elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Played! by JL Merrow

Played! by JL Merrow
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (June 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619229722
ISBN-13: 978-1619229723
Amazon: Played! (The Shamwell Tales)
Amazon Kindle: Played! (The Shamwell Tales)

All the world's a stage...but real-life lessons are hidden in the heart. The Shamwell Tales, Book 2 Though Tristan must join his family's New York firm at summer's end-no more farting around on stage, as his father so bluntly puts it-he can't resist when Shamwell's local amateur dramatics society begs him to take a role in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The bonus: giving private acting lessons to a local handyman who's been curiously resistant to Tristan's advances. Not only is Con delicious, there's fifty pounds riding on Tristan getting him in his bed. A late-diagnosed dyslexic, Con's never dared to act, convinced he'd never be able to learn his lines. But with Tristan's help, he takes the 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 soon, Con is determined not to 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 for happiness. Warning: Contains a surfeit of Bottoms and asses, together with enough mangled quotations to have the Bard of Avon gyrating in his grave.


I love Merrow’s style and this is perhaps my favorite of her books. Tristan and Con are lovely together and their individual story arcs really well portrayed. The subplot with the older villagers, Alf and Mary, is interesting (and unexpected). The story is funny yes, and campy Tristan isn’t the only one to provide wit. The villagers and Con manage some great lines. But even more than funny, the story is also warm and wonderful. I want to read more about those people and am sad to see them go. Maybe we can have Patrick’s story? 

A Shakespeare send-up that is funny and clever and a delight to read.


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Tags: rainbow awards 2015
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