Book: Wake Up Call
Series: Porthkennack #1
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: April 17, 2017
Cover Artist: GD Leigh
Length: 320 pages
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.
Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Wake Up Call, the first of my contemporary MM romances in Riptide’s multi-author Porthkennack series.
“Mates of yours?” Dev asked.
Ceri flushed and turned her head away. “No.” Her voice had an ugly, harsh tone.
“You know, we could head off somewhere else. I ain’t had me tea yet,” he reminded her.
“No. We was here first, and they never come in here.” She sounded furious that they’d dared change their routine, and now she mentioned it, Dev could see a few of the regulars sending the uni mob dark looks too. “You stay where you are. I’ll get another round in.”
Like Dev was going to let her go up to the bar with that lot there. “I’ll get ’em,” Dev said, standing up. “It’s my round anyway.”
“So? I got paid today.”
“Yeah, but I’m on me hols, ain’t I? Got money to burn. Same again, right?” He swept off without waiting for an answer and headed to the opposite end of the bar from Ceri’s not-mates.
The old git had disappeared somewhere, to change a barrel or maybe to drink one, so the bar was now staffed by a middle-aged-to-elderly barmaid who looked like she’d run out of fucks to give a week ago last Tuesday. Dev wondered if she was Mrs. Old Git. It’d certainly explain why she looked so bloody fed up. Standing there trying to keep one eye on Ceri to make sure no one bothered her while simultaneously trying to catch the barmaid’s attention with the other, Dev supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised he didn’t notice the redheaded girl sneaking up on him.
“You’re new,” she said right in his ear and nearly made him drop his wallet. “How long you known Ceri Harper?”
See, that sort of crap got Dev’s back right up. He spun to face her. She was a pretty girl, and he reckoned she knew it, with her carefully natural makeup and her off-the-shoulder top that showcased creamy pale skin. With her red hair falling in waves over her shoulders, she looked a bit like that actress who’d played Demelza in Poldark (shut up, he only watched it for when Aidan Turner got his shirt off), and Dev reckoned she knew that too. Her accent wasn’t right for the part, though—it was local still, but a bit on the posh side for Demelza the kitchen maid. “What’s it to you, love?”
“Just here to give you a friendly warning.” She smiled, and it was good. Almost as good an imitation as her French manicured fingernails and those stencilled-on eyebrows. “You want to be careful with that girl. She’s not right in the head. Imagines things. You’ll end up in trouble if you hang around with her.”
“I can take care of myself, ta very much. And if you ask me, it ain’t Ceri who’s going around causing trouble.” If anyone wasn’t right around here, Dev reckoned it was this girl, with her dire warnings like she’d walked out of some gothic romance.
Demelza-like shrugged her bare shoulders. “Suit yourself. But if you ask me, a good-looking lad like you could do a lot better.” Half-turned away, she glanced at him over her shoulder, and what got Dev then was that her expression seemed real, genuine. Concerned. “I mean it about the trouble. The bad kind. Police trouble. You’d better watch yourself.”
Dev snorted to show her what he thought of that, and turned back to the bar because Christ, he was never going to get served at this rate. Luck was finally in, though, as the barmaid glanced his way almost immediately. Dev ordered and paid for his and Ceri’s drinks, took a gulp of his own because he needed it after that, and started to make for their corner table.
It was now occupied by a trio of spotty lads sipping their pints with furtive looks and an air of triumph that said all too clearly the barmaid hadn’t bothered to ask them for proof they were over eighteen, which it was also pretty clear they wouldn’t have been able to provide. Dev had been there, done that. But where the hell was Ceri?
Maybe she’d nipped off to the ladies’? Except who in their right mind left a table in a quickly filling pub until they had someone to hold it for them? Dev leaned against the wall anyway and drank his vodka and Coke, feeling like a right tool, with the uni mob glancing over his way every now and then.
Ceri didn’t appear. Dev started on her drink, having finished his own.
When Demelza-like put down her glass and looked like she was about to come over, Dev left.
He’d had enough drama for one night. Time to hit the chippy.
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack! http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack
About JL Merrow
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
Connect with JL:
- Website: www.jlmerrow.com
- Twitter: @jlmerrow
- Facebook: facebook.com/jl.merrow
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow
To celebrate the release of Wake Up Call, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!