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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Length: 70,000 words approx.
When two broken men look to each other for help, an unexpected romance blooms.
Stephen’s home, deep in the heart of the Welsh valleys, suits his reclusive nature. However, as he recovers from illness, he’s struggling to manage alone. As nature reclaims the land he’s poured his heart into cultivating, he becomes increasingly unhappy. His only outlet is his blog, where he documents the decline of the garden that had been his pride and joy.
Luke is more used to a concrete jungle. He was a high-flyer, living and working in London, until addiction sent him into free fall. Now on the road to recovery, he still wants to make some changes, but he’s unsure where to find the purpose and fulfilment he craves.
A mutual acquaintance suggests Luke visits Stephen to help him out for a while, and a seed of hope is planted. From prickly beginnings, shoots of friendship emerge, blossoming into a deeper connection when they act on their mutual attraction.
This was only ever supposed to be a temporary arrangement, and soon Stephen will be able to manage on his own again. But both men need each other in ways they’re afraid to admit. If their love is going to last for more than one season, they’ll need to find the courage to be honest.
Where Love Grows is a sweet, quiet, hurt-comfort story about two broken men who find a home in each other. Jay Northcote excels at writing tender stories where most of the characters’ struggles are internal. In this book, both MCs, Stephen and Luke, have been hurt, physically and emotionally.
Luke grew up with a mother who was an addict. She died when he was young and even though he’s very successful in his career, Luke is a recovering alcoholic who’s hit rock bottom. When his business manager suggests he take some time away in the country to get back on track, Luke jumps at the chance.
Stephen was blindsided by an unexpected illness that has left him weak and in constant agony. Formerly a gardener, Stephen now struggles with day-to-day chores, and his beautiful garden is in disarray.
Luke arrives to help Stephen take care of daily tasks and bring Stephen’s previously nurtured garden back to life. But Stephen, defensive and standoffish, doesn’t accept help easily.
I liked the way the friendship developed slowly, ever so slowly, between the men. Luke is more willing than Stephen to be open about his past and hope for the future. Stephen was not an easy bloke to like. I understood that he’d lost his independence and was in pain much of the time, but I didn’t care for his defeatist attitude. He jumps on Luke any time Luke tries to help, and turns down Luke’s affection time and again.
Fortunately, Luke is patient with Stephen and forgives Stephen’s (numerous) trespasses. There’s just enough steam to show us the passion between the men, and the ending is a lovely HEA, chickens, mud, and all.
** A free copy of this book was provided by the tour organizer in exchange for an honest review. **
About the author:
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 self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press.
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