This is a standalone Porthkennack contemporary novel.
London Underground worker Mal Thomas is staying in Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. Getting more bad news from home is the last straw—until big, blond museum curator Jory Roscarrock steps up to offer some comfort.
As a doctor of English literature, Jory should be in a prestigious post at a top university. But a youthful indiscretion led him to abandon academia to come back to his hometown, Porthkennack, and the controlling family he’s never really felt a part of. He’s delighted to find a kindred spirit in Mal.
But Jory’s family hurt Mal’s best friend deeply, and while Jory is desperate to repair the damage, his own mistakes threaten to keep him and Mal apart. Meanwhile, Mal is torn between his feelings for Jory and his duty to his friend—and his fears that a failed relationship could be more than his shattered confidence can take. Jory must convince Mal it’s worth risking everything for their love.
Merrow (Wake Up Call) returns to the Cornish resort town of Porthkennack, the setting for Riptide's multiauthor series, in this enjoyable, cross-class contemporary romance. Mal Thomas, driver of trains on the London Underground, travels to the quiet village to recover from PTSD after a suicidal person jumped in front of the train he was driving. He awaits the arrival of his best friend, Dev, who made his own trip a year earlier to confront his biological mother, daughter of the wealthy Roscarrock family, who gave him up at birth. Mal also meets Jory Roscarrock, Dev's uncle, who recently returned home to be closer to his son. Much younger and less socially uptight than his cartoonishly wooden siblings, Jory is eager to meet his nephew but also powerfully drawn to start a romance with Mal. Mal's struggle to prioritize his protective feelings for Dev provides a superb explanation for his oscillations between tenderness and distance; Jory's ready forgiveness of Dev's mercurial behavior seems less plausible. Merrow shines at the heart-wrenching moments of constrained desires, and her protagonists upend class stereotypes, though flirtatious Mal is something of a bisexual clich . This tender romance has moments of surprising emotional depth that are sure to please readers.
One Under reels in a family!
Like a fishing expedition, JL Merrow's novella is wonderful.