Erryn reviews ‘Happy Place (Rainbow Place Book 5)’ by Jay Northcote. The ebook was published March 19, 2020 and is 221 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Hamish Long, released by Jaybird Press on May 21, 2020 and is 6 hrs and 21 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I adore Jay Northcote/Hamish Long books.
A first kiss from a younger man leads to a sexual awakening…
George’s strict upbringing has left him ashamed of his sexuality. In his forties now, he’s yet to come out or even kiss a man – until he meets Quentin.
Quentin has had enough of bad relationships with men who won’t commit. Still raw from the last one, he’s not ready to try again. But George is sweet, and helping the older man get some experience might be a fun diversion.
Swept rapidly into a deeper connection than they bargained for, they face a dilemma. George isn’t ready to come out, and Quentin wants a boyfriend who isn’t afraid to be seen with him in public.
Can they find a way to navigate the unpredictable waters of their new relationship and find happiness together?
Contains: age gap, gay first times, sexual exploration, out for you.
Quentin is a reporter for a local newspaper near Cornwall. He’s also getting over the man who broke his heart by cheating. He’s alone, and missing having someone special in his life. He has his twin sister Liv – his utero buddy – but beyond that it’s mostly friends and family. He yearns for the intimacy he once shared.
George lives alone. He rebuilds boats and aside from his trusty assistant, he sees only the occasional customer and his beloved daughter Ellie. He’s made a decent life for himself but admits he spends way too much time masturbating while watching gay porn. He’s known he was gay for years but chose to marry and have a child. Eventually that marriage disintegrated, but he’s not put himself out there again. He can’t fathom having a relationship with man, despite his desire to not be alone.
The men’s paths cross when Quentin is sent to the boatyard to interview George. There’s a misunderstanding and Quentin accuses George of being a homophobe. In a fit of pique, George counters with the fact he is gay. Quentin is stunned and, after delicate questioning, discovers George’s well-kept secret. Not just is he gay, he’s never had intimate relations with anyone except his wife.
Quentin, being a soft-hearted lad, offers himself up to George. As a person the older man can explore his fantasies with. George, although reticent, takes Quentin up on the offer. I mean, who’s going to turn down sex with a young hot man? Okay, there’s like eighteen years between the two of them, but this time it’s the younger man who has all the experience.
I felt George’s anguish and self-doubts as he embarked upon the journey. Who hasn’t endured some kind of performance anxiety? Our culture is so sexualized and porn so pervasive, it’s hard for a person to think they’re good enough. Fortunately Quentin is good at putting George at ease. But when it comes right down to it, neither man knows how to express their true feelings.
But this is a romance so there’s the misunderstanding, the dark moment, the self-realization, the grand gesture, and the happy ending. So yeah, I was more than satisfied.
Now, this is the fifth book in a series centered around an LGBTQ café and I admit it was the first one I picked up. I was never lost although it was clear there were couples from previous books. Some who have news of their own to share. I love Jay Northcote books and this one was no exception. Hamish Long narrated the book and, again, he was just lovely to listen to. I always enjoy his performances. Finally, I want to mention the boat, Mabbina, whose name means happiness. I’ve always wondered what it might be like to live on a boat and I enjoyed the fantasy. I saw parts of myself in George and that made the book even better for me. I definitely plan to go back and listen to the rest of the series.
9.5/10 Points of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
Jay Northcote 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. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he 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.