Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A beautiful and unique love story, Jay Northcote seems to have put so much of himself into this book that it brought the characters, especially Nate, to life and gave me a deep appreciation of the struggles many transgender persons face in daily situations that some of us simply take for granted.
Nate and his teen daughter, Cass, return to his hometown to live with his mother until Cass finishes high school. She had some problems related to drugs and boyfriends and depression at her former school but she and her dad on are on good terms now and he believes she’ll benefit from being in his small hometown. He and his mother are also on good terms in their relationship—nothing like the struggles they went through when Nate was Nat and wrestling with his need to be the same on the outside as he was on the inside.
When Nate runs into Jack, his former bestie, he doesn’t reveal who he is. Now in his midforties, Nate’s changed enough that he’s not recognizable at first glance and he’s not willing to face the twenty questions most people ask. For his part, Jack thinks the guy looks familiar—he’s definitely hot and attractive—but Jack is suffering from depression and is kicking an addiction and simply isn’t in a good space after life as he knew it fell apart and he had to return home to live with his parents.
The two men do eventually gravitate back together, first as friends, and over time their feelings grow stronger, though neither admits that to the other. When they have sex, Nate is impressed that Jack is respectful of the terminology Nate prefers to use, and he’s even happier that Jack seems to have no issues with experimenting in various ways and genuinely seems to enjoy sex with Nate—as much as Nate enjoys it with him. To Jack, the biggest issue in being with Nate is his parents’ attitude. They are not gender respectful to Nate and can’t seem to get past the fact that today’s Nate is the past Natalie.
I looked forward to every page in this book. The writing was polished and mature; the story was exactly right for the times; the family drama was believable; and the characters were three-dimensional and engaging.
The plot was interesting, educational, and because I’ve followed along on social media as the author transitioned over the past few years, it felt very personal. I cheered for these two men as they navigated through their new relationship while living life with family who knew them as teens and now must learn to accept them as the very different men they are today.
Kudos to Jay Northcote for bringing this story to life. Everyone deserves a “Second Chance” and I’m so happy these men got theirs.
Cover art by Garrett Leigh is a black-and-white close-up of a good-looking older man, with dark hair and beard. He’s the perfect depiction of Nate.
Sales Links:Universal Buy Link
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 240 pages
Published April 20th 2018 by Jaybird Press
Original TitleSecond Chance