Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Better Place by Jay Northcote Blog Tour

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.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the third book in the series, and whilst it could be read as a standalone, I think the experience would be richer if you know the background to the Rainbow Place, its owner, and staff. That said, you do get quick updates on who is who as we go along.

I really enjoyed this story, a lot, because it really does deal with the nitty gritty of life, rather than just the sparkly bits. I do think that the blurb gives away a lot of the plot, but the emotions and the revelations that Joe experiences are beautifully written. He is undoubtedly helped by the very aware Dylan, but he does choose to deal with the issue now he is aware of it, which makes him a stronger person than one might expect. I also think that he is very lucky to make some good friends at Rainbow Place, not just Dylan.

I think this is a good addition to the series, and once again tells a story which is both a good read but may well spur someone into thinking more widely about how life really is. Thank you, Jay Northcote, for another lovely installment of quirky, realistic Cornish seaside life.

3.5 stars

This is the story of Joe, an aspiring writer, and Dylan, the server at Rainbow Place who develops a massive crush on the older man. This is quite a dark read and I feel like this book is missing some of the joyful moments that balance the grittier themes in the previous books.

Joe’s life is pretty grim at the start of this story and I think we might actually see more of Joe and Harry’s miserable relationship than is necessary. I read romance for pleasure, but Joe’s story threw me right back to a traumatic relationship in my own past. The author manages to capture both the tedious monotony and the emotional gaslit haze of a controlling relationship perfectly, but it was a little bit too much for me. I had huge empathy for Joe, but it was really difficult for me to see him as a romantic leading man or a potential partner for Dylan.

Dylan is fabulous. He’s sweet and funny and kind, and I came away from the story feeling like he deserved more romance, more laughter, more courtship – more everything. I love the way Dylan crushes hard on Joe from the start and I love the way he cares for Joe, even when Joe is pushing him away.

If we see too much of Joe and Harry, I feel like we see too little of Joe and Dylan. This is supposed to be their book but at times it felt like Dylan was more a convenient confidant than a soul mate. I really enjoyed the initial awkward moments between Joe and Dylan. With Joe still dating Harry for most of the book, the connection between Joe and Dylan has to be slow – but Joe is a bit of an emotional mess and I hate the way he plays hot and cold with Dylan’s very sweet and earnest affections.

Also Available in the Rainbow Place Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Rainbow Place Blog Tour.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Safe Place Blog Tour.

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.

Connect with Jay

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Jay’s Playground Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote to read and review for this tour.

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