Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Seb Radcliffe relocates to a small seaside town in Cornwall, hoping to open a restaurant/café and just enjoy life in this peaceful place. With encouragement from a young lesbian couple, he decides to make his café LGBT-friendly. He hires Jason Dunn, a highly recommended builder, to do the renovations, and at first sight it’s evident that he and Jason have a lot in common. But Jason is deeply closeted and it takes a while for his desire for Seb to overcome his fears.
The two finally act on their attraction but do so out of the public eye so Jason can maintain his closet space. He gets so deeply involved with Seb, though, that he decides to make plans to slowly come out—just not quite yet. But when they are a week from opening the café, homophobes ransack the restaurant, painting homophobic graffiti outside and in, and Jason abandons Seb, letting his fears rule his heart.
I was very disappointed in Jason at that point in the story and couldn’t see how Seb could ever forgive him for turning his back on him when he needed Jason most. But lo and behold, Jay Northcote had an acceptable solution up his sleeve—one that totally surprised me and appeased me enough that I could forgive Jason and root for the couple after all. So kudos for that.
This is a lovely MM romance set in the UK, so it’s full of Brit words and phrases. I love that as it adds to the authenticity of the work. The men are in their thirties, another plus in my opinion, and the romance takes time to develop to a full-blown HEA. The author also laid the groundwork for the sense of community and the support Seb received was outstanding. It would be a lovely place to visit some day.
Highly recommended, this is a standalone, though apparently first in a series, so I’m looking forward to more romance set in this quaintly beautiful world.
The cover by Garrett Leigh features a photo of a brawny young man: naked torso, hand roughing up his hair, with a rainbow border across the bottom of the cover—a great representation of Jason at work at Rainbow Place.
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published June 15th 2018 by Jaybird Press
SeriesRainbow Place #1