Tag Team Review: Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow

If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

A Tag Team Review for J.L. Merrow's Lovers Leap by Sheziss and Cupcake


Guest Reviewer: Sheziss

***DNF 62%***

***Why I suffered here: spoilerish review***

This is too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

When I was 16 I went with the class to see a theatre play in English. It was The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. The play was good enough, and I liked the leading actor a lot. But in one moment of the play a character told a joke and the rest laughed. And then awkward silence from the public. Until one of my mates from the first row said: “Humor ingl├ęs”, and THAT’S when we ALL laughed.

Because the joke was stupid.

Not because it was British.

Oscar Wilde’s irony is the best.

But this? This is a mussel abortion.

I could definitely not find the normal here.

And by normal, I mean common sense.

The MCs truly deserve each other.

They only have 3 neurons: one begins in the left ear, another one begins in the right ear, they find each other somewhere in the middle of the empty head and that’s where a third one connects them both directly to the groin.

There is no other explanation for this nonsense.

I felt like an idiot reading this.

It’s not a feeling I would want to share with you.

Michael is an asshole. Egocentric, arrogant, selfish, disgusting and disrespectful. His jokes are out of place. His comments are offensive. Everything he says or does rubs me the wrong way with almost no exception. Not even clumsiness excuses him, because he has no conscience and no ability to put himself in another person’s shoes. 0% empathy.

Saying “you can suck me” or objectifying your partner in such a rude way is not sexy at all. Nobody says you have to give flowers and hearts to all your dates but there is class and then there is class.

His dick thinks for him.

Oh man, that sucks. Now what do we do with you?

Oh, right.

So you may think I was pleased when his girlfriend pushes him from the pier and he falls into the sea in February. Error. This crude attempt to make us feel sympathy for him and get the sense that “he got what he deserved” didn’t fool me. I saw it for what it was, a stupid action from a stupid girl who fucked a stupid guy for a stupid reason. He was there for fun and the girl having dreams with him when he obviously had demonstrated he only wanted the fun and nothing else doesn’t make him guilty. Even when he’s a dick. It was so preposterous I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was reading this scene.

That’s when Michael gets to the beach and Rufus has a vision of Neptune coming out of the sea James Bond-like. And he thinks that’s the best that could ever happen to him. Are you for real? This is so ridiculous and frivolous I almost can’t bear it.

So they go to Rufus’s place to give Michael some clothes and warm him up. No, this is not the porn movie you were watching yesterday, although it may ring a bell. So of course that leads to some sex with Michael’s gems coming out of his mouth (he should shut up, he’s prettier that way) and me myself pulling my eyes out with a fork in the room next door. But the climactic moment came when Michael writes his phone number on Rufus’s forehead with a permanent marker.

That was. Epic.

So what does Rufus do?

Look at him with enamored eyes.

No, I’m not kidding here.

He stares at him as if he was the best man in the universe.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Hilarious.

Even though he’s getting out of the door in that exact minute.

I personally believe “humiliating” is the word you are looking for for this mindfuck.

You are welcome.

Rufus needs therapy. Seriously. Falling for this guy. Don’t you have a little of self-respect? You need to work on that, man. I also strongly recommend to check your eyes to discard a blindness, after the required electroencephalogram, of course. Could be serious.

So Michael flees and goes to the hotel. And surprise surprise, just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, Murphy proves you wrong. The hotel manager informs him his ex-girlfriend is gone and that he himself has to pay for the whole stay, even when the are several more days reserved. His bag is ready and the lady denies him the right to have a room because he doesn’t give anything to “people like him”. Meaning, assholes.

I agree with the diagnosis but not with the treatment. Not even when he’s soaking wet in England in the height of February.

This attitude is outrageous. A hotel manager behaving like this? Jumping into a client’s business and having an opinion about what had happened and taking a side all of a sudden and kicking him out because you don’t like them is apparently enough justification for this. Do you really believe it’s normal seeing a doctor kicking a grumpy man out of the operating room just because he’s not easy-going? A pilot saying that he won’t take an idiot to his destiny because he had argued with his mother at home? A policeman letting someone die because their jokes are terrible?

Nobody believes this! NO WAY a hotel manager would behave like this. This lack of professionalism is unprecedented. Above all when she’s making you pay the whole stay even though she doesn’t allow you to stay throughout it. It would be more honest to let the person leave and not demand any money back, or at least only make him pay the days he had indeed stayed, if the client is so against someone’s beliefs. It goes without saying you are taking advantage of the situation, and also that your motivations and morals are pretty weak and embarrassing. I would sue her and write on the book of complaints and with a good reason. It would come down hard on her and her bullshit would be erased sooner rather than later. What face would you have then, bitch?

