A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Second Chance by Jay Northcote

Standard

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 240 pages
Published April 20th 2018 by Jaybird Press
Original TitleSecond Chance
ASINB07C67ZCPW
Edition LanguageEnglish

Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Second Chance (excerpt)

Standard

 

 
Length: 67,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

Everyone deserves a second chance.


Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack–his best friend from school and unrequited crush–his feelings return as strong as ever.


Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate–or Nat as Jack once knew him–is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.


Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

Excerpt
 

A hint of cigarette smoke carried on the wind caught Nate’s attention, and he realised he wasn’t alone. A hunched figure sat on a bench by the church. Wearing a heavy coat with the hood up, their head hung low staring at the grass between their feet rather than at the landscape stretched out before them. A cigarette hung from bony fingers that protruded from black fingerless gloves. As Nate watched, the man—because Nate could see his face now—raised his head to take a long drag before stubbing the cigarette out on the bench.


A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.

Jack.



Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.


How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly. Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.


Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.


“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”


Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”


“I do.”


Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.


As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.

 

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.


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


www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook Author Page
Newsletter
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Release Blitz for Second Chance by Jay Northcote (excerpt)

Standard

 

 
Length: 67,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

Everyone deserves a second chance.


Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack–his best friend from school and unrequited crush–his feelings return as strong as ever.


Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate–or Nat as Jack once knew him–is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.


Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

Excerpt
 

A hint of cigarette smoke carried on the wind caught Nate’s attention, and he realised he wasn’t alone. A hunched figure sat on a bench by the church. Wearing a heavy coat with the hood up, their head hung low staring at the grass between their feet rather than at the landscape stretched out before them. A cigarette hung from bony fingers that protruded from black fingerless gloves. As Nate watched, the man—because Nate could see his face now—raised his head to take a long drag before stubbing the cigarette out on the bench.


A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.

Jack.



Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.


How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly. Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.


Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.


“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”


Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”


“I do.”


Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.


As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.

 

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.


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


www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook Author Page
Newsletter
Jay’s books

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions