Monday, June 18, 2018

ARC Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote

Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1)
Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves? 

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar. 

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet. 

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for. 

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.

Todd's rating:

After becoming disenchanted with the life he'd been leading in fun and vibrant London, not to mention his recent breakup, Sebastian decided it was time to make a change in his predictable, hum-drum life working for other restaurateurs.

So he moved to Cornwall, a place his family used to go for seaside retreats, for a fresh start. But after being there a short time, he realized that he felt that there was something missing in his new, hetero-centric village life.

A sense of queer community.

With that in mind, instead of moving forward with his initial plans to open a run of the mill, generic cafe/bar, he decided to shift the focus, just a smidge. To make the place a friendly, accepting place for LGBT people and their supporters.

And hence Rainbow Place was born.

Seb then hired local builder (and also local closet case) Jason to perform the needed renovations. And, shocker, Jason was hot and their sizzling connection was almost immediate.

They staved off their feelings of lust for a while, but this is a romance, so sooner or later, you knew they would be Romancing the Bone. And yes, those sexy scenes were fairly steamy.

But outside of the bedroom (and the closet), not everyone in the small town was happy with Seb's Big Gay Plans to homo-tize their "normal" (pronounced 'boring') little town. And let's face it, there's always That One Asshole who likes to stir the shit, which was the case here.

After said asshole started up a stink, courtesy of an opinion piece in the local paper, the cafe was vandalized by local homophobes and the race was on to repair the damage in time for the grand opening.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the unwavering, and very unexpected, support that Seb got from his neighbors in the community. A local rugby team even chipped in.

And my very least favorite part was when Jason let his fear get the better of him and he abandoned Seb in his hour of need. I. Was. Pissed. So pissed.

But as I said, this was a romance, so one Grand Romantic Gesture later, the angst was washed away and the boys had a shot at a relationship again.

The angst was still pretty manageable overall, the steam was good, and there were plenty of cool side-characters, which I'm assuming will get their own books as the series continues.

I'd rate this one at around 3.5 stars and I'm hoping that either Will or Alex's books are next, as I really enjoyed them on-page and could see myself being really into their stories.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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