Camille's Reviews > Pressure Head

Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow
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Sep 19, 12

bookshelves: m-m-rom-erotica, male-1stp-pov-romance

3.5
I liked it.

Admittedly, mystery, thriller, suspense aren't my calling cards, so this didn't rock my world thus, but that's because of my preferences. Notwithstanding, this was well-written, funny, intriguing and held my rapt attention.

Unwavering attention because:
* I love English speech, idioms and references. This book is heavily English, from its earnestness in describing the places, to its investment in showcasing English culture and lifestyles, to its very heavy usage of English words and phrases. This appealed to me quite a lot. Plus, I like when authors represent their own.

* I have read three other titles by Merrow and in each of them, including this one, the characters and the story lines are satisfactorily different and unique onto their own. This is quite enjoyable. No one trick pony author here. She always produces quality writing and that's as far as the similarities go, I find.

* The narrator is a peculiar mix of funny, earnest, sincere, eager, casual, laissez-faire, sentimental and totally empathetic. He is a fun person to spend a book getting to know and has a sweet heart to explore. More than that, he's interesting. He's someone who's reconciled himself to being a plumber, despite this blue collar profession having evolved from an accident; he's on the fence about his gift, even as he generously makes the most of it; he's someone who wants love in life but who isn't caustically lonely and is always sweet to people, particularly women; and someone with great friendships and interesting friends. He's a nice guy. But a real one. This makes it a pleasure to read his story.

* The mystery is interesting, though, as I said, not my gravy boat so it was somewhat secondary to me. But it is intriguing, nonetheless.

* I like Phil as the physical object of affection. He sounds hot...all big and muscular and tall...yummmm.

But he did not satisfy me emotionally at all. When he says to Tom, "you know I want you" and Tom thinks, "I do?" I was thinking it right alongside him. Phil spends so much time being the stoic that when we get to the sex I don't feel nearly enough emotional connection. Yes, there is guilt, sorrow, regret and nostalgia originating from their school days but what of the present.

What are Phil's feelings for Tom today? Then Tom asks, at the end of the book, and Phil says complicated! What?! I was completely unsatisfied with that response. Plus, there are elements of Phil's past that are not adequately dealt with.

So, because I don't feel enough of an establishment in the present, I am led to ponder whether a lot of the dynamic between Tom and Phil is not fulfillment of the past, which undermines the genuineness/legitimacy of their being together now. From whence is their attraction stemming? I want to know it's real...more than physical attraction, more than past interaction.
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Reading Progress

09/18/2012
2.0% "Just starting *rubs hands* :-)"
09/19/2012
33.0% "Loving it"
09/19/2012
34.0% "And he was off, into a story involving an improbably endowed bloke whole wife drifted along in a narrowboat at the worst possible moment."
Freaking hilarious."

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by julio (last edited Jun 25, 2013 03:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

julio Phil's character was definitely a little thin on the ground.

(view spoiler)


Camille Her love interests definitely need better characterisation. They're always so faintly sketched. And yeah, I kept waiting for the husband to be understood. His disappearance from the plot made his being merely an "authentically gay" verification plot prop for Phil rather transparent plus it really let Tom sell himself short...no questions just gratititude.


julio <--------authentically gay


And excellent analysis. That's exactly what I thought. Just served to confirm Phil's homo street-cred so the smexin' wouldn't be ludicrous.


Loederkoningin Completely in the same boat when it comes to Phil! (and about the rest as well actually:))


Camille Loederkoningin wrote: "Completely in the same boat when it comes to Phil! (and about the rest as well actually:))"

Given that similarity I look forward to your review if you get around to reading the sequel. I was good with just book 1 but I'm curious :-)


Loederkoningin Which is exactly why I won't be touching book 2.:p Too many disappointed, lukewarm reviews.


Camille Sequels so rarely work. Leave well enough alone, yes.


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