Guest Post and Giveaway: Secrets and Lies With JL Merrow

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the Caught! blog tour.




I’m offering a free signed paperback copy of my Icelandic-set romantic suspense novel Fall Hard (I’m happy to ship internationally) to a randomly chosen commenter on the tour, plus a $10 Amazon gift certificate!


Some memories are better off lost in the mist… Fall Hard

“When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.” – Bill Copeland



ID-100275128Now, telling a deliberate falsehood is one thing, and most people would agree it’s better avoided—if only because weaving a web of lies can leave you tied up in knots!

But what about just, well, not mentioning something? They say honesty is the best policy… but is it?

It certainly wasn’t for US soldiers under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But what about in our personal lives? Are we justified in keeping stumm about something that we fear would cause others to view us differently?

ID-100254751I’d argue, yes—otherwise we’d have to begin each new acquaintance by citing a list of our own character flaws and poor decisions in the past. Profiles on dating websites would start to resemble those pet-shaming photos you see on the internet, with people forced to hold up placards confessing their past sins, such as “I dumped my ex by text” or “I slept with his sister.” Possibly no one would ever date again…

It’s a fine line, though, between simply not shouting all our worst failings to the rooftops, and keeping secret something the other person might feel they have a legitimate right to know about—say, for instance, a criminal record. Or a spouse/partner we haven’t quite got around to splitting up with yet.

In the end, it’s the sort of thing that can only be judged on a case-by-case basis.

But beware: what seems like a reasonable preservation of privacy to you might look like a deal-breaking lack of confidence to your new other half.

Robert in Caught! is desperate to keep his past from Nathan—but Nathan’s had enough of secrets and lies, and all Robert’s efforts end up just making matters worse!

Images courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Question: Do you think partners should tell each other everything? What would you consider a deal-breaker, if your partner were to keep it from you?


Author BioAbout the Author: JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.

She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook.


Blurb: You can run from the past…but the past runs faster

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.

Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…
Warning: contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Samhain


53 thoughts on “Guest Post and Giveaway: Secrets and Lies With JL Merrow

  1. Pingback: Secrets and Lies | JL Merrow

  2. susana says:

    I personally think there are certain things you should never tell your partner. If knowing may hurt him/her, and not telling does not make you feel unworthy or unfaithful, then… but of course it is a very thin line, and you have to think carefully. For example, I had a boyfriend who cheated on me, just once on a “crazy night”. He never told me and I never suspected. Some time later, when our relationship had already ended because of other reasons, he confessed it to me. And I did not feel hurt, not at that moment when everything was over and I could see it with a perspective. But if he had told me before, while we still were together, it would probably have destroyed our relationship and our friendship (which we keep today).
    Cheers ;)


    • Yes, Susana, I’d agree coming clean about one-off infidelity can do more harm than good – although I wonder if you’d have felt the same, had you discovered his unfaithfulness by yourself, instead of him eventually confessing? I guess we’ll never know! ;)

      If you’d suspected, and he’d denied it, that would have been completely different in my view. I’ve been through a relationship break-up where the other party consistently denied something I suspected, and eventually found to be true, and it wasn’t pretty.


      • susana says:

        Yes, I see your point. And I completely agree with it. Refusing to acknowledge something your partner is correctly guessing is a coward and undeserving attitude. The point of keeping a secret is to avoid hurting your partner or damaging the relationship. But if your partner is already suffering, the best solution is to come clean and face the consequences. Any other response would be inconsiderate to his/her feelings (and intelligence)


  3. Barbra says:

    No, I don’t think partners need to tell each other EVERYTHING, but it’s hard to say what would be a deal breaker. I’m sure cheating would be at the top of the list. By the way, I just finished Caught and loved it so much that I went back and re-read Fall Hard (which I just finished on Sunday). I can’t wait for whatever comes next. :-)


    • Thanks, Barbra! So glad you enjoyed Caught! :)

      It’s really hard to know how you’d react in a given situation until it actually happens, isn’t it? But I think a lot of people would consider cheating a dealbreaker.


  4. xlorix says:

    I don’t really think there is a place for secrets in a relationship if it’s something you’re purposely keeping from your partner. I mean, I didn’t tell my husband I’d ordered flowers for a friend, but only because I don’t think he’d be interested. We share things, I trust him implicitly, if there was no trust what kind of relationship would we have? But each relationship is different and you have to work yours the way that works for you!!

