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Summary

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before.

When Nate reconnects with Jack - his best friend from school and unrequited crush - his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life.

He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate - or Nat as Jack once knew him - is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

This story is a stand-alone and has a satisfying, happy ending.

©2018 Jay Northcote (P)2020 Jay Northcote

What listeners say about Second Chance

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EXCELLENT

I LOVED this story. narration by Hamish was amazing as usual and the story, perfection. an uplifting struggle. just, so excellent

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  • XG
  • 11-06-20

Love Is love...

The book is amazing! It is romantic, sweet, easy to read, low angst and very, very interesting. The transgender's topic is managed in a very knowledgeable and respectful way. If you added to the mix a narration in a smooth acting voice, that helped to bring to life the feelings of the characters you got this wonderful book.

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Wonderful Second Chance Love 💕

Firstly, it’s so fantastic to read about guys in my age bracket falling in love, most writers think we’re dead by now! Bravo Jay!

This was a great tale about a getting your second chance with your first crush and was beautifully written. Both characters were fully developed and I was captivated from the start. Nate and Jack had both struggled in their lives, I liked the fact that this book didn’t gloss over that fact. The guys deserved their happily ever after and I ended this listen with a smile on my face.

Hamish Long is a lovely narrator, I’ll definitely be looking him up to see who else he narrates for. A well recommended Listen.

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Beautiful second chance relationship with trans le

Lovely second chance, friendship lovers romance. This has a trans lead and doesn't shy away from the details. Nate and Jack were best friends as teens but drifted apart to the extent that Jack didn't even know that Nate had transitioned.
This book felt really personal, and some of Nate's memories struck a chord with me.
The romance is very organic, and I appreciated Jack struggled with dual feelings, his easy acceptance of Nate's transition and what that meant when they were intimate, and yet his inability to reveal that relationship to his parents.
The sex scenes pull no punches and Jack and Nate have wickedly hot chemistry together which makes these scenes a joy to read every word.
The narrator of the audio book does an excellent job and added an extra layer of performance to the story.
Highly recommended.

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Beautiful love story

I always enjoy Jay Northcote stories. They give me the warm fuzzies without too much angst. Sometimes pleasant and easy-going is best. That being said, this book is layered and textured in just the right way.

Nate is living a simple life. He lives at home with his mother and his daughter. Although his daughter has struggled in the past, it seems moving to the idyllic countryside has soothed her, and she’s settled in nicely. Nate might not be overly enthusiastic about living at home, but he’s carved out a nice life for himself and those he loves.

He’s especially grateful that he’s been able to leave behind Nat. See, Nate used to be a woman. After years of not feeling comfortable in his own skin, he saw a documentary about transgender people and it changed his life. Suddenly he understood. Suddenly things were much clearer. Choosing to transition at any age is a huge and brave decision. Nate was forty when he made the choice and now, five years later, he has no regrets. He recognizes himself in the mirror – be it the flat chest or the hair that now grows freely. His voice has deepened, and he’s usually perceived as a man. His daughter and mother have certainly embraced the transition and that’s important because family support means everything.

Jack is also back to living in the small town he grew up in. But he’s not loving the bucolic life. He sees the same circumstances that hemmed him in as a teenager. He’d escaped as soon as possible and planned to never return. When his life went tits-up in Manchester, though, he’s forced to return to his parents’ home. A little battered. A little bruised. A little broken.

When he first spots Nate, he doesn’t recognize the man. Of course he wouldn’t associate the handsome man with his best friend Nat. He and Nat spent most of their childhood together, as close of confidantes as ever there were. Jack is intrigued by Nate, but it’s only a chance encounter that leads him to see that Nat is now Nate. Ever respectful, especially as a gay man himself, Jack immediately uses the right pronouns and works hard to perceive Nate as he is now, not how he used to be.

