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Publisher's Summary

A first kiss from a younger man leads to a sexual awakening...

George’s strict upbringing has left him ashamed of his sexuality. In his forties now, he's yet to come out or even kiss a man - until he meets Quentin.

Quentin has had enough of bad relationships with men who won't commit. Still raw from the last one, he’s not ready to try again. But George is sweet, and helping the older man get some experience might be a fun diversion.

Swept rapidly into a deeper connection than they bargained for, they face a dilemma. George isn’t ready to come out, and Quentin wants a boyfriend who isn’t afraid to be seen with him in public.

Can they find a way to navigate the unpredictable waters of their new relationship and find happiness together?

Contains: age gap, gay first times, sexual exploration, out for you.

©2020 Jay Northcote (P)2020 Jay Northcote

What listeners say about Happy Place

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

I just love this series more with each book. The safe and happy place that the author created always leaves my heart happy. Love the May/December romance and coming out story line in this book. It was sweet & sexy all in one. Can't wait to see what's next.

Hamish Long is as always perfect for this series.

5 people found this helpful

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Happy Place

I do love an older man finding his way. It makes my heart happy. His upbringing wasn’t conducive to being who he is so he went on like he was “supposed to”. He married a woman and obviously that wasn’t his journey but he did get one heck of a great kid out of it.

The first meeting is always my favorite and Quentin was adorable, I think right away I liked him because he might have thought one thing but he also gave George another chance. He isn’t close minded he might be guarded because of his past but he is unapologetically himself. I love this about him. As we get to know him and George I like that he did what he needed to do for himself. That made me respect him all the more.

George too takes a good look at himself. I really liked that he seeked out help to work through things.

This book is low on the drama which I love, but it was high on being who you are. I also really enjoyed getting to see some of the characters from the books before it gives us a really well rounded story you can’t help but root for these two.

Hamish Long is a great narrator and I want more, more, more books narrated by him. I enjoy the different tones he gives for each character it brings us so much depth to these characters.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

An age difference tale with a difference

*** First a disclaimer, I was given a free copy of this title in hopes of a fair, and honest review." ***

The characters in this tale are likable and it's a pleasure spending time with them. This is a somewhat lighter tale than a lot of what I've been reading recently and it was fun to just enjoy the “boys getting randy” aspects of this. George & Quentin's first sexual encounter goes none too well, but then George is a bit of a unicorn... a gay man past 40 who's never had sex with another man.

Local reporter Quentin's boyish “eager to please attitude” is also a bit unusual, but in a good way. Quentin's still healing from his last disastrous relationship but finds Georges' silver foxiness and total lack of gay experience an alluring combination. It was a bit funny when Quentin slips (twice) and reveals staunchly closeted George's first name whilst talking about his problem with close friends. Then worries that he might accidentally out the man. I'm not sure but given the number of British sovereigns named George, and that one in four Beatles bore the name, I'm guessing it wasn't much of a reveal. But it's enough to help this tale reach its satisfying ending.

As one might expect with a relationship that starts out as an experiment of sorts, the sex scenes in this are not terribly graphic but they are satisfying. In some ways the none-too-successful opening foray is a bit endearing. Things heat up a bit as George begins to let go of the prudishness that was instilled in him as a child, but don't expect anything sexual that's too far outside the norms for m/m fiction.

Hamish Long does a great job with general narration and has a variety of excellent youthful voices for his characters. He even does most women's voices well, but oddly, he seemed a little bit off here when voicing the straightish, 40 something George. That one voice is a bit artificial sounding. Initially it was off-putting but once accustomed to it, it was OK.

If you'd like a classically light romance with elements of sweetness, some sexy bits, a none-too heavy conflict, and a few laugh out loud funny bits, then this is a great choice.

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Didn't disappoint

Good story - and very lovable characters. But still with it's own twist on things. Good and enjoyable narrator. I would recommend this book.

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Well Done!!

This was my first audio book from Jay Northcote and I loved it. I have read several other books by Jay. It came alive for me. Fantastic! The story felt so real. I loved the age gap romance, George and Quentin were well written and endearing. Hamish Long did a fantastic job on narration. Well done all around!!

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Sweet listen!

This is such a sweet story and I love it! George and Quentin are so cute together. I love how Jay Northcote makes these story so real. This is definitely the perfect title for this story because it made me so happy. Then Hamish Long does such an amazing job with this narration. I am pulled even more into this story. I love it!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Sweet awkward love. Age Gap. GFY. First time.

Jay Northcote does it again, he wove a story with a magic wand called REAL LIFE. The fact that he includes awkward bumbling, silences, and doesn’t gloss over the messiness of life makes his books very endearing and the characters approachable.

These two men are in two entirely different places in their life. Never mind the age gap. More importantly, you have one who is so deep in the closet it may take a forklift to remove him, and one who is out and proud and has no desires to live his life backward. Yet, George finds himself opening up to Quentin, and Quentin wants to help him get some experience. At first, it’s no different than finding someone on Grindr, then emotions start coming into play. The experience is coming at a cost neither is sure they’re ready to pay. Quentin has been hurt in the past, and George isn’t out. At some point, they both need to decide what they REALLY want and whether they can be brave enough to go for it.

The story is told from both POVs, so there’s no guessing (by the reader) what’s going on in both men’s minds. It allows us to get a broader view of the story, and a better perspective as well. Hamish Long does an incredible job voicing all of the characters in the book.

This is book 5 in a series. It can be read/listened to as a standalone. We see other characters from previous books, so you will have a few things spoiled if you read/listen to out of order, but the author gives you enough details that you don’t feel lost.

I enjoyed this story, and I sympathized with the main characters. I can’t wait to find out more about the side characters and Rainbow Place. 

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Sweet Age Gap Romance

George and Quentin were such an adorable couple. I loved their sweet story in so many ways. Their romance started realistically as friends with benefits but soon becomes more. The story tackles some tough subjects, the age gap, porn, ED, in a realistic and forthright manner. The way George comes to grips with his sexuality and his feelings for Quentin were spot on perfect. I loved the scenes with George and his ex and daughter. Jay Northcote wrote those scenes perfectly. The conflict and the sweet big romantic gesture were just right without being over the top. Hamish Long did great with the narration. Highly recommended.

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Amazing OFY age gap love story!

An amazing, well-written May-December romance with the perfect amount of angst, steam, starry-eyes and sweetness.

I loved the realness of this story, how everything wasn’t just perfect lust and connection from the first. This romance felt so genuine and authentic, like something that could happen to actual people, which made it a very appealing read to me. As a reader I got to cheer for Quentin and George as they stumbled, doubted or misspoke and sympathized with them as they struggled through some pretty awkward moments. And most importantly, I got to see them fall in love which was absolutely heartwarming.

George is a product of his upbringing, poor guy, and in some ways he’s in a prison of his own making because of that. He has carried around a big secret for most of his life and doesn’t appear to have any friends he can turn to in order to break free and be true to himself, which was pretty sad. I loved his bravery and how he handled his coming out though. Quentin is a wonderful character too. I could easily relate to his longing for a relationship, as well as his hesitancy to open himself up to heartbreak, again.

I loved how these two men fit into the Rainbow Place “community” and I especially liked Seb’s role in their story, though the glimpses we got of the other characters in the series were great fun as well.

Narration: Hamish Long again proves he's an amazing narrator and truly did justice to this wonderful love story. He manages to give every character, however small, a distinct voice and his intonation and pacing are perfect and made this audiobook into a wonderful listening experience. I love his smooth and warm voice, so pleasant to listen to and never grating, and his beautiful & clear enunciation.

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Age gap and out for you.

A beautiful May/December story, where the older man (George, 45) is deeply in the closet and just barely starting to accept his being gay.
Quentin is 18 years younger, out and proud, and has been hurt in the past, so he's not sure he can bear the secrecy and hiding.
Once again, this author tells a story of two imperfect men, where it's not all hearts and butterflies and the sex is not always porn-worthy. Jay Northcote gives us all: the good, the bad and the awkward!

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  • Drew
  • 05-15-21

Great series, but give this one a miss

I hate to say it, but I was really disappointed by this book. To me it felt that the author had an idea for a story and then tacked it on to the Rainbow Place series.

