Wake Up Call (Lena’s Review)

Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1)
Title: Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1)
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: April 17th, 2017
Genre(s): MM Mystery Romance, Contemporary
Page Count: 320
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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 easy-going 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.


could be spoilish

I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t like this book. So, take a note, I’m very generous with my stars, but the descriptions of Porthkennack, a former Cornish fishing village that became a tourist magnet, the main setting of the novel, were nice enough for me to want to spend a couple of weeks there. Besides, I have a weak spot for the seaside settings in my books in general.

So, Wake Up Call offers a wonderful backdrop for a slow-built romance with two characters who couldn’t be more different – two fate paths that cross accidentally… I normally enjoy this kind of stories, but unfortunately there were also many other things that I found annoying.

Devan Thompson, twenty-four year old, car mechanic from London, who comes to Porthkennack to face his mother who gave him up for adoption straight after his birth.

Kyle Anthony, thirty-three, ex-lawyer, who after having been diagnosed with narcolepsy, gave up his job, his city life and run away from everything that reminds him of his previous life, to settle down in this small town and to live his now-days in undisturbed self-pity.

Maybe someone will consider this novel as a slow-pacing and slow-built romance.
I, for my part, found it extremely boring. Nothing special happened for almost the completely first part of the book: the scenery remained beautiful, the town small, and our characters run continuously into each other, made dull conversations but managed to produce many misunderstandings while doing it, include slamming doors and insulting remarks. Probably it is how the author tried to put pepper in the story. These outbursts had rather a sour taste.

The dramatic circumstances that were added to the plot (view spoiler) and some dramatic actions toward the end – (view spoiler) didn’t make the story more interesting to me, but rather more clichéd and eye-rolled.

I disliked the dialogues. I hate when adult men in MM Romance books talk like 10-year-old teens.
I cannot imagine a criminal lawyer talking this way, and even less the one I want to read about. Well, I can’t imagine Kyle as a lawyer at all.

All in all:
I won’t recommend this book to my friends who share my reading taste, but I won’t be surprise if this book gets many positive reviews. Maybe I should stay away from J.L. Merrow books.

Porthkennack Series

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NetGalley copy of Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1) provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange of an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.