Title: Better Place (Rainbow Place #3)
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: February 22nd, 2019
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.
After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.
Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.
Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.
Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone and has a satisfying happy ending.
66,000 words approx.
I wanted to love Better Place by Jay Northcote, but in the end, it was ok. I enjoyed the setting, the characters, but there was a disconnect in the relationship development between Dylan and Joe.
Why? Fucken Harry, Joe’s boyfriend through half the book and that never went away after the breakup. There was a good reason why- Harry and Joe had been together for ten years, lived together, and their finances were tangled up together. It wasn’t a situation that’d have a clean break, but I was tired of this douche. At eighty-something percent we were still dealing with this mofo. This book felt as if it was more about Joe finding himself than a budding romance between Joe and Dylan.
Why? Well, the blurb gave too much information. I hate to say this, but the blurb is basically the entire story minus the very end. There was zero element of surprise. I kept waiting for something more that never came and the end of the book felt more like the beginning of a relationship which is what I’d been waiting for once Joe broke up with his boyfriend at the halfway point.
Now I know everything sounds negative, and as if I didn’t like it, but I did. As I mentioned, I like the story I just didn’t love it. Joe and Dylan didn’t gel for me as a couple. They are together at the end as with all romances, but I wasn’t left believing that they’d make it in the long haul. That being said- I am very much looking for the next installment! I think Lady Gogo will give us all a show!
I’ll end with: I hate 3 Star reviews, they are the hardest. They always seem to come out more negative than they are.