Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of reading this story by Jay Northcote. I enjoyed it, primarily because it was about two guys, Jez and Mac, who discover that their friendship with benefits could grow to be so much more.
It starts out as Jez giving Mac a helping hand one night after spending quite a few weekends in a row studying. Both second year university students, and young men with active libidos, they decide to watch porn one night after finishing their studies. One thing leads to another, and Jez, who spends more time looking at Mac’s package than at the movie, decides to offer a hand job.
Both are amazed at how good it feels, so Jez takes the next available opportunity to offer to give Mac a blowjob. Mac doesn’t resist, and the guys move to a new stage in their relationship. Further stages occur as they discover mutual hand jobs, kissing, frottage, and finally full penetration. Jez realizes, however, that it’s not casual for him anymore. He’s in way over his head because his feelings are involved, and he’s unsure of Mac because he has always claimed he’s not gay. And that’s exactly when they are discovered, and everything begins to fall apart.
Jez doesn’t want to be Mac’s “dirty little secret” for life, but can’t find a way to tell him that. What happens makes the conclusion of this story not only interesting, but heartwarming as well.
What I loved most about the audiobook version is the narrator. Mark Steadman gave the story the British authenticity it was missing when I was just reading the e-book. His accent and his ability to provide variety in the main and secondary characters’ voices made it perfect. Add to that, the story had just the right amount of sweetness and angst, stirred together with some great, hot and sexy scenes.
I recommend the audiobook version if you’re thinking of picking this one up. It’s terrific!
Cover art by Garrett Leigh is a black-and-white photo showing the bare upper torso of a reclining, dark-haired man with the right amount of five o’clock shadow and looking ready for anything or anyone who comes along.
Published May 13th 2016 by Jaybird Press (first published June 24th 2015)
Original TitleHelping Hand
SeriesHousemates #1 settingPlymouth, England (United Kingdom)