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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

J.L. Merrow – Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate #3)

Heat Trap - J.L. Merrow

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: M/M Thriller

5 Hearts


Filled with witticisms and “Brit”isms, this story takes place six months after the previous story in which Tom Paretski found out that his father is not his father after all. Dying to help Tom track down the man who fathered him, his partner Phil Morrison, a tall, handsome, private eye, pushes Tom to try to use his psychic powers to locate the man. But Tom is not interested. He hasn’t even found the courage yet to speak to his mother about the situation, never mind upset the man who he called dad all his life, so the idea is temporarily shelved.


When the men are summoned to the Devil’s Dyke pub by Harry the very large and hearty female owner, they meet Marianne, a young barmaid who Harry has taken under her wing. Marianne’s ex won’t leave her alone, and since he was verbally abusive and controlling, Harry is worried that he’ll cause trouble for her at the pub. Harry can’t go near him since she made the mistake of threatening him, and he called the cops on her. When they agree to help, the ex turns his vile persona their way, making veiled threats to them as well, so much so, that Phil is totally shaken and worried about Tom’s safety.


Tom rebels, not wishing to be coddled and angry that Phil wants things his own way. Then in what was to have been a nice Sunday dinner with his sister and her fiancé, Tom’s parents show up causing turmoil with their attitude toward Phil. After all, he was the bully who caused their son to be hurt in high school and their memories are very long and unforgiving. When Phil can’t take any more, he abruptly grabs Tom and makes excuses to get out of there quickly. Needless to say, Tom is not happy with Phil and the heat wave that is stifling all of England is not helping either. Tempers overheat, doors slam, and the two part angrily.


When, with his usual luck, Tom stumbles on a body in the pub’s basement, both Harry and Phil get hauled in for questioning based on their past interactions with the victim. This leads to Tom’s police friend, Dave, revealing some things about Phil’s past that Tom was never told. Shaken and angry, Tom strikes out verbally and the two have a breakup row causing Phil to storm out of Tom’s life.


As if this isn’t enough, Tom suddenly learns more about his genetic father and is lost when he has no one to turn to for advice. With Phil out of his life, he sees nothing but a gaping hole before him. And this is only the beginning of the plot twists and turns in this mystery. Kudos to the author for juggling all of the characters and subplots and turning out a cohesive and interesting mystery plot.


Be prepared to laugh out loud at some of Tom’s most cunning and cutting remarks. And be prepared to wipe at tears as he faces some truths about Phil and about his parents that he’s so far managed to avoid. Then be prepared for some very sweet and memorable moments as Tom and Phil battle their way through life’s mysteries toward their HEA.


If you have read other books in this series, don’t miss this one. If you haven’t, by all means get started. I highly recommend this one to add fun and flare, heartbreak, and a sweet mystery to brighten a dull day.

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/review-j-l-merrow-heat-trap-the-plumbers-mate-3-2