OUT! by J.L. Merrow Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have the amazing and blasphemous (she doesn’t drink tea!) J.L. Merrow with her new release OUT! We have a fantastic guest post from J.L. and there’s a fabulous giveaway, we also have Aerin’s review of OUT! so enjoy the post and leave a comment for the giveaway. <3 ~Pixie~

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(Shamwell Tales 03)

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.

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

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Crisis Point

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here as part of the Out! blog tour.

Today I’d like to talk about the dreaded midlife crisis.

J.L. Merrow - Out CrisisPoint_crisis_creditNow, he’d be the last to admit it, but Mark in Out! is definitely in the throes of a midlife crisis. He’s been divorced for barely a year, and his teenage daughter is growing up faster than he can handle.

Okay, now I realise I’m courting controversy here, but based on my personal experience, the midlife crisis definitely seems to hit men harder than women. Which at first seems odd, looked at from a purely biological point of view: men, after all, can (pharmaceutically aided if necessary) go on producing kids until the day they drop dead at a grand old age, possibly from over-enthusiastic procreation. Women? We kiss goodbye to all that kind of nonsense by the time we reach our half century, as a rule.

Look at the evidence, though. A stereotypical woman having a mid-life crisis? She just loses a ton of weight and starts wearing leopardskin leggings. A man on the other hand? Trades in the estate car for something bright red and shaped like a penis—and trades in the partner for something equally young, flashy and expensive.

But if you delve a little deeper, what you see is that for nuclear-family man, middle age can represent the end of opportunity. He’s not as fit as he used to be, and he knows it’s only going to get worse. He may have got as far as he’s going to go in his chosen career; from now on it’s just coasting until retirement. And if that career is what he’s focussed on until now, he has to face the fact that he’s missed out on the chance to connect with his kids, who are flying the nest.

Whereas for a woman who’s spent her life raising the kids, middle age is a time of new opportunity. Suddenly she’s got time to do what she wants—travel, hobbies, or just sit down with a book for five minutes without the eternal cry of Mummy!  All that freedom can be kind of scary, though—if those kids were her whole purpose in life, what has she got now?

Which is one reason why the blurring of traditional gender roles, and the rise in numbers of families with same-sex parents, is such a bloody good thing, in my not-so-humble opinion. The artificial division of roles within the family based on gender has created pressures that can boil over when the children grow up. Far better, I’d say, to share the burdens—and the freedoms—equally.


Question: Have you, or has someone you know, had a midlife crisis? Done anything you’re willing to share? 😉

J.L. Merrow - Played!Prizes! I’m offering a prize of an ebook of the winner’s choice from my backlist to one lucky commenter at EVERY stop on the tour, plus a grand prize of a signed paperback copy of Played!, the second Shamwell Tale, which was the first one to feature Patrick from Out! I’m happy to ship worldwide, and I’ll throw in some small goodies as well. 🙂

Good luck!

J.L. Merrow Author Banner

About J.L.

J.L. Merrow - Out Waterhouse_a_mermaid hiresJL 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 mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

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A grand prize of a signed paperback copy of Played!, the second Shamwell Tale

Win an ebook of the winner’s choice from J.L. Merrows backlist to one lucky commenter at each stop of the tour!


(Just leave a comment on this post)


J.L. Merrow - Out CoverTitle: Out!

Series: The Shamwell Tales 03

Author: J.L. Merrow

Genre: Contemporary, Humor, British

Length: Novel (322 pages)

ISBN: 9781619229938

Publisher: Samhain Publishing (January 19th 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Aerin

Product Link: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5697/out

Review: I suppose this series is more comedy than anything else, innit? After a particularly intense book I chose Out! as a pick-me-up, because I knew it was going to be funny and light and I desperately needed something like it.

If you’ve read the previous books in this series, than you should be familiar with Patrick (remember that broken shin of his he got while playing cricket? Yep, that Patrick!). I know I’ve been hoping he would get his own book at some point, only Mark is definitely NOT someone I would’ve imagined as Patrick’s other half.

I’m not sure I liked Mark that much, although I can’t think of a reason why I didn’t. No, I can’t say I disliked him or hated him, and he was even funny most of the time. As a character I liked him a lot. As Patrick’s love interest…not so much. I didn’t think they were good together, and he whole age difference between them was so overdramatized, it annoyed the crap out of me.

Mark Nugent and his spitfire daughter, Fen, have recently moved to the small village of Shamwell in order for Fen to get a fresh start. Mark is closeted and old-fashioned, and he kind of acts like he’s 50 instead of 39. He makes such a big deal of the 14 years between him and Patrick. Everybody does. Like he’s old enough to be his father instead of just accepting it as it is. It drove me the hell insane!

