Title: Muscling Through
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 89 Pages
At a Glance: I cannot speak highly enough of Muscling Through. This is a love story that pierces the heart and is guaranteed to stay with the reader long after the last page.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Cambridge academic Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed — literally and figuratively. Next morning, he can’t rest until he’s apologised to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.
Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.
It’s deliciously physical, but also much more — which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends, and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.
Review: I am not sure there has ever been such a sweet and tenderhearted character ever created as Al Fletcher. In Muscling Through, by JL Merrow, we are wooed by the naiveté of this hulking bundle of love. By some standards Al is admittedly slow on the uptake, and while schooling is not his forte, painting incredible pictures and loyally loving his man most certainly are. But Al is not your typically handsome guy, and when he meets up with the slender and rather intoxicated college Professor, Lawrence Morton, one night in a dark alley, Larry’s first reaction is understandable. But in the light of the next day, Larry apologizes to Al and thus begins a relationship that will just melt your heart.
However, Because Al is invariably honest, and Larry has never encountered such a man, there is bound to be problems, particularly since Larry is not always the most confident of men. As these two navigate both society’s scorn and doubt as to why they could ever be together in the first place, given the seeming intellectual gap, we watch in wonder as their love and respect for each other allow them to turn away any and all scoffers, including Larry’s own family.
Honestly, this story is one of my all time favorites. Narrated by Al in his unique voice, this one is a keeper from beginning to end. JL Merrow shows her writing prowess and expertise in developing rich, in depth characters who come together by accident and stay by design. Al is just perfect; genuine and caring, honest to a fault and loyal beyond belief, this man is the one you want as your best friend and, if you are lucky, as your partner in life. Larry is just uncertain enough to endear him to any reader. While his advanced education and social status could certainly have made him cold and condescending, he is just the opposite. Instead, Larry is just that right combination of humble and uncertain and when it comes to loving Al, his heart is always in the right place.
I cannot speak highly enough of Muscling Through. This is a love story that pierces the heart and is guaranteed to stay with the reader long after the last page. I highly recommend it to you.
You can buy Muscling Through here: