Book Reviews

Raising the Rent by JL Merrow at Sea Singer Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Students/Teachers/Professors / Rent Boys/Escorts/Porn Stars / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 03-December-2017

Book Blurb

Never fall in love with a customer—especially if it’s sex you’re selling

Rent boy Nathan’s determined to get an education and get off the streets for good. But when he turns up for his first day at college he’s horrified to find his English teacher is one of his regular customers: Stephen, the one Nathan dubbed The Voice because of his educated, honeyed tones.

Stephen’s just as shocked to see Nathan sitting in his class, not to mention terrified he’s about to be exposed as having paid for sex with a student—which would mean public humiliation and could cost him his job. But when Nathan shows he’s only interested in getting his A Levels, not in blackmail, Stephen realises there’s more to the nineteen-year-old than meets the eye.

Nathan still has to earn a living, though—but when a customer turns ugly, he finds himself unable to work and homeless as well. Stephen steps in to help, and Nathan starts to think they could have a future together—if Stephen’s guilt and lack of trust don’t end this back-to-front romance before it even starts.

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, 2014.

Book Review

I have a hard time not wanting to run out and read J.L. Merrow's entire backlist. I enjoy her stories, the humor, and the life lessons they give. 'Raising the Rent' sounded like a funny book, with a message at the end, and a lovely May-December romance. Plus a deliciously twisted part of me couldn't wait to watch Stephen squirm. Yes, I know, that's mean. *snort*

Nathan is a rent boy, just waiting to start at the local college to complete his A-levels, and then he can go to university. His mum died leaving Nathan with his stepdad which was a volatile mix, and had Nathan leaving. I really admired the strength I saw in this young man, right from the start. Nathan is refusing to let anything stand in his way. Not even Stephen, his every Thursday night back alley blow job, who also turns out to be Dr. Edward S. Pearson, his English teacher. Oh, but my admiration of Nathan shot through the roof when he made it very plain that he was there to learn, and neither of them would be outing the other.

In a stroke of really bad luck, a bloke beats Nathan up, breaking his jaw in the process. This leaves him with nowhere to live, as without a mouth, the large portion of his blow job business is currently unavailable to Nathan. Stephen offers him a guest room in his home, no strings attached, until Nathan can get back on his feet and working a legal job. Here's where the whole book started to get more entertaining, and even sweeter.

These two men bumbling around the house together was absolutely adorable. They actually discovered that sharing a house works out pretty well, once they got over the beginning awkwardness. Of course, being men, they waste valuable time not talking, when they could've said what needed to be said, and moved into a relationship. Still, I loved watching them figure it all out. Nathan and Stephen were wonderful characters and I really liked them both.

Thank you, J.L. ~ another wonderful book to add to my collection.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 80 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-May-2017
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link