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~
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.
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.
Now, 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? 😉
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. 🙂
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.
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!
Series: The Shamwell Tales 03
Author: J.L. Merrow
Genre: Contemporary, Humor, British
Length: Novel (322 pages)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (January 19th 2016)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ Hearts
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