4 Stars for Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow #MM #Romance @JLMerrow


Title: Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2)
Author Name & Publisher: J.L. Merrow (Samhain Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 30, 2015 – 216 pgs


Tristan’s in Shamwell for one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when members of the local amateur dramatics society beg him to take a role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Especially as he’ll also be giving private acting lessons to gorgeous local handyman, Con, who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances. Tristan’s determined to get Con in his bed—not only is the man delicious, there’s fifty pounds riding on Tristan’s success after a bet made with his drama school chum Amanda.

Con’s never dared to act before. A late-diagnosed dyslexic who had a hard time at school, he’s always been convinced he’d never be able to learn his lines—but with Tristan helping him, he might just be in with a chance. Trouble is, the last time Con fell for a guy, he ended up getting his heart broken, and with Tristan due to leave the country in a matter of months, Con’s determined not to give in and start anything that’s bound to finish badly.

Just as Tristan thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes. And the curtain may have fallen forever on their chance of happiness.

Warning: contains a surfeit of Bottoms and asses, together with enough mangled quotations to have the Bard of Avon gyrating in his grave.

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This book was a really good addition to this series!
So in this book you get Tristen and Con. Tristan was a actor until his father wants him to come and work for the family business. His characters honestly annoyed me at first because I have never really been a huge fan of snobby characters and he was over the top snobby for a lot of this book. But once you really get to know his character his attitude makes more sense.
Con is a handy man and receives a call from Tristan about frogs infesting his house. That is how he first meets Tristan and lets just say their first meet did not go that well. I felt so bad for Con for most of this book with the way that Tristan treated him. I was honestly glad when Tristan finally woke up and realized how bad he was being to Con.
This story was definitely a slow burn maybe to much for me to be honest because it really felt like it took a long time for them to get to the point where they finally admitted their feelings to each other so that was a little annoying too. But other than that I really did like this book.



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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 was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy. Her novel Relief Valve is a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Awards.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.


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