A Sammy Review: Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

There’s usually less mud in a rom com.

NothingVenturedOne night and too much tequila lands Aiden in a peculiar situation. He’s promised his best friend that he’ll run a twelve-mile long course, aptly named Mad Mucker.

But it’s not enough that he’s going to run it, but he also has to train. The course is strenuous, but then again, trudging through mud and ice water sounds like it’d be a bit rough going for anyone less than fit.

Aiden finds a bit of… extra inspiration in the form of his friend’s cousin, Matt. At first they clash, an awkward not-so-keen kind of personality mesh, but as they begin to train together and open up, they find they have more in common than either bargained for.

The real question is, though, how long can no strings attached exist without said strings? After all, this is a messy race.


Two people who had feelings for each other, but both fighting against them for different reasons.

This story had one of my favorite themes, and one that’s hard to find done right. One night stand/fuck buddies/no strings attached to more. And this, it was done right. There was no illusion to feelings at any point in the beginning of the relationship. It was a true emotional evolution for them, and for that I was super excited.

I also thought that the idea of the story was pretty fun and different. I have a friend who does a lot of physical training, and we’ve talked about him doing Tough Mudder, so I was familiar with this type of race and how intense it actually is. The cover, created by Anna Sikorska fits the story well, as much of Matt and Aiden’s time is spent training, particularly running, and the atmosphere of the cover fits the book.

Furthermore, it’s easy for books to fall into a repetitive rhythm of doing what’s already been done, but Nothing Ventured takes on a new idea, one that I’ve personally never read before in M/M books, so I appreciated that, and the training was an interesting gateway here into their relationship.

One particular aspect I enjoyed for the majority of the book was the subtle growth into something more for Matt and Aiden. Unfortunately, the end lost that when it rushed to make a resolution and suddenly everything was magically okay. It was a big change and I didn’t think it was given the attention it needed, and with it didn’t do the rest of the story justice.

I would certainly like to see more of them, as I still think they have a lot of room to grow as a couple. Overall, this was book was a quick, easy read that just could’ve done for a little more TLC.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook     All Romance (ARe)    amazon     Nothing Ventured

Book Details:

ISBN-13 978-1-63216-423-0
Dreamspinner Press, Pages 142
Cover Artist Anna Sikorska
Categories  Novellas Contemporary Jay Northcote

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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