Dreamspinner Press, Jay Northcote, Reviewed by Jackie

Jay Northcote’s “Not Just Friends” Is A Wonderful Coming-Of-Age Story – Reviewed by Jackie

“His lips ever so gently touched mine, and suddenly I felt everything stirring inside me grow wings, let loose, and fly.” ― Heather Anastasiu

Title: Not Just Friends

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.

When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.


Review: I am a total sucker for YA novels and even more so for the first or second year college student stories. There is nothing like that first taste of freedom, that first step taken towards independence. This is also a time of self discovery for a lot of young people. This freedom they are experiencing for the first time can drive them to push their limits and maybe try something they haven’t had the guts to try before. This is basically the situation Lewis finds himself in when he starts his first year at University.

Before he left for University, Lewis broke off his lackluster relationship with his girlfriend. This leaves him open for any opportunity that may come up in the dating scene. When he meets his flatmates on move-in day, he never expected for that to be his opportunity.

The first three guys he meets are an eclectic bunch. When their fourth flatmate arrives later than expected, Lewis finds himself crazy attracted to Max. Even better for Lewis, Max admits right away that he is gay and all of their flatmates are very accepting of him. Over a bottle of tequila, all five of the boys get to know each other while Lewis and Max seem to instantly click.

These two really hit it off and begin to spend most of their spare time together. It takes Lewis a while, but he eventually realizes that his interest in Max goes way deeper than just friendship. The bad news for Lewis is that while he is trying to figure out his feelings, Max has found himself a boyfriend. Even worse for Lewis is that his room shares a wall with Max’s room, and he feels tortured having to listen to him when his boyfriend spends the night. If this jealousy he is suffering through does nothing else, at least it helps Lewis come to terms with his sexuality and his feelings for Max.

When his relationship crashes and burns, Max leans on Lewis and their flatmates for some moral support. They all spend the evening drinking and eating junk food. Lewis takes the comforting to a whole other level and ends up in Max’s bed. Lewis wants them to be a couple, but Max doesn’t want to be his “trial run”. He tries his best to let Lewis down easy, but Lewis is shattered at what he believes to be total rejection. Lewis tries to move on eventually, and he succeeds by meeting a very nice guy at an LGBT club gathering. It is obvious that this bothers Max and that Lewis isn’t one hundred percent invested anyway.

It takes some time, but these two eventually get it together. Once they do the heat they generate is off the charts, and the cute factor can’t be measured.

Jay Northcote has once again created not only two of the MOST loveable MCs for us to root for, but some totally believable and endearing supporting characters. This is a wonderful coming-of-age romance chock full of angst, some very hot sex, and plenty of tea!

I made the mistake of starting this book late at night, and I have to say that it sucked me in immediately and I couldn’t put it down until I read the final word. The author has a writing style that just flows and even though the romance is the main focus, the background story was just as engaging. Once again Jay Northcote has me wrapped around her finger, and I cannot wait to see what come next.

Highly recommend this book.

You can buy Not Just Friends here:


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