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The bigger they come the harder they fall in loveCambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one alcohol glazed look at the huge tattooed man looming in a dark alley and assumes he’s done for Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively And the next morning he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be gentle than giant Larry's intrigued to find there's to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored techniue Unfortunately no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing scarred undeniably sexy exterior Least of all Larry's class conscious family who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair Is it physical? Oh yes it’s deliciously physical and so much —which makes Larry’s next task so daunting Not just convincing his colleagues friends and family that their relationship is than skin deep It’s convincing Al Contains comic misunderstandings misuse of art materials and unexpected poignancy

10 thoughts on “Muscling Through

  1. says:

    Spend a few minutes with me I'm super excited and need to write about this amazing book for a bit In the hour or two I spent reading this I must have caught myself twenty times with my brows drawn up in astonishment my mouth hanging open and this watery pathetic little noise in my throat that was something between a delighted ‘Ohh’ and an affectionate ‘Aww’And then because it’s very short it was over And I couldn’t think of anything else for a whileOver and over I returned to our narrator Alan Fletcher Why should I be so enthralled? Why am I still smiling? What the fuck are 'horses doovers?'view spoilerH'ors d'oeuvres His mom calls H'ors d'oeuvres 'horses doovers'Heh hide spoiler

  2. says:

    “You must’ve been waiting for someone like me to come along” I said I meant because of the big bedBut Larry looked at me all funny and said “Yes I think I was”This book made me so happy The first chapter got me laughing like crazy and my smile stayed on for the two three hours it took for me to read this Books like these make me wish I knew English better than I do because I just don't know the words to describe this book It was just amazing And totally differentThe storyI loved it The beginning OMG I don't remember the last time I read such a good introduction to a book it had me laughing from page one D Such a great idea for their first meeting Al and Larry's paths cross in an alley where Larry mistakes Al for a muggerrapist DHe's scared shtless and begs Al not to hurt him Al doesn't really understand why Larry's so afraid of him thinking he must be drunk or something The dialogue in this scene OMG I coludn't stop laughing Al kept saying stuff that Larry misinterpreted and that got him even scared Here are one of my favorites D I tried to give him his wallet back but he had his eyes shut again so I put it in my pocket I think he needed to get to bed “I’m going to get you home and in bed” I told himHe wasn’t walking too good so I put my arm round his skinny little waist I could have snapped him in half “I could snap you in half” I said and I smiled so he’d know it was a joke but he still had his eyes shutHe was standing by a knife block with this big knife in one hand and a phone in the other I thought he’s going to have trouble trying to dial one handed “I’m calling the police” he said in this funny high voiceI didn’t 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 Anyway Larry soon sees his mistake and after he apologizes they go on a drink and soon after that they hook up D won't say any if you want to know read the book DThe charactersLarry is a sweet guy and I liked him very much but the spotlight goes to Al all the way Don't really remember ever reading about a character like him before and it was refreshing to see someone different in the lead roleI don't really know how to describe Al to you allHe isn't educated and sometimes doesn't understand when Larry's talking all smart with him D He's totally straightfoward always says what's on his mind in the most direct wayHe doesn't get sarcasm and has a very simple view of the worldHe can't understand why Larry wants to be with him and same goes with LarryHe is such a good person I just loved the hell out of him There was a point in the book where my heart ached for Al and how he couldn't understand what was wrong with him and Larry but the ending was just so beautiful The only awkward point was the sex kind of weird to read Still even with that I absolutely loved it A book that can keep me smilinglaughing out loud from first to last page and one that made me love the characters so much deserves a 5 star rating without a doubt

  3. says:

