Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

pressure-headPressure Head by J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate, Book One
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 279 • Format: ebook
Published By: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
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Some secrets are better left hidden.

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Warning: Contains a flirtatious plumber with hidden talents, a cashmere-clad private investigator with hidden depths, and an English village chock full of colourful characters with plenty to hide.


Who is an ass for waiting so long to read this book? *raises hand* Why hasn’t someone smacked my ginger self and told me how much I would love Tom and Phil? Ugh. Love is a light word to describe how I feel about those two and this book.

Tom Paretski has a talent, a talent for finding hidden things and well, water. His talents lend to his day job as a plumber and his side job as a consultant for the police department. When he is called out on a case to find a missing girl, he comes face to face with is crush from his youth and the jerk who created all kinds of trouble for Tom, aka Phil Morrison. OMG! Seriously? Merrow has gone and created one of my favorite types of characters; the redeemable asshole, and made me fall for him so fast regardless of his jerk antics.

Goodness this book was everything and then some. It has unrequited love on both sides, it has mystery, it has UST, it has witty and quirky banter, intimacy, humor, romance and just… yeah. This book is, was and forever will be everything and it’s now one of my all-time favorites.

So Tom and his crush, Phil meet again. Tom holds a grudge and a flame for Phil but knowing that Phil was part of the accident that put Tom in hospital and hurt him badly, makes you not wanna like Phil at all. BUT, redeemable assholes need their place in romance because they usually turn out to be smooth and swoony to the point of turning me to goo. Yup, Phil has the goo talent.

Phil is private investigator who is working the same case where he meets Tom again. He doesn’t really believe in Tom’s talent but decides to ask him on a view visits to folks who may be hiding something and that something could solve this latest murder. I loved the visits and the menagerie of suspects we meet along the way. What a colorful cast of characters this book has. I mean, Tom’s reaction to Robin East was awkward but adorably hilarious and Tom… that man is so clueless it’s endearing AF!

I really am trying to gather words that make sense to tell you how awesome this book was. To tell you I usually have figure out who done it with mysteries but I was so wrapped up in the stellar story telling that I let the book play out and went with it. I was so wrapped up in Tom and Phil that when we find out what Phil is hiding it kicked me straight in the feels. I was kinda expecting it to go along those lines but when Tom says “But—I thought you hated me!” and we get Phil’s reaction???? Cue the feels and shred my heart because that was so freaking intense. Yup, if I didn’t like Phil before, that right there made me adore him beyond the beyond.

So this book, it was oh so good! The mystery was mysterious. The romance was romantic. The humor was hilarious and the men were on point to make me smile and melt many times over.

I am so happy I finally read this and giddy that I have more books read with Tom and Phil. How is it possible to ever get enough of them?

Shhhh! That was rhetorical….*grins*



About J.L. Merrow

JL Merrow is that rare beast, and 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 contemporary gay romance and and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards Finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

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