Not Just Friends @Jay_Northcote #LGBT #Review

Marc reviews Jay Northcote’s ‘Not Just Friends’. (The book was published by Dreamspinner Press on February 23, 2014 , 206 pgs).

Why I read this book: Last June, I attended my very first Gay Fiction Meet in Bristol, UK. There, I bought a print copy of this book which has been previously reviewed by Bethany HERE. I finally found the time to read it and I am so glad that I got the book. This one is a winner!


Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.

When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.

This was my first book by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. Click HERE to read Bethany’s review of this book.

First off, I felt very connected with the story, because I found many similarities to my own coming-out and I had the chance to see the city this story takes place in. Being able to think ‘God yes, I remember how that was’ was a great way to build a relationship with the main protagonist.

I think one of the biggest treasures of this book are the characters. I really loved all of the boys in the flat, how they interacted, how different and similar they were in different ways. hey felt like friends and I rooted for all of them. Lewis and Max of course were the ‘stars’ of the book. They are the couple I fell in love with as a reader. I defintly crushed on them. They are great as friends and I loved the sexual tension that eventually leads to more. There are no major wayblocks that make their relationship impossible, just everyday-things that happen and the story was more straight-forward than most others I read. It’s really well-done, though and the main protagonists are extremely likable.

The way the plot moves along feels authentic and realistic, but instead of destroying the ‘fantasy’ of the book, it made me identify with the characters and the book felt even more hot. And damn, the sexual tension and the hot sex scenes almost burned the pages. I also really liked the UK slang used in the book. Very sexy. I did wnder at times if guys from the UK really use those typical words as often in casual conversation, but it really turned me on. 😀

There is a lot of humor, the problems the characters face are dealt with realistically and they are not overblown to create more drama. It was just fun to read, even though it is very emotional at times. Readers won’t have to endure heart-ripping oments that make the main protagonists ives unbearable. This book won’t crush you, it will warm your heart (and other parts :P) and is a joy to read.

It was a really hot, fun read with low-angst and I found a lot of my own thoughts about coming-out (like whether to change my Facebook info to interested in guys) reflected in the characters’ thoughts. It’s an authentic read that I enjoyed a lot and was just what I needed.

Loved that it was set in Bristol, a city I got to know a bit when I attended UK GLBTQ Meet (where I bought this book).

So, considering that there really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book and that it created a huge smile on my face while reading, I thinkit really deserves the highest rating! Hope you guys likeit as much as I did 🙂

Where to buy: AmazonBarnes and NobleDreamspinner Press


10 of 10 pots of gold (5/5 stars)


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

Jay 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.

Jay writes contemporary gay romance, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. She enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in her head to life through her words.

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