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Pricks and Pragmatism

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  2,238 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
Easy come, easy go…until the heart gets involved.

English student and aspiring journalist Luke Corbin should be studying. Instead he’s facing homelessness, thanks to the lover who’s just kicking him out of their posh digs. It’s not his first rejection—his father tossed him out at age sixteen—but Luke has no problem trading his favors for a home and security. Especially with
ebook, 60 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Samhain Publishing (first published September 9th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 17, 2013 julio rated it liked it
Recommended to julio by: Kate

It's the third J.L. Merrow story I've read that lays out unappealing or disturbing or even outright repellant circumstances and still manages to make me feel things for people who are, at best, disquieting, and at worst outright appalling.

She's a crafty one, that Merrow.

How else to explain why the travails of a mooching, self-absorbed demi-prostitute should even register with me, let alone make me cry a little in sympathetic misery?

Even the revolting poser friend who mangles French mana
Jan 21, 2013 Susan rated it liked it

Meh. It was ok. I'm a big JL Merrow after reading Muscling Through. I think the author does a great job of writing simple characters who forge unlikely bonds and find love.

P&P was a similar storyline but lacked the strong MC's that you find in Muscling Through (really, no one can beat Al...) Luke & Russell are sweet enough, but just not that interesting.

Luke is a student who "dates up" and lives off of his relationships. Russell, is a bearded, soft, dorky engineer who takes Luke in as a
3.5 stars

I started out disliking Luke (not that there was much to like about him in the beginning, mind,) but I gradually warmed up to him and ended up rooting for him and Russel. Russel was the shy, socially challenged geek you love and feel protective of from the get go.

I would have liked a bit more info on what happened with Luke's father, but I suppose it went all right, he was already making an effort.

(view spoiler)
Jan 14, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it

Hiding behind a smile, a protective smile, that hides all the hurts. Wearing your hurts on your sleeve is not the done thing, after all.

Yes I loved this poignant little short. Quiet, without lots of fanfare but with a good punch.

Possibly I wouldn’t grade this so highly if I were more familiar with m/m, but it seemed unique to me as well as delightful. What I most liked about it is that though it’s unquestionably a romance, it seemed to be aiming more for authenticity than for pleasing straight women readers. (I have no idea whether it was written by a man or a woman and I don’t much care.)

Our narrator Luke is a homeless student who gets by on his looks, charm, and belief that sex is meaningless. (He’s outraged at the su

4.5 Stars

This was such a sweet and fun read. Luke's voice just sucked me right in. Of course I want more because I'm greedy like that. Some of the scenes seemed a little rushed but the ending was satisfying.

There were so many lol moments. This one had me going for a bit: I watched sadly as he scampered to the kitchen like a virginal Hobbit being chased by a sex-mad Ring-wrath. HAHA, ok big LOTR fan here.

This will definitely be one of my go to books when I need a little lift.
Mar 18, 2014 MishyJo rated it liked it
The blurb sums the story up nicely. This book was a slow burn full of UST. Russell is an introvert and nothing special in the looks department but underneath all that is this wonderful, thoughtful man (who we didn't really get to know well enough). Luke is outwardly confident but he needs someone to show him he really matters.

The book was good but not spectacular. I think that twice as long, it might have been a stand out. As it was, things were a bit underdeveloped and we didn't get enough tim
Kaje Harper
Apr 17, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
This is a sweet, short, low-angst story about a young college student who has been trading sex for room and board, and his reactions to living with a man who doesn't seem to want to make that trade. A very believable, sympathetic, slightly confused main character with a tough past makes this a delightful and engrossing, if somewhat lightweight, story.
Dani Alexander
Nov 29, 2011 Dani Alexander rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. I loved both the protagonist and the love interest. The sweetness of this story is hard to describe. It's subtle and slow and seductive. Like their relationship. I was so involved in this romance that I had to read through the novel in one night to get my happy ending. I really wanted it for these two.
Rosa, really
May 06, 2014 Rosa, really rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Opposites attract, Merrow fans, Brit Lit fans

The first time I read this book was directly after falling head over heels in love with Merrow's Muscling Through. Now that's a book I enjoy as a "good read" but I also admire it for its FUCKING AWESOME WRITING. Merrow is just so damn good.

