ARC Review – Slam! by J.L. Merrow

I’m happy to say that J L Merrow’s very witty banter and style are back in this book! ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures 

Limericks, lies, and puppy-dog eyes…

Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it – mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.

Then there’s “Karate Crumpet”, a man who regularly runs past the cafe with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name – David – but that he s gay.

Jude should have known the universe wouldn’t simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there’s Jude’s mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.

With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David’s lives will ever start to rhyme.

Warnings: Contains a tangled web of little white lies, a smorgasbord of cheesy limericks, a violin called Vanessa, some boots that mean business, and the most adorable little dog ever. Poetry, it’s not.


I’m happy to say that J L Merrow’s very witty banter and style are back in this book! I enjoy her workatruegemaward immensely but the characters in this book really wormed their way into my heart. First off, this is the first M/M book I’ve read where one of the men is very effeminate. That’s not a bad thing; I just find that’s not very normal in this genre. However, the object of his desire is not totally out and so it’s not hard to imagine the difficulties they run up against. To be honest though, these issues are really just the icing on top of the cake and watching them try to keep the top layer from sliding off is interesting, funny, heartbreaking, and worthy of applause.

Jude Biggerstaff (yep, that’s his name and don’t you dare snicker) is a carnivore working in a Vegan cafe. He’s recently graduated from university with a degree in film studies. He’s very tall, 22 but looks 15 and it out and proud. He moved back home after his Mother went through a break-up that left her somewhat rattled and he’s stayed mainly because it’s allowed him to kind of float through life. He’s a violinist and he writes poetry and participates in public readings and poetry slams. He has a best friend named, Keisha, and he’s got a crush on a man who runs by the cafe every day who they’ve dubbed “Karate Crumpet.” He’s larger than life, he has no filter, he’s loyal to friends and family, he’s funny, and he can be completely over the top at times. I could so be friends with this guy and there’s no doubt our mouths would get us in trouble, big time!

Jude and David meet in an unusual way and spend some time together socially. They have a misunderstanding of sorts right off the bat, but once that’s figured out they start dating. Jude is immediately ready to move the relationship along, but David isn’t in a hurry. I admire David for wanting to know Jude better and being 34 he’s much mellower that Jude. There is obvious chemistry between these two and they spend some time making out and these scenes are really great foreplay. These men seem like they are complete opposites but in a weird way they complement each other. At times, their age difference seems to get the better of them and David not being completely out also causes a few issues especially since one of his co-workers is dating Jude’s mother. However, when they are together they both are so at ease and seem so happy. That’s not to say they have an easy road to their happiness, nope not at all…their journey is filled with pot holes, twists and turns but in the end it is worth it. I don’t want to give anything away but David makes a huge gesture that says a lot about the man he wants to be.

From the two main characters that were absolutely delightful, to the secondary characters that added so much insight and depth, the unbelievable witty banter, the crazy limericks and poems spaced throughout, and a well developed romance, I absolutely adored this book. Slam by JL Merrow is a delight and for anyone who enjoys the M/M genre–it is a must read!

PS–I dare you to not start talking in an English accent and using words like innit after you read this book. I swear my husband looked at me like I was nuts but I just got so caught up in this book; it was hard to come out of it!


4.5 Stars

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