Title: Good Company
Author: J.L. Merrow
Length: 5,200 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Hitchhiking is a dangerous proposition. Aidan is just hoping for a ride and no trouble when a bloke named John stops to give him a lift. John seems a decent sort, though. When night falls, Aidan would do John a ‘favor’ to say thanks, just like he would any guy who seemed interested, but finds himself in a bit of a bind: he might be getting fond of the man. Can a stranger who’s good company become more than that in one short day?
This was an absolute surprising delight. I was scrolling through my TBR file and saw this title. I have no idea where I got it, because it was in e-pub format, and I had no idea what it was about or by what author. So on a whim I opened it. Oh, a Sip by J.L. Merrow. I like her work, I’ll give it a go. Wow. Best decision I made all day.
This book will absolutely transport you to the UK. There is no question where these guys live, it’s not “American” English with a touch of an accent, it’s British English and just delightful. The story is told from Aidan, our hitch hiker’s POV. He’s young and cheeky and at a bit of loose ends. He’s on his way to Glasgow, but we’re not sure exactly why, however when he’s picked up by John in a fancy car, he and Aidan hit it off.
Part of what was appealing and worked for me, beyond the very clear sense of place and people, was the way little bits of information are revealed. Aidan mentions his first lover was a much older man and that he likes older men, but you also sense there is some sadness surrounding that relationship, but little bits come out as Aidan reveals things to John as they go along. It’s sweet and a bit sad, with a very optimistic uplifting future for Aidan. HEA? Maybe, but definitely HFN.
This book may not appeal to all readers, especially those who dislike the use of “accents” or very local terminology in their stories, but I absolutely loved every minute of it. I also love the banter between the two men who immediately started off with good-natured barbs about each others ages and circumstance. So I really think you can’t lose with this little gem, and I’m sorry I waited so long to discover it sitting there in my TBR file.