    I read the first passage of this book and I just knew I would Love It and Love it I did This book is a love story of two very different people from opposite walks of life beautifully narrated from Al's point of view and is almost childlike in it's simplicity Al has an innocent honesty with no filters the delivery of which is authentic in his British regional dialect I could actually hear his accent in my head his unintentional humour had me laughing out loud through out the book Even though there are two main characters in this book Al and Larry The star of the show is Al as we see this very loving relationship unfold through his eyes and with his voice Larry who is small in stature and described by Al as 'pretty' is a Professor in the History of Art at Cambridge University highly intellectual and used to the finer things in life Al is in awe of Larry's beauty and intelligence and unselfishly wants nothing than for Larry to be happy his heart is fit to bursting with the pride he feels towards himOh Al my sweet loveable endearing gentle giant He is huge covered in tattoo's with a nasty scar on his face thanks to a broken glass in a bar fight he is a typical lad about town who likes nothing than going down the pub with his mates and having a pint Larry on the other hand prefers his nights out at the Opera Theatre or the occasional dinner party with colleagues and fellow Professors from the University Al see's the simple beauty of life without it's complexities uneducated with no self esteem describing himself as 'thick as pig shit' He therefore has no expectations from life and is never disappointed with his lot empty promises are what he expect's Larry bless him peel's away the insecurities accepting Al for the meek mild mannered fellow he is warts 'n' all Larry never condescends him despite his simple nature and laughs with him rather than at himUnfortunately Larry's family and friends see something completely different and they really don't care about voicing their pompous conceited bigoted opinions in Al's company while my sweet sweet Al is totally oblivious to the educated barbs and remarks voiced purely to humiliate him I wanted to cry at his humility he only see's the good in the world thinking himself insignificant in the bigger picture He is not good with words but when he expresses himself in the way only he can with total innocence and honesty Oh dear lord the tissues were out againThis is a really 'AhhBless' book and I truly loved their refreshingly different relationship and even though we have the word 'fuck' in the first and last sentence I wasn't feeling the sex scene's and yes I do mean that literally It was described rather than felt left me unsatisfied and detached and I wanted wonderful It probably wouldn't have been fitting in the context of the book for Al to all of a sudden sprout a new vocabulary and animated descriptions just to satisfy my carnal needsThis really is a feel good kind of book highly entertaining and something I could relate to If you are wanting an mm book which is hot hot hot this is not for you but if you want sweet and loving get it now For reviews please check out Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

  4. says:

    FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED45 starsAn amazing and very unconventional love story between brains and muscle power Yes it’s so true Beauty is in the eye of the beholder  Sweet Real Believable Sad Yet incredibly hilarious at times I cannot deny it this story packs a punch  Muscling Through is the love story between big and tattooed Al and Larry a diminutive and very pretty Cambridge Art History Professor One evening they met in a dark alley when Al is taking a piss Brainy Larry thinks Al is a criminal and is scared shitless The story takes it from there What makes Muscling Through so special is the characterization of Al and Larry They are real and very believable This little gem is uite an eye opener Open your eyes and you will find love talent and personality in many different forms With that said Al is artistically talented He is very happy when he can express himself by creating his beautiful paintings Sadly there are so many people who remain blinded by their own narrow mindedness and intolerance Personally I think we should encourage and accept diversity much Our modern world is too much standardized and too fake at timesAl You're something A masterpiece Toby gave me a cheue for my paintings that sold at the do It was than I make in six months pulling in punts I didn't know what to spend it on 'cause my mum said she didn't want me to buy her nothing So I was going to buy Larry something but he said I should spend it on something I always wanted So I bought a cat I asked Larry first because it's his house and all The cat didn't cost much because it was from the Cats Protection League and they don't have posh cats there only ordinary ones I didn't want a posh cat I got Larry for when I want poshOn Tuesday we were both a bit sore so we went to the gallery with Michelangelo's David in He looks a lot like Larry but for a seventeen foot tall guy he's got a really tiny cock Larry's cock is a lot bigger than that Larry said that Michelangelo was a poof so I wondered why he'd sculpted a guy with a really tiny cock But I know when you go to old houses the doorways are much smaller 'cause people were shorter then so maybe cocks were smaller too It makes me glad I wasn't born a few centuries agoThe story is told in first person POV Al is the narrator The author did a very fine job at portraying Al’s personality He’s for sure not the brightest bulb but then again I think that made him even likable—he’s totally endearing and such a good loyal and kind soul And Al wears his heart on his sleeve I adored his simplicity to look at things people and the world in general—it made him very real and pure Honesty at its best Kind of what you see is what you get I’m pretty sure you’d love this bear of a man Oh yeah I heart you Al smooches His take on social situations is sometimes incredibly funny uncomfortable or at times very sad The writing style is simple fresh and honest There’s no frilly or flowery stuff to be found nothing superfluous at all Admittedly the plot is ordinary however I thought it accommodated Al perfectly As a matter of fact it would have felt contrived if the reader would have been “forced” to deal with a complicated storyline Al and complicated? Nah That’s a no go Why not 5 stars?The story is a bit too short and I didn't particularly like the sex scenes They are kinda detached; I wanted emotions and not just a uick fck  Muscling Through is a very satisfying and enjoyable story so worth the read I had so many LOL moments and I'll always remember dear Al You're putting a smile on my face right now AgainI’d highly recommend this book to those readers who would like to give the m m genre a try Enjoy Don't ever think I don't like the way you look I love the way you lookMy chest felt all funny like it needed Larry against it so I put my arms round him and hugged him tight

  5. says:

