4 stars adult - 18+ Beth Jumper Book class difference Contemporary Gay Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mechanic/Car/Racing Mild/low level heat Misunderstanding NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Riptide Publishing

Wake up call by JL Merrow Duo Review by Mary and Beth!

release day review


 South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour–including a habit of collapsing in the street.

Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy–a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality–the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easygoing acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.

When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional–and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.


Review by Mary

Wake Up Call is the first book in a series based around a small Cornish town called Porthkennack. Riptide’s website gives a small synopsis if you would like to get a feel of the town or look up Port Isaac or Porthcurno, that would give you an idea of the landscape. The series is a mix of standalone contemporary and historical stories.

Wake Up Call is a contemporary story.

Devan is alone on a three week break in Porthkennack looking for his birth mother. There are a lot of threads running through this story. At the start of the story Devan seems a bit lost. He befriends Ceri, a local girl, who appears to be in trouble and wants to help her. This story thread peters out and is overtaken by his foster sister needing help. These all run alongside his developing relationship with Kyle Anthony.

Kyle is angry and bitter about his condition, narcolepsy. He is hiding in Cornwall not yet having come to terms with losing his career and way of life. The locals mistakenly assume he is an alcoholic because he has collapsed in town. Dev connects with him and they are drawn together. But they are both hesitant to get too deep for their own reasons.

This is a nice book. There is a lot going on around Dev and Kyle in the story but I can’t decide whether it detracts or just distracted me from them actually getting together. There is a running theme of assumptions in the story, class between Mechanic/Lawyer, sexuality, Kyle’s condition and the behaviour of Mal, Ceri and Tasha all of which are based on limited information and cause hurt and misunderstanding. It is a shame that Dev and Kyle moving in together happens off page but by that stage the story has moved away from Porthkennack.

Overall I think this is a really good book to start the series. It builds the scene and atmosphere of the place all the books are set in.

4 of 5 stars


Review by Beth

This was a refreshing story. Sure Devan got angry sometimes. His age and situations made it happen, but in general he has such an upbeat personality. Not bubbly, or off the wall but a roll with the upsets, look for the positive no matter what. Sure there was the, does he like me? Am I good enough for him? That comes from him being adopted, put in the foster system and a blue collar job. When faced with someone he likes and they have a medical condition he just goes with the flow. No freakouts, no walking away in disgust or frustration, he truly is concerned and looks up both symptoms and appropriate actions.

Kyle has been broken and given up. Let’s face it, he’s lost his job, boyfriend and home. He allows himself no support from friends or family. He has come to Porthkennack to hide.

JL Merrow has done a wonderful job weaving a story about hurt/comfort. She has introduced plausible issues, plausible solutions and a love story, all tied together. Her characters catch your interest, and make you want to know how it will turn out.

4 of 5 stars



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