Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have J.L. Merrow stopping for a quick visit with her new release Lovers Leap, we have a fantastic excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Aerin’s review, so enjoy the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

J.L. Merrow - Lovers Leap‏ Cover

Lovers Leap


J.L. Merrow

If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

Lovers Leap is also available in audio from Amazon and Audible!

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J.L. Merrow

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lovers Leap, my fast-paced romantic comedy with a leap year theme set on my beloved, native Isle of Wight. Lovers Leap features two very different young men—each of whom will need to take a leap of faith if their love is to survive!

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It was a bit nippy that day, and Rufus wrapped his wool coat tighter around himself as he promenaded down the beach and under the barnacle-encrusted supports of Sandown Pier, master of all he surveyed. Well, technically not master of all or, in fact, any of it, but there was no one around to challenge his claim, so he could pretend it was all his.

Mostly, obviously, it was sand, but that was all right. Rufus would never forget the first time he went to Brighton and was horrified by that quarry pit they had the nerve to call a beach there. No, as the name might tend to imply, they had proper beaches in Sandown. Which was just as well, as some might say there wasn’t much else to shout about, particularly in the winter, when the hotels and most of the shops were shut up for the off-season. Rufus, however, liked to think there was a certain desolate charm to the place.

At any rate, if you wanted to go for a solitary walk on your birthday, and said birthday happened to be at the end of February, you could pretty much guarantee you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by seething throngs of people on the beach.

It was only the fifth real birthday he’d had, having been born twenty years ago on leap day, February 29. Some people considered it unlucky, but Rufus preferred to think of it as special. Unusual things could happen on a day that only came around once every four years. After all, he’d happened on a leap day, and people were always telling him he was special, although he had a strong suspicion they didn’t necessarily mean it in a good way.

Today, his firm belief in the specialness of leap days was amply justified.

There was a man walking out of the sea towards him, just like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, only he wasn’t wearing little blue trunks, which, given the current temperature, was probably just as well. No, he was fully clothed and sopping wet in the biting wind.

Rufus stared at the man, wondering whether, in the face of this unexpected birthday present, he ought to reconsider his halfhearted Church of England agnosticism and convert to worshipping Poseidon. And whether the sea god would expect him to sacrifice his firstborn in gratitude, which was likely to prove something of a problem, what with him being gay and all.

Rufus’s unexpected gift from the gods was tall and nicely broad-shouldered, with a fair bit of muscle—not all of that bulk was due to the Puffa jacket dripping from his shoulders. Dark-haired, although it was probably a bit lighter when it wasn’t plastered to his head with seawater. His eyes were the blue of the bay on a sunny day. Unlike the dull, muddy green it was on this particular day, which was more the colour of Rufus’s eyes. He was gorgeous, this bloke was, in a rough-diamond, macho-man way. He had the kind of looks you’d expect to see on the face of someone brandishing a cutlass and demanding you give up your booty.

Rufus was ready to give it up all right. No question. This man was literally a wet dream, and he was walking straight towards Rufus.

Could he be a selkie? Rufus briefly considered the possibility of seal-shifters (a) being real and (b) bothering to turn up on the Isle of Wight. In February. Yeah, get real. Anyway, from the pissed-off expression, this bloke looked like more of a sulkie.

“You’re late,” Rufus said, unable to stop himself.

The wet man frowned. Wetly. “You what?”

“You’re late. The New Year’s Day swim was two months ago. And, just so you know, they usually wear actual swimming gear.”

One dark eyebrow lifted a bit, causing a trickle of seawater to run a little more quickly down his face. He grimaced and swiped at it with one huge paw. “That what you’re hanging around here for? To ogle the blokes in their Speedos?”

“No, obviously, because I know what month it is.” Rufus paused, but it didn’t look like he was about to get beaten up in this precise moment. And he was fairly sure he’d be able to run faster than the man in front of him, what with all those wet clothes weighing him down. “So is that what you’re wearing under that lot? Speedos?”

