Title: Fall Hard
Author: JL Merrow
Released: 17th September 2013
Genre: M/M (Contemporary)
Rating: 4 Stars
Eight months ago, British academic Paul Ansell lost his lover—and all the memories of their time together—in an accident at Iceland’s Gullfoss Falls. Returning to the misty island country to resume his study of the bloodthirsty Viking Egil Skallagrimsson is tough as he struggles to pull his life back together.
First, there’s his colleague, Mags, who treats him like glass, and summer student Alex, who peppers him with discomforting questions. Then there’s Icelandic jet-boat driver Viggo, a tattooed, modern-day Viking who won’t say much about how they know each other. Leaving Paul to wonder if their volcanic attraction is fuelled by a desire to make a fresh start, or desperation to forget the past.
As more fragments of his lost memories fall into place, Paul is unsure if he can trust himself, much less anyone around him. And he begins to suspect his accident was nothing of the kind.
Warning: Contains a modern-day Viking whose boat has V8 engines for oars, and a harsh land of hot springs and hotter passions that won’t forgive any false steps.
What happens when you can’t remember a thing and have to piece the past together? Well, this is the case for Paul who loses his memory after an accident at Gullfoss in Iceland. Not only does he lose his memory but also his lover Sven. Upon returning to work in Iceland he eventually puts the pieces togethertans unravels some things that he wished he could have forgot.
I must say the first thing that I found totally refreshing about this book was the fact it wasn't set in America or the UK but in Iceland. Nice to read about a totally different country and backdrop. J.L. Merrow's writing brings the country, scenery and nature alive. Although I have never been to Iceland myself I feel like I'm already familiar with it's scenery, lore and traditions. It really makes me want to go and visit now. Sounds like an absolutely fascinating country. I ended googling the places mentioned for the visual aspect and wasn't divined the all exist and the pictures are as breathtaking as the author describes them. Either JL Merrow's has been to Iceland herself or the research was meticulous.
Paul is an academic specialising in Icelandic lore and returns to his postion of lecturer at the university after recooperating after his accident whilst staying with his sister Gretchen. Although he hasn't lost his memory on the academic aspects, he has lost his mmemory totally about his life while he was in Iceland. This is written about beautifully and you can feel the angst and frustration that Paul has not knowing the people he had worked with or known while he was there. He is greeted by Mags at the airport and taken to his new flat. She tells him that all his possessions are in storage and have been waiting his return. This turns out to be a key factor in putting the puzzle together as he unpacks the boxes.
When he is there he meets a someone at the Rekyvik pride day called Viggo. Paul is immediately attracted to the man, but has a serious feeling of déjà vous! As he is constantly second guessing his non-existent memory he goes with the flow and falls for the Icelandic hunk. However, even when Paul asks him if they knew each other before Viggo constantly avoids his questions. Again adding to the mystery of this sexy modern day Viking. But Paul constantly keeps asking himself if he is being unfaithful to the memory of his deceased lover Paul. Viggo was a great character, thoroughly loved him.
Well, needless to say Paul regains memory, a revelation due to an USB stick he finds that holds a book his deceased partner was working on and his world is first of all turned upside down by jumping to conclusions. When the light is shed on everything from Viggo. I really liked the way JL Merrow's builds up the suspense and keeps you thinking exactly what role did Viggo play in Paul's past and the fatal accident. It gives the relationship an extra edge to things, like someone who's playing with fire and shouldn't be. As for what happened when he regains his memory well that would be giving away too much here!
I loved the whole idea of this book and it kept me totally enthralled from beginning to end. The plot and the setting were both very original and the characters felt real and tangible.
About The Author
JL Merrow is a very English writer of (mainly) m/m fiction who finds writing the only way to stay sane, except of course when a plot is driving her crazy. Having grown up on an island, she can’t remember a time before she could swim and prefers to remain close to water at all times. Luckily, the weather in her native land being as it generally is, this is not difficult.
I’m that rare beast; an English person who refuses to drink tea. I’m a writer of (mainly) m/m or f/f romance, mostly contemporary or paranormal, but with a fickle muse that occasionally ambushes me in dark alleyways and drags me off, cackling, to write historical or science fiction.
Some might call all this pillar-to-posting tragic evidence of a short attention span; I couldn’t possibly….er, what were we talking about, again?
I enjoy reading, martial arts, and surprising people who judge a book by its cover.
Contact The Author
JL Merrow will be giving away one ebook copy of Fall Hard.
enter the draw below. Good luck!!