Title: Lover’s Leap
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Buy link: Amazon.com
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 202
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
Rufus and Michael “meet cute” at the beginning of Lovers Leap, as Michael wades to shore dripping wet, having been throw off the pier by his girlfriend Trix. Seems that Trix was all “Michael, babes, I love you so much, will you marry me?” at the same time Michael was like “Sorry, love, but we gotta split up.” Oops. But then that’s sort of par for the course for Michael. He’s a nice 26-year-old bloke with a great smile and boatloads of charm, who actually read a book (once), but he’s also that guy who tells really bad jokes (cue the crickets), asks Rufus’ friend Liz (or as Michael refers to her – Lizzy the Lezzy) if she’s a PE teacher or cop and what’s she got against a bloke’s tackle, and in a moment of post-shag bliss, writes his phone number on Rufus’ forehead …… in permanent marker. Ouch.
Rufus, on the other hand, is a sweet 20-year-old living with his dad and step-mum Shelley in the family B&B, who dreams of becoming a chef one day. Well, except for a phobia about ferries (or maybe not ….) and guilt at the thought of leaving his dad and Shelley to run the B&B by themselves.
Michael and Rufus fall into “insta-lust” and are quite happily shagging away 20 minutes after meeting. But it’s the sort of relationship that leaves friends and family feeling equal parts mystified, puzzled, and concerned. As a reader, the chemistry felt lacking, and after waiting for Michael to shape up and not be such a douche, then Rufus turns around and has his own spell of well, douchery. Ouch, once again.
The pace of the story is good, given that the majority of the story takes place in about a week, yet feels complete without being rushed along. As always, JL Merrow writes like a dream. The ending very neatly ties up all the loose strings, and the whole book feels like a love letter to the Isle of Wight, where JL Merrow grew up.
Not my favorite JL Merrow book, but viewed on its own, it’s a fun read with some interesting characters.