Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin



436 pages
Book Club Read
Paperback / Library
Rating: 3

The blurb

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end . . .

Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it.
She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye.

But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen.

Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

My thoughts

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes didn’t quite do it for me. I was going to call this an easy and fun book, because that’s how it read. But that is also what is wrong with this it. I don’t want a book about cancer and dying to be easy to read—and probably easy to forget—or fun. Some levity among the darkness is always welcome. But this was more than just ‘some’; this felt like an author trying too hard and/or over-compensating. Sometimes a story is just sad, and it’s okay for the reader to actually experience that emotion fully.

I think the problem is that it is nigh on impossible to write a light-hearted book about a youngish woman, single mother to a twelve year old daughter, dying from cancer. At some point the author has to choose between funny and poignant, or at least strike a convincing balance, and I can’t help feeling the author failed to do so. Every time the story appeared to be leaning towards poignancy some light-hearted relief would be thrown in. It almost felt as if the author was trying to shield the reader from raw emotions. And while I’m no lover of angst, this, to me, was the other extreme. Some subjects should not be taken lightly or glossed over.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the characters in this book. Rabbit Hayes is fabulous, the sort of person I’d love to hang out with. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between the various characters in this book and the very Irish nature of it. In any other story-line the characters and the way they interact would have made this a perfect read for me. But there comes a time when you have to leave banter behind and be serious and that didn’t happen or for long enough in this book.

The combination of enjoying the characters but disliking the way the author treated a very serious subject made for an interesting and at times confusing reading experience. There were sections in this book where I completely forgot I was reading a book about a 42 year young woman dying from cancer. And I would enjoy the section right until the moment Rabbit’s stark reality was brought into focus again. By that stage I would dislike both myself for having forgotten and the author for allowing me to—or maybe even making me—forget.

On a final note I also have to say that I feel the author was trying to be too smart with the ending to this story. What is she trying to say? That Rabbit had been wrong in her assumptions about life and death? Did she feel ending the story this way made it less depressing? Was did an attempt to give a happy ever after to a story that couldn’t possibly have one? I have absolutely no idea how to answer those questions. What I do know is that it left me feeling distinctly ‘meh’.


Blood & Marriage by Miss Merikan - Release Blitz



Author: Miss Merikan

Release Date: September 28 2016

Length: 65,000 words

Cover Design: 
Natasha Snow

Blurb

--- He was not Prince Charming. He was the dragon to consume me. ---

As the daughter of a mafia boss, I knew that keeping my head down meant staying alive.
So when my father arranged my marriage to a Sicilian mafioso, I smiled and nodded, hoping for a kind man.

But then my future husband’s cousin, Santo Villani, appears to pick me up for the wedding, and my life turns upside down, shattered by a kiss that shouldn’t have happened.

Arrogant, cocky, and yet irresistibly charming, he’s exactly the kind of man I shouldn’t be reaching out for. A dangerous mafioso who isn’t afraid to taste forbidden fruit.

I am torn between duty and passion, but my wedding is set in stone, so no matter which one of them wins, I will fall on their battlefield. 



POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: mafia, organized crime, marriage, forbidden love, danger
Genre: Dark, twisted romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit scenes

(STANDALONE novel, spin-off from the 'Guns n' Boys' series by K.A. Merikan)

WARNING: Adult content. Contains violence, distressing scenes, abuse, offensive language, and morally ambiguous protagonists.

Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Website 
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Giveaway:



Monday, 26 September 2016

Snow & Secrets (Stanford Creek #3) by RJ Scott writing as Rozenn Scott - Cover Reveal



Author: RJ Scott writing as Rozenn Scott

Publisher: OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC

Release Date: November 15 2016

Length: 50,000 words

Blurb:

Secrets could kill him. Will trusting another keep him alive?

Garrett Campbell is a man on the run. Wounded in the line of duty he returns to a town that is the only place he feels safe. When danger threatens to follow him there he has to run; only he appears to have picked up an unwanted guest.

Tyler Hart needs some down time, with the press hounding him after a failed relationship, he is desperate for peace. It seems like Stanford Creek may well be the place to go. After all, it worked for his friend Cody. Unfortunately, his timing is off, and he finds himself on the run with the very sexy Garrett Campbell.

First comes trust, and then comes love. Now they just have to stay alive.

Author Bio: 

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing. 

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


Website        Facebook       Goodreads               Twitter         Librarything

Giveaway:




Escaping From Him by Liam Livings - Retro Review Tour & Giveaway



Author: Liam Livings

Publisher: Manifold Press


Length: 51,000 words

Blurb

Darryl’s on the run – from controlling boyfriend Chris, an air-conditioner called Dave (deceased), an intolerable, claustrophobic situation and a person he just can’t be any more. The trouble is, he doesn’t have a plan – or any money – and all he knows is he needs to get away from everything. That’s where a lucky lift to Glasgow comes in, which turns out to be just the beginning of a whole new life …



My Thoughts

“It was the heat of the summer, my inability to be comfortable in my own home, remembering things we’d talked about properly, without Chris there to correct me on my memory. All these had combined to this one feeling that I had to go. I had to leave this place and run.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started this book. The reference to a ‘controlling boyfriend’ in the blurb seemed to indicate this might be a tough and darker read. But then it also talked about a ‘deceased’ air-conditioner, which definitely pointed at a sense of humour. It is always wonderful when a blurb perfectly captures both the story and the tone in which it is told; this could have been a hard and heavy story, but thanks to Darryl’s way of addressing his reading audience, this book is anything but angsty.

Darryl is a wonderful main character. He’s fully aware of the shortcomings in his life but doesn’t obsess about them. Once he decides to make his break, he’s off into the unknown, trusting that something will come his way, and boy is he right. Not only does he find safety, he also finds a group of friends who will form the family he’s never really had. Glasgow was meant to be a hiding place as far away from Chris, his domineering and older boyfriend as he can get, but instead it turns out to be home.

The book is titled Escaping From Him and while getting away from Chris is certainly the catalyst to this story, I feel that ‘Finding Himself’ would have been as appropriate a title. In fact, to me this read as a coming of age / New Adult story. Darryl was only 16 when he fled the foster system and met and moved in with Chris. Young as he was he didn’t stand a chance against Chris’s dominance and manipulation. Four years later Darryl is ready to spread his wings, to become who he was always meant to be, to learn that he can take care of himself and find his own place in the world—assuming a new first name is only the start of it.

I loved the cast of secondary characters. From the ever practical and loyal Swedish Lena, to Charlie who first introduces Darryl to the people who will form his Glaswegian family, and from Devine, the glorious drag queen to the two Gavins who are each others’ opposites and all the more perfect together for it. And Callum was just perfection both as a character and as the person Darryl needed in his life.

There were one or two moments in this book that touched me deeply, but I’ll mostly remember this book for the smiles it brought me. The chapter about the Eurovision evening especially, had me giggling and laughing out loud. I also really want to throw a ‘naff nibbles’ party now.

In short, Escaping From Him was an utterly delightful and at the same time very touching story. It would appear I have found yet another author to add to my ‘must read’ list.

Author Bio

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He escapes from real life with a guilty pleasure book, cries at a sad, funny and camp film – and he’s been known to watch an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

One evening, flicking through the channels, he stumbled across the film, Saving Private Ryan, and it took twenty minutes of not seeing Goldie Hawn in an army uniform, before he realised it wasn’t actually the film, Private Benjamin.

He has written since he was a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle.

When he’s not writing fiction he runs a manuscript appraisal service, provides marketing support to authors' publishers and ghostwrites other people’s books.

You can connect with Liam

Twitter @LiamLivings
Facebook         Blog                     Website

Giveaway





Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy by Blaine D. Arden


309 pages

Copy received from Cayendi Press through Netgalley

Buy links:      Amazon         Amazon UK    ARe

The blurb:

"Your Path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don't think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel."
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht's former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.

The guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.
Then a stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it's hard to keep the tribe's spirits up, more so when Kelnaht's own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester's apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.

“I have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.”
Later, when several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys' daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack. 

"There is always a way."
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide's words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A fantasy featuring elves, bringing us three mysteries in need of solving, as well as the touching and hot story of three men finding a way to share their love and lives despite the odds being stacked against them; what’s not to love? Especially when all of that comes in the form of a well written, perfectly balanced, not overly angsty, but very gripping, sexy, and touching tale.

While the three separate stories in this trilogy all bring their own mystery for Kelnath to solve, the overriding arc is the tale of how he, Taruif, and Lanys eventually end up being able to live and love openly despite all the obstacles in their way. When the story starts Taruif has been shunned by his community and lives in public isolation, with Kelnath longing for him from afar. Lanys used to be Kelnath’s lover until trust was betrayed. Now all the three men want is to claim each other and live out their lives together, as a triad, but between Taruif’s shunning and the promise Lanys made to his now deceased wife, such a union appears impossible.

