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Summary

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?  

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe-bar.  

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man - allowing himself only the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.  

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.  

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be listened to as a stand-alone.

©2018 Jay Northcote (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Rainbow Place

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Great story 5/5

A really well written romance. I particularly liked the part the cafe played in the story, and the reason behind its theme. It set it apart, a little, from other LGBT romances.
More than anything though, I really enjoyed the performance of the narrator. He's a very good reader and a pleasure to listen to. And he's especially good at character voices. I had to double check that the narration was done all by one person. Even the female characters sounded female.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

2 people found this helpful

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The Start of a Great Seris

Do you ever listen to an audiobook and find that you’re struggling to get into it, but it’s not the fault of the author or the narrator, but your own?
That’s how I felt when I started to listen to Rainbow Place. The problem I had was that I had just finished listening to another book by the same author and narrator “Into You” and enjoyed it so much that I finished it in one go. I went on a spending spree and bought the Rainbow place series, hoping that I would enjoy them too.
I usually listen to audiobooks on my commute to work and generally driving around, so it may take me a couple of weeks to finish a book, it’s rare that I will continue listening once back home.
I’d have to say that it took me several chapters to get into the story, and at one point I even thought I might send it back for a refund as I just wasn’t enjoying it.
But I kept going and I was glad I did. I feel like there’s a whole world being built in these stories and if Porthladock were a real place I’d move there in a shot.
The two main themes of Rainbow Place book one centre around one man, having decided to move to a small coastal town in Cornwall, wants to open a cafe and make it LGBT friendly. There are lovers and haters of this plan and as the story unfolds you can feel (retrospectively) the groundwork being set for future stories. The other theme of the novel is the secondary character. A man who has come out to himself, but is struggling to make the leap to come out to everyone else in his life. Understandable to anyone who lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business.
Neither of these themes are original, but as I persevered with the story I found myself starting to care and my enjoyment of the book increased.
Having now listened to four out of the five books, I would say that while they are stand alone stories, they all tie in to Rainbow Place and we get to meet many of the characters again as the series progresses. I would recommend though that starting with this book and going on in order would be the best way to enjoy them.

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Evolution

I listened to/read Books 4 and 5 of the Rainbow Place series first, so I can definitely confirm that the books can be read as standalone. However, because of the recurring characters, I was quite anxious to get the others in this series.

Once again, I loved Hamish Long's narration. I think it is quite amazing how he is accurately able to continue a character's voice from one book to the next. A particular favourite is Quentin who is always full of joyful exuberance. I really enjoy how I can just sink into the narrative with no work on my part.

I liked finding out how Rainbow Place came about. The integration into the local background is beautifully described, as is the evolution of a rundown space to a tasteful cafe bar. It is testament to this author too that, while I wanted to shake Jason at one point, I could perfectly understand his actions and reasoning.

A 5 star read/listen and I am already into the next book, A Safe Place.

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I missed a lot

I would have liked some emotions, thoughts, world-building and plot.
I can't blame the narrator that the story droned on. He had nothing to work with.

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Beautiful 💕

I absolutely love this book and I highly recommend it.
Hamish Long has done a brilliant job of bringing these characters to life 💕I'm secretly hoping he's narrated the rest of this series of books as I am definitely interested in listening more in this series 💕
Seb embarks on a venture to open up a safe place for LGBT people and their allies. Along the way he meets Jason the man he has hired to help make his dream come true.
Their attraction is mutual.
Dive in to find out if Seb achieves his dream of opening his cafe,and get the man of his dreams too.
This is the first time I have read or listened to Jay Northcote and I am more than happy to continue reading and listening to his books.

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A great start to the series.

I read this when it was released, and had forgotten just how good it is! Seb’s decision to create an inclusive community through the cafe, and the journey to succeed is nicely set up in the first book of the series. Great characters and gorgeous scenery. Hadn’t heard the narrator before, thought he gave a realistic performance and did a great job of voicing the different characters.
Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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One of my favourite series now in audio

