Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3)
Author: Jay Northcote
Release Date: June 22
Universal Buy Link: http://mybook.to/PMP_JayN
Length: 54,000 words
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.
Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.
Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.
They work their way through Dev’s sex-to- do list, but what starts as a perfect no- strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.
NB: Although this book is part of a series, it is a complete story with different main characters and can be read as a standalone.
Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.
All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.
She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.
Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx
He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today.
That was Saturday done. Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to- day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.
For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.
Things To Do This Term
Make some friends
Learn to cook
Research sex stuff
Get some experience
Find a boyfriend
He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.
Maybe there was potential there too.
I’d been looking forward to this book. After thoroughly enjoying both Helping Hand and Like a Lover I couldn’t wait to see what Jay Northcote would come up with next, and she more than lived up to the promise those first two books in the Housemates series made.
Practice Makes Perfect is a touching, sweet and very sexy tale about two young men making an arrangement and getting far more out of it than they could have foreseen. In fact, neither of them knew they were looking for what they end up finding.
The idea seemed so simple and perfect. Dev will help Ewan with his math issues in return for lessons in intimacy and sex. No strings and certainly no expectations are to be connected to the arrangement. In theory it is the perfect solution to two sets of problems, in practice however, it soon becomes clear that the best laid plans can still be turned on their head when the heart comes into play.
Poor Dev, not only is he completely out of his depth when it comes to any form of intimacy, he also has no idea how to interpret the signals Ewan appears to be sending him and it isn’t long before he finds himself wondering whether or not their mutual tutoring deal has morphed in something more…something which won’t stop once they’ve worked their way through his list. Asking is not an option though; if he’s wrong he might end a friendship that has only just been forged.
And I guess, Ewan isn’t much better off. He may know what he’s doing when it comes to giving and taking physical enjoyment, he has no idea what to make of Dev. Is his neighbour only in it to gain experience before throwing himself into the gay scene, or do his blushes and the way he looks at Ewan mean more than that? And why does Ewan suddenly feel that a relationship might not be a bad thing after all?
From start to finish this story was an utter delight. I loved how Ewan jumped into action when he thought Dev had put himself in danger and adored how shy Dev turned into a bit of a daredevil once passion took over. The conflict in this story is mostly the result of the two men not talking to each other when their feelings about the arrangement change. Usually characters refusing to communicate frustrates me and it was wonderful to read a book in which I actually understood why neither of them opened his mouth for the longest time.
With Ewan being Dev’s first in every respect, this is one very sexy tale. From Dev’s first ever kiss, through mutual exploration of each other’s bodies to penetrative sex, Ewan introduces Dev to all the pleasures his body can give and receive, and it was delightful to read, as well as incredibly hot of course.
Jay Northcote has a knack for writing characters that come alive on the page and worm their way into the reader’s heart. Dev and Ewan were no exception to that rule. Also as always, the writing was smooth and flawless and the story almost impossible to look away from once I’d started reading. In short, this was a perfect read on a very rainy Sunday afternoon.
On a final note, I can’t help wondering if I only imagined a hint at a next book in this series. It seems to me that there’s a certain Ryan whose orientation is in dire need of exploring. And I can’t help feeling there may be more to Shawn too. Just saying J
‘“I was an idiot.”
“We both were.”
Ewan grinned. “That’s why we’re perfect for each other.”’
If you’re curious as to what I thought about the two earlier books in the Housemates series have a look at Helping Hand and Like a Lover.
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.