I was impressed with the world building in this book, it felt spot-on. We learn about elves—both of the flying and the non-flying variety—and the society they live in, without ever having to work our way through an information-dump. We get the facts as we need them, always in the context of the story and woven into the narrative. And the picture painted is one of a world I slowly fell in love with. Not because it appeared to be a perfect world, but because it felt like a place where people wanted to do what was best for all rather than just look after selfish interests.

The same is true for the characters; we get to know them better as the stories unfold and it is clear that while all three of them have good hearts and the best intentions, none of them are perfect. Which of course only serves to make it very easy to relate to them and to get lost in their tale. Since the story is told from Kelnath’s perspective we end up knowing him better than the other two. And while I completely get why the story was told in this way I am kinda sorry I didn’t get to spend at least some time in the head of the other two. I would have loved a better insight into Taruif’s state of mind while he was shunned, or into Lanys’s, no doubt very confused, feelings when his daughter falls ill.


I was sorry when I reached the end of the third story. Not because the story felt unfinished or because the ending didn’t satisfy, quite the opposite in fact. I’d gotten very comfortable in the company of these elves and could happily have spent more time with them. But, it seems to me there’s scope for more stories set in this universe, and I for one hope those tales will be told too. In the meantime all that remains for me to say is that if you enjoy fantasies you really ought to pick up your own copy of this book.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fall Together by Isobel Starling - Blog Tour



Author: Isobel Starling


Length: 524 pages

Blurb

Two Hearts collide on a London Tube train...

Artist Emily Raven really has no choice in getting up close and personal with model Pieter Bayer when they’re pushed together in a crowded train carriage. Their close proximity kindles a conversation, which leads to them discovering they have an acquaintance in common, that of art director Darien Hollgoode. So, when Pieter invites the artist to accompany him to the photo shoot he’s heading to, Emily decides it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up with her roguish old friend Darien, and spend time with her gorgeous new friend, Pieter.

They begin a deeply erotic affair. However, not everyone is happy about their blossoming relationship. 

Pieter’s best-friend Simeon is secretly in love with him, and Emily’s manipulative old friend, Darien, holds an explosive secret to Pieter’s past... that will change everything.

Set between Berlin and London, this beautifully life affirming erotic romantic tale tells of how two damaged souls learn to trust again and in trusting each other, find that 'something more'.

This book was previously published under the title "Schonling" and was re-titled in 2016.

Please note: There are scenes of a sexual nature in this book and strong language through out. Reader discretion is advised.



My thoughts

This story in Fall Together takes the reader on a fast paced and very erotic ride. From the moment Emilie and Pieter first literally bump into each other in an overstuffed tube carriage in London, to the moment when they’ve created their own perfect world together, these two barely come up for breath, and as a result, neither does the reader.

From the moment Emilie first glares at Pieter it is clear that these two are made for each other, even if it will be another five weeks before they get to act on the attraction they both instantly feel. And when they do get together Emilie and Pieter manage to set each other alight. When it’s just the two of them, there’s no doubt these two characters belong together, if only the rest of the world would stop putting obstacles in their way.

Personally I enjoyed the chapters and scenes featuring Emilie and Pieter getting to know each other and exploring each others’ bodies more than I did those featuring almost every secondary character. It would appear that both Pieter the model and Emilie the artist have managed to surround themselves with people who use and/or abuse them. The mystery for me wasn’t so much that these things had happened to them, but more that the people who’d caused them pain and confusion where, for the most part, still an important part of their lives. I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities in either Simeon or Darien and was at a loss why they were still part of Pieter and Emilie’s life when the story starts.

The funny thing is that for once it wasn’t the main characters themselves who created obstacles to overcome on their way to happiness; it was the people around them. Where it would have been easy to turn the age difference between them or the fact that Pieter is bisexual, or even their individual careers forcing them to spend huge chunks of time apart, into relationship threatening issues, none of them do. Any conflict in this story is the result of outside forces trying to come between them and forcing them to deal with forgotten or repressed and at times heartbreaking memories in the process.

This is a very erotic story and the sex scenes are beautiful as well as imaginative and enticing. There isn’t much Emilie and Pieter aren’t up for, and the reader gets to enjoy it all with them.

One thing that didn’t work very well for me is the fact that the story is written from multiple perspectives and that the point of view freely jumped from one character to another. A small voice in the back of my mind kept on saying ‘stop head-hopping already’, even though I was well aware that strictly speaking this wasn’t head-hopping at all, just a different way of telling the story. This however is a personal preference and I can easily imagine that other readers might be delighted to for once get to see everybody’s motivation rather than having to infer it from what the main characters chose to share.

