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

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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: Merry Gentlemen

Merry Gentlemen
Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute, fun, and lots of campy singing. What else does a holiday novella need? Myles is a great author and she’s once again delivered with this entertaining and enjoyable story about a city-slicker who falls back in love with his country ex. The two may live seemingly very different lives but the power of love wins out. The characters are adorable and the story reads incredibly fast. There’s enough minor action and witty dialogue to keep the pages turning. The ending is a bit optimistic and overly simplified to be believed but I like the concept of love winning out anyway. I especially appreciated the touch with the cranky gull. Continue reading