Monday, April 17, 2017

Virtual Tour ~ Wake Up Call by JL Merrow ~ (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 Wake Up Call, the first of my contemporary MM romances in Riptide’s multi-author Porthkennack series.

About Wake Up Call

South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour—including a habit of collapsing in the street.

Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy—a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality—the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easy-going acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.

When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional—and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future, and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.

4 Stars!!!

Devan is on a mission while vacationing in Porthkennack to track someone who holds the key to his past. He gets distracted from it when he sees Kyle collapse on the street. Kyle is the local alcoholic, or so everyone but Devan seems to believe and despite his prickly nature, Dev is intent on finding out more about the handsome man.

Kyle has been hiding in Porthkennack for a couple of months. Hiding from his friends, his family, and from the horrible narcolepsy diagnosis that cost him his job, his lover and his life as he knew it. Dev refuses to let him hide, though, and they strike a tentative friendship that slowly grows into more, even though Kyle is not sure if they should give into something that has no future.

However, when Dev's sister calls Devan to ask for help, Kyle can't do anything but step up to the plate, making him realize perhaps his life isn't as over as he thought it was.

I loved Dev, he was impulsive, fun, extroverted and nurturing, wanting to help others around him however he could. The scenes when he interacted with the person he'd been looking for were heartbreaking and I found myself crying before I could stop myself. I have to say I was a tad angry at Ceri's reaction when Dev told him about the first encounter, I understood where she was coming from, but calling Dev selfish is like the pot calling the kettle black. *slaps Ceri and hugs Dev*

I loved Kyle, too. I feel so bad for him, and really, I have no clue how I'd react in his situation. It's definitely not easy and perhaps he needed a swift kick on his behind so he realized his life wasn't over, but I think JL Merrow dealt with it very realistically.

The chemistry between Dev and Kyle was amazing and I enjoyed the slow progression of their relationship.

I really enjoyed this book! It was sweet and fun and relatable, with some angst to keep things interesting. It was very British, though, so keep that in mind while reading, it took me a bit to get into Dev's POV chapters because of it at the beginning until I got used to the different style.

Very recommendable!

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

4 Stars! 

Good start to what sounds like a multi-author (ongoing?) series.

Book 1 in the Porthkennack series reads like a 'slice of life', with decent leads, decent characters other than the leads, an actual storyline, some slightly unsavoury stuff, some reality and some plain human decency that's too often kept hidden. Believe me, it's not as muddled as I make it sound, and you have to be reading it to understand it.

It's a very English tale and a very JLM tale, so it's classy and understated, but very readable. There aren't tons of highs and lows or dramas, simply some real life.

The romance between the leads was slow and sweet, building from simply a couple of decent guys meeting by fluke, becoming friends then friends-with-benefits and then lovers. It's not a full-on sexy tale, but it's realistic and takes into consideration one guy's narcolepsy. I enjoyed it and will be checking out more of the series.

ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing and NetGalley, in return for my reading pleasure.

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex BeecroftJoanna ChambersCharlie CochraneGarrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

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. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:


To celebrate the release of Wake Up Call, 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 April 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. Congrats on the new release, J.L. The subject of narcolepsy sounds quite interesting. It sounds to me like a terrible disease.
    tankie44 at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks! And yes, the more I learned about it the more respect I had for those who live with narcolepsy.

  2. I appreciate the review!


  3. Thanks for the review. I'm so excited about this series.

  4. Congrats and thanks for the post, and good review. Your new book sounds great, as does this new collaborative series. I love when a book deals with issues I can learn more about, like narcolepsy. FYI, but you probably already know, Harriet Tubman suffered from it, the result of being hit by her overseer when she stepped in to protect another slave. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

    1. Hah, yes, I did know about Harriet Tubman - and in fact I mention her in another blog post on the tour. :)

  5. This sounds really good! What a great idea to do a multi-author series!

    1. I was so chuffed to be asked to take part. :)

  6. Thank you for the review. I look forward to getting to know the characters and how narcolepsy affects them.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. This story sounds fascinating, and I can't wait to read it. I am excited about the Porthkennack story world series. What a wonderful idea to have such great authors participating in this event. Congratulations on the new release.
    chalonsursaone95 (at) Hotmail (dot) com

    1. Thanks! I'm chuffed to bits to be in such great company! :)

  8. congrats and love this cover
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  9. congrats on the new release it sounds great!


  10. Congrats on the new release. This sounds really good. Can't wait to read it.

  11. Congratulations on the new release and I really enjoyed the premise of the book. I can't wait to learn more about it!

  12. Congrats on the release & thanks for the review.