Overall this was a sexy, fast paced and intriguing story. And while I really didn’t care for Simeon in this story I have to admit I am kinda intrigued that the next book in this Pretty Boy series will focus on him. He’s got quite a bit of redeeming to do and I’m very curious as to what form that will take.



Author Bio

Inspiration strikes at the strangest of times. 

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved it more than making art. 

Isobel’s first novel “Schonling” was a best seller in the GLBT-Bisexual genre on the ‘All Romance ebooks’ site.  She mainly writes M/M Romantic comedy thrillers and has just completed her sixth book.  Isobel has also signed French translation rights for novella “As You Wish”. 

Isobel adores the M/M genre and enjoys writing about wounded souls and the complexities of personal relationships.  Despite not having found proof yet, Isobel believes in love at first sight and endeavors to give her men a thrilling journey and a satisfying ending!

Social Media links:

Website        Facebook       Twitter         Blog



Monday, 19 September 2016

Series Recap Tour & Giveaway Guns n' Boys Series by K.A. Merikan




Author: KA Merikan

Series Links

Guns n' Boys: He is Poison (Book #1) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: He is Mine (Book #2) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: Paris (Book #2.1) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: Homicidal Instinct (Book #3) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n' Boys: Swamp Blood (Book #4) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n' Boys: Chokehold (Book #5) Amazon US Amazon UK 

Blurb

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a twisted, dark erotic romance mixed with a crime thriller. It’s a long, turbulent journey of one couple deeply entrenched in the dealings of their mafia family. Behind the morbid humor and extreme violence hides the intense love affair of Domenico Acerbi, the mafia’s best hitman, and Seth Villani, the Don’s son.

Together, they have to deal with their blooming affection for each other, their family’s homophobia, their own prejudice, lust, jealousy, and violence. In true anti-hero fashion, they do so in most morally ambiguous ways. 

Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Website        Twitter         Facebook       Pinterest

Giveaway:




Friday, 16 September 2016

Into You by Jay Northcote - Review Tour with Excerpt




Author: Jay Northcote

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Length: 57,000 words

Release Date: September 9 2016

Buy Links: Amazon US Amazon UK

Blurb:

What do you do when the body you wake up in isn’t yours?

Olly and Scott promised to be best friends forever. They grew up on the same street, went to the same school, and did everything together. But one hot summer night, teenage experimentation caused hurt feelings and confusion, and their friendship was destroyed.

Four years later they’re both eighteen years old and in their final term at school. Scott is a football star and Olly’s preparing for a main role in the school play. After a heated argument in the street—witnessed by their mysterious, elderly neighbour—they wake up the next morning stuck in each other’s bodies.

With no idea how to get back to normal, they have to co-operate in order to hide their secret. Spending time together rekindles their friendship, yet feelings run deeper for both of them. With the end of school fast approaching, the clock is ticking. Unless they discover how to change back, they could be stuck in the wrong bodies forever.

Excerpt

The sound of music playing pulled Scott from a thick blanket of sleep into
wakefulness. He lay curled on his side; his room was darker than usual, as though someone had come in and closed the blinds while he slept. His bed felt weird, softer than it should be, and it smelled different.
He sat up, blinking in confusion as he looked around. He took in the room, the details unclear in the half-light that crept around the edges of the blind, but it was enough for him to realise where he was.
The posters on the wall were new, but the layout hadn’t changed in four years.
What the fuck?
It wasn’t possible. Logic told Scott there was no way this could be happening.
He’d gone to sleep in his own bed—he hadn’t been drunk or high. So why the hell was he waking up in Olly’s room with no recollection of how he got there? And where the hell was Olly? The music that had woken him was coming from a phone on a docking station by the bed. He picked it up and pressed some buttons until it stopped. His brain was fogged with sleep and he couldn’t think clearly.
Scott got out of bed on shaky legs. His hip ached as though it was bruised.
Actually, his whole body felt weird. Perhaps he was sick? Maybe this was all some bizarre hallucination?
Pulling the cord to raise the blind, Scott flooded the room with light. He looked down at himself, only….
He closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened them again, he still didn’t see himself. His body was too thin, his skin too pale, the hair on his legs darker than usual, and he definitely didn’t own any snug purple briefs like the ones he was currently wearing.
Stomach roiling with disbelief and terror, Scott turned to the full-length mirror on the wall and blinked.
Olly’s reflection stared back looking as horrified as Scott felt. Scott raised his hands to his face, and so did Olly in the mirror.
“This isn’t happening,” he said.
The voice was Olly’s too, softer and a little higher-pitched than Scott’s own.
It was the weirdest, most vivid dream Scott had ever had.
He pinched himself hard. “Ouch!”
Why wasn’t he waking up?

Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep!
Olly shot up, heart pounding at the shrill sound. He opened his eyes and blinked in the sunlight.
Ugh. Too bright.
He looked around wildly and closed his eyes again, refusing to believe what he saw. Obviously he wasn’t awake yet because he couldn’t be in Scott’s room. He hadn’t set foot in Scott’s house in years.
Olly cracked his eyes open again but still saw the white walls, the posters of Scott’s football heroes that Olly remembered from years ago, and the freakishly tidy desk that definitely wasn’t his.
The alarm clock by the bed was still making an awful racket, so he found the button to silence it.
“Scott?” he said hesitantly, then coughed.
What the fuck was wrong with his throat? His voice was deep and rough sounding. Oh God, no, please don’t let him be getting a cold. He couldn’t afford to lose his voice with all the play rehearsals coming up.
He pushed the duvet off and swung his legs around to get out of bed. He’d find
Scott and work out what the hell was going on. Maybe he had some weird amnesia after his accident yesterday, although he hadn’t hit his head. There had to be some explanation for why he was apparently in Scott’s bed rather than his own.
Then Olly looked down at his legs—and froze.
They were thicker and more muscular than they should be. Olly only dreamed of having legs like that. The hairs on them were light brown instead of dark, the skin more tanned. He looked at his hands, they were all wrong too, thicker and sturdier than they should be. He lifted one to run it through his hair, the way he often did in times of crisis.
“What the fuck?” No long floppy fringe falling in his eyes. Instead he found short-cropped hair and his ear piercings were gone.
Now convinced he was dreaming, because that was the only possible explanation, Olly got up to look in the mirror. Scott’s handsome face stared back at him, the mouth slack with surprise and the blue eyes wide.
Olly shook his head in disbelief. No way could this be happening. No way. This was the stuff of Hollywood movies, not reality. But cold, creeping panic rose in his gut, because apart from the fact that he appeared to be in the wrong body, everything else felt normal. Way too normal for it to be a dream.
“No,” he said loudly, putting his hands up and touching Scott’s nose, Scott’s
cheekbones, Scott’s lips. He felt every brush of his fingertips. “Oh, Jesus Christ on a bike, this is not happening. No.”



My thoughts:

If I had to describe Into You in one word, I’d say ‘cute’. This story and the characters in it are adorable, charming and a joy to spend time with.

Olly and Scott have been friends for years when a combination of teenage curiosity and teenage angst pull them apart. Four years later they still live across the street from each other and their friendship is still a thing of the past.

Also in their street lives an older lady who they’ve never felt completely comfortable around. One day, when the lads are 18, she’s clearly upset when she sees them having an argument on the street. Olly and Scott don’t pay her a lot of attention when she states that fate might need a push in the right direction, but maybe they should have because the morning after they wake up to discover they’ve swapped bodies. In order to function as each other they have to work together; a process that allows them to reconnect and discover things about themselves and each other they’d been previously unaware off.

As I said, this is a super cute story. While the situation Olly and Scott find themselves in certainly leads to introspection and soul searching for both of them, there’s very little angst in this story. In fact, even though they are confused and trying to figure out what is going on and how to fix the situation again, the whole swap is nowhere near as fraught with trouble and danger of being exposed as you might expect. For two young men who haven’t really interacted for four years, Ollie and Scott have remarkably little problems living each other’s lives. Ollie takes to football as if he’s been training for years and Scott, who doesn’t understand Shakespeare and isn’t into drama, takes to the role of Romeo like a fish to water. Because the story isn’t so much about the difficulties associated with a body-swap as it is about two young men reconnecting and finding each other and their joined destiny, that lack of tension makes sense, but it did leave me feeling it was all a bit too easy.

There are relatively few sexy times in this story. Having said that, watching the two boys figure out whether or not it would be appropriate to indulge in a handjob while in the others body, was both intriguing and great fun, not to mention enticing once they give in to their needs.

Of course this story is very well written and smoothly told; I’d be surprised if a book by Jay Northcote was anything else. I’m not quite sure how to label this book. Coming of age fits, as do friends to lovers and enemies to lovers, but there’s also a dose of paranormal / magical realism to be found here.

If you enjoy a fun, sweet, very cute and somewhat magical feel good story, I highly recommend Into You by Jay Northcote.

Author Bio:

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.

www.jaynorthcote.com           Twitter               Facebook profile