Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 5, 2018
Received From: NetGalley
Old flames can leave a nasty burn.
It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit by a shocking revelation about his family, and he’s been avoiding dealing with it ever since. His lover, PI Phil Morrison, wants Tom to dig deeper into his history and try to develop his psychic talent for finding things, but Tom’s not nearly so keen. Just as he decides to bite the bullet, though, worse problems crawl out of the woodwork.
Young Devil’s Dyke barmaid Marianne has an ex, Grant Carey, who won’t accept that things are over between them, and he’s ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets in his way. When Carey threatens an old friend of theirs, Phil and Tom step in to help—but that makes them targets themselves.
What with his uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the uncovering of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, Tom’s not sure who he can trust—and the body he finds in the pub cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.
Publisher’s note: This is lightly edited reprint of a previously published novel.
TAGS: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance, queer romance, queer characters, disabled character, existing relationship
WARNINGS: domestic violence, homomisia / queermisia, homomisic family, misogyny, stalking, cissexism / transmisia, ableism, suicide mention, gaslighting, cheating mention, hospitalization, fatmisia, racism, classism
This novel is a nice continuation to the series.
I enjoyed seeing the progression of the different relationships within the story. Of course, Gary and Tom’s friendship is wonderful, and I liked seeing the two of them getting used to and accepting each other’s partners. (And Gary’s just hilarious.) I also liked seeing more of the relationship between Tom and his sister, Cherry, that started developing in the previous installment of the series. I like that they seem to be a bit closer and don’t mind spending time with each other. Then there’s, of course, the main romantic relationship of the series–Tom and Phil. With this book, I enjoyed seeing them have to overcome difficulties in their relationship. Up to this point, it honestly felt mostly like sex and Tom helping on Phil’s cases, with only the occasional conversation. In this book, they’re forced to communicate and work through some of their issues.
While I liked the overall plot of the story, the novel was a bit difficult for me to get through. There were several bits that didn’t hold my attention at all, so my thoughts started wandering, which resulted in me taking a few extra days to finish the novel. The book wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t quite gripping enough to get four stars.
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 the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
Connect with JL:
- Website: www.jlmerrow.com
- Twitter: @jlmerrow
- Facebook: facebook.com/jl.merrow
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow