Rating: 4 stars out of 5
We first me Alex, the son of the real estate mogul-slash-local politican-slash-major outspoken homophobe in Porthladock, England, when Alex showed up to help Seb and Jason restore Rainbow Place, an LGBTQ-friendly café, after vandals nearly ruined it before it opened. Alex is seventeen, finishing high school, as the story opens, and he’s still harboring his crush on Cam, one of the gorgeous rugby players he met the night he came to Rainbow Place feeling embarrassed that the vandalism was in response to his father’s letter to the editor.
Cam wants to be friends with Alex, and he’s definitely attracted to the young man, but Cam decides not to get involved because he doesn’t want to lose Alex as a friend if their sexual relationship doesn’t work out. Later that summer, Alex’s abusive father catches him with a Grindr hookup at the campground his father owns, and the homophobe punches him, bruising his face and his back.
When Alex resulting needs a new place to stay, Cam and his roommate offer Alex their couch, and Seb offers Alex a job at the café, the place Alex has always considered his personal “safe place” so he accepts both offers. Time goes by and the guys are still attracted to one another but Cam keeps holding back. Get the picture? Very slow burn, a good foundation of friendship, and finally Cam gets his act together in time for a lovely HEA—but it takes a while.
I like Jay Northcote’s work. Like many of his other stories, this story is sweet, the characters are nice guys, the plot fairly simple, and the enjoyment level very high. Sometimes I just like to escape with good writing to a place where nice guys don’t finish last. So I highly recommend this to those who enjoy that as much as I do.
The colorful cover by Garrett Leigh depicts the bare torso of a handsome young man. The rainbow hue title banner ties it to the first book, Rainbow Place. To be honest, the picture doesn’t seem to match either MC as described in the story but it is nevertheless attractive.
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 186 pages
Published August 31st 2018 by Jaybird Press
Series Rainbow Place #2