cover image Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

J.L. Merrow. Riptide, $18.99 trade paper (322p) ISBN 978-1-62649-541-8

Merrow inaugurates a multi-author series set in a Cornish tourist town in this excellent contemporary romance. Dev, a multiethnic car mechanic from London, has come to Porthkennack to track down the wealthy mother who gave him up for adoption. But his plans get sidetracked after he leaps to the aid of Kyle, a handsome man who’s collapsed in the street. Kyle, a recent newcomer to the town, lets rumors of alcoholism hide his recent diagnosis of narcolepsy. His refusal to accept medical intervention has thrown his life as a high-powered criminal attorney into a tailspin. As Kyle and Dev act on their mutual attraction, miscommunications, class difference, and uncertainty about the future conspire to drive them apart. Merrow navigates these interpersonal concerns supremely well, making each hiccup feel real and raw. Her treatment of chronic illness elicits real empathy. A slim supporting cast of locals and family with their own drama rounds out the story and allows Dev and Kyle to show their skills at handling crises. British turns of phrase abound, but provide more local color than confusion for American readers. This tale of deep characters with real problems is a genuine treat for fans of contemporary romance. (Apr.)