“You wish.” Then he shivered. “Christ, it’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra. You live round here?”

Rufus nodded. “Yeah. Not far. Queen Street. My parents have got a B&B.” He swallowed, because this was starting to seem like it might be about to turn into one of his dreams or a porno or something (not a lot of difference, if he was honest, most of the time). Was this the bit where the wet guy winked at him and said, Come on then, don’t you want to get me out of these wet clothes?

What the wet guy actually did was scowl and say, “Well? You just gonna stand there and watch me die of hypothermia, or are you gonna get me somewhere warm?”

Close enough.

“All right, it’s this way. Rufus,” he added. “I mean, that’s me. Rufus Kewell.”

The man gave him the usual disbelieving look.

“Yes, yes, I know. Mum saw Rufus Sewell in Middlemarch and got totally besotted. Had a signed photo on her bedside table and everything, which I think Dad was amazingly understanding about. Bit of a shame I don’t look anything like him. Rufus Sewell, that is, not Dad. Apart from the height, of course. And the eyes. And the cheekbones, maybe, although actually I think mine are better than his. But as you can see, I’m totally blond. And he’s not.”

The look went on a little longer. “Michael,” the stranger said at last. “Talk a lot, don’t you?”

Rufus nodded. Couldn’t argue with that. “Are you here on holiday? Sorry, stupid question.” It had just popped out automatically, like the way if someone said they liked their coffee strong, you always felt you had to ask, Like your men? Well, Rufus did, anyway. “Who comes to the Isle of Wight on holiday in February?” he asked rhetorically, with a self-deprecating laugh.

“Me, actually. With my girlfriend.”

Well, there had only been a very small chance he’d be gay, Rufus thought philosophically, although if Poseidon thought he’d be getting any sacrifices now, he was very much mistaken.

Michael glanced back at the pier. “Ex-girlfriend,” he amended. Then he laughed.

Rufus perked up. Then he perked straight back down again, because even an ex-girlfriend probably meant Michael wouldn’t be up for having a boyfriend, and even if he was up for it, he didn’t live locally. But god, he was hot. Like everyone’s favourite dark and brooding hero, but with an extra dollop of dark and a great big barrelful of brood.

“Do you want to come to mine and get dry?” Rufus asked hopefully, because even if, as was almost certainly the case, nothing would come of it, he’d still stand a very good chance of getting an eyeful.

On the Isle of Wight in winter, you had to take your pleasures where you could find them.

Michael gave him a withering look. “Does a hobbyhorse have a wooden dick?”

“Not in my experience, no,” Rufus said politely. “Big childhood disappointment, actually. But I’ll take that as a yes.”

He led the way along the Esplanade, deserted but for a few dog walkers and an elderly couple, who paused their bent-backed amble to stare myopically as Michael squelched past. “You’ll catch your death,” the old lady tutted helpfully.

“Christ, how far is this place?” Michael muttered.

“Not far. Just up the slipway, past the trampolines—at least, there aren’t any there now, but if it was summer, there would be—and we’re almost there.”

“Jesus. You ever try to walk this far in wet jeans? My bollocks are gonna be rubbed raw by the time we get there.”

Should Rufus offer to kiss them better?

He side-eyed Michael’s broad, muscular shoulders and large, capable fists. Probably not quite this soon in their relationship.

The small car park outside the Eldorado B&B was empty, which was good, as it meant Rufus’s dad and stepmum were still out and therefore unable to ask awkward questions, such as why Rufus was bringing a soaking-wet stranger into the house.

Although come to think of it, they’d probably just put it down to him being Rufus.

“This way,” he said. He led Michael around to the side and let him into their large, well-equipped kitchen. The front door, with its Victorian fanlight and antique bell push, was for guests. Meaning paying guests.

