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Stroke to His Cox

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
As coxswain of a Cambridge college rowing team, pint-sized Dave Tanaka has eight strapping athletes hanging on his every word, their strength at his command. Leading his crew to win their oars might be easier if Dave didn’t have to hide his crush on Archie, the stroke rower – but as they prepare for their final race, Dave doesn’t suspect that Archie is in the same boat as ...more
ebook, 25 pages
Published February 2nd 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
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Tiya Rosa
Jan 07, 2013 Tiya Rosa rated it it was amazing
HILARIOUS narrator, adorable love interest, undeniable underwear-dropping chemistry, and some of the funniest lines I've read from this author (and that's saying something!).

A GR friend mentioned in her profile that she'd read a grocery list as long it's written by Voinov. Well, that's me with Merrow, I think. She could scribble pretty much anything on any surface and I'd devour it. She creates such distinct and memorable narrators that I always wanna have coffee or a pint with them or bring th
Mar 20, 2013 Audrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: man-love
I love love love JL Merrow's narrators, and Dave is no exception. :) Fun and quick read with a LOT of rowing terminology. Will add some fun quotes later, but let me note two things: (1) Asian hero!! and (2) (view spoiler).

P.S. There's a mini sequel!!! You can find it here! Thanks for the tip, Tiya!
Cole Riann
Mar 21, 2011 Cole Riann rated it really liked it
Dave Tanaka is from the only Japanese family on the Isle of Wight and the coxswain of the Cambridge crew team. He is also only 5’5″ and doesn’t hide that he’s a poof, and in his words “…what with angsting about being foreign-looking, angsting about being the music teacher’s kid, followed by angsting about being a short-arse, by the time I’d worked out I was gay I just thought Oh, what the hell, bring it on!” Therefore, being the coxswain on the crew team is perfect for him — not only is his slig ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Kassa rated it really liked it
I love JL Merrow’s sense of humor and even if this hadn’t been highly recommended around the blogsphere I’d want to read a book titled “Stroke to His Cox.” Yea I’m a perve but so are you so get this short delightful story. The writing is clever, witty, and full of innuendo and rowing terms. The characters are funny, entertaining, and like to twist the usual stereotypes on their heads. For a short story this packs a punch and leaves you wanting more of whatever Merrow wants to offer.

The premise
Dec 28, 2012 Heller rated it liked it
I definitely watched way too much Olympic rowing this year. ;) I ran across this story and had to read it. Very cute but I needed a rowing 101 guide for some of the terminology!
Josephine Myles
Of all Jamie’s many short stories, I think this has to be my favourite. Not only is it extremely amusing with two lovable leads, but I learnt a huge amount about rowing and there’s a hot boathouse sex scene to top it all off. I love an “opposites attract” romance, and this is a perfect example of how to do it well. Tiny coxswain Dave refuses to conform to any stereotypes, and is one of the most characterful narrators I’ve read in a long time. I’ve read "Stroke to His Cox" several times now, and ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Shawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-bookshelf, 4-star
I was very suprised by this little diddy. It's so short and the title so tongue and cheek that I thought it would be a total disaster. But.... it wasn't. it was cute and sassy. Dave is just priceless. all 5'5 of him. I had to laugh at all the slight awkwardness of dealing with a guy who is so much taller than you. (i should know. I'm barely 5'5 myself.)

Its very cute and a good for a quick read.
Mar 08, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful interlude on the River Cam!
Short, but marvellously handled by J.L. Merrow, one of my favourite authors. You really need to read this as an example of a perfect short story, where the characters are so damn real you feel you've known them for years, and their love story is just so romantic it left me with a huge smile on my face.
Julia ♥Duncan♥
Not gonna lie, rowing puns amuse me greatly. That, combined with JL Merrow's usual humor and Britishness, made this really fun to read. I was smiling the whole time. Even though it was short I felt like I got to know and like the characters, who were really cute together. There were also lots of nice little details woven in that made the story richer. Super glad I decided to read this.
Jun 01, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
Holy crap, that title. It's appropriate but really...the title. If you don't give a damn about rowing you might not like this short, funny, hot little book.
Tami (synchro from BL)
Sep 01, 2013 Tami (synchro from BL) rated it really liked it
Short, sweet and hot.
Jul 25, 2013 Deeze rated it it was ok
Shelves: quick-easy-reads
Short but fun.
Sammy Goode
Feb 26, 2013 Sammy Goode rated it it was amazing
Stroke to His Cox is just a bare snippet of a story about a rowing team going for its prized oars. Getting one’s oars is winning the race and this team is set to do just that. Their coxswain or Cox is the smallest in the division—a plus as the Cox is the only man on the team that does not row, rather he steers and calls out the order of rowing instructions to the team.