It started off promising, with Quentin, a journalist we briefly meet in previous books, interviewing Wicksy, one of the MC’s from book four and turning up in the previous books in a minor capacity.

But then for the first two thirds of the book, it’s basically closeted guy in his forties, George, taking his first steps in accepting his sexuality with the help of the much younger Quentin. Which in itself could have been a good read, but aside from a bit of initial angst, it was just a series of hook ups and no substance at all.

By the last third of the book, where there is some actual plot, plus actual ties to Rainbow Place, namely Seb and a couple of other brief cameos, I really didn’t care. I stuck with the audiobook till the end, but it was a real hard slog. Such a pity, because I loved the first four books an awful lot and will definitely be listening to them again at some point. I doubt very much I’ll listen to this one again.

I think the book could have been better with a few small changes. For example, we know that Wicksy was a boat builder, why wasn’t he George’s assistant rather than whoever it was (sorry, very minor character who’s name I couldn’t be bothered to remember)? That would have tied the story in much better and it could have given George a better sounding board for his own issues, rather than a random (though welcome) chat with Seb. We do get an explanation for George’s reasons for being in the closet and his self loathing attitude, but they come quite late in the story, by that point I really didn’t care. If we’d had that insight earlier it would have made all the difference.

On the plus side Hamish Long’s narration was faultless. You can tell he loves reading these books.

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  • Wendy Loveridge
  • 07-07-20

A Heartwarming story

In this delightfully heartwarming story, young Quentin teaches, older George, how to let himself go and accept his feelings and desires.

To begin with, George is so deep in the closet he’s practically in Narnia so Quentin sets out to teach him that he has nothing to feel ashamed about. However, George has a lot more to come to terms with than initially seems the case.

As the story unfolds and we learn just how much emotional baggage George has been dragging around, will it take a young, badly bruised, out-and-proud Quentin to show him the way?

Jay Northcote handles very real issues with great sensitivity and a deft hand. A very sound 4* for a lovely, sweet story.

My only criticism is with the narrator. For every character, male and and female, other than George, he was good. But George... no... he sounded much older than a man in his forties. His ‘George voice’ was stodgy and slow; nothing like the sexy silver fox described by the author.

Unfortunately this performance downgraded my overall grading to 3* for what is a lovely story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • choccygrl
  • 06-22-20

Another great addition to this series

I've wanted Quentin to get his HEA for a while and I loved George, bless him.
This is a tale about accepting who you are and overcoming old fears. It features an age gap romance, coming out of the closet, and a romance that starts as a hook up (so expect plenty of sexy times).
There's also a chances to catch up with several of our couples, especially Simon and Charlie and Seb and Jason.
Hamish Long does a super job with the narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DanNet
  • 06-16-20

Lovely story

I really enjoyed listening to this story and I found the characters likeable. Despite their age difference they both have their baggage and insecurities. I liked the narrator. He did really well with getting the emotions and vulnerabilities across.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 06-08-20

Unchartered Waters

Quentin is a reporter for a local newspaper near Cornwall. He’s also getting over the man who broke his heart by cheating. He’s alone, and missing having someone special in his life. He has his twin sister Liv – his utero buddy – but beyond that it’s mostly friends and family. He yearns for the intimacy he once shared.

George lives alone. He rebuilds boats and aside from his trusty assistant, he sees only the occasional customer and his beloved daughter Ellie. He’s made a decent life for himself but admits he spends way too much time masturbating while watching gay porn. He’s known he was gay for years but chose to marry and have a child. Eventually that marriage disintegrated, but he’s not put himself out there again. He can’t fathom having a relationship with man, despite his desire to not be alone.

The men’s paths cross when Quentin is sent to the boatyard to interview George. There’s a misunderstanding and Quentin accuses George of being a homophobe. In a fit of pique, George counters with the fact he is gay. Quentin is stunned and, after delicate questioning, discovers George’s well-kept secret. Not just is he gay, he’s never had intimate relations with anyone except his wife.

Quentin, being a soft-hearted lad, offers himself up to George. As a person the older man can explore his fantasies with. George, although reticent, takes Quentin up on the offer. I mean, who’s going to turn down sex with a young hot man? Okay, there’s like eighteen years between the two of them, but this time it’s the younger man who has all the experience.

