A Flirty Dozen Box Set by JL Merrow is now available!
Together for the first time, twelve short stories of male/male romance from award-winning author JL Merrow. Ranging from gritty to giddy, all feature two men finding their happy ever after — or at least for now — with a dash of the author’s trademark humour.
Read about boys from the wrong side of town, boys from the right side of town, and boys from a town you really wouldn’t want to live in. Meet a rent boy with a secret, a very earthly version of Cupid, and men with a definite tinge of the supernatural. Opposites attract, wishes come true, and old enemies find forgiveness in this variety pack of eight contemporary stories and four paranormal tales that’s a perfect introduction to the writing of a very British author.
Contains the stories: Love Found on Lindisfarne, Free Ride, Light the Fire, Dead Shot, Stronger Where it Counts, Jack in the Green, A Ghoul Like You, Batteries Not Included, Making it Pay, Trick or Treat, Good Breeding, and A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou.
EXCERPT FROM “Dead Shot”
If you ask most people about Cupid, they’ll tell you he’s this chubby little angel with curly blond hair and a bow and arrow.
And they’re right about the chubby little face. And the bow and arrow, for that matter. But the hair’s ginger, not golden, and he goes by the name of Kevin these days, and an angel he most definitely is not. In fact, you can’t take your eye off him for a minute, which I found out the hard way when I took him to the park the other day.
Okay. Confession time. I’m actually talking about my nephew, who as far as I’m aware doesn’t have any Greek gods in his ancestry, although my sister Carol says his dad was working in a kebab shop when they started living together, so who knows? Anyway, Kevin’s what’s known as A Bit of a Handful. Ten years old, scarily bright but with the attention span of a toddler. So at weekends I try and take him off Carol’s hands for a while. Give her a bit of time with her new husband, Mark, who as far as I’m concerned is an absolute saint for taking on Kevin and treating him like his own. And the baby, of course. Now she is cute and golden-haired. And possibly angelic, although to be honest it’s really too soon to tell.
So this Saturday, we went to the park, Kevin and me. And I showed him how to make a bow and arrows from sticks we found lying around, and set up some targets of old Coke cans for him to aim at. Now I know what you’re thinking, but I wasn’t stupid. I made sure he heard the awful story of How Grandpa Lost His Eye and got him to promise never to aim anywhere near people. And then I sat down on a park bench and closed my eyes for five minutes because I’d had a late night on Friday and, although I love Kevin dearly, he’s more than a bit exhausting.
It was right after that I heard the scream.
Well, more of a shout, really. Then a dog started barking and a reedy little voice piped up, “I didn’t see you there, honest I didn’t!”
By now my eyes were well and truly open, of course. Even before the wail of “Uncle Peeeeter!” was ringing in my ears I’d jumped up from the bench. I legged it over to where I could see Kevin, a frisky-looking border collie and, last but not least, a tall, dark-haired bloke rubbing his right buttock.
You didn’t have to be a genius to work out what had happened. “Kevin! Did you shoot this man in the …” I stopped there. It was daft, really, I knew Kevin knew all the words, and he knew I knew, but I still didn’t like to use them in front of him.
“Arse?” the stranger suggested.
“Oh — sorry. Not used to having to mind my language, I’m afraid,” the stranger apologized. He had a nice voice, quite cultured. At least, as far as I could tell after hearing him speak three sentences, one of which consisted only of a four-letter word.
“Don’t worry about it, he probably knows more rude words than you do,” I assured him. “Are you all right? Do you need …?” I couldn’t think of anything to end that sentence with, so I left it hanging.
“Are you going to kiss him better, Uncle Peter?”