    45 starsLate to the partybut I made it“Muscling Through” is such a ridiculously sweet love story that I dare even the coldest hardest of hearts to try NOT to enjoy Definitely one of those that causes the physical reaction of a warmed heart and a smile on your faceLarry Al are in LOVE and its ok everyone I don’t want to debate about intellectual disparity I read it as an opposites attract storyline and that love can be as simple as finding someone who makes you happy But what I enjoyed most and what I found myself wishing for in RL is the CLEARNESS of the communication Al says what he's thinking and exactly what he's feelingno games no manipulation no pretenses It felt refreshing in it's simplicity I'd love to be in a relationship where everything that needed to be communicated was put out thereboth in words and in signs of affectionLoved it READ IT

  6. says:

    Just a few uick thoughts I think all my Xmas reviews are gonna be uick onesMenos es mas right?I hate it when characters meet each other before 10 15%I hate it when characters kiss each other before 33%I completely hate it when characters are living together before the end of the bookI love it when there is a banter between characters when they play it hard to getBut guess what? This book had all points for me to hate it but I LOVED IT Don't ask me why I just LOVED the writing style it was so freaking good I would have read a thousand pages about them having tea I am dead seriousAnd I absolutely LOVED the last line I cannot even put it under spoilers because some brats will open it and it's just too good and too goosebumps inducing that I want you to experience it for yourselves I know people often say they're going to do stuff for you when they don't really mean it SO FREAKING TRUEI highly recommend this one Loved it

  7. says:

    I read this a few days ago and had to think for a bit about my review because there is a complicated issue that could be taken in a couple of ways in this story It's a sweet romance between two men but there is a huge disparity between them that could be problematic for many readers in that it is hard to see them as eualsThe main character and narrator in this book is Alan and he is slow is the word that comes to mind You are in his thoughts the whole time and he really doesn't understand what is happening around him most of the time He seems to have the intelligence of a child but is able to get by in life and holds a job It's hard to decide if he is mentally disabled or just of a lower intelligence level But at the same time he is endearing Sweet Innocent in many ways SimpleThe other hero is his boyfriend Larry who is a university professor He finds Al's presence comforting because Al is huge and scary looking Larry doesn't mind that Al is not smart because he says he gets enough intellectual stimulation at work He appreciates the simplicity of Al's feelings and also sees Al's art which speaks to himSo Al is an artist but like a savant maybe? It's hard to say No training just raw talent and instincts He is finding some success with Larry's helpSo is Larry taking advantage of this big dumb guy because he likes his looks and the sex? Or is he taking advantage of him through the art thing? It's hard to say That's what makes this book hard to reviewBut it is still a sweet interesting story with a lot of shower thought material when you get to wondering just how much intellectual difference can a relationship have before it becomes a taking advantage situation? Is there an ethical dilemma when there is such ineuality in a relationship? We protect children from adult relationships and have rules to keep people in authority positions from relationships with those they have control over Should there be protections in place for mentally challenged people when it comes to relationships?

  8. says:

    4 StarsHow I've been a part of this MM reading community for 5 years and am only now discovering the magic of JL Merrow is beyond me This story was bloody beautiful The writing had this subtle depth to it and held me enthralled The romance between simple and kind gentle giant Al and his sweet and brainy professor Larry warmed my heart and had me smiling like a fool throughout I absolutely adored this love story A new author obsession has definitely been sparked Let the fun times playing backlog catch ups begin

  9. says:

    Truly charming little book narrated by the most endearing lug you'll ever meet Loved it

  10. says:

    Saliva holds important functions in the human's physiology One of them is to protect teeth And here I was at a risk of losing them because I just couldn't stop smilingFirst I have the man of my dreams Then I have Al Due to romanticism or Disney or whatever sociological reason I have that image of my perfect guy in my head But if I ever find my own Big Al in this world I hope I'll be intelligent enough to grab his at his ankles and never let go that chance at happiness It would be a crimeI was having an awful week while reading this book It was one row of crappy days in which I almost lose hope on humanity One of those when we realize we are selfish and only think about our own benefit man is a wolf to man And that as a species is totally normal The stronger one is the one who survives But humanity has progressed in that thought Or it should Al doesn't know the word “meanness” It's just not in his dictionary So is he really retarded? Or advanced than most? I had a teacher at school who said that in her whole life she only met one person who was totally unselfish I hope I find that person soon I guess it's like Halley's Comet you are lucky if you do find that person once in your life Al is simple In every sense of the word There is no pretension and no lies only adorable honesty and blunt authenticity Al is unforgettable I have read some books with limited characters before but very few of them are that touching “Al Listen to me I love you okay?”“Okay” This book made me smile and I’m glad for that because I really needed it and because it’s just so charming I was enad instantly I loved it was from Al’s POV The story and the characters and the style are deceptively light But very profound thoughts and big truths are shown here they were unexpected but welcome It made me laugh it made me dream it made me believe Just perfect