Title: Spun! (Shamwell Tales: Book Four)
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 328 Pages
At a Glance: There were WAY more things I loved about this story than didn’t. And, Lord help me, I loved that adorable, costumed teddy bear!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: With friends like these . . .
An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?
Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.
Review: Awww…It’s been too long since I visited Shamwell! I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it until digging in to Spun!, the latest addition to this wonderful series by JL Merrow. As with the other stories in the series, Spun! is filled with colorful characters, and chock full of British charm. Aside from a couple of little niggles, this was an incredibly fun read; I completely fell in love with Rory and David.
My first minor issue was some confusion, i.e., feeling a bit lost, with the introduction of David’s character. Though, the problem is most likely down to me not having read Out!, the third book in the series, rather than an actual issue with the construction of the story. Out! was Mark and Patrick’s book, and as David is a friend and ex-coworker of Mark’s (and apparently, he also had a crush on Mark once upon a time), we may have learned more about him in that book. As it was, when David was all of a sudden talking to a random teddy bear name Gregory, I felt like I was definitely missing something! I even had to reread chapter three a couple of times. Soooo, yeah. Heh, heh. I would say that this book mostly works as a standalone…after I got through to chapter 4, I was totally fine. But, there may be some benefit to reading the previous book first.
Like I said above, I completely fell in love with the main characters. But, whereas my fondness for Rory was immediate, David did take a minute to get used to. First, his penchant for randomly using French phrases and nicknames might initially give the impression that he’s perhaps snobby or pretentious. That, coupled with his attachment to Gregory, makes for in interesting first impression. However, as far as the pretension goes, nothing could be further from the truth. David is an absolute love. He’s fun, intelligent, well-rounded, and very sexy! The descriptions of him in the book pretty much made me swoon. And, he’s wonderful with Rory’s kids. Like, super hearty eyes wonderful. Rory definitely never stood a chance! Also, he’s completely hilarious. Lines like this had me cracking up:
“Are you a postman too, Barry? Do you go around in those fetching little shorts, delivering hopes and dreams to the masses?”
As fabulous as David was, though, I have to admit that Rory was my favorite. I loved him SO stinkin’ much. Rory is kind, loving, loyal, and an amazing dad. Forgiving to a fault, he’s even sweet to his best mate Barry when he’s being a dick, and to his ex-wife, who cheated and left him, taking their kids with her. One of the things I loved best about him was that he really gets David. He doesn’t even bat an eye when being introduced to Gregory—reminder: Gregory is a teddy bear—and, shares David’s love for all things fandom. He also doesn’t judge or underestimate David like so many others do. His belief in David, and in their friendship, are what ultimately help him take the leap of faith he needs to take regarding their relationship. I just wish he would have taken the leap sooner!
Which brings me to my second niggle. The story was going along sooo beautifully—the guys were slowly falling for each other, and they were moving closer to becoming a cozy family unit—when the inevitable miscommunication, or rather, lack of communication, had to be put into play. I get that we like a little conflict to be resolved. I do. Unfortunately, though, for me, the miscommunication and mooning around about what the other must be thinking went on for tooooo long, and started to get a bit repetitive and grating.
Not to worry, though…There were WAY more things I loved about this story than didn’t. I loved seeing Mr. Enemy, the schoolteacher and one of the MCs from Caught!. It made me want to go recapture the joy I got from that book. I loved David’s relationship with his mom. I loved that Merrow once again went with pairing a blue-collar guy with a sort of more upper-crust character. I loved that Rory’s ex-wife, Evie, finally apologized for being an asshole, and the way that whole resolution, with him and the kids, played out. And, Lord help me, I loved that adorable, costumed teddy bear!
You can buy Spun! here: