Bethany reviews ‘Nothing Special’ by Jay Northcote, published by Dreamspinner Press on October 22, 2013. Audiobook released March 3, 2015.
Why I listened to this book: I am a big fan of Jay and this one has been on my TBR shelf for a while, so when we had the opportunity to review this I knew I wanted to do it.
We were provided this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Narrator: Michael Pauley
Length: 4 hours and 3 minutes
Mark O’Brien is finally being honest with himself. His relationship with Rachel is over, and he’s moving out of the home they’ve shared for six years. They get along, but he can’t fix a relationship when the person he’s with is the wrong gender.
Jamie Robertson, one of the removal men, is huge and ridiculously gorgeous, and Mark is smitten at first sight. When a cardboard box splits, revealing items of a personal nature that Mark never wanted anybody to see, he’s mortified. But it sparks the start of a beautiful friendship with benefits.
As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, the two men get increasingly close, and “nothing serious” turns into something rather important to both of them. But communication isn’t their strong point. Will either man ever find the courage to be honest about his feelings?
I have read quite a few books from Jay and have enjoyed them very much. This one has been on my TBR list for a while, so I snatched it up. And let me tell you, she hasn’t let me down before and she didn’t with this one either. It was just what I needed.
Let me start off with the narrator. I am very picky when it comes to the narrator. If I don’t like the sample I will pass it up, even if it’s a book I love. I think that is important for a reader….err listener. But I loved this narrator. He was wonderful with the different characters. What I appreciated most was when he did the women voices he didn’t make them too high-pitched like some do. I can love a narrator but when they voice a woman, and it comes out all squeaky, I just cringe. This was not the case here, so for that I was very grateful. All in all this narrator is one that I would like to listen again.
Now the story….sigh. It was PERFECT, just what I was needing at the time. It is your classic, ‘I have developed feelings for this person but I am afraid they don’t feel the same way so I won’t say anything to them for fear they will end things’, story line. But Jay has a way to make it new and fun and exciting.
Mark who has been with a woman for years, FINALLY figures out that he is really gay and he can never be truly happy till he is with a man. Oh how my heart ached for him, ’cause I could not imagine being almost 30 years old and starting over. And not just starting over, but starting over with a member of the same sex. But man did he handle it well. He was honest with himself and knew it was time to make changes. What I loved about this was when he ended his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, they left on good terms. No shouting, screaming, yelling or throwing stuff on the lawn. That was nice to see that they could remain friends.
Jamie, oh my goodness I can’t tell you how much I LOVE Jamie. He has known since he was young that he was gay and he has always been ok with it and didn’t take crap from anyone. But then again when you look like Jamie, people tend not to mess with you. While listening to this and finding out more about Jamie, I called him my ‘gentle giant’ in my head. I just wanted to hug him and tell him how much I admired his strength, not just physical but emotional as well.
Now, Jamie and Mark together…..holy hotness batman. I loved how Jamie suggested he teach Mark the joys of gay sex. I was bouncing in my seat at how much I loved that idea. Again let me repeat myself, HOLY HOTNESS!!!!!!!! But it wasn’t just sex. You can literally see them fall for each other, ’cause as most of us know, friends with benefits usually ends with one or the other falling for the other. But in this case they both fell, and they both fell hard. Yet they both were worried the feelings wouldn’t be returned, but for very different reasons.
Mark felt that someone as gorgeous as Jamie could have anyone he wanted, so why would he settle down with someone as boring as himself. And Jamie, well he has struggled with dyslexia most of his life and feels like he isn’t smart enough for Mark. Oh I wanted to hug them BOTH then yell at them to get their head out of their behinds and TALK. I mean it was plain to see they each loved the other person!! But when the feelings finally come out, I was grinning like a loon. I was a happy, happy, happy lady.
This book is wonderful, not overly angsty or emotional. The build up is wonderful and the sexy times are super hot. I highly recommend this if you are looking for a fun, sweet, hot, feel good book. I know this is one that I will be listening to over and over again. Thank you Jay for another favorite.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome 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.