There’s a problem (isn’t there always – it’s the hallmark of every good romance, after all). Nate has loved Jack for their entire relationship and those feelings haven’t abated. As teenagers the love had been impossible – Jack was gay and Nate was a girl. Now, of course, things are very different. Jack is still gay but Nate is a gay trans man. A man Jack finds himself attracted to. But there’s too much history, right? Too much friendship to risk on a love affair that could go wrong. However, friends with benefits works. Or so the two tell themselves. Of course in the end they realize there’s more to the relationship. There are obstacles. Jack fears his parents’ disapproval and Nate has his daughter and mother to worry about. There is still plenty of stigma around being gay, let alone being trans. So where does that leave them?

Hopefully with a happily ever after, right? I mean, this IS a Jay Northcote romance. Had to have a dark moment, though.

I’ve always enjoyed Mr. Northcote’s writing, but this book had an extra layer of depth. Mr. Northcote has been open about his own transition and this book felt very personal. There were plenty of gentle lessons to those of us who are curious but uninitiated. After all, the internet probably has as much false information as correct stuff. In this book, I knew I was getting the real truth and that meant a lot. I’m a firm believer in reading own voices whenever possible.

Hamish Long narrated this beautiful story and I think he did a laudable job. I always enjoy his narrations and this book is one I can highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written,expertly narrated story💕

I absolutely loved this book!
Beautifully written,expertly narrated, second chance romance.
Hamish Long has the kind of voice that I can listen to all day.
Nate and his teenage daughter move back to the village where Nate grew up,for a fresh start. Being transgender and being in a village where everyone knew him as Nat is very hard.
Meeting Jack,his best friend from school and unrequited love,reignites all of Nate's feelings.

Jack has returned home too. He needs to straighten himself out after a breakdown and subsequent alcohol addiction,cost him everything and nearly his life too.
Meeting Nate,Jack,at first,doesn't recognise him,but,a chance second meeting,reveals to him,who Nate is.
Amazed by Nate's transformation,Jack can't deny his attraction.

Rekindling their friendship leads to benefits they both enjoy,but,will it lead to more?
This is a beautiful story,gentle,sweet,steamy,informative and I highly recommend you dive in to find out if Jack and Nate get their happy ending💕

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A refreshing listen

The narrator, Hamish Long, has fast become a favourite of mine. His crisp tones slip easily into a West Country burr as he brings each character to life. I listen as I work and become so comfortable with his narration that I forget that I am wearing headphones, not always possible with my hearing impairment.

I read Second Chance when it first came out and it was a joy to revisit. I love how this author writes about the little things that then come together to make up the bigger picture. The descriptions are so true to life. Examples include the rice boiling over and leaving a starchy stain on the hob, or Jack's mother overeating and having a cup of peppermint tea to try to avoid indigestion. I have done both of these on numerous occasions, so the story immediately becomes more personal.

Neither Nate or Jack are perfect, nor do they pretend to be. Their journey from friends to lovers is told with refreshing honesty and educates without being preachy. 5 stars all round.

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Brilliant story well narrated

I really enjoyed this book and thought the narrator did a great job on telling the story without ever taking me out of the setting which isn’t always the case with audiobooks.

The story itself kept me listening and wanting to know what happened next. I was willing a happy ending pretty much from the start.

As ever, a great story well written by Jay Northcote.

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The world needs more stories like this!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5
The world needs more stories like this!

We need more diverse stories and this one is truly beautiful. Transformative, sweet and steamy, this former best friends to lovers story with the sweetness and heart of teenage unrequited love being fulfilled in adulthood, will open your heart and mind to love in all forms and give you hope that Second Chances do exist.

This story has so much depth and healing. I loved that each character had their own story and came back together later in life and were finding love in their 40s. Love has no age limit and I love stories that are inclusive of all ages, types, sexes, and genders. Nate is such a wonderful character and I loved getting to know his story. His feelings, emotions, and thought are so authentic and it will make you think more carefully about the words you chose to use for transgender people in the real world. I loved this story and loved that I finally got around to reading it. I want more authentic trans/own voices stories. This one will be forever in my heart!

