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Hard Tail

Southampton Stories, Book 2
By: JL Merrow
Narrated by: Philip Rose
Series: Southampton Stories, Book 2
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Finding love can be a bumpy ride 

With his job and his marriage dead in a ditch, Tim Knight doesn’t take much persuading to leave London for the greener fields of Southampton and look after his injured brother's mountain bike shop. But Tim’s a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and technical jargon - not to mention struggling with the realization he can no longer deny his sexuality, at least to himself. 

The reason? Matt Berridge, his brother’s bike mechanic. Fit, tanned, and an adorable klutz, Matt takes a tumble the day they meet and falls straight into Tim’s heart. There’s only one problem: Matt’s boyfriend, who Tim’s convinced is abusing him, despite the stories Matt comes up with to explain away the bruises. 

A black belt in karate, Tim’s no pushover when it comes to physical confrontation. But he’ll need to step his courage up a gear if he’s ever going to come out, be himself - and save the man he’s coming to love.

©2012, 2017 JL Merrow (P)2019 JL Merrow

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

Nice and well written story. the characters are nice and sweet.
The narrator has a good voice.
Sweet love story with happy ending.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sweet M/M British Romance..

Performance: This was a first listen by Philip Rose for me and let me just say, British accent. He executed it perfectly in my opinion. The linguistics, contingency and tones were on point. I could differentiate between the characters, his tone fit the characters (weird, but I think Adam's gruffness was definitely a turn on), and he didn't break between characters. Maybe it's a British thing but he's defiantly a narrator I would listen too in the future.

Story: That's right, if doesn't even have to be a sexy accent at that! Any foreign accent has my attention right off that bat. Any who, Hard Tail by JL Merrow is contemporary mm romance with very little heat but with lots of humor. We're introduced to newly dumped/separated, unemployed Timothy (Tim) Knight, who has been summoned to Southampton so that he can look after his injured brother's mountain bike shop. Simple right? What can go wrong? Well, that comes in the form of Matt Berridge, his brother's bike mechanic, who happens to be gay and a clumsy, something that starts something back up in Tim. Matt makes Tim realize that he can longer deny his sexuality and oh boy are they in for a bumpy ride! Between a mum, who acts like an ungrateful twat, a too carefree older brother and reserved father, Tim has his hands full at the bike shop, add on the tanned, vegan and an adorable klutz, Matt, Tim takes the plunge and finally admits to himself that yes, he is gay and yes he wants Matt (real bad) but the problem: Matt’s boyfriend, Steve. Who Tim’s convinced is abusing him, despite the stories Matt comes up with to explain away the bruises. It'll take courage for Tim to save the man he’s coming to love (awww) and well, that's what his black belt is for!

Overall: Aside from Tim's mom, I really did enjoy Merrow's characters. Tim, who appeared cynical and emotionless in the beginning is really not that bad. He grew on me as the story developed. We learn how his achievements are dismissed and his older brother's semi achievements are praised. Eloquent and somewhat soft spoken, Tim is reserved, shy and definitely suppressed (in his true feelings), and it doesn't help that he's now in the process of divorcing his wife and looking for employment. When Matt is first introduced, I'm smiling right off the bat. I love me a total cute klutz! Any who, we meet Matt, who's the total opposite but is also somewhat shy and reserved, like Tim, but they complement each other so well. Tim, being the care giver and Matt being the one to show new things to Tim, they become closer and closer until the inevitable occurs. Without giving too much away, I do want to say if you're looking for something with 86% sexy time, you won't get it in Hard Tail. Hard Tail is a very very slow burn but not in an angst way, but more in a, "when the hell are they going to f*ck?" kind of way but without you losing interest in the dialogue, because the dialogue is funny (especially Wolverine, the cat). The dialogue keeps you guessing so it kept me going.

All in all, I did wish the story was longer, where we get more of Adam (that gruffness, yum!) or more with Tim's brother and his girlfriend, but less of his mom (LOL). 4.3 Stars for Hard Tail by JL Merrow, narration by Philip Rose. Happy listening all!