Rufus’s room was upstairs on the first floor, one of the poky ones round the back. Well, that was his room during the summer season. Officially, in the winter, he had the nice big room at the front with the bay window, but he hadn’t quite got round to moving his stuff in there yet this year.

Given that they had bookings for the Easter school holidays, he was beginning to suspect he might have left it a tiny bit too late to bother.

Michael looked around. It didn’t take him long. “Bloody hell, it’s like a sodding shoebox with a bed in it. I’ve seen abandoned kittens with better accommodation than this. Your mum and dad not like you, or what?”

“It’s cosy,” Rufus said firmly. “Don’t drip on the duvet.”

“What am I supposed to do with my kit, then? Hang it out the window?” He’d got his jacket off and dumped it on the floor, and was peeling off his sweater, which looked a bit sad and saggy. “Shit. I like this jumper.”

“Maybe it’ll come up all right in the wash?” Rufus hazarded. “You get all your stuff off, and I’ll bung it in the machine.”

“Yeah, and then what? Not like I’m gonna fit into anything of yours, is it?” He was down to his jeans now, pulling his see-through T-shirt over his head as he spoke, to display a darkly haired, muscular chest that, yes, was likely to prove a challenge to any of Rufus’s T-shirts.

Rufus paused for a moment, pretending to be deep in thought while he gazed his fill. “I’ll get you one of my dad’s shirts. He won’t mind.” Well, he probably wouldn’t notice, which came to the same thing.

Unfortunately, this meant Rufus had to leave the room right when Michael was undoing his jeans. Fortunately, this meant that when he got back to his bedroom, Michael was standing there stark bollock naked.

He had one foot up on the bed and a hand holding his junk out of the way while he peered at his inner thigh. “Christ, look at that. Rubbed fucking raw.”

Rufus swallowed, and looked. Well, he’d been invited to. It was only polite. “Yeah, that does look a bit sore. I could get some Savlon cream?” he suggested.

“Nah, I’m not that much of a wuss.” Michael let go of his junk and took his foot off the bed. His cock fell, thick and long, between his muscular (and slightly chafed) thighs, in front of a pair of heavy, thickly furred bollocks.

Rufus probably should have realised Michael was giving him a funny look, but in his defence, he was a bit distracted.

“Oi. Are you perving on my dick?”

Rufus’s face, which, let’s—hah—face it, had been feeling pretty warm already, went red-hot. “No.” It was possibly the least convincing lie he’d ever told. In a long, sad line of unconvincing lies that went all the way back to “No, I never play with dollies.”

“You’re perving on my dick, aren’t you? Jesus. Here I am, only seconds away from near-death of hypothermia, chafed so bad I practically need a skin graft, and you’re perving on my bloody dick.”

That was totally unfair. Rufus wasn’t just perving on his dick.

“I could take you back down to the beach and throw you back in, you know,” Rufus muttered sullenly.

Michael laughed. “You and whose army, pretty boy?”

Rufus bristled. “I could be a master of jujitsu.”

“No, you couldn’t,” Michael said, although it sounded kindly as well as scornful. “That oriental stuff’s all style and no fucking substance, anyhow. Show me any black belt, any discipline you like, I bet I could beat him in a fight.”

“What are you, some kind of ninja?”

“Nah. Kickboxer. So are you gonna give me that shirt or what?”

“Oh. Sorry.” Rufus handed it over, resolving to avoid all unwanted perving from now on. He’d never been kickboxed. He was fairly sure he didn’t want to start now. “You know what’s good for hypothermia?” he couldn’t help adding. So much for that resolution.

Michael gave him a look. “Is this where you offer me skin-on-skin contact to get my temperature up? What do you think this is? Some kind of gay porno?”

Rufus swallowed. “Um, no?”

Michael stepped closer. “Do you want it to be?”

Oh god, yes. “Um. See, this is the sort of question I might have to think about. I mean, you just told me you’re a kickboxer, and you came here with your girlfriend, so what I’m really asking is, if I say yes, is it going to get me laid, or is it going to get me—”

“Shut up,” Michael said, not too roughly, and kissed him.

– Read more at: (Just click the excerpt tab)

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About J.L.

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 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.

Connect with JL:

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Win $20 in Riptide credit!

(Just leave a comment to enter)
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
(Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. )


J.L. Merrow - Lovers Leap‏ CoverTitle: Lovers Leap

Author: J.L. Merrow

Genre: Contemporary, Humor, British

Length: Novel (202 pages)

ISBN: 9781626493827

Publisher: Riptide Publsihing (February 29th 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Aerin

Blurb: If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

Product Link:

Review: Heh, J.L. Merrow is my go-to author when I need something packed with humor. This book will definitely deliver that, as the British characters’ constant banter and witty dialog will have you entertained and ready for the popcorn. 

Rufus, one of our MCs is freaking adorable! He’s so quirky, and funny, I laughed my butt of while reading his POV. Rufus is actually many things: he’s selfless, a great son, cares for those around him, he’s a great cook ,who’s willing to put his dreams of becoming a chef on hold in order to care for his widowed father and his young step-mother. Rufus is celebrating his birthday at the beginning of the book, he’s 5, everyone! Yep, he’s born on a leap year on Feb. 29th! The Isle of Wigth where Rufus leaves doesn’t offer many choices in terms of lovers, so Rufus is STILL a virgin and he’s tired of that shit! When Poseidon offers him the best birthday present ever, his dream man walking out of the sea, Rufus thanks his lucky stars and prays his cinderfella is gay, so that they can get on to the interesting parts.

Michael is a jack-ass or major proportions, and I wanted to punch him, like a lot, and kick his ass and throw him back into that fucking frigid sea. He’s annoying, arrogant and self-centered, but I guess he’s part of the charm after all. He wants to keep Rufus as his dirty little secret, because he can’t tell his super religious mother that he’s bisexual and that he’s in lust with a man (yep, that’s definitely not love, even though he can’t stop thinking about Rufus, and he adores everything Rufus says or does, because Rufus is just adorable! and hot and sexy and everything Michael wants).

Don’t worry, they get their happy ending after all, but it’s not easy for either of them. But I guarantee you won’t be thinking much about the happy ending, because the secondary characters are freaking awesome and they’ll keep you from stressing over Michael and Rufus’s happily ever after. Rufus’s best friend Liz is a hoot, you’ll love her to pieces, Rufus’s dad and stepmom Shelley are funny, especially the dad in his quest to protect Rufus’s honor by setting booby traps.

There’s only one sex scene, but it was a nice one, a lot better than I’ve come to expect from this author, but there’s plenty of talk about sex throughout the book, so I kind of wished we got more doing and less talking. This was a great book anyway, exactly what I needed at that time.

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

February 29, 2016 – AReCafe
February 29, 2016 – The Novel Approach
February 29, 2016 – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
February 29, 2016 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 1, 2016 – Prism Book Alliance
March 1, 2016 – Cup o’ Porn
March 1, 2016 – QUEERcentric Books
March 1, 2016 – My Fiction Nook
March 2, 2016 – Love Bytes Reviews
March 2, 2016 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
March 2, 2016 – All I Want and More
March 2, 2016 – Boys on the Brink
March 2, 2016 – Butterfly-o-Meter
March 3, 2016 – The Jeep Diva
March 3, 2016 – Joyfully Jay
March 3, 2016 – Erotica for All
March 4, 2016 – Sinfully MM Book Reviews
March 4, 2016 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 4, 2016 – Booklover Sue
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23 thoughts on “Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

  1. I’ve just finished Lovers Leap and it is hilarious. I loved it. Thank you, JL!

  2. The “sulkie” remark in the excerpt made me smile!


  3. Thank you for the reviews and excerpt! It’s been a great tour!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. What a great excerpt! I can’t wait to read this book! Thank you for sharing the post and the giveaway!

    ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

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