Fantastically written and wonderfully performed. I was completely enraptured by Nate and Jack ❤️!

Thanks for reading!

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A fantastic story of second chances

This book is about Nate and Jack who were childhood friends and their journey back together. It is a classic second chance love story with a twist as Nate used to be Nat, a girl who thought her affections would be returned.

I loved the down to earth characters in this book and how they were really good at communicating their needs to one another.

The sex scenes in the book were fantastic and it was really great to read scenes that involved a trans character.

The book provides the essential HEA, without being overly sickly sweet. The side characters were well rounded and provided real depth to the story, so much so that I found myself rooting for them as well as the main characters.

The narration was fantastic and the narrator did a great job of voicing each of the characters so they were instantly recognisable.

Overall, a brilliant read!

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  • 🎧🌹BlueRose Reviews🌹🎧
  • 10-08-20

Beautiful

4 Blue Roses
4 Blue Flames

Narrator Hamish Long delicately and so beautifully delivered a whirlwind of emotions contained in titanium box meant to survive forever among the stars. He captured the emotions and drama without real effort as the author wrote such pure truthful content. His voices accentuated the mannerisms or personalities of the characters and it was good enough for me to distinguish between them, especially the before and after transition voices of Nate.

This audiobook is so much more than just A meets B. I experienced it at a much deeper level than an ordinary romance. For me, it was about the truthful reflection of my own deeper or should I say hidden life’s story. The emotional shock I felt opened floodgates of feelings. I packed that shit neatly away and then this listen ripped it all open with a bloody wheel spanner or what the fuck ever.

The author captured word for word so known to me and so willfully ignored by myself. The struggle and internal war to survive within a body which is foreign to you daily.

I definitely recommend this audiobook. It’s stunning! Listeners will appreciate learning what it is and how it feels to live in a body that transitions from female to male, and especially for those who wonder what the sex is like afterward.

Happy Listening

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  • Jack Attack
  • 08-09-20

A favorite of mine

I LOVE this book, the book with actual words. I don't remember how I came across it, probably an in depth search of books written by trans men. But regardless of how the book came into my life, it remains one of my favorite books. I've read it probably five or six times in the past two years. Nate and Jack are both cinnamon rolls, awkward at times, but very much aware of their bodies and feelings for each other (even if they're terrible at communicating those feelings). The intimate scenes are not thunderous or scorching, but sincere and clumsy, a nice realistic portrayal of two men in their forties falling in love and finding sexual gratification with their partner. Second Chance is very much informational, and I know this can rub people the wrong way, especially folks who aren't trans and/or non-binary, because it seems like the book has an agenda. But if you've ever been in a sexual relationship with a trans person, you very much have these conversations with your partner. I'm a trans man and have had the "I have a small penis" conversation with sexual partners in hopes they're not deterred by its size or mere existence. Those conversations are very real, and very necessary when sleeping with someone who may or may not have had surgeries, taken HRT, etc.

And while this book has a happy ending, the couple's journey is far from bumpless. Jack loves Nate, and while that love isn't as old as Nate's for him, it is a strong love. When that fiasco happens in the pub with his parents, and Nate's daughter blows up at Jack, it's deserved, but also very real. He makes so many mistakes in this story, and it's nice, because that's real life - no one is perfect. Jesus, Jack is messy, messy, messy. Nate is very, VERY guarded, and if he was a smidgen more guarded, I wouldn't like him as a character.

All of that said, I'm enjoying the heck out of this audio book, and I can't wait to listen to it over and over again when I'm out grocery shopping, cleaning, or on my morning walk.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christina Wade
  • 27-05-20

Decent story...didn't really hold my interest

I’m unsure how to rate this book. There’s nothing in particular I loved or didn’t love….it just really didn’t keep my interest and I found my mind drifting during the story.

Based on Jay’s experience with the subject I know the way Nate was portrayed and the way he felt was spot on. Jack’s depression wasn’t addressed outside of it being mentioned so I’m guessing it was situational, not clinical. Both men are over 40 yet they felt more like teenagers at times because they were both living at home and trying to find alone time. It was a bit weird and I had to keep reminding myself they’re actually grown men.