I love this series set in a small costal town in Cornwall. This is the first book of the series and focuses on the physical building of Rainbow Place as well as the hope such a place provides for a community where queer people are forced away to be out and proud or deep in the closet to stay in town.
Into this town comes Seb, out and proud and fiesty with it, and he has a dream. To make a place that is queer friendly, a place where he can belong. I love Seb's attitude, his vision and drive, and his caring nature. But it is Jason that steals my heart. Deeply closeted, in part due to his job as a builder but mostly due to being brought up in a strongly homophobic household. His attraction to Seb is immediate, but the urge to hide is strong and while he is happy to see Seb in private when push comes to shove and he needs to step up he is frozen by fear. I adore characters like this who have to fight themselves and others opinions to be true to themselves.
A quick word on the narrator. He's a new to me narrator and I think he did a great job with this book. Plenty of emotion and a good range of voices.
A lovely story and only the start of the journey for Rainbow Place. I'm so glad the entire series is releasing this month and I can't wait to get my hands (ears!) on them. Happy Christmas to me.

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A Jay Northcote Gem

A story of struggling to start a business and the troubles that can happen good story with love and friendship winning through.

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Loved the first in this excellent series

I am reasonably new to listening to audio books but Jay Northcote has been an auto buy author for me for several years since I first started reading MM books. This is my first audio of one of his, and having already read the book I loved the audio as it really bought the story to life. Most importantly (and strangely) despite being British and living in the uk this was my first experience with an English narrator. For this reason it took me the first few chapters to adjust, but Hamish really bought the story to life. None of the voices felt forced, and what I think is a sign of a good narrator - the female characters were voiced just as well as the men. I really enjoyed Seb & Jason’s story and seeing their relationship develop and grow. Although I already own and have read all 4 books in this series, I fully intend to complete the audio set too.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book

Loved this book, the story is just beautiful and English .
Seb and Jason's story is really warm and endearing.
Hamish the narrator is very good, clear but passionate in the right places.
Overall a very easy to listen book that made me smile a lot.

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  • ❤️🎧Cyndi Marie🎧❤️Audiobook Addicts❤️🎧
  • 09-12-19

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

This is my first book by this author but will not be my last. I think this is a great start to a new series. Seb & Jason's love story was sweet, sexy and difficult. I love the idea of the Rainbow Place, a place for everyone to be themselves without worrying about being judged. I usually don't love MM romance with someone in the closet but this one felt very different and I really felt the growth and strength of these characters throughout this book. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Hamish Long is also a new to me narrator. I really enjoyed his voice and narration style. I am happy to see that he will be narrating the entire series.

10 people found this helpful

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  • whatcha.listening.to
  • 09-01-20

Rainbow Place

You know when you start a book that feeling like you know you won’t want to stop it. This book gave me that feeling right from the very beginning these characters stole my heart. Jason’s inability to be out struck a nerve for me. Maybe if he had a supportive family, something I personally strive to be for my own children. Maybe that is why I felt so deeply for Jason. I wanted his growing up years to be a safe place. But it wasn’t and that is ultimately that is why he was still so against being who he was to anyone that might know him.
I did love that his ex-wife was so supportive. She was the hero in this book for me.

Seb is a great guy but I do wish he had been a little more understanding at parts. He said he knew what it was like to be bullied growing up. So maybe if he had thought about that and what it would be like at his age he might have seen why it was so hard for Jason.

Overall I loved the message in this book. It’s what I as a parent of a Bi daughter want. For her and her friends to feel 100% safe to be whoever they are. No judgment here.

The narration was lovely, I am a huge fan of the way this book was written and with the mix of the perfect person to narrate it was a huge hit for me. More, please! Just MORE.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Vania
  • 05-12-19

So many emotions, such a beautiful story!

Jay Northcote’s writing manages to give life to characters in a way that they become real to me, with every one of their multi-layered emotions getting to me, too.
We live Seb’s excitement, along with the anxiousness, for the opening of Rainbow Place, his new LGBT friendly cafe, and the hopes he has for his budding relationship with Jason.
And we live through Jason internal battle, where his fear and wish to protect himself keep him deep in the closet, but these are at war with Jason’s newfound feelings of wanting to be free, and wanting to be with Seb in the open.

The book is not excessively angsty, but emotions run deep and it sure kept me glued to my earbuds and rooting for these two wonderful men!

Hamish Long is a new to me narrator, but I loved his accent and his narration!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AlexTweetsBooks
  • 03-12-19

Reminded Me Why I Love the Book So Much

I love audiobooks and they are a very very nice way to make the commute more interesting. Jay's books are amazing on their own, but the narrator brought characters to life in his own way and it was amazing. The only teeny tiny thingy was that he went too in on the stereotypical Italian accent for Luca. The rest of it was just amazing and I loved "rereading" the book.
I can't wait for the other three books to come out! <3 <3

Book review:

Oh wow! Where to start?

