Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pricks and Pragmatism

Title: Pricks and Pragmatism
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-194-6
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Luke Corbin is in his last year of college and finals are fast approaching. Hoping to ace his exams, the aspiring journalist should be studying hard, but that doesn’t happen when his lover suddenly throws him out of their posh apartment. With no place to go and exams bearing down on him, Luke’s desperate for a place to stay but he can’t be choosy and is willing to trade sexual favors to put a roof over his head.

Through a series of hook-ups via friends, Luke suddenly finds himself living with a geekie chemical engineer who is far less well off than the usual men Luke lives with. But Russell is different still. He’s an honorable man unwilling to take Luke to bed, since he’s saving himself for someone special.

Initially Luke’s annoyed; he doesn’t understand and he’s irritated. As time passes Luke comes to realize he wants Russell, but he also discover that the man he wants is the one man he can’t charm. Then the truth hits home. Russell is too good for him.

Pricks and Pragmatism is the newest release by author J.L. Merrow and he’s created an interesting and likable pair in Luke and Russell. It’s a quick novella at just under 50 pages, so the story moves along at quick pace. The story is well written, the plot believable and the dialogue witty, with a good use of clever one-liners that made me grin and there are plenty of heartwarming moments too.

I like the author’s unusual selection of two ordinary guys as the main characters--each of whom is wounded and hurt in his own way. The use of Luke as the main narrative voice worked nicely but did leave me with a few questions regarding Russell. The secondary characters play an important role and even those who should have been Luke’s friends ultimately weren’t, leaving me with a sense of wanting to bat them on the head for making the man feel worthless again—so, the author’s job was done skillfully and well.

The slow-growing romance between these two is delightful and while there are few surprises along the way, it is a satisfying read that I enjoyed. I would have liked to know more about Russell, his background and what made his tick. I look forward to more from this author in the future.

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