Starting from Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote | Review

Starting from ScratchThe fifth installment of Jay Northcote’s Housemates series is here and it is awesome! I absolutely adored Starting from Scratch.

We met Ben in Housemates #4, Watching and Wanting, but didn’t get to know him very well. He was quiet and didn’t interact with the others in the house very much. Turns out–it’s because Ben had a secret that he didn’t want his housemates to know. Ben is transgender.

Throughout the book, Ben struggles with the same things we all struggle with: accepting ourselves and fear that others will not accept us. His journey is uniquely his but something we can all relate to.

My favorite part of this book was the sheer honesty. Ben faces some hard truths and also forces the reader to face these truths as well. The internalized transphobia that we all carry within us. It broke my heart when Ben would think about himself in disparaging ways.

As sexy and as hot as the rest of the series, Starting from Scratch is an amazing continuation of a wonderful series. I’m such a big fan of new adult books because, even as I get older, I find myself drawn to the journey of self-discovery found in these books.

I can’t wait for more from this series!

This review is based on a review copy.

Rating: ★★


Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Length: 249 pages
Purchase: Amazon (KU)


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