I felt George’s anguish and self-doubts as he embarked upon the journey. Who hasn’t endured some kind of performance anxiety? Our culture is so sexualized and porn so pervasive, it’s hard for a person to think they’re good enough. Fortunately Quentin is good at putting George at ease. But when it comes right down to it, neither man knows how to express their true feelings.

Sound familiar?

But this is a romance so there’s the misunderstanding, the dark moment, the self-realization, the grand gesture, and the happy ending. So yeah, I was more than satisfied.

Now, this is the fifth book in a series centered around an LGBTQ café and I admit it was the first one I picked up. I was never lost although it was clear there were couples from previous books. Some who have news of their own to share. I love Jay Northcote books and this one was no exception. Hamish Long narrated the book and, again, he was just lovely to listen to. I always enjoy his performances. Finally, I want to mention the boat, Mabbina, whose name means happiness. I’ve always wondered what it might be like to live on a boat and I enjoyed the fantasy. I saw parts of myself in George and that made the book even better for me. I definitely plan to go back and listen to the rest of the series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna E.
  • 06-04-20

Ahhh silver fox!

This is a sweet romance! It’s obviously not the first in the series (if it’s part of a series???) but it really didn’t affect this story.
There’s a small age gap- Q is nearly 28 and George is 45, but they get on well and Q really doesn’t act so young.
There’s a little bit of ist but a hea!
It’s really quite a relaxing listen!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lolo Davis
  • 06-03-20

Lovely story

This is not my usual mm romance but I really enjoyed it and will read more of this author’s work. I was offered a free listen in exchange for a review and I’m not one to pass up a bargain ! The story is well written and the narrator clear and crisp; it was a lovely refreshing listen that I thoroughly enjoyed.

George repairs boats and is interviewed by local journalist Quentin. George is 45 , knows he is gay but has never acted on it. He is very firmly in the closet. Quentin is is lot younger but finds George very attractive. They start off meeting only for sex but this soon progresses into more. The journey is worth the listen because you really become attached to both characters and want them to achieve their HEA. It all hinges on George being able to come out of the closet................

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-02-20

May to December healing love story.

fantastic narration, enjoyable story. A+ for realistic, awkward 1st time intimacy which developed over time

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia Devlin
  • 05-30-20

Beautiful 💕

As always,beautifully written,expertly narrated story and I absolutely loved it!
Hamish Long has done a brilliant job of bringing these characters to life.

Quentin,still raw from a bad break up,is reluctant to enter into another relationship. But George,the man he interviews for a news article and whom, Quentin mistakenly thought was a homophobe,is sweet and handsome. Helping him gain some experience might be a fun way of taking his mind off of his previous relationship.

George,traumatised by his strict upbringing and terrified of what people might think of him, is extremely reluctant to come out..

They are both drawn to each other and before they realise,they have a far deeper connection than just hooking up.

Quentin wants a man who isn't afraid to be seen out with him,isn't afraid to be his boyfriend. Can George be that man?
I highly recommend you dive in to find out!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HelenMK69
  • 05-29-20

Wow what a series.

Great characters yet again. A young reporter and an older closeted boat builder. The ups and downs of a rocky relationship. Still set around Rainbow Place. You don't need to read the rest of the series to appreciate this book but I would recommend that you read them anyway as they are so good.
Hamish Long has again narrated this book and has done a great job. Wonderful clear voices, full of emotion.
What more can I say apart from download the series and spend a few hours in South West England wishing we weren't on lockdown.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 07-05-20

The courage to come out of the closet!

Happy Place features George’s journey to overcome his fear and shame about being gay. Divorced and in his 40s, George, has never acted on his feelings until he meets Quentin. I’ve really enjoyed this series. Ostensibly the Rainbow Place books are romances but their consistent message is about self-acceptance and the courage it takes to live openly and visibly, as exemplified by those who work at, or frequent, the Rainbow Place Café. I liked that George and Quentin’s relationship has ongoing teething problems and that it’s only through open communication that they start to get in sync. It felt realistic. 🎧 Hamish Long’s narrations are always understated, so the emotions and dialogue flow naturally and effortlessly.