Not Just Friends by Jay Northcote

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NotJustFriendsBlurb

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.

Review

(From Previous Site)

Lewis is 18 and just starting University where he meets Max, one of his dorm mates.  Max is out and proud and gets Lewis thinking that he may be something other than straight.

At first Lewis fights his attraction to Max, but it isn’t long before he begins to acknowledge that the feeling he’s experiencing watching Max hook-up with other guys is jealousy.  After a sad break-up one night, the two get drunk and mess around.  Lewis is ready to go all in after that; admit he’s gay, admit he likes Max, everything, but Max is on the rebound and isn’t ready to “break in” a new boyfriend, especially since Lewis is new to being gay and they live together.

Lewis is heartbroken, but admits it makes a bit of sense.  Moving on, Lewis begins to explore his newfound sexuality by telling his family, friends, joining the LGBT group at school and even dating.

As the semester goes on, Lewis discovers more about himself and Max does, too.  They have some hurdles to overcome, but in the end we see a very HFN (or HEA depending on how you look at it.)

**

This was another sweet, wonderful book by Jay Northcote.  It’s told in a way that seems very natural and realistic.  Lewis isn’t hung up about finding out he’s gay – he’s reluctant at first, only because he’d had a girlfriend in High School, but it doesn’t take much in the experimenting phase for him to admit his preference.  Lewis’ family is essentially pretty supportive as are his friends.

Max is a fairly easy going, very open gay man, who is really just following his heart.  He doesn’t have any terrible, dark secrets keeping him from loving, just normal life-is-never-perfect stuff that gives him some substance.

When all is said and done, the really nice thing about this story is that it ends up being more about the love story than a “gay” love story.

I really enjoyed this and recommend it.  I give it 4.5 of 5 hearts.

4.5

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