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Pricks and Pragmatism (Southampton Stories #1)
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Pricks and Pragmatism

(Southampton Stories #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,467 ratings  ·  278 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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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,467 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Julio Genao
Dec 26, 2012 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 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)
Feb 24, 2014 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.


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.
Rosa, really
Oct 09, 2012 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 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
Dani Alexander
Nov 29, 2011 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.
Kaje Harper
Apr 16, 2012 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.
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.
Sep 27, 2010 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
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, m-m, 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
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2012 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
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Russel the lovable virgin bear!!! One of the best characters ever :D
Like fish and chips. Coming home. And a real nerd on top. :)
Audio - I'm really undecided, and on the fence about how I feel on this one. On one side I think the narrator Mark did a good job with these two main characters and giving them each some depth for their roles in the story. On the other side, I think maybe this narration was just not for me (personally). It was kind of hard for me to follow along in some spots, I had to rewind and re-listen a few times, but again, I think it was just me not being used to the accent the narrator had and not really ...more
Sep 21, 2010 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
Sep 16, 2010 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
Lou Harper
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, brit, m-m
This story grabbed me the moment I read the excerpt. The full novella didn't disappoint. The characters are strong and lovable - so much so that I wish I could follow them longer.

The plot is not much more than the romantic disturbances of the two protagonists, plus the meddling of a few supporting characters, but for a novella of ca. 14k words that's just right. Especially, since J.L. Merrow is such a skillful and confident writer.

The two main characters really stuck with me, I'd love to see m
Apr 16, 2011 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 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.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a fine story, but I've got to give it only three stars because it was so predictable and formulaic. I guess I expect a wee bit more from J.L. Merrow.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, on-my-kindle
JL Merrow has brought more than one smile, giggle, and outright laugh to me while reading her stories. She is unapologetically British and I love every moment of her tales, her characters, and her dialogue. I was looking forward to reading about a young man with, perhaps, too much experience in the ways of the world, and another with none.

Luke is exactly how I pictured him from the blurb. I definitely felt bad for him for having been kicked out at sixteen, but he has managed so far, and he doesn
3.5 Stars.

I love a kind lead matched with a cynical one. We have that here is spades. Luke is beyond jaded and guarded. When he falls for the super sweet and open nerdy hero, it is the best.

Luke is with other people during the book but there is no cheating. This is a slow burn romance.

I wish we had more couple and relationship time after they get together to make this a really great romance.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I so wanted to enjoy this book more. I just didn't warm up to Luke. He was an asshole. A total survivor which I understand, but still an understand. I hated that (view spoiler). Russell deserved better than that.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice short story, surprisingly well-developed and thorough for such a short length.
3.4 Stars

Not my favorite JLM book as it fell a bit flat and was entirely too predictable; but it still managed to have a distinctively "British" feel, which I loved.
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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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