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Publisher's Summary

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.

After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after 10 years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.

Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.

Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past

©2019 Jay Northcote (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about Better Place

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better Place

Ok, so I wasn’t sure I would like this book once the story got going. I was rooting for Dylan so hard, and Joe oh Joe his situation had my heart sad. I ended up loving the way this book unfolded. So many people are in long term relationships and either they feel like everything is fine and dandy and never take a deeper look. Are they really happy or are they just content. You don’t want to be content in your relationship. Or afraid to be yourself. You should never have to ask permission to do something. You can inform your partner and but to ask permission seems wrong to me. I loved the way Dylan handled everything with Joe he really was the sounding board Joe needed. And then when he asked for his own space I was like heck yes! Another great story for this series and the narration again hitting it out of the park. I am sad I am onto the last book that is in audio format.

3 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite of the series but still good

Again, I’d say this can be read as a standalone but having read the previous books would help keep the characters straight. Rainbow Place remains the center of the universe for these characters but it’s safe to say you could join the series at any time and go back to read whatever books you’ve missed. This book was just ok for me…there wasn’t anything in particular about it that was bad, it just wasn’t my type of story. Harry, the partner gone bad, is a douche. Joe and Dylan were decent together, but the story isn’t outstanding. My favorite character in the book is Seb…from book one. We meet Lady Gogo who is the love interest of Wicksy (who’s straight?) in the next book. Could get interesting. The vocal performance is first-rate as expected. I most probably wouldn’t have made it through this one without the narration.

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Very real

A very real but still sweet and adorable story. With very genuine lovable characters. Very enjoyable listen.

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Dylan and Joe.

I enjoyed this story a lot. It's a story of resilience and standing up for oneself. Joe is trapped in a stale and somewhat abusive relationship he's not entirely happy with, but he does not fully realize how bad it is until he meets Dylan. The spark of attraction and, ultimately, the growing friendship with the younger man will make him take steps to change his life. A really enjoyable book with a great narrator!

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Another Great Addition to the Series!

I’m amending my review because at the time I wasn’t feeling these guys but as I’ve just listened to it instead of reading it I can’t definitely feel more for these guys! It’s not my favorite Jay book or even my favorite of the series but Dylan and Joe went through a lot individually and also together to get to their happy ending! I’m glad we get to see the previous couples and characters and I’m also glad that Joe saw Harry for who he really was and stopped letting the controlling and emotionally abusive behavior slide. I know how hard it is to want someone who isn’t free of their current relationship, no matter how unhappy they are and so I empathize with Dylan. I know what it’s like to be in a relationship with no support for what you love to do and it’s not fun. Hamish Long definitely brings these characters to life in a way I didn’t feel while just reading. I’m 100% on board with him as a narrator!

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Another great book in this wonderful series!

Better Place reminds me again of why I love Jay Northcote’s stories so much. This is a wonderful romance with two incredibly authentic MC’s facing real-life problems. What I always take away from his stories is that love, romantic, soul-deep and overwhelming love, can happen for everyday regular people. That’s where he shines and brings out the magic. Which is exactly what he did here. I really felt a connection with these characters, Joe and Dylan, though Joe especially, and I was so moved by their story. Perhaps part of the reason is its slow and gentle build-up, with the focus on the emotional bond between the MC’s first, before any physical shenanigans take place. The story builds very gradually, because at the start of the book Joe is still in a relationship, albeit one that has seen better days with a partner who is very controlling, dismissive of Joe’s wants and needs, and who pretty much takes Joe for granted. Joe and Dylan start out as friends and stay that way until Joe’s newly single. No cheating here. I think the author did a really good job at describing Joe’s and Harry’s relationship, taking his time to give us a look into their lives and for Joe to do his utmost for their relationship to succeed even after he gains a new perspective on it. It makes Joe very easy to relate to. I also love that Dylan wasn’t “that guy”, breaking up a supposedly happy home, so to speak. Dylan’s past experiences make him very well suited to understand what Joe’s going through and seeing him watch out for Joe was very touching. Dylan also has insecurities to face and I love him for his insight and courage, figuring out the best way for their relationship to make it long term. The writing style is wonderful, fluent and very evocative with beautiful imagery. I especially loved the scenes at the beach which were so descriptive I felt as if I was right there too. Narration: another brilliant performance from talented Hamish Long who is a perfect fit for this series! He did an amazing job, yet again, and I love that he does all the books, so the voices of the MC's from the stories that came before are all the same, and familiar in the best way.