Fen however, is hilarious, the epitome of teenage girl, with enough drama to drive everyone insane. She’s a smart cookie that one. Got her father all figured out and she’s playing him like a fiddle. But under her Goth exterior and smart mouth lays a girl with a heart the size of London. I really loved her for being so accepting and mature when it came to things that were really important.

I really liked the characters, especially the secondary ones, because they took away the focus from Patrick and Mark. Yeah, I KNOW that’s not supposed to be a good thing, but since I didn’t like them together that much, and I got extremely frustrated with Mark playing martyr in order to protect his innocent daughter (hah, what a joke!), the hilarious secondary characters made it all better.

Christ those guys can drink, as it seems like they’re known by bar owners everywhere.

This book, like the previous ones, is very lacking in the steam department, although this one is slightly more X-rated than the rest. We even have a sex scene, pretty descriptive and funny, although I didn’t enjoy it as much as i hoped i would.

5 STARS for the characters, especially Fen and David, I really loved them all!
2 STARS for the romance and unsuccessful matching of Mark and Patrick!

3.5 stars is my final rating.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

Tuesday 19th January – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews – This is Sparta!
Wednesday 20th January – Clare London’s blog – Fabulous footwear
Friday 22nd January – The Novel Approach – Rarer than Unicorns
Tuesday 26th January – MM Good Book Reviews – Crisis Point
Thursday 28th January – Joyfully Jay – Beyond the Binary 
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26 thoughts on “OUT! by J.L. Merrow Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

  1. When I was a teenager, my dad sold the sedan and bought a sports car…without even telling my mom he was going to do it. That did not go over well – at all.

    Thanks for the post – I totally agree with you about chucking the gender-based roles. We try to do that at my home.

    I have Played! and then Out! next up in my reading queue.

    1. Heh, that is such a stereotypical midlife crisis thing to do – I wonder if he realised at the time? 😉
      And I hope you enjoy the books!

  2. I’m not old enough to have had a midlife crisis, yet. I had a quarter life crisis, but it was piddling.

    My dad was just a big kid, anyway, so…

    Anyway, thanks for having this tour! They’re always so fun!

  3. My mom definitely had one of those moments – when I was in high school she bought a brand new fire engine red Firebird. She only had it for a few years though, the tickets were too expensive. 😉

  4. My dad, like most men, had his crisis and bought an all-terrain car to go on adventure… Fortunately, only to go fishing on weekends mostly as he used to do. LOL! I am in that middle-age, but I do not feel in crisis…

  5. I can’t think of a really huge midlife crisis I’ve seen right now, though I’ve seen plenty of ebbs and flows…

  6. Congrats on the release, the book sound fun. And yep a friend had one. He did all of the classic things. Left his wife, got the young twit girlfriend, dyed his hair, got the sports car. And then realized what he’d done after 5 years and wanted to get back with his wife. Let’s just say they’re still a work in progress.

  7. My mom did a similar thing to Jenn’s, bright red Camaro when she was in her mid-50s, I’m less of a sports car person, so my midlife car is a brightly colored Fiat 500.

    1. I’m kind of car-blind myself – even when I was a kid, getting lifts from my friends’ mums, I always found it easier to memorise the number plate than to recognise the car! Although I wouldn’t mind a Nissan Figaro, as driven by Robert in Caught! 🙂

  8. Someone recently commented I was weird in a comical way and wondered what I was like pre-midlife crisis. Luckily my daughter was there and happily informed them this is how I have always been. If I am going through a midlife crisis, it would only really show by the shorter patience I have with bigots.

  9. I haven’t had a midlife crisis yet. The only person I knew that did was an ex-boyfriend’s father, who left his wife and family and did buy a 1968/9 Red Corvette and cheated on her. They eventually got divorced, but he did the whole stereotypical thing.

  10. I haven’t had one and no one I know has had one yet. I’ll like to think that it won’t happen to me.

    1. Ooh, now I’m wondering if they’re more common in certain geographical areas/social strata/whatever…
      Of course, you may just have discovered the secret of eternal youth! ;D

  11. The only one that I know that did that was my brother-in-law after nearly thirty years of marriage, he changed the way he dressed, gave up his sneakers for dress shoes, t-shirts for button downs, changed his hairstyle, and low and behold added a girlfriend. I don’t know how she did it but my sister-in-law wanted to stay with him and got his parents involved threatening disinheritance. That made him come back down to earth.

  12. I don’t think I know anyone who’s had a big midlife crisis. Thanks for the post! Out! was great!

  13. My parents have always had at least one sports car each, since before I was born (not that Dad’s were always suitable for normal roads). Equally, if a sports car is a sign of a midlife crisis, mine started when I was still in my twenties as well. With any luck, I’ll be bringing the BatMobile to the UK Meet this year.

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