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Summary

Kicked out by his father at age 16, English student Luke Corbin's used to trading on his looks and charm to keep a roof over his head until he can make it big as a journalist. He goes for men with money, power, and looks, in that order, and he doesn't let emotions get in the way. But when his lover tells him it's over, Luke finds himself homeless - just as his final exams are looming.

Moving in with geeky chemical engineer Russell may be a step down for him, but Luke can't afford to be choosy. Fully prepared to put out as usual, Luke's confused and frustrated when Russell refuses to take advantage of him - and even more so when he finds out Russell's saving himself for someone special.

The more time he spends with the shy, honorable man, the more Luke finds himself bowled over by Russell's sweetness and integrity. But just as he's coming to terms with his own wish to be that special guy for Russell, Luke has to face facts: he's fallen for the one man he can't seem to charm.

©2010, 2017 JL Merrow (P)2017 JL Merrow

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Pratt
  • 05-01-18

A great short

this has always been a favorite. the dynamic between the two MC's is sweet. Both characters are well developed and genuine people. I'd love to listen to Muscling Through on audio.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Morgan A Skye
  • 15-02-18

So funny and sweet!

This was a book I’d originally read early on in my “new to m/m” days. I absolutely fell in love with JL Merrow’s sense of humor and her ability to make unique and quirky characters.

Luke is a tough cookie to love. He’s brash, bold, callous about sex and not afraid to use people to make his way in life. Russell is his polar opposite. Russell is quiet, unassuming, a virgin!, kind and wouldn’t dream of hurting a fly. When the two meet neither really knows what to do with the other.

What makes this book wonderful is Russell’s steadfast devotion and the absolute turnaround Luke makes.

Seeing Luke with different guys was hard and kept this from being one of my “favorite” books. I think it was important to know about from a character development perspective but I’m not sure we needed to read about it… IMHO.

Having Mark Steadman do the narration just adds that layer of authenticity you can only get by listening to a British actor perform such a British story. He does a lovely job with the emotions and comedy as well.

I give the story a 4 of 5 stars and the narration a 5 of 5 stars for an overall 4.5 of 5 stars.

If you’re a fan of nerdy virgins, british humor and quirky characters – give this a go!

Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacy Thompson
  • 26-04-18

Pricks and Pragmatism

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 the narrator himself.
Book - Luke was kicked out when he was a teen. He basically goes from house to house doing "favors" for guys, like a friends with benefits type deal, in exchange for places to stay. When the most recent guy kicks him out he moves in with a friend of a friend named Russell. Russell is a steady and stable, dorky, hairy bear of a guy who decides to let Luke move in until he lands on his feet. They become friends but Russell refuses the "benefits" Luke keeps trying to offer him, since Russell is waiting for "The One". This book was alright, Short and Cute, and fun, I liked Luke's Snarky attitude, but not necessarily Luke himself at times since his attitude was kind of Douchey at best. I think maybe I would have liked the book more overall if I had just read it and not "listened" to it.

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  • Keith b miller
  • 25-03-18

it was OK

the story is good but not my cup of tea it has some good product to it