A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Pretty in Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I totally enjoy this Housemates series—each book has had the underlying theme of college-age guys living together under one roof—but each book is totally unique.  In this case, the characters are new to the house so it can easily be read as a standalone. 

Johnny is effeminate—or at least he prefers to dress that way.  His long blond hair and the eyeliner he wears around his beautiful gray eyes are the first things Ryan notices when he spots him at the birthday party for one of his mates.  But Ryan is straight, or at least he had been, but maybe not so much, considering he finds Johnny so attractive.  And he especially loves Johnny’s rear view. 

After a quick encounter back at Johnny’s place, Ryan can’t wait to leave.  Embarrassed by his desire for this man, he’s left in a quandary—a quandary that gets worse when he runs into Johnny again on the street one day.  Yes, he looks away, and yes, he’s ashamed of himself.  But no fear, Jay Northcote brings them back together when Johnny moves into the house with Jez and Mac—the house next door to Ryan’s.  Admitting he’s enjoyed their time together and apologizing for his past snobby behavior, Ryan agrees to being friends with benefits—especially now that they are neighbors. 

But of course, it’s never that easy in a romance novel, and before either man knows it, their encounters are getting more frequent and they are growing closer.  Yet neither one verbalizes their changed feelings, so when Ryan misinterprets a message he sees on Johnny’s phone late one night, their relationship is off.   

None of the stories in this series brings earthshattering emotional drama, and yet each does have its emotional tug of war, angst, misunderstandings, and most of all happy and sexy reunions.  This one was similar, plus it had two of my favorite tropes—the guy who really isn’t straight and the guy who wears pretty underwear—manties.  Love them!  And Jay Northcote did an excellent job in bringing the characters to life.  Plus, for those of us who’ve read the series, we get the bonus of a revisit with the other guys in the house so we can see how far their new relationships have come. 

