The Shamwell Tales: Caught! – J.L. Merrow
You can run from the past…but the past runs faster.
Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.
Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.
Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…
Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.
Hipster pretenses aside, I am of the opinion that bow ties are cool. Had I the physique to pull off tailored menswear with credibility, I would probably wear one myself.
Robert, effortlessly rocking that Dr. Who vibe, is just too cute for words. Unfortunately, Robert, gifted in Math but lacking in sense, is also hiding some sordid secrets that would come biting him in the ass. How he handled the situation when these secrets came calling was definitely not cute. However, his POV and observations were funny in that not-keen-on-social-cues kind of way
Sean, a pest control technician and a motorcycle riding ginger, is a nice guy but I think, him always being the first one to make an effort to reconcile when Robert was the stupidly rude one is just too much. I get a kick out of Sean getting a kick out of Robert’s dress sense but they seem to not have much in common other than the mutual attraction. Maybe mutual attraction is enough to work on for some people but it might work to the book’s advantage if we had Sean’s POV.
Rose, co-worker and BFF, is a voluptuous, recently single woman with a wicked sense of humor. As the voice of reason and snark, she has no problems telling Robert or any body what she thinks. She played mostly a sidekick/wingwoman role and although she did not actually come across as cardboard, it would have been nice if she did other things and had her happy ending too.
This is my first L.J. Merrow book and it certainly won’t be the last.
Points in the book’s favor are the delightful British humor and setting, and the wonderfully eccentric and quirky characters. The big misunderstanding was predictable and is the kind of plot device I’m tired of reading about although this was offset by the good parts. The writing is the fun, easy to digest kind that makes reading a breeze. Overall, a highly enjoyable read.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
I used fabric scraps, stiffener, large paper clips, a scissors, an iron, twist ties (or wire), and a hot glue gun.
Apply stiffener to your scraps (learn more here) and iron them flat. Cut three pieces for each bow in roughly these sizes:
Bow: 4.5" x 0.75"
Tails: 3.5" x 0.75"
Center band: 1.5" x 0.25"
Form the longest strip into a loop, overlapping the ends generously. Then pinch down at the center to form a bow shape. The nifty thing about the stiffened fabric is that the edges won’t fray, and it will keep its shape as you bend it around. If you don’t like the bow you made, iron the fabric flat and start over.
Pinch the “tail” strip in the center the same way. Yank it around some and show it who’s boss.
Then attach the bow to the tails using a piece of wire. I cut the green paper edges off twist ties I’d once pilfered from the grocery store. Worked great. Twist the wire tightly to secure it and clip off the excess.
Use the tiny remaining strip of fabric to attach the bow to the paper clip. Trim it as needed and wrap it around the bow and clip, and securing it with a bit of hot glue.
Trim the tails to the length you like.
– by Jessica Jones (http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com)