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Superb!

This book 3 is a little different from the previous books, This one deal with abuse but not physical. Well written and executed quite well with this sensitive topics. bravo Mr. Northcote! Hamish Long as usual nailed it again. His female voice is awesome and so his baby's voice. I enjoyed it so much!

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As good as the first two.

I listened to this book at 1.25x. Jay Northcote does it again. 5 stars 10 if I could. Hamish Long also did a wonderful job again. Dont know what else I can say. Please read my reviews for the first two books to understand why I'm without words.

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Another good addition to this series.

I'm going to sound like a broken record. Better Place is the third book in the Rainbow Place series and it's the third book I've listened to by Hamish Long. Once again, his fantastic performance of this story has enhanced my enjoyment of it immensely. My previous rating of the ebook has been increased from 4 stars to 5. Rainbow Place was the first book I listened to performed by him and I immediately became a fan. His British accent is very pleasing and easy for this American listener to understand. The various voices he uses for the characters are perfect and his pacing and vocal inflections are great. Below is a copy of the review I wrote when Better Place was released as an ebook. * * * * * * * * I've really been enjoying the Rainbow Place series and Better Place is a good addition. Dylan works at Rainbow Place Café and Joe has been coming to there to work on his book. Dylan is attracted to him but doesn't know if he's in a relationship or if he's even gay. They strike up a friendship and chat together during Joe's visits and soon Dylan hopes for more. Joe and Harry have been together 10 years but things haven't been going too well lately. Joe finally realizes the relationship can't be fixed and after he breaks it off with Harry, he is excited by the attraction he feels to Dylan. Better Place is a good story with just the right amount of tension. The budding relationship between Joe and Dylan becomes complicated when Harry confronts Dylan at Rainbow Place. Joe stands up to him but Dylan is still shaken due to his previous relationship that went bad when his ex became violent. The Rainbow Place series is filled with many interesting characters but each book stands on its own very well. There was a new character introduced in Better Place and I hope we see more of them in the next book. An advanced copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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Amazing Book

The book is, like the rest of Jay's books, simply amazing. The narrator did an amazing job, once again. I loved how Dylan and Joe sounded, and how well Long brought them to life in the audio version. Once again, it felt like the book was too short in a way that I would love to listen to it for longer. It did not seem like it was over ... not even six, more like three hours maybe. Book 4, Mud & Lace is coming soon and I'm looking forwards to it so much <3 Basically the story is amazing, and so is the narration, and everyone should get the book :)

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  • LGB
  • 06-12-20

That's what friends are for...

I enjoyed Jay’s third story set in and around the cafe. Better Place is an everyday romance, and even though there is some drama between Joe and his long-term selfish partner, there’s nothing OTT about this tale. There’s plenty of eating, drinking, working, and watching TV in this slow-burn, low-angst romance. Dylan works in the Rainbow Place cafe and that’s where he meets Joe, who’s attempting to write his first novel. I liked how they gradually get to know each other and how their tentative conversations blossom into a supportive friendship. As readers/listeners, we hope this will turn into something more. I don’t think Joe cheated on Harry, his current partner. We know (and Joe came to realise) that particular controlling/mentally abusive relationship was all but over. Kudos to Dylan for respecting Joe's feelings and situation, remaining his friend and offering him advice. I liked how they move from friends to lovers, but didn’t want to rush their relationship. This is a gentle, sweet romance. My only issue is that Joe comes across as a lot younger than his 42 years at times. It was great to see more of Seb and Alex and other familiar characters offering Dylan and Joe their support. Plus, we get our first glimpse of the fabulous Lady Gogo! The narration was spot on. Hamish matched his voice to the various characters’ personalities and their emotions. Clear and enjoyable from start to finish. Great job!

