Title: Helping Hand
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)
Length: 33,000 words
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: Friday June 26th
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Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.
Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.
When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.
Afterwards, Jez blamed the alcohol for loosening his tongue, because he didn’t think about it before he spoke. The words tumbled out before he could stop them.
“Man, I’m seriously horny now. Have you got any decent porn on that laptop?”
“Huh?” Mac snapped his head around to meet Jez’s gaze. Jez’s heart pounded erratically, but his dick was still standing to attention. “What… you mean, you want to wank in here? Now? Wouldn’t that be weird?” Mac sounded seriously freaked out.
Jez backtracked quickly, cheeks hot. “It doesn’t have to be weird. I’ve done it before with guys at school, and it’s never been a big deal. But don’t worry about it. I’ll go and watch my own stash instead. But I need something soon, ’cause I’m gonna explode after watching that sex scene.”
Jez was expecting an instant no from Mac. He wouldn’t have blamed him. A lot of guys wouldn’t be into what Jez was suggesting. Jez’s heart still thumped hard, but his arousal didn’t abate despite his anxiety. He was shocked by how much he wanted this.
Mac bit his lip and frowned. “Seriously. You’ve done that?”
Jez shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “Yeah. Like I said, it was no big deal. Just guys messing around.”
Mac stared a moment longer, then he stood, and Jez’s heart sank as he walked away. But Mac only went to fetch his laptop from the dining table. He sat back down and then opened it and tapped in his password.
“What sort of stuff do you wanna watch?” Mac’s voice was gruff and he focused on the screen rather than Jez.
Fuck. They were really going to do this, then.
5 wonderful stars from me
In a glorious week when I have seen the tags “Love is Love” and “Love Wins” on social media more times than I have over the past few months, Jay’s story fits the bill perfectly. Neither Jez nor Mac would label themselves as ‘gay’ at the start of the story and even by the end they are reluctant to slot themselves into such restrictive pigeon holes. They love each other and that’s all that matters. But to reach this conclusion they have to move from friends, to friends with benefits, to lovers and then finally boyfriends. What starts out as just sex and helping each other out gradually leads to a physical and emotional connection between the two young men as they battle to sort out who they are and who they want to be with.
I loved every part of this story. Jay’s characters are realistic in their behavior and mannerisms. I adored how the physical intimacy between Jez and Mac gradually developed along with their feelings for each other. I understood their desire to keep their special arrangement hidden from the other housemates and their reluctance to admit this was anything but giving each other a helping hand in the bedroom. Jay, as per usual, wrote smoking hot scenes and I thought she surpassed herself this time with portraying the sizzling chemistry between these two lovely boys. The story gave me wonderful ‘feelz’ from start to finish. Fantastic!
**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
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.