This book is an author on top of his game – brilliantly done

Starting from Scratch (Housemates, #5)Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s no secret that am a huge Jay Northcote fangirl but I think, with this latest in the Housemates series, he’s absolutely on top of his game.

All the Housemates series have a charm to them which comes from exploring life as young adults either at university, or just graduated from it, the excitement of independent living, the freedom of exploration, the tentative emotions that come with the first serious “grown up” romance.

This one though has what I suspect is just more than a little bit of Jay himself as it examines the complexities of being a gay trans man finding their feet in the world.

We see Ben learning not only to deal with his own thoughts, anxieties and feelings, but also with adding in a significant other as his relationship with Sid developed.


I loved Ben, I wanted to hug him so badly and tell him how amazing he was to take the steps to being his own true self. But Sid, I fall at the feet of Sid for demonstrating, in his words and actions, how to be the best support for Ben and in taking his time to learn what made his boyfriend comfortable.

I hope people read this, the more diverse books looking at all aspects of the LGBTQ+ world the better. Jay has included a helpful glossary at the beginning of the book with resources on where to find out more information.

But I also hope people read this because it’s a beautiful love story about finding your self confidence and living an authentic life in partnership with someone who helps and encourages you to do so. And that applies to people of any sexual orientation, any colour, any race. Love does not discriminate.

Plus amazing cover from the fabulous Garrett Leigh which matches the beauty inside.

P.S. – Jay, we best be getting Johnny and Ryan next 😉

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an unbiased opinion and honest review.

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Buy Links

To follow once they’re available.

Book page on Jay’s website:

Goodreads link:

Series Information and Links

The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. This new adult series focuses on themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

Helping Hand (Housemates #1)

Like a Lover (Housemates #2)

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3)

Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4)



Smoking hot addition to the Housemates series

Watching and Wanting (Housemates Book 4)Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeeze Jay this book is hot. Probably the sexiest so far in the Housemates series but still packed with all the world building and character development I’d expect in a story from this author.

There’s loads of tension and sexual exploration as Shawn, confused and conflicted after breaking up with his girlfriend, discovers that new housemate Jude is running a webcam show twice a week to help fund his university costs.

He can’t help but watch Jude’s performance one evening and he finds himself not only turned on, but also questioning his sexual orientation when he realises he’s physically attracted to his fellow housemate.

Jude is openly gay and confident enough to put on a show twice a week as a way of getting extra funding. He’s not been living in the shared house long but he’s noticed Shawn but has stuck clear, thinking he was straight.

Once it becomes clear that isn’t the case, Jude gets Shawn involved in his webcam show to help him get some extra cash to help pay off his overdraft. During their sessions, he also discovers Shawn loves it when he can just let go and leave it all up to Jude.

What follows is a journey of sexual exploration and discovery, of finding yourself and finding the confidence to open up your heart to love, even if it comes in a different form than you might have expected.

There are bumps along the way, Shawn has been conditioned to think being gay is associated with being a sissy, being weak. He hurts Jude unintentionally when he denies there’s anything going on between them. He panics and lashes out at his bisexual and gay housemates and friends and runs away from acknowledging his own bisexuality.

But, because this is a Jay Northcote story, we know there’s going to be a HEA and slowly but surely Shawn starts to put things right, eventually going for broke with a big public gesture which finally outs all doubts aside.

There’s loads of emotion to this book but it never becomes too heavy, instead it’s a joyous romp through early adulthood.

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And three makes it perfect

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates, #3)Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lovely finish to this series although I could have done without the communication drought!
Dev is such a sweetie, he’s awkward without being a cipher for social anxiety and Ewan is relaxed and open enough to put up with the odd quirks.
The humour in this one was also more obvious and there was a lightness to it all which worked well.

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