Not Just Friends
Title : Not Just Friends
Author : Jay Northcote
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : February 24, 2014
Rating : ★★★★
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.
This was a sweet little read about flatmates in their first year of Uni. Yes, this book is very English. Which I loved. Between the way the characters speak and the partying and hooking up in this book, it definitely set the scene. This is the first book, for me, by this author but I’ll be checking out others. It just had a nice and easy flow to it. Good build and tension between the MCs. Likable secondary characters that support the story. There is some angst as is to be expected given the age of the characters and the fact one is just discovering he’s gay.
The entire book is told from Lewis’ POV. He’s just broken up with his long time girlfriend. Lewis told himself it was so they could enjoy their first year of college properly. He knows that’s not the complete truth. Lewis is completely captivated by his new roommate Max. Max is openly gay and tells the guys the first night over get-to-know-you drinks. I loved that all the guys were accepting but still said totally stupid shit you’d expect a straight guy to say. It just made the dynamic more believable. Lewis doesn’t admit to crushing on Max right away. He’s confused and in a new place. Max becomes his best friend at school and you’re not supposed to crush on your mates.
Eventually Max finds a boyfriend which just punctuates how much Lewis likes Max. He’s jealous but cares enough for Max to not get in the way. When the new boyfriend turns into a cheating shit, Lewis is there to help Max feel better. They get drunk and kiss. Get off. Lewis wants to jump right into a relationship with Max but Max has just gotten his heart stomped on, so he puts a halt to that possibility. This crushes Lewis. He pines away for a while but eventually Lewis joins up with a group of gay students and meets a new guy. He’s newly out at college. He should be jumping at the chance to gain some gay sex experiences but the new guy isn’t Max and there’s no avoiding that sad truth.
First of all, there’s no way you don’t get why Lewis is so smitten with Max. He’s flirty, fun and witty. You fall for Max right along with Lewis. You can practically feel the unrequited love yourself while reading this book. To be fair, Max thinks Lewis is straight for a good portion of this book. The sex was pretty hot when it finally happened. I can only imagine how torturous getting to read Max’s POV would have been. Those longing looks and smiles……There was some serious yearning in this book. Pretty good straightforward romance. Angst, virgin sex and lots of tea drinking. I’d recommend if you’re in the mood for a charming love story. Cheers!
Rated 4 stars by Whit