Review: Caught by JL Merrow

You can run from the past…but the past runs faster.

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.

Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good...

Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.

I'm a big JL Merrow fan, in fact she is - apparently - my most read MM author. As much as I enjoy her short stories though, it is the longer ones I really love. (FYI, The Plumbers Mate series is my favourite!) Caught was no exception to this rule. For me it had all the ingredients for a great little romance novel. Village setting - tick. Lovable characters - tick. Cute romance - tick. Enjoyable read - tick. It really was exactly the kind of book I was needing to read, at the time I read it. Always a bonus.

Robert was such a lovable character, mildly eccentric, unknowingly funny and pretty much all round nice guy. He could have been a dweeb, but he really wasn't. He was the kind of chap I would like as a bestie. I mean, with his bow tie penchant, you'd never have to worry about what to get him for Christmas.

Sean as well was nice, the kind of opposite to Robert's posh - normal, I would call him (without starting the whole what is normal debate), I understood his roots, where he came from. And honestly, what a fab bloke. looking after the twins while his sister is being treated for cancer. Yet he didn't come across as a martyr or holier than thou...he was just lovely.

There was a bit of a mystery about Robert's past, but it wasn't anything too difficult to work out. It just added to the story to the relationship 'bumps' between the two MC's. Quite honestly this book was a comfort read. For wet Saturdays with a cuppa and a biscuit. The Katie Fford of MM stories. Sometimes I want mystery or super-sexy or a million other things...but oft times I just want a comforting, sweet romance and this book delivered that.

My only bugbear - I bet the primary school teachers I work with wish there was as little effort put into the job as Robert appeared to have to put in. But that is my thing - I work in this environment, I see the hours teachers put in. If I was writing a teacher without being in the environment myself, I'd have written it exactly as JL Merrow did! So really a book I'd recommend for a fun read.

Find out more about this book and author on Goodreads.

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