Second Chance (Ele’s review)

Title: Second Chance
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date:April 20th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack—his best friend from school and unrequited crush—his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate—or Nat as Jack once knew him—is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

Length: 67,000 words approx

It is never too late to get your second chance.

It’s never too late to reconnect with old friends. It’s never too late to go after your first love. And it’s certainly never too late to make your body match your sense of self.

This was the message that stayed with me after reading Second Chance, and one of the things I liked the most about the book. Both characters are above the age of 40. There is no rule saying that you have to have everything figured out in your 30s. Life happens and time flies away before you know it. It’s exactly what happened to Nate and Jack.

Nate, a transgender man, returns to his home village with his teenage daughter to make a fresh start. After hitting rock bottom and struggling with depression and addiction, Jack comes home too, to start all over again. So…second chances all around!

I trust that Second Chance is very authentic regarding the trans main character. Once again, Northcote delivers an own voices book, representative and on point, without being didactic.

I usually don’t like flashbacks in my books, but I really liked them here! In fact, I would have liked some more. They were strategically placed so as to give the necessary backstory about Nate (Nat back then) and Jack’s teenage friendship.

I absolutely loved the ending. In any other case I would have found it too corny or cheesy, but not here. This was the ideal HEA for Nate and Jack.

Technically, there’s nothing I didn’t like about this story. It’s just that I didn’t love it like some of the author’s other books. I loved certain parts of it, but the romance aspect, which is always my focus as a reader, lacked some tension for me. Plus, I didn’t really care about all the teenage drama in the end.

I believe that this is a case of “it’s me, not the book”, though, because I prefer my books to be on the gritty side lately. I think that fans of the author will love this quiet but very hopeful and uplifting story.

Everyone deserves a second chance!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Second Chance provided by Jay Northcote in exchange of an honest review.


Mother, wife, teacher and READER. I read MM almost exclusively. My kindle is my best friend and the most important thing in my life after my son. My poor husband... I read MM romance almost exclusively. As a reader I don't have any hard limits except incest. I like Contemporary and Historicals and I rarely read Paranormal unless recommended...