Thursday, April 16, 2020

ARC Review: Happy Place by Jay Northcote

Happy Place (Rainbow Place, #5)From the blurb:

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?

Heather's rating:

I've always enjoyed Jay Northcote and his books, and I liked Happy Place also, though I had a few issues.

I love a good age-gap story and I love a coming out story, so I was excited for this one. And I think that those parts of the story were done very well. I particularly liked how Jay allowed his characters to have "bad sex." Yup, awkward, first-time sex where things don't go as planned and you are trying to figure each other out. I loved that, because real life sex is often not even a close cousin to the *explosions* seen in romance books.

Where I think the story needed more work was in the relationship development. The chemistry felt a bit off, both sexually and romantically, and I struggled to feel the love. It felt like the very, very start of a relationship, not long enough to develop real feelings, and I'm not even quite convinced that these two are a good match. Something never fully clicked.

Also, and this is going to seem so petty and minor, but it's a big pet peeve of mine when an author using too many exclamation marks. It's pretty ironic because I *love* using them myself in reviews and correspondence, but just like characters giggling grates on me, I find the overuse of exclamation marks makes the story seem phony. Jay is a big user of exclamation marks, and, though it might seem super minor, it was enough to detract from the story for me.

Fairly quick, low angst, and a nice coming out story, Happy Place worked for me, despite my minor issues.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Buy this book: Amazon

Happy reading!

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