So, in light of that, I was rather disappointed in this book. I thought Luke was, yes, a pragmatist, but also a giant PRICK. Just a big knobhead to be British about it. Yes, he improved as the bo
Mandi Schreiner
Oct 05, 2010 Mandi Schreiner rated it liked it
I'm giving this a 3.5. Luke is absolutely adorable as this story is told in his point of view. Yes, he uses sells himself with sex so he can crash in people's apartments as he finishes school - but he is so darn funny. He meets Russell - super geeky, bearded (swoon) 30 yr old virgin (OMG SWOON)and 95% of this book is them living together, awkwardly at first, and eventually becoming friends. My only complaint is that I wish we would have seen them in an actual relationship for longer than a few p ...more
The plot of this book is actually pretty good and it's definitely sweet enough, but I just couldn't connect to any character. The beginning of this held a lot of promise, but gradually I just started to find myself getting more and more distracted while reading. If this had been more fully developed and longer, I could see this plot and the characters really turning into something fantastic. As it stands, it just left me feeling like I got 1/3 of a story.
Jan 05, 2011 Jenre rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, contemporary, romance
This review can also be found at Three Dollar Bill Reviews

This engaging novella begins well with first person narrator, Luke, being asked to move out from the house he shares with wealthy man Sebastian. Luke is a sort of prostitute who exchanges his rather gorgeous looks and body for the security of somewhere to live and access to funds whilst he completes his degree in English. When he’s left, three weeks before finals, with nowhere to live, a friend hooks him up with Russell, a beardy, geeky e
Elisa Rolle
Luke Corbin is a kept man; true, he is doing that only to support himself during college, and he is not that he asks for money, even if he doesn’t refuse expensive gift if they come, but his lovers are usually high executive men with nice and posh apartments where Luke can “land” from lover to lover. Only that the last in this string of lovers asks him to move out when Luke has not yet found a substitute, and a friend, former lover, proposes him to move with Russell. Russell is not as rich as hi ...more
Sep 27, 2010 Kassa rated it really liked it
Pricks and Pragmatism is a delightful and absorbing read. It’s just a quick novella – 50 pages – but it’s worth reading. The writing is clever, sly, and witty with a lot of quick one-liners and classic characters. The tension and conflict plays off obvious and exaggerated tropes but that doesn’t diminish the entertainment factor. Luke will warm your heart while Russell is adorable as a geek. They don’t stretch beyond their pre-determined boxes but the strong writing makes this worthwhile reading ...more
Oct 09, 2010 Ava rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2012 Monika rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Great little story. Like most shorts I wish it had been longer but to my surprise J.L. Merrow was able to make me understand and feel for the characters. Luke the good looking, never has trouble finding a guy type who is actually a lonely, very insecure sweetheart, or he was to me at least. And shy kind of nerdy Russell a teddy bear of a man I just wanted to cuddle, that takes Luke in when he is need of a place to stay. This book has an HEA that takes the whole story to get to which was
Cole Riann
May 11, 2012 Cole Riann rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Russel the lovable virgin bear!!! One of the best characters ever :D
Sep 21, 2010 Ami rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wow...just wow! P&P is such a laugh-out-loud, charming tale of finding love where you least expect it. In this case for Luke, it comes in the form of furry, nerdy, Russell. After a series of "arrangements", whereby Luke puts out for a place to stay, he fines himself in the unlikely apartment of a certified geek who doesn't seem to have to slightest attraction to him in the least.
Poor Luke is out of his element as Russell seems oblivious to each of his sexual advances; my fav being the seen w
Jun 20, 2011 Meraehl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-l-merrow
4.5 stars

P&P is a very simple and enjoyable tale. There were no real surprises, but for this sort of story it didn't really matter - it was still a fun journey towards a sweet and satisfying ending.

I liked Luke and Russell. Not overly buff, impossibly gorgeous men. Here are two ordinary guys and I loved that. My only complaint is that I would have liked a bit more insight into Russell's past and what makes him tick. I would have liked to see him be developed more.

Another strength is the aut
Mar 03, 2014 Isabel rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica, m-m
Sweet story!
Sep 06, 2015 Tj rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
Normally if a book has "cheating" I hate it. This wasn't really cheating because neither man was in a relationship with the other. Still it did come across an awful lot like cheating. I am enough of a romantic to want the other guy to realize before sex that his man isn't the jerk about to do him. Luke was that little bit too "slutty" for me to really like. Russell is so sweet and nice he is unbelievable.
Sep 19, 2012 M rated it liked it
I don't know whether it's because I'm from a Commonwealth country, but I really like Merrow's Britishness. Even if the story's not spectacular, I always enjoy the setting and style of writing. Other than that I really don't have too much to say about this book, it's a solid novella-length romance about two fairly clueless guys. Predictable as anything, but enjoyable enough.
Like fish and chips. Coming home. And a real nerd on top. :)
Mary Mary
Jan 20, 2015 Mary Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m
At first I thought I just had mixed feelings about this story but nooo, I am ANNOYED!

I really liked the story. The blurb was fantastic, the plot made me want to read it without making breaks and I spent some time today reading instead of working because I needed more.
I wish I could say I liked main characters. I liked Russel just fine. He was weird (and hairy), had no sense of fashion, but what is more important he was kind and sweet. But Luke? I thought he was ok. I really did. He had a diffic
Jan 24, 2011 Tam rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Luke is an English major who manages to live rent free with a series of "boyfriends". He moves in until they tell him to move on. His latest has found "true love" not three weeks before finals and he has no money to rent a place. However he's hooked up with Russell who is totally not his type. He's not rich and to top it off he doesn't appear to be interested in sleeping with Luke. He's honestly giving him a place to stay and feeding him out of the goodness of his heart. Weird, to Luke. Despite ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Audrey rated it liked it
Shelves: man-love
3 stars. Really could not get on board with the promiscuity of the first person narrator, Luke. I know he and Russell weren't actually together-together at that point, but it still left me highly uncomfortable because I think it was already apparent each had developed some feelings for the other at those points in the story. I also felt a little sorry for Luke and how he was this strange combination of cocky, good-looking swagger and insecurity/low self-worth. Russell was a sweet geek, and I cou ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Falls somewhere between a 1.5 and 2, but I'll go with a 2 since my 1s are usually reserved for books I didn't finish.

I picked this up after Hard Tail in which the MCs of P&P make a "guest appearance". I was intrigued by both the premise and seeing how 2 such dissimilar men (physically, socially, pretty different in every way) came to be together. I came away from the story still unsure of how it happened. I mean, I get that the no-sex thing allowed them to get to know one another on a deeper
Josephine Myles
Dec 10, 2010 Josephine Myles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, romance, contemporary
I was really excited when this novella came out as I’ve loved JL Merrow’s stories ever since I first read her contribution to the I Do Two! anthology. While I enjoyed her first novella, Snared, I was hoping that this would be more my sort of thing (I’ve never been particularly fond of shifter stories as a rule). I wasn’t disappointed!

Pricks and Pragmatism is all narrated by the charming Luke Corbin. Luke has ambitions – he wants to earn a first in his English Lit degree and become a journalist –
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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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“It's sad to fall asleep. It separates people. Even when you're sleeping together, you're all alone.” 32 likes
“Well, that went well,” I muttered to my cock, which had optimistically jumped up when I did. All pumped up with nowhere to go. I took it for a shower and gave it a few strokes to make it feel better, but it wasn’t fooled. It knew it was just my hand tugging on it.” 2 likes
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