Muscling Through - J.L. Merrow

♥♥♥ 4.5 SWEET STARS ♥♥♥

When I decided to read this book, I did not expect to love it as much as I did. I love, love, love, LOVED it!! Why did I love it so much you ask?? It was all because of one freaking awesome character, Al Fletcher

Al Fletcher was the most adorable character I have ever read. I feel like there isn't a word to describe how much I fell in love with this endearing character. When the story began, I instantly knew I would love this book. It was told completely in Al's unique pov and I loved every moment of it. The first meeting between Al and Larry had my laughing hard! They meet in an alleyway and because Al is such a big tall scary looking man, Larry thinks he is a rapist thief or something. Larry is so scared, I'm surprised he didn't piss his pants. All the while, Al has no idea what is wrong with Larry. He thinks Larry is drunk and helps walk him to his home.

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I didnt' get why he wanted the police, but the knife in his hand was shaking all over the shop, so I went and took it off him before he could hurt himself. (...)

"Please go," he said. "Just take my money--take anything-- and go."

I didn't get why he wanted me to take something, but he seemed really worried about it. So I looked around, and he had a bowl of fruit on the side, so I grabbed an apple, 'cause I always get hungry after I've been drinking. "I'll take this, okay?" Then I left him there, but I took the knives and I hid them in the hall cupboard, just in case."

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He may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch be he wasn't a total idiot either. He is actually quite the talented painter. He was almost childlike in some ways, like when he didn't get sarcasm, jokes, "intelligent" talk, or when someone was being insulting. He is a really straightforward guy and means what he says. He actually says a lot of what he thinks most of the time which always made me giggle. I loved seeing him interact with Larry. He doesn't think he very worthy of man like him because he thinks he isn't attractive or very smart.

Larry Morton is absolutely embarrased by the way he behaved when Al was only trying to help him. Larry goes out looking for him and invites him for a drink to make things up to him. Once it is established that they are both into men, Larry seems to want to know if Al would go out with guy like him, the total opposite of what Al is. Larry is short, skinny, "pretty", and educated. He is a professor at the university. Where Al is tall, muscled, tattooed, scarred, and works doing hard labor. Larry is just Al's type, but he doesn't think Larry would be interested in him. Larry is very much interested, and from there on, a relationship is formed.

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Larry gave me a big smile. He grabbed my arm and we carried on walking. " Well, then. I'm with you because you're gorgeous and kind and we have the same taste in comedy."

"Okay." I was pleased. Usually people can't think of more than one reason why they're with me. I know he didn't mean it about me being gorgeous, 'cause I got a face like a squashed potato, and I know he likes cleverer stuff thatn Charlie Chaplin, but was sweet of him to say it.

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Larry seems to be determined to make Al see what a wonderful, selfless man he was. He never put Al down for not understanding everything he would talk about. He was really sweet and loving towards Al. Even when his parents didn't approve the relationship, Larry still stuck by him. I think Larry loved the innocence in Al. And the fact that he was himself and never tried to be anything else.

The sex in this book was real steamy and all, but I felt like it was a bit too mechanical. It was lacking that emotional connection that would make you swoon and sigh. I did like those little moments where they were just comfortable being with each other and cuddling. That was SO cute! And I loved reading it all through Al's eyes.

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"Al, you're the most wonderful man I've ever been terrified by down a dark alleyway."

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Overall, this was a heartwarming tale of opposites attract. It was super sweet and short. The narration was unique and funny. Al was a type of character I had never read in any other book before. So, he will definitely be in my mind and heart for a very long time. A job well done to J.L Merrow for creating such a marvelous character. The ending was beautiful and done so in a very Al fashion. A great short read that I, without a doubt, recommend you give a try. It will have you smiling so big from start to finish.