Seb is an openly gay man who has moved from London to the seaside town in Cornwall after a breakup. He expected from the town to not have a thriving queer community, but he didn’t realise just how bad it can be. Luckily he ends up being a neighbour of a lesbian couple with whom he becomes friends.

During one of their conversations, the idea of Rainbow Place is born. A specifically queer/LGBT-friendly place in an environment that doesn’t have it yet, but sorely needs it.

Jason, on the other hand, is one of the discreet guys Seb has skipped over while on Grindr. Yet he is thrown into the story as Seb hires him to help renovate the cafe. Deeply in the closet, but not denial, Jason eventually, or actually slightly incidentally, outs himself to Seb.

We all know what happens when an out and proud person and a closeted person are attracted to each other? ‘Friends with benefits’ and sneaking around ensues. While I did understand Jason, I felt really sorry for Seb, as hiding and sneaking around wasn’t in his nature.

I liked how Jason knew it was internalised homophobia that was plaguing him, and he did try to deal with his feelings and fear, but it was also described how tough it is to ‘unlearn’ something you’ve been listening while you were a child. Even though it took him longer than it maybe should and actually happens after he lets Seb deal with horrible thing on his own.

There is some explicit homophobia, and ANGST! I was shocked, sad, angry! when the moment came. It was realistic and disgusting and awful. But the event I am talking about, also showed the best in people – when Seb needed help, most of the community came and helped him. And that was amazing!

I also loved the redemption arc. Jason went to the extreme of grandest gestures and I loved that Seb took him back. The actual opening of the cafe scene and generally the whole end were so sweet and perfect! (And come on, Rainbow cake and Unicorn poo? Tell me you don’t want to try them, I dare you 🙂 )

I expected a lot from this book and Jay certainly hasn’t disappointed! (And also, how great is that cover? 🙂 )
Oh wow! Where to start?

Seb is an openly gay man who has moved from London to the seaside town in Cornwall after a breakup. He expected from the town to not have a thriving queer community, but he didn’t realise just how bad it can be. Luckily he ends up being a neighbour of a lesbian couple with whom he becomes friends.

During one of their conversations, the idea of Rainbow Place is born. A specifically queer/LGBT-friendly place in an environment that doesn’t have it yet, but sorely needs it.

Jason, on the other hand, is one of the discreet guys Seb has skipped over while on Grindr. Yet he is thrown into the story as Seb hires him to help renovate the cafe. Deeply in the closet, but not denial, Jason eventually, or actually slightly incidentally, outs himself to Seb.

We all know what happens when an out and proud person and a closeted person are attracted to each other? ‘Friends with benefits’ and sneaking around ensues. While I did understand Jason, I felt really sorry for Seb, as hiding and sneaking around wasn’t in his nature.

I liked how Jason knew it was internalised homophobia that was plaguing him, and he did try to deal with his feelings and fear, but it was also described how tough it is to ‘unlearn’ something you’ve been listening while you were a child. Even though it took him longer than it maybe should and actually happens after he lets Seb deal with horrible thing on his own.

There is some explicit homophobia, and ANGST! I was shocked, sad, angry! when the moment came. It was realistic and disgusting and awful. But the event I am talking about, also showed the best in people – when Seb needed help, most of the community came and helped him. And that was amazing!

I also loved the redemption arc. Jason went to the extreme of grandest gestures and I loved that Seb took him back. The actual opening of the cafe scene and generally the whole end were so sweet and perfect! (And come on, Rainbow cake and Unicorn poo? Tell me you don’t want to try them, I dare you 🙂 )

I expected a lot from this book and Jay certainly hasn’t disappointed! (And also, how great is that cover? 🙂 )

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 01-12-19

Fantastic narration, great story.

It's happened again… I enjoyed this book very much when I read it last year and it got 4 stars from me. After listening to the fantastic performance by Hamish Long I'm upping that rating to 5 stars across the board.

Rainbow Place is the first book I've listened to performed by him and I'm a fan now. I don't find many audiobooks by him on Audible so perhaps he also uses another name. I think he's too good to be a newbie narrator. His British accent was very pleasing and easy for this American listener to understand. The various voices he uses for the characters are perfect and his pacing and vocal inflections are absolutely on point.

