A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

CONTAINS SPOILERS

I generally love Jay Northcote’s stories. His writing style is pure Brit and his characters are always believable, three-dimensional, and endearing. I’ve enjoyed the Rainbow Place series and always look forward to the glimpse of past characters and a chance to catch up with them. We get that here, and it was enjoyable, but I had a few problems with the romance in this story. From here to the end, I’ve included detail that some will consider spoilers so please don’t read if you don’t want details on the relationship dynamics in this book.

Dylan was a sweetheart. A young man in his late twenties, he’s six years past an emotionally abusive relationship that he stuck out until he finally realized what was happening. He’s vowed not to let it happen again. He’s an artist who is gaining some local popularity, and he works as a waiter and barista at Rainbow Place. There he meets a man in his early forties who comes in day after day with his laptop and works there for hours. Eventually, Dylan learns that Joe is a writer and he’s taken time off from teaching after a redundancy left him jobless. He thinks Joe is hot and he enjoys talking to him. It isn’t until a while later that he learns what we readers already know—Joe is in a long-term relationship. But we also know that it’s falling apart.

Joe’s partner, Harry, agreed to let him work on his book but he’s beginning to treat Joe more like a housekeeper, cook, and maid and making him wait on him hand and foot when they are home together. Harry drinks a lot—every night and from what we see on page, it appears he’s drinking wine and hard alcohol and a bottle a night is disappearing. One night, when Joe has had enough of Harry falling asleep in front of the TV, he heads to Rainbow Place and ultimately ends up dancing with and nearly kissing Dylan. As a result, he confronts Harry when he gets home and they decide to break up. Well, to be fair, it’s Joe who decides to break from Harry. Joe moves into a spare room and determines that once he finishes his book and finds a job, he’ll move out and they’ll take care of paperwork and legal matters regarding the house at that time.

He immediately embarks on a relationship with Dylan. And here is where I have a problem, which is actually twofold. First, the level of Harry’s alcohol abuse is more than simply “a drinking habit” as it was referred to a number of times in the story. Alcoholism isn’t a habit. It’s a disease. And if a character is going to drink and behave the way it’s described in this story, that should be addressed and help offered, even if Harry doesn’t take it. My second issue is that Joe begins to spend the night, on a number of occasions, with Dylan almost immediately, and they not only kiss and get each other off, they soon have penetrative sex. I’m sorry, but to me, since he still lives in Harry’s home, that’s not exercising his freedom, that’s cheating—or at least being dishonorable. And it was way too soon to start a relationship. I could not get into this couple, mostly for that reason, and I really wanted to smack Joe, who is about 15 years older than Dylan, for making such poor life choices. Dylan, at least, wanted to slow down, recognizing that he may be a rebound. And Dylan had real concerns for Joe in that relationship so he was the more mature partner in this story. 

They do ultimately end up together and Harry sort of fades into the woodwork. Fans of the series will likely enjoy it. I’m sure my personal bias when it comes to both alcoholism and cheating may put me in the minority, but this book just wasn’t my cuppa. 

The cover by Garrett Leigh is a picture of a handsome shirtless man. I don’t see the connection to the story, but the guy will certainly grab some readers’ attention.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published February 22nd 2019 by Jaybird Press
ASINB07P12R9N5
Series Rainbow Place :

Rainbow Place

Safe Place

Better Place

Review Tour for Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Rainbow Place Series 
 

Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 – Safe Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.


After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.


Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.


Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.


Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone and has a satisfying happy ending.

 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.


Website
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Release Blitz for Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 48,000 words approx.
 
Rainbow Place Series
 
Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?


Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.


Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.


When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly café and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?


Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.


Website
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook author page
Facebook author group
Newsletter
Jay’s books

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions