing honestly and there were some serious problems with Tom’s character (in my opinion) but the romance finally flourished after some unnecessary angst and the story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. The series could either way, I could see it continuing or ending here. Given the ending, I’d be surprised if the author didn’t give at least a short story addressing the last issue but who knows. I think I’m ok to be done with the series as Tom has slowly lost his charm and appeal for me as a reader over the course of the series. He’s interesting and offers a good mess of neuroses and intelligence but his reaction to Phil in this book made me want Phil to run far, far away. I’m curious what other readers will think of this particular offering. Continue reading

Review: Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow – good sequel but meh mystery

Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate #2)Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting sequel that sets up a good series but the mystery is complicated and not well developed. The characters carry the story with their charm so if their near constant manly bickering isn’t your thing, the book may not be as engaging. It’s well written with Merrow’s classic British taste and slang but it lacks a good deal of the humor I usually associate with JLM. I found the couple lackluster and more like friends with benefits than a madly in love relationship. What got me through the story the most were Merrow’s writing, British background, and narrator. I liked Tom but I just didn’t feel his romance with Phil. I’m still going to continue with the series and maybe Relief Valve is just the typical middle book slump. Continue reading

Review: Pressure Head by JL Merrow – Talky villains never win

Pressure Head (The Plumber's Mate #1)Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not surprising I’m late to the party in reading this series by JL Merrow but I’m here now! I liked this opener and found it enjoyable to read with entertaining characters and a decent whodunit. My only issues were that I never got a good feel for the character of Phil and the villain confesses in a nonsensical scene at the end. Neither issue bothered me enough to dislike the book and I think most readers won’t be bothered either. Merrow is a good writer with subtle humor and good pacing making her stories a joy to read with distinct British flair. Easy to recommend. Continue reading

Review: Caught!

Caught! by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I generally like Merrow’s work and this is no exception. In fact I found myself enjoying this so much that I wanted to read it again when I was done. The story is definitely a gentle romance with barely any sex scenes but I liked that choice. This allowed the author’s great writing and excellent dialogue to shine. The tension in the story is easily resolved and relies heavily on connecting with the main character and believing his reasoning. I found myself swept up in the protagonist’s quirks and behavior and would have happily read about his antics for much longer. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters I’ve read in fiction and I’m not a Dr. Who fan. Anyway I think this will definitely go over well for those readers that enjoy gentle romances with a distinctly British flair. Continue reading

Review: Hard Tail

Hard Tail
Hard Tail by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

JL Merrow usually works pretty well for me with her smooth writing, great wit, and adorable characters. Hard Tail is no departure from that and feels like a solid comfort read that fits well with the author’s backlist. The situation is interesting with some good and obvious research thrown in. I think the external tension drew out a bit too long and in a very predictable way. Due to this some sections of the book seem to drone on while others flew by easily giving an uneven pace. Despite this the nice guy characters and cute chemistry should be enough to win over fans of the author. Continue reading

Review: Hairy, Horny, and Over Here

Hairy, Horny, and Over Here
Hairy, Horny, and Over Here by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got this one because it was by JL Merrow and I’ve yet to find a book of hers that I don’t laugh out loud while reading. Well I didn’t exactly laugh out loud at this one but I adore the ending and the story is cute and fun. It’s a throwaway in that it’s not one I’d remember exactly and there isn’t much to the story but it’s fun, easy to read, and enjoyable so worth the few bucks. Continue reading

Review: Tortoise Interruptus

Tortoise Interruptus
Tortoise Interruptus by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore JL Merrow’s sense of humor and Tortoise Interruptus is no different. The story is short, sweet, incredibly witty, and laugh out loud funny in parts. This is a great story for fans of Merrow’s as well as though new to the author. This is short enough to satisfy while giving a glimpse of the author’s trademark sense of humor. In fact it’s rare to read a story of JL Merrow’s that isn’t quite enjoyable and funny. So TI fits very well with her backlist and is an easy story to recommend. Continue reading

Review: Muscling Through

Muscling ThroughMuscling Through by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me just say I adore everything about this story. The first person narrator is charming, lovely, heart warming and it would take a real hard hearted person not to appreciate his genuine personality. The story isn’t perfect and the narrator tells you the story as if this had happened a long time ago and he’s telling the reader how things came to be. The tense also changes sometimes from present to past but honestly these are all incredibly minor qualms that don’t stand a chance against such a truly wonderful story. I recommend this easily and think fans and readers will love this story. Continue reading

Review: Camwolf

Camwolf Camwolf by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The more I read Merrow’s work the more I quite like her voice. Her latest, Camwolf, is an entertaining and enjoyable werewolf romance. The story takes a chance with a prominent female narrator but for the most part this works very well. The typical werewolf fight for dominance and animalistic behavior is handled well, contrasted beautifully against a mild mannered college of intelligent but reserved occupants. Some of this shift feels jarring and never quite hits an easy pace but the writing and deft characterization help overcome any qualms. I think most readers will find the story engaging and enjoyable to read.

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Review: Stroke to His Cox

Stroke to His CoxStroke to His Cox by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love JL Merrow’s sense of humor and even if this hadn’t been highly recommended around the blogsphere I’d want to read a book titled “Stroke to His Cox.” Yea I’m a perve but so are you so get this short delightful story. The writing is clever, witty, and full of innuendo and rowing terms. The characters are funny, entertaining, and like to twist the usual stereotypes on their heads. For a short story this packs a punch and leaves you wanting more of whatever Merrow wants to offer. Continue reading