    I loved Caught & Fall Hard…but the Plumbers Mate series is my fave of yours, can’t wait for the next one!


    • xlorix, it’s great that you have such a level of trust in your marriage. :)

      Heat Trap, book #3 in the Plumber’s Mate series, will be coming in March 2015 – so glad you’ve enjoyed the others!


  5. Allison says:

    I think as long as you’re honest with people you don’t have to tell them everything. I’m not sure what I’d consider a deal-breaker, perhaps having committed some horrible crime? But even then I’m not sure that would necessarily mean an end to the relationship.


  6. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    I think partners should be honest with each other but there are always some secret that shouldn’t be shared if they were to hurt a person needlessly.



  7. Rashell M. says:

    Question: Do you think partners should tell each other everything? What would you consider a deal-breaker, if your partner were to keep it from you?
    Answer: In my case, lies and infedelity are a real deal-breaker for me. If someone usually lies to its man/woman if means that there is not respect nor love


  8. Lies too often blow up in our faces. I avoid it when at all possible. Of course, there are lies of omission and lies to protect someone’s feelings, little white lies and lying due to embarrassment; but, overall, lies cause more trouble than not. Come clean and take your blows is usually the rule I try to live by, especially where my relationship is concerned. Finding out later by accident or through some “caring” persons big mouth is so much worse!


    • Oh, gawd, yes… I remember letting my flatmate assume something, because I was too embarrassed to tell her the truth – only to have it blow up spectacularly in front of ALL my friends! So yes, honesty can sometimes be the safest policy, as well as the “best” one! ;)


  9. Tammy says:

    I don’t think it is necessary to tell your partner everything – especially if it is something that will hurt them and really has no bearing on your relationship. I do think major things like crimes and cheating should confessed though. I’m not sure what a deal breaker would be for me. I think it depends on the situation. It’s very hard to judge a situation unless you are in it.


  10. JenCW says:

    That’s hard question. I find that there are some things that are better left unsaid if they are in the past and don’t affect the current relationship. Cheating is usually a deal breaker for me, but it’s not always as simple as it could seem.


    • I’d agree cheating isn’t always simple – I think it’s often the case that one partner looks outside the relationship for something that’s missing within it.


  11. Antonia says:

    I don’t think partners have to tell each other absolutely everything about their pasts, but big things, yes. And deliberate lies are are not good for anyone. As for deal breakers, probably cheating or criminal activity. I’m reading Caught! now and loving it so far.


  12. I read the book and I completely understood why he kept it a secret. I am a former teacher and had something similar happen to me. I told my husband immediately but I don’t think that you always should share everything.


  13. Everyone is entitled to their own secrets. I just think that any secret that is kept shouldn’t be one that has the ability to cause harm to others (that is life threatening harm/physical harm).


  14. Ardent Ereader says:

    I think it is OK to not tell your partner everything as long as what you aren’t saying wont hurt them. Like many others have said, cheating is the deal breaker for me. I enjoyed your post, thanks for the giveaway.


  15. I think that you should be able to have a few secrets, or to have the choice about whether you tell your partner something or not. However, big details (i.e. criminal pasts, previous children, affairs, etc.)…things that could come back and bite you in the ass or something you know would set off your partner, you definitely need to tell them. For me, if a partner cheated on me and tried to hide it, that would be a deal breaker. If they told me about it, I would be willing to work with them and forgive them, but if they hid it from me…no go.


    • Heh, yes, I’d be a bit miffed if a partner’s criminal record and/or kids they’d forgotten to mention came crawling out of the woodwork!
      And yes, openness makes a huge difference. :)


  16. Loren says:

    Some years ago I heard (from a psycologist) that privacy and secrets are diferent things , I think my patner has secrets that I’m involved on, or there are stuff that is important to know , he must let me know about it . (Sorry my English LOL)


  17. jkhoganbooks says:

    The way I feel about it is, if you feel the need to hide it from them, you probably shouldn’t. You don’t have to tell your partner every single detail of your day or every thought that enters your head, but if you have the impulse to hide it….you should probably think about why that is.


  18. Pingback: And we have a winner! | JL Merrow

  19. Hi, everyone. Thanks so much to all of you for participating in JL Merrow’s Caught! Blog Tour here at The Novel Approach. The contest is now closed and the winner’s been selected. The $10 Amazon gift card and print copy of Hard Fall go to Allison.

    Congratulations, Allison! I’ve sent JL your contact information, so expect to hear from her soon.


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