I forgive her; she’s just another brainless girl in a cast full of brainless characters.

What does Rufus do meanwhile?

He stares at his forehead in the mirror seeing the phone number as if it would tell him the meaning of life AND the next largest unknown prime number.

Wrapped up in one forehead.

Isn’t it amazing? I want a forehead like that one.

He stares and stares and is close to meet the criteria of brain dead and/or intracranial hemorrhage when he suddenly realizes one thing and that’s when the Earth stops its rotation: “Oh no, daddy is going to see this!”

Pretty mature.

He tries to clean it.

Oh no! He forgot to write the number down.

Pretty clever.

He tries to save the skin cells with the ink still stuck between them.

Phew, the cells and the ink are still there.

Becaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaause… it’s a permanent marker?

No, because he “has the best stratum corneum in a forehead, yay!”, he must have thought instead.

Anyway, Michael is still wet and with no place to be. But he still has grey matter. Even when you don’t believe it at this stage of the game. He goes to Rufus’s house.

Best idea EVER.

And you say, “Wow, that’s brave, that guy is going to kick you out for sure”.

But Rufus is the same way as before, with the puppy eyes and a bandanna on his head covering his first class stratum corneum.

I can’t keep talking about this, I only want to add that the ONLY moment in which I liked ONE character was that scene in which Rufus introduces his best friend, Liz, a lesbian, to Michael. She says something of the sort of “Do you really like this asshole? AYFKM?”. Bravo, girl, you said what I had been shouting for hours at the wall with no response.

But then she was just another stupid character in the large list. What a pity.

The humor here didn’t humor me. It was painful. And the worst thing is that all of this is supposed to be funny! No, it’s not because it was British humor and I was not clever enough to catch it. It was just a stupid book. And I’m becoming allergic to bullshit lately. That’s all.

I can’t believe this is the author who wrote “Muscling Through”. Even more, I REFUSE to acknowledge this little fact. I’ll draw a thick veil over this. Ignorance is a bliss. It’s ironic, in Muscling Through the MC is supposed to be dumb and he’s not, whereas in Lovers Leap they are supposed to be skilled, and they are not.

Reviewer:  Cupcake

In 2016 I've been trying to diversify, drink different Kool-Aid, if you will. J.L. Merrow's books have been a fixture in my feed, so when I saw this on NetGalley I thought carpe diem. And let me just say that I get it. I get why she's popular. This is an easy, low angst read. I get it, but I just didn't connect with it. Everything is too easy breezy, too corny, too cutesy, things happen too fast. I guess I need for there to be some struggle, something I can hold on to. I need some depth in my cuteness and Lovers Leap is trope-y like a sitcom with caricaturish characters. It's trying too hard and maybe pandering?

I still have no idea what Rufus sees in Michael other than he's hot. I understand wanting to fuck the hot guy. EVERYONE wants to fuck the hot guy. But you don't date the hot guy you fucked 15 mins after you met him. You set up a "friendship" and by "friendship" I mean fuck buddy. That's why god invented fuck buddies, so you can fuck the hot guy and not have to put up with his douchedom on the regular. And make no mistake Michael is a tool. 

What's even more incomprehensible to me is the level of reality suspension required to believe that these two guys met, fucked, had a duck, some black pudding and a BJ over the course of three days and during that time decided to radically change their lives and ride off into the sunset.

I'm a logical person and I realize trying to apply logic to something as illogical as love is a fool's errand, but within the context of romance lit the author's sole job is to convince me of precisely that. Show me it can happen in three days. Everything between these two happens at lightening speed. Why does Michael decide 26 yrs and 3 days is the time to come out as bisexual to his hyper religious and homophobic mother? AND introduce her to the boyfriend!

Why would Rufus drop the bomb of a secret on his parents after three days and a boat load of unanswered questions about Michael's past, present and future? 

I need more than a day sightseeing on the Isle of Wight to believe a lasting love connection has formed and moving in together seems a good idea.


Otherwise I'm left thinking both characters are capricious nimrods, a boatload of disbelief and a crick in my neck from all the head tilting. Good thing I've got my chiro on stand by. Merrow's breakneck pacing, predictable storyline and lack of depth in her characters has left me with the feeling that we're probably not well suited. I did like Rufus with his nervous energy thing and that he likes to cook I can identify with, but why in the Sam hell does he want to hitch his wagon to Michael? 

I'm certain this hokey brain candy fluff will work for others. If you need a light, easy read, that's cutesy and you're able to really stretch that suspend reality rubber band this is a book for you.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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