I like to celebrate the recent release of Jay Northcote’s Starting from Scratch with my review. Have a look at this entry and also check the other blog participants out. 🙂
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
To say I was excited to read the book isn’t the truth, in fact I was thrilled. Jay Northcote already posted in his Facebook group (link in the author’s bio section) several teaser and holy moly I was teasered.
Ben is a really interesting character. As a transman, former woman now man after transition, he has to suffer from visible and non-visible scars he is carrying, on his body, on his soul.
It is totally touching how much fear he has to open himself truly to other, how he has to manage his new life, but thanks to the nice housemates he has he is less and less scared, although he can’t come out his shell yet and say openly: I am a man now, like I always felt.
When he met Sid he is interested in the guy who seems to be interested in HIM, in the new Ben, something unbelievable at first. And the fear is there again. The fear not to be enough, not to be what Sid wants.
The tentative build of the relationship is really great displayed by Jay Northcote. The author knows how to create tension. Sid is attracted to Ben, not knowing he is a transgender man and what he is hiding from the rest of the house. Sid is carefully asking, want to know who Ben really is, and his efforts are rewarded finally.
The chemistry between Ben and Sid is there and the sensual scenes, the one where both explore each other are super sweet and touching. As an uneducated reader you get an insight what it means to have a transition, what it means to have intimate intercourses with somebody. You get a display of all these aspects in a sensitive way. It is neither disgusting nor strange though a few aspects let you google something up. But if you are open to new things in this corner you really get touching, sexy and hot scenes.
I am also deeply touched by the sincerinity by Sid, he is truly seeing only Ben, as a person, as an individual. Not as the woman he was before, not as a person who has only a upper chest surgery and is still different in the lower parts. He is caring, he is really wanting Ben and this is the most beautiful part of the book, when these emotions hit.
Ben is still having hard times but with Sid’s honest display of affection he gets braver and feels totally loved, surrounded by it and the scars from the past heal a bit.
One of my most beloved quotes are these where both eating pizza, Ben is getting his slice of pizza from Sid. And Sid is saying this and got this reply
“Sorry it’s a bit mangled.”
“It’ll taste the same. Cheers”
Every reader can read what he or she wants but for me it captures the transition process and that even if the looks is different it’s not different, it “tastes” the same. It’s still Ben, just in a new “wrapping”, even when he is carrying scars.
I really loved the book, right from the first pages therefore I can’t give other than 5 out of 5 stars. Touching, educational, sweet and hot. A great mix and really a book out of the “own voice” corner with the topic. The glossar at the beginning of the book as well as the links to transgender blogs and how to be an ally are the icing on the cake to be able to know the whole topic better and helps to understand people around.
Edit: I mixed up terms in first place wrong. I am so sorry for this, this is now corrected. Please be aware it was unintended and I hope I don’t insulted or hurt anybody. My sincere apologies.
Have a look at the georgeous cover
RELEASE BLITZ / REVIEW
Title: Starting from Scratch
Series: Housemates # 5
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh
Lenght: 57.000 words
Add to you bookshelf:
Note: though a series, each book can be read as a standalone.
Helping Hand (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Watching and Wanting (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK
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.
Other awesome blogs are also participating on this blog tour. 🙂 Have a look at their blogs. 🙂
April 17 – Hearts on Fire Reviews, Mikku-Chan, Oh My Shelves
April 19 – V’s Reads, Dirty Books Obsession, Millsy Loves Books
April 21 – Au Boudior Ecarlate, Lustful Literature, Joyfully Jay, Making It Happen, Urban Smoothie Read, M/M Book Addicts
April 26 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews
April 28 – Sarandipity, The Way She Reads, Open Skye Book Reviews
May 1 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Kiki’s Kinky Picks
May 8 – Bella’s Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, PNR Book Lover Reviews, Abbey’s 1-Click Book Blog, Wicked Reads, BFD Book Blog
Author bio – Jay Northcote
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.
Blogtour and release blitz hosted by Signal Boost Promotions