Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: RAINBOW PLACE by Jay Northcote (Rainbow Place #1)

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Length: 54,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design


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 cafebar.

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 manonly 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 heís 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.

Carra's Review

Rainbow Place is one of those stories that can frustrate a reader, but also balance that out by being uplifting and positive at the same time.  I’ll admit—characters who are strict closet cases can really drive me nuts sometimes, even when I know the “why” behind the character’s reasons.  Jason is one of those characters, and no matter how hot and sexy he is, and how well he fits with Seb…his frantic need to stay deep in his closet spiked my frustration levels.

At the same time though, while I understood his reasons, it also brings into harsh focus the reality that some people face with the fear that can grip them when confronted with coming out.  Yes, his reaction may seem excessive to many readers; but the sad fact is that some people who are LGBT+ are frankly terrified of what might happen if they come out no matter how many reassurances they receive from those who would support them.  So—regardless of how frustrated I was with Jason’s attitude towards coming out (especially after one particular dramatic scene where his fear became irrationally overwhelming), I refused to let this color my rating of the overall story.

Putting all that aside, I really liked the premise of the story, and loved the characters and their positive attitudes.  I was particularly pleased with Jason’s assistant Will who at first glance you might think might give them a problem, but turns out to be a staunch supporter.  Also of note are Jason’s ex and his daughter (both super supportive), and Seb’s neighbors Penny and Trude.  Special mention as well to the town’s rugby team!  The way so many people in town rally around Seb and Rainbow Place is quite moving, leaving me with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside—and that’s in addition to the romance.

Seb and Jason are great together with awesome chemistry, even if they’re not broadcasting that to anyone else.  And while Jason’s fear of being outed elevated my frustration level, you can rest assured that he does mostly make up for it in a VERY big way.

Overall, Rainbow Place was a 4.5-star read for me, and given the wide array of supporting characters that were introduced, I’m excited to see what other stories will come out of this series since there were several of those characters I really want to read more about!  I highly recommend this book to M/M romance fans, and if closet cases are as frustrating to you as they can be for me…just know that in the end, that HEA that this author is known for will still be there even if getting there might be a little rough for you.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Author Bio

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.

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