Friday, April 21, 2017

Wake Up Call by J.L. Merrow

Wake Up Call by J.L. Merrow

Review by Lauren

source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour—including a habit of collapsing in the street.

Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy—a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality—the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easy-going acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.
When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional—and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future, and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.

Review: As I went on Goodreads to grab the official summary, I realized that this is the first book in the Porthkennack series (which is the name of the town). However, each book is written by a different author. I thought that was kind of cool, so I figured I'd mention it! Anyway, back to Wake Up Call. I thought this was a really interesting story. I appreciated that the secondary characters had their own story lines. It created a community for Devan and Kyle, and it wasn't just about their burgeoning relationship. There is Ceri, a local waitress, who Dev befriends. There is also Dev's mate who comes in later in the story, as well as Dev's foster sister. Kyle didn't have as many characters around him, but readers do get to know a bit about his colleagues and his own family. At any rate, Kyle is supposed to be more closed off. He was a barrister (aka lawyer) before quitting and renting a cottage in Porthkennack because of a medical diagnosis of narcolepsy and cataplexy. In really simple terms, he can often - and quite suddenly - fall asleep. This scares Kyle, understandably, and he feels like everything he worked for is going to disappear. He's not in a great place when he meets Dev.

One thing that really made the book feel authentic to me is the dialect. Merrow doesn't shy away from showing readers how Dev speaks, including various slang, etc. This book is set in Europe, so there could be words or phrases the average American won't recognize, but I didn't think it was too difficult. Context usually helps. Regardless, I thought this was done well by the author and it helped show how different Dev and Kyle are, in terms of the "social ladder" so to speak. Dev is a mechanic and Kyle is a lawyer. They had very different upbringings. All these differences are issues they must face, but it wasn't done for unneeded drama. All in all, I thought the book was done well, and I'd be curious to see how the other authors handle the town of Porthkennack. 


Lisa Mandina said...

Okay, wow! A book that uses narcolepsy as a real thing, and not just as a joke that it usually is seen as? I love that! It sounds like it would be a very good story. I also like when they give you a lot of investment in the secondary characters as well. Will some of them be in the other books in the series as main characters? I love how authors like Jay Crownover and Samantha Young do that, so I'd guess that would be a good way for this series to go as well. Great review!

Verushka said...

This book sounds wonderful -- from the narcolepsy to the idea that different authors are writing their characters set in this story -- I LOVE that!

Kit @ Metaphors and Moonlight said...

Ooh you don't see narcolepsy rep'd often! And I read a book once set in England written by an English author and at first I was like, "What are they even saying?!" haha but I figured some out by context and learned as I went and I liked that it felt authentic. Great review!

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

I've never read a series where each book is written by a different author! I wonder if previous characters will make appearances in the other authors' books...

I always really like it when slang specific to the setting of the book is used! Otherwise it can sometimes feel like the characters could be anywhere. I really like it when Australian authors use it because our slang is so specific, and it makes you really feel like it's set here.

The storyline of this one sounds like it could be pretty sad, with Kyle's medical diagnoses.

I hope you enjoy the next books in the series, Lauren!

Lola said...

Oh that's interesting it's one series and different authors write each book. I also like it when the secondary characters have their own story lines as well. That's nice the dialect was so well done.