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  • AliE
  • 06-08-20

Continuity

First off, let me say that I'm not 100% convinced that this is a HEA yet. However, it is definitely right that this relationship takes its time because of the main characters respective situations. I like that it is the younger Dylan who often takes the lead in acting in a more mature fashion. But, he does have the advantage of experience. Joe is still living out his nightmare for the majority of the book. That is what I love about this series...it is so real. Seb has a strong presence in this novel. It's also great to see more of Alex and Cam and to know they are happy. The continuity of characters from book to book is what I want to see in a series...the soap opera effect! Having Hamish Long narrate the whole series has also seen a continuity of the voices that bring these books to life. This is another excellent performance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia Devlin
  • 06-06-20

Beautifully written,expertly narrated romance.

I absolutely loved this Audiobook! Beautifully written,expertly narrated by Hamish Long. Dylan,one of the server's at Rainbow Place,is instantly drawn to Joe,an older man,who sits,working on his laptop,in Rainbow Place. Dylan crushes hard on Joe and his attempts at talking and flirting are met with awkwardness,at first. As Dylan continues to talk to him,Joe begins to relax and starts to open up and talk. Shyly confessing to Dylan that he is writing a book. As their friendship grows Dylan hopes for more but,is disappointed to learn that Joe is not single,he has been with his partner Harry,for ten years. The more Joe opens up to Dylan,the more Dylan worries about Joe and Harry's relationship,especially when he witnesses Harry's behaviour, when he discovers Joe, working in Rainbow Place. At first,Joe is indignant at Dylan's suggestion that his relationship with Harry is unhealthy.That Harry is abusive towards him. With Dylan's gentle concerns,Joe begins to realise that Dylan is right Harry has been abusive towards him for a long time and it gives him the courage to end things with Harry. Free to act on the growing attraction between them,Joe and Dylan dive headlong into their desire for each other. Joe revels in the intimacy and passion like a starving man but Dylan is worried that they are moving too fast,that this is a rebound relationship. Dylan,an abuse survivor himself,is worried that the relationship won't last so he puts on the brakes,much to Joe's annoyance. Dylan is dismayed by Joe's coldness when they part. Will Joe come to understand why Dylan has done so? Will they be reconciled? I highly recommend you listen to this Audiobook and find out.

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  • Ronald Betts
  • 12-27-19

Third in the series

Third in the series and just as good can't wait to listen to the fourth and last Mud and Lace. This one takes in the scars left by a nasty relationship and the effort of getting past them.

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  • HelenMK69
  • 12-20-19

Love this series

Each book I listen to the more I would love Rainbow Place to exist. The characters are great and Hamish narration really brings them to life. Thank you Jay for writing this series. Xx

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Belinda Curtis
  • 12-18-19

Another fantastic installment

This book is the third in the series and tells the story of Dylan and Joe. I loved getting to know them both and was impressed with the developments in their relationship throughout the book. The story deals sensitively with the issue of abusive relationships and had me rooting for Joe and Dylan from the start. I also loved how this book introduced the fabulous Lady Gogo who is featured in the next book in the series. A fantastic listen from start to finish.

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  • Alan
  • 12-17-19

Another great story and performance in this series!

Dylan forms a friendship with regular café customer, Joe, who is dissatisfied with the relationship rut he is in. Joe’s partner is remote, aggressive, and controlling, a situation Dylan has also experienced. Most romances focus on two unattached main characters, so it was fascinating to explore a long term relationship that had lost its way - Joe’s dilemma about whether to stay or go felt sad and real. Despite this, the story has a satisfyingly happy ending.