Muscling Through By Jl Merrow

 Title: Muscling Through

 Author: J.L. Merrow

 Genre:  Contemporary, GLBT, Comedy

 Length: Novella

 Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Heat Rating: Hot

 Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥ 5Hearts

Reviewer:  Pixie

 Blurb:  The bigger they come, the harder they fall… in love.

Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

Review:  I have got to say that I was completely charmed by Al; he is lovable, sweet and admits even to himself that he’s not exactly the brightest tool in the box. Larry is little, pretty and dead clever (Al said that and I won’t argue).   The story is written from Al’s perspective and is humorous throughout, we see these two men from completely different backgrounds come together and neither one tries to change the other, which is completely refreshing, and their lives seem to mesh together really well.

Al seems to completely miss the effect he has on Larry, while Larry is overwhelmed by what he means to Al.   These two men make you want to know them, you can imagine sitting in a pub having a pint with the pair of them and having a grand time of it.

The sex scenes weren’t very detailed but they were hot and plentiful. There doesn’t seem to be much romance but you have to remember that this is Al’s POV who is a big, beefy, working-class boy, an Ex-bouncer and manual worker who wouldn’t see romance even if it hit him with a plank of wood.

So my honest opinion is that this is a poignant romance which is really well written and I loved it.