Our Cox, (and yes the pun was absolutely lovely) Greg not only happens to be small but is also Asian to boot. Having grown up in
Mar 15, 2012 Cryselle rated it it was amazing
Every now and then one finds a little gem, with a great deal packed into a small space. The coffee-snort inducing title begins weaving the sport of rowing into Dave and Archie's personal life from the very start.

Merrow gets quite a lot of the technicalities of rowing in very naturally, and many terms definitely lend themselves to a sly second meaning. Dave, the coxswain, or cox, has to keep from showing his desire for big, handsome Archie, whose position, stroke, puts them face to face every tim
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Dave secretly wants Archie to stroke more than the rowing oars on their team boat. Dave is the cox of his rowing team and Archie is the stroke. Together they lead an 8 man rowing team that is battling to win their bumps for the year. Between trying to hide his infatuation and the obvious physical effects of it, Dave hope to propel his team to a win. Yet the celebrations afterward may be the best part of the day.

Stroke to His Cox is a tongue in cheek (yes both cheeks) witty story. It’s a romance
Sep 09, 2016 Teetee rated it liked it
Lovely short story by a favorite author. I feel I know even less now about rowing than when I started though, very confusing! But I definitely enjoyed the two characters and speedy but gratifying HEA. The ending was slightly abrupt but with this length of story what can you do! 3.5 stars!
Jul 21, 2011 Tam rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Dave is the half-Japanese cox for this university rowing team. For those who don't row (and I barely know the basics), it the usually much smaller guy who sits in the boat and keeps the others on track. He's much smaller of course than all the huge hulks who row and has been crushing on Archie for a while, figuring no way. After they win a big race, Archie makes a move much to Dave's surprise and delight. This is told from Archie's point of view. I liked his voice, he's a bit sarcastic and snide ...more
Jul 18, 2016 Verity rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, short-story, sports
This short story made me think of the The Naked Warwick Rowers who show off their beauty (cox and all!) for a calendar to raise money for charity!
That can never be a bad thing so thanks Ms Merrow!
 photo warwick-naked-rowers-07242014-lead02-600x450_zpsmcq1agok.jpg
Jun 19, 2016 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-e-things, queer
3.5 stars. I read this because it's about rowing, since I used to be a rower. Also, JL Merrow rocks. I was after something short and light and amusing and entertaining and this ticked all those boxes. This story really is all about rowing, even the love bits. Dave is a really cool character and I love that this story's main character is Asian. Fun and cute.

NB: There is an extra, follow-up scene to this story here.
Dave Tanaka is the coxswain on the Cambridge college rowing team. The coxswain is in charge of the rudder, and sits in the back of the boat steering the crew. Dave is a small guy, and of Japanese descent, something which he has a bit of a complex over. Especially since he has a crush on the stroke rower, Archie, a big athlete.

They have an important race that they need to win, (view spoiler)
May 31, 2011 Kaetrin rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, ebook
Cute (very) short story about a rower and the cox. Probably would have been more enjoyable if I understood the rowing references.
Nico Jaye
4 stars. Super fun and quick read with (1) an Asian hero and (2) (view spoiler)! Yayzerbeams!
May 20, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, gay, done, short, 2011, ebook
3.5 stars. Good short m/m romance about the cox of a rowing team, who has a crush on one of his rowers.
Eli Easton
Jan 19, 2013 Eli Easton rated it really liked it
Shelves: jl-merrow
Cute, fun, *very* short read at 30 pages on my ipad. I enjoyed it but wish it had been a little more fully developed. I love all this author's short stories.
Jan 26, 2013 Lucy rated it really liked it
Just adorable. 5'5", sassy and self confident. Archie is sweet but Dave Tanaka is adorable. I so wish this was longer.
Aug 22, 2011 Lady*M rated it really liked it
Cute and funny. I especially enjoyed Dave's unique voice. I wouldn't mind reading more about these two and their team. Enjoyable, light read. Recommended.
Hadley rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2016
Tomma rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2014
Deedee rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2015
Erebia rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2014
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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 contempora
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