Book Reviews

Wake Up Call (A Porthkennack Novel) by JL Merrow at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 17-April-2017

Book Blurb

South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour—including a habit of collapsing in the street.

Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy—a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality—the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easy-going acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.

When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional—and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future, and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.

Book Review

“It may just be that a true wake-up call creates a true shift in consciousness. My wake-up call left me no choice. I had to make dramatic changes. Sometimes it just happens within you, it is the way you approach things. Everything else stays the same.” ~ Cheryl Richardson

For a three-week holiday, Devan (Dev) Thompson, of 'Wake Up Call' by JL Merrow, takes a trip to a town called Porthkennack. His best friend, Mal, is supposed to go with him but, at the last minute, gets a better offer, leaving Dev to fend for himself. While there, Dev meets a man named Kyle whose reputation for being a hermit and acting like he is drunk make the townspeople wary of him. Being a person not inclined to make snap judgments, Dev digs a bit deeper than the locals and discovers that Kyle is actually ill instead of drunk. The two men strike up a tentative friendship that can be something more if they can put their personal issues aside.

Kyle has convinced himself that his life is over because he's ill. He's given up his profession as a barrister because he simply can't see how he can practice law if he can't stay awake! Kyle is also convinced that he will never be able to have a relationship either, mostly because of his ex-boyfriend's reaction to his condition. Kyle hasn't even told his mother because he doesn't want to worry her and he doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him. When she calls, Kyle pretends that everything is okay.

When Kyle meets Dev during one of his episodes, he's embarrassed and humiliated. He doesn't want to see him again but they keep running into each other and Dev isn't put off that easily. He keeps hanging around Kyle even though he's not the easiest person to be with right now. Dev's persistence finally wears off and he and Kyle begin to spend more time with each other but they both have so much baggage that they don't have an easy time of it. Dev is convinced that someone like Kyle could never have a relationship with someone like him and doesn't give Kyle a chance to show him. Until they get their heads straight, there's little hope for a lasting relationship.

Dev's sarcastic wit was amusing but, as an American, a British or Cockney slang dictionary to figure out what the heck he was saying sometimes would have helped. However, I managed to get the gist of it by context and learned a few new words in the process. The concern and loyalty Dev showed for his friends and the sense of family he nurtures was both touching and admirable. I can't fault Kyle for feeling discouraged because of his narcolepsy.  Anyone would have, but I was relieved when getting beyond it became important to him.

Thanks, JL, for the introduction to the charming town of Porthkennack and its people. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series that are to take place in the seaside town.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 320 pages/84800 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-April-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $22.98 bundle
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