Out! : A Novel in the Shamwell Tales by J L Merrow

Out! : A Novel in the Shamwell Tales by J L Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (215 pages)
Other: M/M, anal intercourse
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

When the costs are added up, will love land in the black?

Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet—at least, the small part of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Divorced when he could no longer deny his sexuality, he’s sworn off his workaholic ways and moved to Shamwell with his headstrong teen daughter to give her a stable home environment.

His resolve to put his love life on hold is severely tested when he joins a local organization and meets a lively yet intense young man who tempts him closer to the closet threshold.

Patrick Owen is an out-and-proud charity worker with strong principles—and a newly discovered weakness for an older man. One snag: Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter, and Patrick will be damned if he’s going to start a relationship with a lie.

Between Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and a camp, flirtatious ex-colleague who wants Mark for himself, Patrick wonders if they’ll ever be on the same romantic page. And when Mark’s former career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, it could be the one stumbling block they can’t get past.

Coming out won’t be easy but for an “old bloke” like Mark, it may just be his first chance to truly live.

This book is about a man learning to be honest about who he is and embracing the opportunity to love like he never thought possible. It’s a very honest story. It may me feel for Mark and his daughter’s relationship as well as Mark and Patrick’s potential relationship.

Mark’s relationship with his daughter is pretty funny. I guess I can laugh at it because I can relate. Teenagers are pretty much the same, whichever side of the pond they happen to reside in. Overall, though, I actually did like Fen’s character. She was a typical teen, trying to figure out who she was and worrying about her parents at the same time. Loving them and hating them, at the same time. In the end, she totally won me over because she supported her dad’s decision to be himself.

I liked Patrick as well and wanted to see him teach Mark to how to love himself. With a fourteen year age difference, it was interesting to watch them each learn and grow.

The secondary characters in this book are so much fun. Had to love the Spartans and Mark’s ex-PA, David, is all kinds of fun. I want him to find someone. That would be a fun book to read.

I love to hear the British accent on TV and in movies but this was the first book I’ve ever read where the cockney slang was so thick, I think I fell in love with it a little more.

This is a book for readers who want a love story and not just a lust story. There isn’t much sex because, well, there’s a lot of misunderstanding and interruptions. They try but, bless ’em, timing really is everything sometimes.

I know there are other books in the Shamwell series and I’m pretty sure I met some of the H/h from those stories. I plan to take a trip back to the village as soon as possible and hope to catch up with Mark, Patrick and Fen. Families are more than the people you born to.

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