Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Review Tour - Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Cover: Garrett Leigh

Length: 57,000 words

The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. Each book focuses on new characters, with themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

Helping Hand (Book #1)

Like A Lover (Book #2)
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3)
Watching and Wanting (Book #4)

Starting over isn't easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He's starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he'll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants in the short term at least. Ben's guarded at first, and Sid's not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben's defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn't matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He's attracted to the whole person, and isn't worried about what is or isn't in Ben's pants. They're good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben's insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he's committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

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

Starting from Scratch is the 5th book in the Housemates series, it is a standalone dual POV. We briefly met Ben and Sid in Watching and Wanting the 4th book. Like i said it is a standalone there's nothing that you really need for this read in that book but i would recommend the series as a whole because it's that good.

I'll be completely honest i have Never read a book about a trans gender person and my knowledge on the subject is pretty limited. I know some of the basics so while i loved the story i also found myself interested in the medical facts and emotional feelings. And having followed Jay Northcote for a while on Twitter and Facebook and i hope i cause no offence it really did give me a better understanding and even more respect for Jay.

Ben's story is a beautifully told story of finally being comfortable with who you truly are and then finding comfort in being able to express that. Ben showed strength and courage with support from his family but was still holding back that is until Sid came along giving him that extra boost and encouragement with love, support and acceptance. I loved Sid and i think a lot of people could take a page out of his book on how he saw the world. The way he spoke and his actions with Ben to give him comfort and ultimately time to be comfortable each other was amazing.

This read is more than just a story so Bravo Mr Northcote this read is truly aww inspiring, emotional and raw but it also warmed my heart because #LoveisLove. 


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 has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and 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. 

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