Review: J.L. Merrow – Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1)

51HIH1C4qcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Author: J.L. Merrow
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Riptide Press
Genre: Contemporary
[xrr rating= 4/5]


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.


Devan Thompson is on vacation in Porthkennack ostensibly to simply enjoy the beautiful scenery while taking time off from his work as a mechanic in London. But the reality is that the young man who never knew his parents has discovered that his mother lives in Porthkennack, and in fact, is a socialite from the wealthy Roscarrock family. While waiting to get the courage to approach her, he befriends a young man labeled as the town drunk.

Far from being a drunk, though, Kyle Anthony is a barrister who moved to Porthkennack to get away from his now ex-lover and his now former job. He was recently diagnosed with both narcolepsy and cataplexy and due to the suddenness with which he falls asleep or slumps to the ground, he’s earned the scorn of townspeople. Not one to share his personal life with others, he’s never even told his family about his problem, especially after the reaction he got from his lover when he learned the truth.

Now, though, this nice young man named Dev seems to want to be of help and doesn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s a worthless drunk.

This is one of those stories in which each MC makes assumptions about the others’ thoughts and feelings and neither gets it right. They befriend each other and eventually have sex, though Dev has some adjustment to make when his lover falls asleep immediately afterward. And when Kyle advises Dev not to approach his mother if she’s not aware he’s coming, Dev thinks he means Dev isn’t good enough and storms off. Turns out Kyle was right, but that only makes Dev angrier.

I enjoyed this story, principally due to the author’s style of telling a tale—always with an underlying sense of humor, and always delving deep into the characters’ hearts and souls. I was engaged by both MCs early in the story and patiently waited until each finally got to the point where they were brave enough to admit their feelings and their fears to each other.

There’s plenty of adventure along the way involving both friends and family members who provide a wonderful cast of secondary characters and a strong and realistic storyline.

Highly recommend this one to all lovers of MM romance, and especially to those who enjoy stories set in the UK. And, I’m looking forward to more in this series.


Riptide Publishing 

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