I was particularly happy to learn the correct pronunciation of several words that I had pronounced differently in my head while I read the book. I just can't say enough good things about this new-to-me narrator and this story by Jay Northcote.

* * * * * * * *
Below is my original review when I read the book last year:

I love to read books by non-US authors. I love reading about different countries and I love reading the stories they write, written the way they speak English. Jay Northcote is one of those writers whose stories I really enjoy. He sometimes challenges me with the British terms he uses but I love looking things up and building my "non-US" vocabulary. 😊

Rainbow Place is the beginning of a new series of standalone books set in the same world and it's off to a great start. Seb moves to a small town in Cornwall for a variety of reasons and he's happy there but he misses the community feeling and queer spaces of the city. His dream is to start an LGBT-friendly café/bar where all are welcome.

Seb hires Jason to build out the leased space where his café will be. There's a spark between the two of them but Seb's unsure if Jason is even gay or bi. Jason is deep in the closet and wants no part of being "out" until his feelings for Seb make him want more.

Rainbow Place is a story that made me feel lots of things and I enjoyed it a lot. Jason feels like he has a lot to lose if he comes out. Men in his line of work don't usually react well to gays and he definitely doesn't like drawing attention to himself. He's also afraid of what his daughter will think.

Seb is OK with Jason staying out of the light for now but he knows that he won't be OK with it long-term. When something awful happens, Jason lets Seb down in a big way and their relationship may never recover from it.

Just the right amount of tension/angst along with a lot of hot sexy time between Seb and Jason and a nice HFN (happy for now). I'm looking forward to more books in this series.

A complimentary copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joan
  • 06-01-20

Just WOW!!!!

I listened to this book at 1.20x

To start with I never heard of Jay Northcote the author never read any books by him. And a also never heard of Hamish Long the narrator. Saying this I was very skeptical about this book. But boy was I surprised. This was a wonderful story. It was so well written.
I enjoy almost every genre of book out there. So I have listened to a few m/m romance , but This one blew me away.
It dealt with coming out and homophobia. Along with bullies and standing behind each other. Bottom line love is love.
The vocal artist did a wonderful job with all the different characters he had to be in the book. He brought the story to life with his enthusiasm and calmness. If I could give this book 10 stars I would.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie VO
  • 07-12-19

Amazing!

I am so in love with this story even more then want I read this one! I love Jason and Seb! Jay Northcote has pull so much emotions in these characters that I feel everything. Then Hamish Long does such an amazing job bring even more of the emotions into this story. I mean I love this story before listening to it but now I love it even more!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Trio
  • 29-01-21

Wonderful Performance by Haimish Long!

I was so pleased with Haimish Long's performance in the audio version of Rainbow Place. I've never heard him do so many different voices - kids, OAPs, all variety of accents. Really wonderful job!

A nice story by Jay Northcote, just what I expected from him.

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  • Jill
  • 25-01-21

3-3.5 Stars

This is the first book that I have read by this author. I enjoyed it so I will definitely read this author again. In fact, I've already purchased the audio books for the next 3 books in the series so hopefully I enjoy those too.

I gave this book 3-3.5 stars because it was good but there wasn't really anything that pushed it to great for me. It was very middle of the road and there is nothing wrong with that at all. It didn't give me lasting feels or cause me any strong emotions but there wasn't anything bad about this book. I think the premise is great. I loved the whole creating a place that is safe and welcoming for all LGBTQ people and allies. The cafe is fun and I anticipate it will be the setting for the subsequent books. I enjoyed the characters. I really liked the relationship that Jason had with his ex-wife and daughter. I also liked watching the relationship build between Seb and Jason, though I wouldn't have minded having a bit more substance to their relationship and see them bond through more than physical attraction; especially since they seem like they will be a lasting relationship. I also liked the side characters, especially the couple that is good friends with Seb. They are great.

Rainbow Place wasn't that long, only 6 hours in length on the audiobook, so it is a fairly quick listen. The narrator is really good. He was easy to listen to and had great pacing. I don't think I have listened to this narrator before but I would gladly listen to more by him.

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  • MagicalAM
  • 03-06-20

Sweet Story

I hesitated getting this book as others from this author have not been my favorite. But I loved this story! Sweet, sexy and great narration. Such a great listen as Pride month kicks off.