The navigation of a re-established relationship between Nate and Jack was a bit rough at times. There are a lot of sex scenes and not much time getting reacquainted so without the shared history, I would classify this as instalove.

The miscommunication with Jack’s parents was frustrating. They seemed to make an unexplained 180 on their feelings or maybe they just were misunderstood throughout the story.

The vocal performance was good…there were distinct voices for every character, females included. The emotions between the characters and in the situation are well done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H. Spanarella
  • 25-05-20

A Great Listen

This is one of my most recommended books with a transgender character. I loved it when it came out in 2018 and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the audio. I really enjoyed Hamish Long’s narration of Nate and Jack’s story. He did a really great job of bringing these characters to life for me. He definitely did justice to this love story. As the title suggests it’s a second-chance romance for two childhood friends who reconnect again later in life. Jack runs into Nate, once known to him as Nat, in the town they both grew up in. Nate and Jack rekindle their friendship, and begin to explore sexual one as well. Nate had been in love with Jack back when they were kids, but Jack was gay and Nate was still Nat then. I enjoyed their chemistry and and how their sexual relationship unfolded. Jack had never been with a transgender person in the past, and I liked how open Nate and Jack were on navigating those differences and preferences. It wasn’t skirted over, or ignored in the story, rather it was part of the evolving relationship. It felt very authentic and was very sexy. Listening to this audio made me remember why I loved this story so much. I definitely recommended this listen, or read!

1 person found this helpful

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  • JayReads
  • 21-05-20

The Right Time

Second Chance by Jay Northcote is a beautiful and, at times, heart wrenching tale of second chances, self-discovery, and the acceptance that comes with the courage to choose your destiny. A side benefit, Second Chance is educational, allowing one to enlighten themselves about the transgender process, free of the clinical mumbo jumbo. It is a reconnection with a twist that melts your heart. Oh, and these guys are in their mid-forties which is absolutely refreshing!

Returning home for vastly different reason, two men, besties in youth, Nate and Jack reconnect on a much deeper level than was possible in youth. Nate’s unrequited love for Jack in their younger years separated them in adulthood. Jack absolutely loved Nate back in the day, but Nate was Nat which presented challenges for Jack as a young gay lad.

Jack finds Nate attractive both emotionally and physically. However, his inner demons create a rift between them. Nate has had time to resolve his internal conflict and is comfortable with being himself. Jack is supportive of Nate’s transition, correcting those that misuse pronouns, but makes his share of mistakes along the way. As the world questions their path it is refreshing to see that their struggles primarily revolve around everyday life.

Love comes in a variety of packages and no matter what form it presents itself in it is a treasure to behold. Teenage Nate and Jack weren’t right for each other but the adults they have become are perfect, with all their scars and flaws. There is family acceptance with Nate’s daughter Cass and mother Sue; their family dinners together and crisis management precipitate a sense of normalcy that sheds the unwelcome tension. Jack’s family takes some time and pressure to understand, but in the end they want their son to be happy.

The romance and sexy times between Nate and Jack are superbly written. As Nate teaches the intricacies of their bonding, Jack eats them up both literally and figuratively. I was captivated, learning and growing every step of the way. Jack is an outstanding, inventive, and compassionate lover and partner. Chuckle moment – forties and caught making out in the backseat of mom’s car.

Hamish Long does a superb job of conveying the heartfelt feelings. Narrating the range of emotions this story presents must have been a challenge, but one tackled with seeming ease. Let’s not discount his accent, understandable to this American white boy and it took me to places I long to visit.

Overall, Second Chance is low on angsty drama. The focus being a second chance romance that finds its time in life. Nate and Jack have some pretty heavy things in their past showing their strength and resolve. Their reconnection is just in time for them to enjoy what each has been missing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samantha Cato
  • 10-06-20

Beautiful

This one has always been one of my favorites of Jay Northcote's! It is just a gorgeous novel...lovely main characters who are struggling...and the plotline is resonating and brilliant. Hamish Long is quickly becoming a favored narrator of mine as well. He does a great job here!

