Reviewed by Chris
SERIES: The Shamwell Tales #4
AUTHOR: J.L. Merrow
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 316 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2017
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.
When David Greenlake looses his job and has to move to Shamwell, he doesn’t know what to expect. Mostly he just hopes that there will be fewer people around giving him dirty looks. He doesn’t expect to find a place that feels like home, or a roommate who sets his heart a-pattering. Unfortunately for David, Rory Deamer is as straight as they come, so David will have to put on his big boy boots and just get over his silly little crush. But as David gets to know Rory, and Rory gets to know David, there begin to be real feelings on both side. David isn’t going to risk his friendship on what might be sparks, though, and Rory…well Rory is just plain ol’ confused about everything. If they never talk about it, well they might lose their chance, but speaking up might not be worth the risk to their friendship, home, and Rory’s kids.
What can I say about this book other than it was a pure joy to read? It may have taken me a few chapters to warm up to the sheer eccentricness of David Greenlake, but after that it was all smooth sailing. Sure the whole teddy bear thing was weird at first, but honestly, it kinda grew on me. And there is just something about David that is just…lovely. I wouldn’t call him naive or innocent, per se, but there is something about him that makes you want to feed him cupcakes and wrap him up in floffy blankets. He is everything he is, and he has no bones about being so. I honestly don’t know how to explain it, but to say I loved it.
And Rory is just as awesome. Yes, sometimes things fly over his head, but he is such a good man. I really liked that this book didn’t try to make him more than what he was, because what he was felt real and honest. I felt like I was reading a book about two people, not two models. And the sheer goodness of Rory filled this book with so much heart. He tries to be a good man, a good father, and no he doesn’t always succeed, but he does try. He is not perfect, but he is everything that I think David needs. Even if David didn’t quite know it yet.
They are a bit of an odd-couple, I will admit, but they work. Granted, it takes them a while to get there since Rory has no clue he is bisexual, but the journey to them getting there is wonderful. A bit heartbreaking at times (a few tears may have escaped my eyes) but also so damn fulfilling when it finally happens.
I also really appreciated that this book didn’t go in the direction that I was sure it was going to with the whole Lewis-subplot. I was ready to lay down bets that it would devolve into the whole “I’m gonna take your kids away from you because you are now ‘gay'” route, but it didn’t. Thank god. Lewis is still a massive dick, to be sure, but it avoided the cliche and for that I am eternally grateful.
I just enjoyed every second I was reading this book. And any story that can get me from “oh I’ll just read a few chapters” to “oh, is that the last page already?” without me even noticing the time flying by is always must have for me. I love J.L. Merrow. I love the Shamwell series. And I just love the stuffing out of David and Rory.