Review by El + Excerpt & Giveaway: Practice Makes Perfect, by Jay Northcote

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Practice Makes Perfect, by Jay Northcote
Series: Housemates, Book 3 (Stand-alone)
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 22, 2016

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
3-of-5

summary

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to- do list, but what starts as a perfect no- strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Contemporary
New Adult
Novella
First Time
Friends to Lovers

excerpt

Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.

All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.

She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.

Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx

He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today.

That was Saturday done. Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to- day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.

For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.

Things To Do This Term
Make some friends
Learn to cook
Research sex stuff
Join Grindr
Get some experience
Find a boyfriend

He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.

Maybe there was potential there too.

review-by-El

I really enjoy reading romances where one of the characters is more experienced than the other, and I thought Jay’s latest novel was a very sweet read about exploring sex and attraction.

Unfortunately, it was also extremely predictable and focused more on the sex and almost not at all on characterization.

Dev is very much the blushing virgin. He also read to me– at least at first– as somewhat on the Autism spectrum, although that wasn’t a characterization that was maintained as the story progressed. But while his inexperience was intended to be sweet, instead I found it grating and inconsistent.

I did really enjoy Jay’s portrayal of two university boys who are both very different, and I appreciated reading a novel where no one judges or shames a young man who hasn’t had sex. I thought the sex was well-written, if a little bland, but could appreciate this novel as something light-hearted and easy to enjoy.

But there was almost zero connection for me. Information about characters was dumped on the reader, a “tell” instead of “show” that meant I didn’t relate to anyone. In fact, when Rupert (Dev’s friend) shows back up later in the novel, I honestly couldn’t remember who he was! I wanted to see the two men outside of the relationship, being actual humans. Instead, there was an utterly predictable misunderstanding, a ridiculous amount of sex (but no sexual tension that I could discern), and nothing more.

It’s a sweet novel, but I didn’t find a lot of depth here unfortunately.

more-from-author

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.

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www.jaynorthcote.com
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Giveaway

Jay is giving away a $10 giftcard to Amazon or All Romance eBooks! All you have to do is click on the image below to enter!

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Buy Practice Makes Perfect from:

Amazon (Universal Buy Link)

I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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