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  • Karen Hardy
  • 26-05-20

Second time around for "Second Chance"...

...turned out to be even better...

"Second Chance" is another of those stories that I read earlier this year and loved. So when I got a second chance to enjoy this one on audio...what else could I do but say yes.

If I loved this one the first time around, I'm not even sure what word to use for this second chance with a story that holds a special place in my heart. I have to admit I really wanted to come up with a whole lot of new and creative ways to express my appreciation for this story, but truth be told I listened to the audio book, I re-read my original review and my brain stuttered to a screeching halt as realized two things... 1 that I enjoyed the audio book just a tiny bit more than I had the e-book and that adds up to a whole lot of 'loved this story' right there and 2, I still love this story for all the reasons that I originally loved this story. So, yes I'm going to borrow some things from that review to help me create this one.

This book had me not just from the beginning but from the first word of the title..."Second Chance"...we all want them, need them and mostly we deserve them and that's what this story is about...second chances for so many people but mostly for Nate and Jack.

At 45 years of age and after a plethora life events, childhood friends, Nate and Jack are reunited. (Ok, let's hear it for mature MCs who can have a relationship with someone their own age) It's not that I'm opposed to age gaps or daddy kink more like sometimes I just need a break from it...anyways, these are mature men who have been through a lot...good and bad and now they've each come home for their own reasons and dealing with the problems of the present brings them both face to face with memories of the past...both the good and the bad.

Jack's dealing with a break-up that led to a downward spiral into depression and addiction but with the help of his parents and a lot of determination he wants to change that and regain control of his life.

Nate's come home to get his daughter away from life in a big city and the temptations that she was finding around every corner and to help his mom following the death of his father. For Nate there's also the added challenge of the fact that when he lived here before everyone knew him as Natalie...not Nate unlike in the city where everyone knew him as Nate.

As Nate and Jack become reacquainted against the backdrop of everyday life the reader gets to know these two men not just through their efforts to reclaim their lives but through the people they love as Nate's daughter Cass deals with her own efforts to put her life back on track, Nate's mom who not only has a second chance with her granddaughter but her son and Jack's parents who as they try in their own way to repair their fragile relationship with Jack.

While these are some of the second chances that happen in this story not everything is perfect and each chance has it's own solution and degree of positive outcome which went a long way towards making this story work for me.

Of all these second chances for me the most important one was Nate's...this is Nate's chance not just with Jack, but to live his life as Nate the man, he was meant to be.

"Second Chance" is a story that's told from a realistic perspective. It's doesn't come with over the top magical solutions. It's two men dealing with what life has thrown at them...one gay, one gay and transgender...both seeming very real. The story feels real...there's passion and humor, awkward moments, interruptions and even moments of frustration...yes, folks it's just like real life.

Hamish Long's is once again the narrator for this Jay Northcote story and for me, his narration has only helped to enhance the depth of reality that this story contained and when it comes to stories set in the UK, he's fast becoming a favorite narrator of mine.

In spite of the fact that each story is unique, we can often see bits and pieces of ourselves or someone we know in a story and it's that commonality that frequently draws us in and lets us relate to what we read. For me, "Second Chance" held small pieces of a story that while it's not mine, it is that of someone so very precious to me. Whose story I know nearly as well as my own and it was these pieces that connected me to this story and kept me listening and wanting to hear it all.

*************************

An audio book of "Second Chance" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • OldLadyStauffer
  • 24-05-20

Beautiful and captivating

After moving back to his childhood hometown, Nate runs into his best friend, Jack, from his school days. Only Jack doesn’t recognize Nate at first. It isn’t until their second meeting that Jack puts it together. The man before him...was once known as Nat, when he was still presented with the sex he was told that he was. During their years apart, Nate had transitioned to male, as he always was supposed to be. It didn’t take long to rekindle their friendship, and, after a while, there was a possibility of more. Jack has some demons to slay first, and Nate has to decide what he can and cannot live with. Add in Nate’s teenage daughter, and Jack’s insensitive parents, and drama ensues. 

