Title: All Man
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)
Length: 13,000 words
Genre: Contemporary gay romance/erotica
Cover Artist: Jay Northcote
Release Date: Saturday 8th August
“You’re the sleek little sports car to my Land Rover.”
From the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.
At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.
With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.
“Hi.” Jules grinned down at the bloke lying on his back under the basins, taking a moment to admire the very respectable looking bulge in his jeans. “Gareth isn’t it? Fancy another cup of tea?”
Jules knew full well the man’s name was Gareth. It had been imprinted in his memory since Gareth, in all his bear-like glory, had stepped through the front door of the hairdressing salon that morning. He’d introduced himself, and Julian had been smitten on sight.
“Oh, yeah. That’d be great, thanks, Julian.”
“You can call me Jules.” Jules tried not to flutter his eyelashes, but he thought they probably did it without his permission. Big, butch blokes like Gareth always brought out the femme in him—it was how he reacted when he was nervous and excited. The more masculine they were, the more camp he got, even when he tried to tone it down.
Gareth didn’t seem to mind, though.
“Okay, Jules.” He gave Jules another one of his surprisingly sweet smiles before getting back to whatever he was doing with the pipes under the new sink he was installing.
Jules hummed happily to himself as he pottered around the cramped little kitchen in the back of the salon, waiting for the kettle to boil. He lined up four mugs and put in instant coffee for Shelley and Tyler and tea bags for Gareth and himself. He added a sweetener for Shelley—who was on a diet again—one sugar to his mug, and two for Gareth, remembering that was how Gareth took his tea.
Jules had carefully stored away every little detail about Gareth so they’d be there to mull over later. He grinned as a surge of excitement made his heart lift. It was always fun having a crush. Gareth was probably straight so it was bound to be unrequited, but a bit of eye candy made the day so much brighter.
He took Shelley and Tyler their drinks first and then went back for his and Gareth’s so he had the excuse to linger for a moment after delivering it.
“I’ll put it up here on the shelf,” he told Gareth. “Don’t let it get cold.”
Gareth was still on his back under the sinks, rattling around with a spanner or a wrench or something. Jules had no idea. His expertise was more with a different type of tool.
Gareth’s T-shirt had ridden up where his body was twisted, but his face was out of sight, so Jules took the opportunity to blatantly admire his hairy stomach. He was solid, not gym ripped lean, but not chubby either. He was all muscle and man. Jules tilted his head and sighed appreciatively. He really was the perfect bear.
“Jules, stop daydreaming and come sweep up for me, you slacker.” Tyler’s voice was light and teasing.
Jules glared at him, ignoring the flush that swept up his neck to his cheeks. “Yeah, yeah.”
Tyler grinned. He clearly knew exactly what Jules was daydreaming about. But the lucky bastard had Duncan—his own personal bear—at home, so he could sod off. Jules had to take his kicks where he could get them, and if that meant ogling Gareth, then so be it. He’d definitely be starring in Jules’s wank fantasies tonight.
Jules took one last peek at Gareth’s package and wondered what his cock looked like. Shame he’d never get a chance to find out.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
What can I say apart from: Jay Northcote did it again? Because she did; she delivered a short story that reads like a full novel. All too often shorter stories leave me yearning for more, unsatisfied because I’m left with unanswered questions. All Man didn’t leave me wondering about anything. I had a very good idea who Jules was and understood exactly what he saw in Gareth. I mean who wouldn’t fall for a gentle bear of a man like him? I was rooting for Jules all the way.
These thirteen-thousand words give you everything. You will smile, your heart will skip a few beats when Jules finds himself in trouble and a few pages later you’ll be laughing out loud at his cheeky remarks. Not to mention that Gareth’s gentleness and caring nature will leave you sighing and possibly slightly jealous. In fact, if I wasn’t happily married I’d be looking for a Gareth of my own. J
This author’s writing style is smooth. Reading her books is almost like listening to a professional story-teller as you’re drawn into the setting and the character’s lives. There are enough descriptions to give you a clear idea of setting and appearance but not enough to make you want to skim. The story is fast paced, but never rushed and the sexy times are as realistic as they are hot. Yes, it is fair to say I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with Jules and Gareth, and even now, some time after reading the last paragraph, I’ve got a huge smile on my face.
All Man is a spin off to Top Me Maybe? But both stories work as standalones so there is no need to read both of them, or to read them in order. Having said that, I quite liked that I already had some idea who Jules was and enjoyed the opportunity to find out how Tyler and Duncan from Top me Maybe were getting on.
Long story short: I highly recommend All Man, just as I’ve recommended every other book I’ve read by this author and more than likely will end up recommending whatever she releases next. Jay Northcote has more than earned her place on my ‘can’t-go-wrong’ list of authors.