Review: Out! (The Shamwell Tales #3) by J.L. Merrow

January 16, 2016 Review 0

Review: Out! (The Shamwell Tales #3) by J.L. Merrow

When the costs are added up, will love land in the black?

Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet—at least, the small part of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Divorced when he could no longer deny his sexuality, he’s sworn off his workaholic ways and moved to Shamwell with his headstrong teen daughter to give her a stable home environment.

His resolve to put his love life on hold is severely tested when he joins a local organization and meets a lively yet intense young man who tempts him closer to the closet threshold.

Patrick Owen is an out-and-proud charity worker with strong principles—and a newly discovered weakness for an older man. One snag: Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter, and Patrick will be damned if he’s going to start a relationship with a lie.

Between Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and a camp, flirtatious ex-colleague who wants Mark for himself, Patrick wonders if they’ll ever be on the same romantic page. And when Mark’s former career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, it could be the one stumbling block they can’t get past.

Product Warnings: Contains historically inaccurate Spartan costumes, mangled movie quotes, dubious mathematical logic and a three-legged pub crawl.

Title: Out!
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Shamwell Tales #3
Published by Samhain Publishing
Source: Author
Published: January 19, 2016
Genres: Male Male Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 257
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: four-half-stars
Flames: three-flames

Mark has been in the closet all his life and finally has reached the point he can no longer deny how he fields. When Mark’s ex-wife has problems handling their headstrong teenage daughter, he comes up with a solution. He swears of his workaholic ways, quits his job and moves them out to Shamwell. There he joins a local organization and meets an interesting young man who tempts him. Afraid to come out to his daughter, Mark doesn’t want to come out and Patrick is equally determine to start a relationship lying. It isn’t just Mark’s reluctance that may keep them apart. Mark’s former career clashes with Patrick’s social conscience. If they can work around careers, conscience and closets , these to lovebirds may stand a chance.

Out! was one of those books I could tell just by looking at the cover not only was it going to be funny but it was also going to be entertaining. How right I was! Mark has this dowdy side to him but it’s not one of on purpose. I think it has more to do with him repressing himself for so long. Patrick, on the other hand is fun loving and friendly but there’s this serious caring side to him. You would think they would be like oil and vinegar with one very much out and proud and the other just coming to accept his sexuality but no, they are perfect for each other. There’s a who slew of obstacles that get in their way, like ex-colleagues, charities and rebellious teenagers that just add to the entertainment. Some had me laughing so hard. Oh my the secondaries! Fen, David, the questionable Lex and more were just icing on the cake. I would love to read more about them.

Mark and Patrick had some challenges to face both separately and together and I was easily able to see how they could end up together. There’s not a whole lot of sexual heat here as they seem to keep getting interrupted but I think that just added to the charm and the humor of the book. I was a little worried being this was a series that I would be lost but that was never an issue. Actually, I couldn’t even tell this was a series. There’s only one thing I struggled with and that was the plethora of English slang. Yes, I know, English author, English setting. For the most part, I just went with it although I did have to Google a few words.

As my first book by Ms. Merrow’s, I found it to be a real treat. The story had me engaged from the very beginning, the characters very likable. Despite being part of a series, Out! can easily be read as a stand-all. Overall a solid read and worth a recommendation. Anyone who loves a good laugh with their M/M romances will love this book.


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