Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow


Tristan’s in Shamwell for one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when members of the local amateur dramatics society beg him to take a role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Especially as he’ll also be giving private acting lessons to gorgeous local handyman, Con, who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances. Tristan’s determined to get Con in his bed—not only is the man delicious, there’s fifty pounds riding on Tristan’s success after a bet made with his drama school chum Amanda.

Con’s never dared to act before. A late-diagnosed dyslexic who had a hard time at school, he’s always been convinced he’d never be able to learn his lines—but with Tristan helping him, he might just be in with a chance. Trouble is, the last time Con fell for a guy, he ended up getting his heart broken, and with Tristan due to leave the country in a matter of months, Con’s determined not to give in and start anything that’s bound to finish badly.

Just as Tristan thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes. And the curtain may have fallen forever on their chance of happiness.

Warning: contains a surfeit of Bottoms and asses, together with enough mangled quotations to have the Bard of Avon gyrating in his grave.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16

Huh, have you ever read a book and think if the author would have the character stop talking like that it would be so much better? Well, this was it for me. Tristan was born into a privileged life but now is a starving actor that has been left a home and he has the summer to clean it out before he has to go to America and take his place in his families company. And because he is a play actor he talks in this dramatic flair. Spouting out phrases from Shakespeare and the like, at first it was cute, by the middle of the book  it was semi annoying and by the end I was glad it was only two page’s and we had enough support cast around him that we could skip his parts if he got long winded. Which is a shame because when he was a normal guy, him and Con together was rather sweet, Con is the local handy man that is charged with asking Tristan to help with putting on a local play. As the weeks go by and Con and Tristan develop feelings you do warm up to the whole story and start rooting for Con and hoping he does find what he’s looking for. And so glad in the end Tristan does what he wants.

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