Friday, October 7, 2016


J.L. Merrow
Samhain Publishing
Reviewed by Nancy
3 out of 5 stars


Limericks, lies, and puppy-dog eyes...

Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it - mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.

Then there's "Karate Crumpet", a man who regularly runs past the cafe with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name - David - but that he s gay.

Jude should have known the universe wouldn't simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there's Jude's mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.

With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David's lives will ever start to rhyme.

Warnings: Contains a tangled web of little white lies, a smorgasbord of cheesy limericks, a violin called Vanessa, some boots that mean business, and the most adorable little dog ever. Poetry, it's not...

My Review

I liked this story…mostly.

Jude Biggerstaff is out and proud, loves his eyeliner, lives with his mom, is a meat eater who works at a vegan cafĂ©, and looks younger than his 22 years. Though he has a degree, he’s unsure of what he wants to do long-term. The one thing he is certain about is his attraction to Karate Crumpet (aka Dave), who saves Jude from a trio of muggers.

This story made me laugh out loud…a lot.

Told from Jude’s perspective, the reader is privy to his insecurities, his directness, his creativity, and the deep affection and protectiveness he has for his mom, his best friend, Keisha, and his dog, Bubbles. The chatty dialogue and rambly inner thoughts wore me out at times, but I loved Jude so much that I was able to overlook this.

Still, this wasn’t free of problems.

While I appreciated the diversity of characters, and loved that Keisha is mixed race like Jude is, I didn’t appreciate the fact that Keisha was fraught with so many negative stereotypes that I couldn’t help but be offended despite my overall enjoyment of this story.

“It’s not her fault she’s skint. She’s applied for loads of jobs, but she never finished uni and she got fired from her last job because she had a shouting match with the boss in full view of all the customers.”

She also lives in a roach-infested flat with piece-of-shit roommates.

I liked the sharp differences in Jude’s and David’s personalities, but I couldn’t help but find David in some ways was more immature than Jude was. I can't imagine these two men could have a future together.

So this book was a mixed bag for me.

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