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Counter Culture

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Customer service has never been this personal.

Robin Christopher, beleaguered retail worker, isn’t having an easy November. His boss is raising stress levels planning a Black Friday to end all Black Fridays, his family doesn’t understand him, and his best friend thinks his new crush is a hallucination brought on by watching too many episodes of Doctor Who.

ebook, 344 pages
Published November 4th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  39 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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I Liked it

My first book by this author and sure enough it will not be my last. It was sweet and just right for my teeth.

The story revolves around Robin and Archie two guys on the opposite sides of everything. Robin a guy who works at a store which he seems to hate and Archie a Victorian wearing steampunk obsessed guy. I liked the characters so much. They were well developed and so much fun to read about.

The writing was solid enough, the story flowed so well. The banter betwee
Barb ~rede-2-read~
A delightfully humorous, yet poignant, story about two young men who have a chance meeting late one night when one spots the other removing a coil from an old refrigerator someone has trashed. Odd? Bizarre? Robin Christopher (cruel parents picked that name!) is intrigued enough with Refrigerator Guy to learn more.

Refrigerator Guy turns out to be Archie Levine, an avid steampunker and new father. After the usual “misunderstanding” scenario, Robin learns Archie and the baby’s mother aren’t marrie
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Counter Culture is a new M/M humorous romance by JL Merrow. Released 4th Nov 2019 by Riptide, it's 244 pages and available in paperback format.

This is a light romance with mismatched protagonists who are sweetly silly. The story arc is standard (misunderstandings and well meant lies threaten to tear the star crossed couple apart, complicated by loving and well meaning family and friends on both sides... can they find their way to happiness despite the dram/>
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
ARC courtesy of Netgalley

Another chuckle-filled m/m romance from British author Merrow, but one that simultaneously manages to convey deeper messages about homelessness, mental illness, and the many layers that lie behind the pleasant facades that people show the world. The "counter culture" of the title refers to many different things: the differences between working class and middle class cultures in a small British city that is definitely not London; the world of the college-educa
Joyfully Jay
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

J.L. Merrow has released a new novel, Counter Culture, and once again fans of this author will be able to immerse themselves in the humor and pathos this writer is known for creating. Poor Robin has never really had anyone in his corner—his parents are less than supportive and mostly condemning of just about everything he does, his best friend Azrah is negative and caustic on her best days, and his job has just announced he’s going to have to work a major sale the
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley2019
This was a book that took me longer to finish than usual, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it.

Robin works for the department store the guy he's into seems to hate, to the point his mother is organizing a protest on one of their busiest days. Who wouldn't pretend he's a boring accountant when he finds the placards in their living-room? While Robin discovers Archie's hobby as a steampunk, the two fall in love and things only get more complicated.

I think we have two great main
Soda Pop
I love JL Merrow’s writing so it breaks me to have to say this, but I DNF'd this. Even though I liked the MCs, it was SO slow. I got to 62% and realized the characters barely knew each other and hadn't even been on an actual date yet. 2/3 of the book was gone before anything had even happened yet. Also, while the secondary characters did provide a little comedic flair, besides the MCs and Archie's mom, they were all kind of dicks to each other, which got old really fast considering nothing else ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, lgbtqia, netgalley
Thanks Netgalley for this arc!

This was so cute! The steampunk! The really nice Robin (full name Robin Christopher btw!), the adorable Archie (real name Mars!!). Archie's mum was such a fresh character and, while I thought I was going to hate Bridge (the ex and mum of Archie's baby), I came to like her a lot!

It was something like a slowburn romance with tons of little cute moments mixed with bits of serious stuff, like the homeless situation in the UK. I loved that Archie
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet holiday read with witty, fun characters. ;)
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

J.L. Merrow writes both serious and funny romances, and this one falls on the comic end of the spectrum.

You know you’re getting a story with humor when one of the main characters is named Robin Christopher. (Yes, his parents are that awful.} Robin’s job at a local department store is not much fun, though, because everyone is stressed out about the upcoming holiday sales season.

Things seem to be looking up when he meets Archie, who intrigues Robin with both his handsome
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, ebook, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was a super cute holiday story that included Victorian Christmas markets, crazy Black Friday sales, and Steampunk events.

Steampunk has always fascinated me and it was fun to get an in-depth look at the culture and idea behind it.

The story was well developed. Robin and Archie kept running into each other everywhere and I was impatient to have them actually meet and string a full sentence
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very cute, often funny, book about a store clerk falling for a steampunk. There are a lot of fun, but also sometimes annoying, side characters - so the book feels more like an ensemble. While I liked the side characters (mostly), I felt like all the time spent on them took away from the romance. We didn't get to see enough of the two guys together, especially in the first half of the book. I also think the book could have been shorter, it dragged quite a bit (again, especially in the first half) ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
I typically have enjoyed publisher Riptide's selection of books and certainly I am a steampunk fan. But I could only get 25% into this book before I had to put it down. It all felt so vapid and with over-idealized yet strangely boring protagonists. I didn't believe either of them could be real and the conversations were fairly whiney sounding while also feeling overwritten. Perhaps the British setting also threw me off but I just didn't relate to any of it. I became so disaffected that it became ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I guess we're to assume (view spoiler)?
Nov 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Why do this cover put Jack Whitehall in my mind...?? 😅😛
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have so much fun reading this book, I have forget almost the writing of J.L. Merrow but it took so little to dive in: the characters, the setting, the story. So you read it and enjoy.
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Nov 11, 2019
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Beth Laycock
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Brendan Johnson
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Purrfect Mates
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Maria Lima
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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 con