Not Just Friends (Jia’s review)

Title: Not Just Friends
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press, 2nd Edition
Release Date: October 5th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 71 000 words
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Is it worth risking a friendship for a chance at love?

Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis isn’t prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max, because Lewis had always assumed he was straight.

Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction. When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. After a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends.

Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.

Please note that although this edition has been re-edited for publication, there is no new or additional content.

Oh wow, that was amazing. I know for some people this might not work. But. If you’re looking for a book about friends to lovers, stumbling steps of a potential new relationship, coming to terms with your sexuality during college, where there’s no unnecessary drama, they actually talk (although not the kind where they are 100% in tune with their emotions and are experts at talking), and realism with not too much angst – Then you got it!

The issues aren’t heavy enough to drag you down but enough for me to get emotional, several times drying my eyes a little. I could feel his pain probably because of my own prior experience and the fact the story was so realistic, so for me there didn’t need to be pages in wallowing for me to feel it. I liked how the pain and jealousy were described, but both Max and Lewis were really sweet and I liked their flatmates and friends a lot. This isn’t the tooth achingly kind of sweet though, they’re sweet in a more subtle way.

I could understand Max’s reasoning and Lewis’s feelings and the characters were solid and the whole story so well written. The plot may not be the most original but what makes this one special to me are the realistic characters, their behaviour and I just like the author’s writing style. So this is definitely a recommended read.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Not Just Friends provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


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