This story was beautifully written, and the characters were engaging. There were some heavy topics, such as depression, alcoholism, and coming to terms with one’s own sexuality. They were discussed without weighing the book down, but they weren’t glossed over as if they weren’t important. I thought the author did a wonderful job with the way he had Nate explain his transition to male. It was informative, and done with the grace and dignity his character deserved. As a reader, I came away from that encounter having learned something.

The narrator, Hamish Long, did a wonderful job bringing this story to life. His voice is beautiful and very easy to listen to, and I’m not just saying that because he’s British! I want to listen to more of his work, and we are fortunate because Jay Northcote uses him in some of his other books.

This book was one of those unexpected gems. I didn’t have any expectations going into it. I hadn’t read anything by Jay Northcote, nor have I heard any books read by Hamish Long. I am now a fan of both, and I cannot wait to read/hear more from both. This is a feel-good, low angst story, and the blurb promised a happy ending. I highly recommend reading it, or listening to it, to find out exactly what that looks like. You will be glad you did.

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  • Neta_BER
  • 23-05-20

One of my favorite Trans love stories

This whole book feels like someone you know telling you their story.The epilogue had me cry-laughing, hand-clapping, bouncing with joy like I just watched 24 hours of kitten cuddles high on chocolate. It was one of the sweetest, most exciting endings to a story that had truly captured my heart!

So this book basically had checked all my boxes, and I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!The narration was fantastic, I think it really brought the story to life, and this is such an emotional book it really needed a good narrator to do it justice.

I have so much to say about this book! First of all, I love all of Jay Northcote's books, and his writing style is unique and always makes for a great read and re-read.I have been anticipating this book for so long, ever since he talked about writing it because I loved his book 'Starting from Scratch' that also had a Trans man MC, and I felt it was one of his best books yet. I was also looking for this book because it has the Friends-to-Lovers trope and Second-Chance that are my favorite tropes in romance.

I love the realness and authenticity Jay's writing brings in each story he writes, the non-perfect scenarios, especially during a sexual encounter. It feels very human, very true and genuine and this book had all these little touches in a big way!
Nate's relationship with his daughter is so special, I like the maturity both father and daughter have in dealing with their interactions and life. From the way Nate knows to give his daughter freedom even when it's hard and being there for her when things go wrong, to her unique humor and sass when talking to Nate. She was a character I loved reading about so much! There is something, again, so achingly human about them. Her character interacted very well with Nate and Jack's teenage memories, shown through flashbacks, the little glimpses to the past are so touching and realistically emotional. I loved that he chose to show a youth that was both hard and gritty, without any sugarcoating and beautifying it.
Nate and Jack faced many things in their past, and at 45 they are finally able to reconnect and see if there is a future for them together. Once best friends, they not only face the changes they went through and the time spent apart, but the growing attraction and feelings between them. The way both of them reconnected was incredible to read, there was so much respect when they started to be intimate, and Jack made sure to always respect Nate's boundaries and preferences regarding his body. Jay managed to be both educative and yet so very casual with the relationship between these two men and it is one of the things I liked best about this book. He managed to portray the day to day struggles in a relationship while still incorporating the struggles Trans people face. With the delicateness and gentleness I learned to associate with Jay's writing he also wrote the most erotic, sensual sexual scenes that had me all hot and bothered! This book is the total package!

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  • Stephanie VO
  • 21-05-20

Amazing listen!

Now this is an amazing second chance at love that I just love so much. I love Nate and Jack's love story! Jay Northcote has made such a real and complex story with characters that have real issues. Then Hamish Long brings so much life into this story. I just feel even more in this story as I was listening to it. And the voices for these characters are absolutely perfect. This is such an amazing story and listen!