Out! (The Shamwell Tales #3) by J.L. Merrow #mm @samhainpub @jlmerrow


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When the costs are added up, will love land in the black?

Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet—at least, the small part of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Divorced when he could no longer deny his sexuality, he’s sworn off his workaholic ways and moved to Shamwell with his headstrong teen daughter to give her a stable home environment.

His resolve to put his love life on hold is severely tested when he joins a local organization and meets a lively yet intense young man who tempts him closer to the closet threshold.

Patrick Owen is an out-and-proud charity worker with strong principles—and a newly discovered weakness for an older man. One snag: Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter, and Patrick will be damned if he’s going to start a relationship with a lie.

Between Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and a camp, flirtatious ex-colleague who wants Mark for himself, Patrick wonders if they’ll ever be on the same romantic page. And when Mark’s former career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, it could be the one stumbling block they can’t get past.

Product Warnings: Contains historically inaccurate Spartan costumes, mangled movie quotes, dubious mathematical logic and a three-legged pub crawl.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16Kim Talks TomesTAG

Mark has always been in the closet is entire life. He even got married and had a daughter. Now a teenager, she doesn’t know the truth about her father’s sexuality because he is afraid to come out to her. When she becomes too much to handle for Mark’s ex-wife, he moves himself and his daughter to a new town, Shamwell, and creates a new life for them. He meets Patrick, a young man, at a meeting. Patrick is loud and proud to be gay and he is very interested in Mark. But, Mark doesn’t want his daughter to know that he prefers men and Patrick doesn’t want a secret relationship.

I enjoyed how devoted Mark was to his daughter. While I think telling the trust is the best thing, I understand why he doesn’t want his daughter to know about his private life. Mark and Patrick’s age difference could have been a weird thing, but it helped to be a catalyst to why they each thought so differently on things. Patrick never really lived in a time where being gay was supposed to be a secret, whereas Mark did. Also, Patrick’s preference for helping the community conflicted with Mark’s former corporate job, which was another thing to push these two men apart. But, as with any good book, they worked and didn’t let all of these things stand in their way.

The age difference, also, could have allowed for a more “father/son” type of dynamic, but I never felt as though Mark treated Patrick as just a “kid”. They each brought something new and fresh to the relationship and Mark did not really dominate things.

Overall, this story worked well as did this paring. I enjoyed the citizens of Shamwell and I especially enjoyed how the relationship brought stability to Mark’s daughter after he finally came out to her.


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