Raising the Rent


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.

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wonderful character development, along with a strong, flowing storyline… a gorgeous tale of two needy hearts finding one another in the dark. I highly recommend it to you! – 5 stars, Sammy, The Novel Approach

I really enjoyed both main characters and the supporting character in Siobhan. I felt deeply the vulnerability in both Stephen and Nathan and how the two just fit – 5 stars, GiGi, MM Good Book Reviews

a gently flowing love story that may or may not have made me reread it the minute I finished it. Recommended? Yes, luv! – 4.5 stars, Katinka, Boys in Our Books

Together, they find something in the other that fills the empty spaces, and it’s a sweet, sometimes sarcastic, very dry-British-humor love story that will make you smile – 4.5 stars, Morgan, The Blogger Girls

I loved Nathan and really liked seeing him find his sweet and sexy professor, as well as to get himself on the road to a better life.  This one is fun and sweet with just a touch of heat – Jay, Joyfully Jay

JL Merrow brings these two wounded souls together in a story richly filled with depth and emotion… I highly recommend it – Josie Goodreads, Prism Book Alliance

the chemistry between the two men was very strong and highly addictive to read…a sexy, heartwarming read from start to finish. Highly Recommended! – Gabbi, Top2Bottom Reviews

(note: this is a substantially expanded  and revised version of a story which appeared in the Sindustry Volume 1 Anthology, now out of print)