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Starting From Scratch by Jay Northcote

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Starting From Scratch by Jay Northcote

Book Info

Book Series
The Housemates Series
About the Author
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn't stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

Twitter: @jay_northcote
Publication Date
April 12, 2017
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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

An incredibly open and honest story.
Now and again a book comes along for which the wait has been an impatient one, Starting From Scratch certainly falls under that category. Having followed Jay Northcote on social media for some time, I feel to a degree that I have somehow shared in his transition a little; a journey that he has been making as my eldest son makes his. The introduction of a transgender character into the Housemates series, and the knowledge that personal feelings and emotions would be shared in the pages was both exciting and a little nerve wracking for me.
That impatient wait was so, so worth it!
I was delighted within the first few pages, to discover that Ben has a supportive family. It does happen. There are parents and siblings out there that give unconditional love and support. The stories that we hear in the media are largely negative, and I understand the need for it; it's those stories that need to be told in order to educate, promote understanding of the challenges faced, and to hopefully increase support and acceptance, but there are happy, hopeful personal stories out there, and they need t be heard too.
This book is most definitely educational; from the point of view of the physical effects of cross sex hormones, the insecurities and fears felt by members of the trans community about both the way they feel society sees them, and the way they perceive themselves, how easily an unconscious, throwaway remark or joke can be hurtful or demeaning when there is no malicious intent. has to be my son gets older, I have questions that, although they may be none of my business, I still want the answers to. This story has given me some of those answers. Sex may not be the most important part of a relationship, far from it in fact, but it is significant, no matter what the circumstances, and the knowledge that a full sex life is a challenge to be faced, but not an insurmountable one, brings an odd degree of comfort.
This story highlights some of the unpleasantness and in some cases, downright hatefulness that can be found on social media and other public forums, but also focuses on the courage and determination shown by trans people to be true to themselves, no matter what. It also emphasises the fact that, whilst love, support and acceptance are paramount, ultimately, overcoming insecurities and fears, has to come from within; however difficult that may be for those on the outside.

The writing in this book is, as always, superb; the story flows beautifully, pulls you in, and in my case, didnt want to let me out. The characters, both main and secondary, are incredibly attractive people, a very real group that you can't help feeling you would like to be friends with.
This is also a lovely romance, sweet and tender but with plenty of heat. I think the gentleness with which Ben and Sid approach the physical side of their relationship only serves to make it all the more sexy.

Starting From Scratch is a very personal, open and honest insight into the challenges, both emotional and physical, faced by a transman, taking his first steps into a relationship as his true self. It is heartwarming, hopeful, most definitely eye-opening, and a book that I would highly recommend to anyone, whether they are looking to learn more or they just want a bloody good read!!
Top 10 Reviewer 87 reviews
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