Rating: 4 stars out of 5
There’s no such thing as a free ride. Aidan may be only twenty, but he’s already learned that the hard way. Hitch-hiking up from London to Glasgow to keep a promise to a man he’ll never see again, Aidan’s fully prepared to offer payment in kind for his lifts. He’s not expecting a good-looking older bloke to pick him up in a Mercedes — nor that he’ll find John such good company. After a few short hours together Aidan’s already starting to care what John thinks of him.
When slow traffic forces them to get a room for the night, Aidan’s not sure what to do. Putting out as a thank you to a stranger is one thing, but can he really go through with it with the first person he’s come to care for since he made that promise?
And what’s going to happen when they reach their destination?
Free Ride is a short (too short) story by JL Merrow, an author whose style and writing I love very much. I was a little dubious about it, because being just 18 pages, I was really afraid it would be impossible to deliver something believable and complete. I have to stop to worrying about things when it comes to JL! These few pages show the start of a possible relationship between Aidan and John, in a sweet way and with the use of a humorous british language so typical of the author. I know, there are just brief moments between them, but even if the aim was to just let us know how they met, it was so accomplished. I’m always not satisfied by stories like Free Ride, I think it’s pretty normal to have not enough of a couple if you have loved the few (filling) crumbs you read. I can honestly say it felt right just like that. And moreover I could feel the characters and the chemistry between them. Of course then I went on the author’s website and found out there is a micro sequel to this short story, called On The Beach (you can find it here http://jlmerrow.com/free-reads/on-the-beach/) and I was super happy! I devoured it in a flash.
I want to highly recommend Free Ride. If you already have read something by JL Merrow you know how good she is so it’s a guarantee. If you’re looking for a quick story, full of hope in the future, with an emotional undertone, this one will be perfect for you.
Cover art by Written Ink Designs. I know, this model is been used a lot on covers lately, so it’s not so original. It’s a shame because it fits the story and it’s a good one.
Published July 19th 2015 by JMS Books LLC
Kindle Edition, 18 pages
Edition Language English