Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Short Story
Received from Publisher
Blurb: “You’re the sleek little sports car to my Land Rover.”
From the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.
At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.
With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.
Review: Jules is a fairly minor character who appears in Top Me Maybe? All Man is a spin off from that story, but can easily be read as a standalone.
Jules has been happily ogling the (assumed) straight plumber who’s been installing the new sinks at the hair salon Jules works at for the better part of a week. When the work is done, Jules thinks that will be the last he will see of the gorgeous man. He can’t believe his luck when the brawny Gareth, and Jules’ idea of the perfect man, turns out to be not as unattainable as Jules thought he was. And maybe might even be interested in him.
Endearing characters and a gentle, engaging romance made All Man a lovely little read. The chemistry between the MCs was great, and even with the brief timeframe the story is set in the romance didn’t feel too rushed. The short novella length of the book didn’t particularly lend itself to really falling right into the story, though. I enjoyed it, I did, but it didn’t grab me and pull me right in. The glossing over of a thwarted sexual assault is an example of an element in the story that didn’t quite work in the limited length. I don’t mean it was totally gratuitous or anything. In a longer version it would have been a bonding element for the MCs as the other one had a past experience of assault. In here, such a heavy topic felt out of place as it didn’t have the time to be properly explored.
Jules is a fun, sometimes immature, sassy, character who is nicely complemented by the gorgeous, gentle, caring bear of a man that is Gareth. Together they do make for a nice way to spend some time in this light, sweet opposites attract romance story.