I very definitely recommend this one to all who like a nice MM romance with a bit of the culture of uni life in Great Britain thrown in. 

~~~

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is a photo of the nude upper body of a young man as he’s lying back in bed with his head thrown back.  Mostly black-and-white with pink tones surrounding the title, it’s okay, but I don’t think it fits the MC in this story and certainly doesn’t indicate any hint of pink, lacy underwear. 

Sales Links:     Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 211 pages
Published February 21st 2018 by Jaybird Press
Original TitlePretty in Pink
ASINB079TS27XS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHousemates #6

Review Tour and Giveaway– Pretty In Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 58,000 words approx
 
Housemates Series
 
Book #1 – Helping Hand
Book #2 – Like A Lover 
 
Blurb
 

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy–and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes–normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest–first with themselves, and then with each other.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read 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 storyójust to see if he couldóand found it rather addictive. He hasnít 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.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

www.jaynorthcote.com
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Release Blitz – Pretty In Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote (excerpt and giveaway)

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Length: 58,000 words approx.
 
Housemates Series
 
Book #1 – Helping Hand
Book #2 – Like A Lover 
 
Blurb
 

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy–and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes–normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest–first with themselves, and then with each other.

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

Excerpt

Ryan was a few drinks down and feeling pretty buzzed when he first caught sight of blond hair through the crowd of partygoers.

He nearly hadn’t bothered coming out tonight. He had his third year project to write up, and should have been working on that, not partying with his next door neighbours. But the rest of Ryan’s housemates had talked him into it and he could do with letting off some steam, so he hadn’t put up much of a fight. One night couldn’t make too much difference, right?

The blonde arrived late and headed straight into the throng of dancers in the living room, bottle in hand. Tall and leggy in black skinny jeans with shit-kicking boots, Ryan’s interest was piqued immediately and a spike of arousal made his cock wake up. Tall and blonde was completely Ryan’s type, but when this blond slid a leather jacket off slender shoulders and tossed it on the back of the sofa, his washboard-flat chest made it clear he was a guy—so not Ryan’s type after all.

Despite the gut punch of disappointment at that revelation, Ryan found his interest persisted. The guy drew Ryan’s attention like a magnet lining up iron filings, and no matter how hard he tried, Ryan couldn’t stop watching him.

Spurred on by alcohol and reckless impulsivity, Ryan made a conscious decision not to question his attraction and just roll with it. He gradually edged his way into the group where the blond was dancing, and when he finally managed to make eye contact, the guy gave him a knowing smile that reflected Ryan’s interest right back at him. It curled around Ryan’s balls like the gentle, insistent squeeze of a hand.

Game on.

University was supposed to be all about new experiences, and Ryan only had a few months left before he graduated. He’d never hooked up with a guy before, and it had always been on his sexual bucket list, but not a high priority. As a young teen he’d sometimes admired androgynous male models on the pages of magazines that his mum used to buy and felt a confusing interest in them… but he’d never seen a guy in real life he’d wanted to fuck enough to actually do something about it.

Until tonight.


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

www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook Author Page
Newsletter
Jayís books

 

A Stella Review: Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3) by Jay Northcote

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Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Practice Makes PerfectGetting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

 

Practice Makes Perfect is a very sweet and cute story and of course it is a winner to me. First of all because I fell in love with the main characters, Dev, with his innocent dirty talks, and ginger Scottish Ewan were hard to resist.

If you are thinking the blurb is really nothing new, you are right. The agreement between Dev and Ewan is a trope maybe over explored in romance, but I assure you Jay Northcote can write and make a plot interesting and never boring, even if it could have been easily developed into something trite.

Moreover in a story with a plot like this, often the sex scenes overwhelm the rest of the story, turning it into what we call PWP (Porn Without Plot). It’s not the case of Jay’s book, no worries. Yes, there are quite some sex scenes, very hot, cause you know, Dev has made a list, he needs to learn everything and then check off items. Still I found myself looking forward to the other scenes, where Ewan teaches Dev how to cook, or the times spent with their housemates, or the moments when they are making googly eyes at each other.

I always recommend to read series in order, I admit I haven’t read Helping Hand (Housemates #1) and Like a Lover (Housemates #2), but this third installment works perfectly as a standalone. I met the two couples of the previous books, but they were simple second characters and there wasn’t a time I felt I was missing or I should have known something.

At the end Practice Makes Perfect was a pleasure to read. I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh doesn’t conquer me but it’s well done and fitting.

Sales Links:  Amazon UK | Amazon 

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Published June 22nd 2016 by Jaybird Press
ASINB01H7V027A
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHousemates #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote ~ Narrated by Mark Steadman

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Helping Hand audiobookAbout 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.

Sales Link: Audible.com | Audible.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Apple

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published May 13th 2016 by Jaybird Press (first published June 24th 2015)
Original TitleHelping Hand
ASINB01FL0YXO2
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHousemates #1 settingPlymouth, England (United Kingdom)

In Out Spotlight: Like a Lover (Housemates #2) by Jay Northcote

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LikeaLover_EBOOK

Like a Lover (Housemates #2) by Jay Northcote
Release Date: September 4, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

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Blurb

Josh has a plan: get through uni with a good degree and no debts. Focused on his goals, he’s working as an escort to pay his way. He enjoys the no-strings sex and doesn’t have the time or inclination for a relationship. Falling in love definitely isn’t part of the deal—especially not with a client.

When Rupert meets Josh in a bar, he’s smitten on sight. He’s never paid for sex before, but when Josh propositions him, he can’t resist. He should have known one night would never be enough. Luckily for him, he has an inheritance to support his addiction to Josh, because his job in IT wouldn’t cover the cost.

With each appointment the lines get increasingly blurred. Something is developing between them that feels more like a relationship than a business transaction, but they come from different worlds and to go from client-and-escort to lovers seems impossible. If they want a future together, Josh and Rupert have a lot to overcome.

Pages or Words: 48,450 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt:

“I like your lip ring,” Rupert said. His gaze dropped lower to Josh’s collarbones. “What are your tattoos of?”

“Swallows.” Rupert would just be able to see the wing tips that showed in this low-necked T-shirt. “Two of them.”

“Have you got any other tattoos?”

Josh gave a slow, teasing smile. “Maybe. Do you want me to show you?”

Rupert met his eyes again. There was a flicker of uncertainty before he answered. “Yes. I’d like that.”

Josh turned over the possibilities in his mind. It had been a long time since he’d had sex for anything other than for money. He usually saw clients at least three nights a week. They scratched the itch for him, and he didn’t have the time or inclination to hook up with other guys. He hadn’t dated since he’d started working as an escort. Josh didn’t like lying about his job, but most guys didn’t want to date escorts.

It would be easy to pick Rupert up tonight, though, and have no-strings sex with him for fun rather than cash. But Josh’s rent was due.

“Me too. But it’ll cost you,” he finally said.

Rupert frowned, obvious confusion crossing his features as he tried to make sense of Josh’s words. “What? I don’t—”

“You’re hot, and I wish I could do this without asking you for money. But a client let me down this evening. I have a hotel room booked and paid for next door, and I need someone to cover the cost for me.” The lie came smoothly. “I can’t afford to have sex for free tonight.”

Rupert’s mouth dropped open. Shock was evident on his face, but there was something else that was harder to read. His cheeks flooded pink again and his eyes went dark. “You’re….” His voice came out husky, and he cleared his throat. “You’re a….”

“A sex worker. An escort, to be precise. Hooker, rent boy, you get the gist. I’m an expensive one too. But my clients think I’m worth the money.” Josh waited, tension making a muscle tick in his jaw as he forced himself to stay still and hold Rupert’s gaze. On the occasions he’d tried picking up clients face-to-face, their reactions had varied. Interest, anger, excitement, disgust… he’d seen them all. He steeled himself, ready for rejection.

Rupert licked his lips. “How much?” he finally asked.

Buy the book:  Amazon | Amazon UK All Romance (ARe) | Smashwords

About the Author

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Where to find the author:

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Giveaway

Enter to  win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Amazon gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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