• Happy Place

  • Rainbow Place, Book 5
  • By: Jay Northcote
  • Narrated by: Hamish Long
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Happy Place  By  cover art

Happy Place

By: Jay Northcote
Narrated by: Hamish Long
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

✫✫ 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.

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5 people found this helpful

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

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.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

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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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finding my own Happy Place

Jay Northcote has written a wonderful, touching fifth book in the Rainbow Place series. Jay captures the excitement and unique tension of two men-one younger out gay man and the other older, closeted man-as they grapple with a sexual attraction that becomes something much more serious. Hamish Long does a fantastic job of giving each of the characters-Quentin, George, Liv, Seb-such clear and distinctive voices. Hamish takes Jay’s wonderful word smithing and provides the perfect dramatic pacing. This story is so well-told as the reader follows the up and down of these two unlikely sex partners’ early relationship, the pains and fears of early budding affection, the frustrations of an out gay man in love with a closeted man. The beauty of Jay’s writing and Hamish’s brilliant narration is that the story and the people in it flow naturally. Nothing sounds forced or contrived. The worst part of this audiobook is that, when you get to the end, you have to say goodbye to characters who become so real to you. That is excellent writing on Jay Northcote’s part and brilliant dramatization on Hamish Long’s part. Excellent job!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Happy Place is book 5 in the Rainbow Place series. It appears that this is the final book in the series. This was a good book. I’m rating it 3.5 stars. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, it just didn’t give me strong feelings and nothing memorable happened. I didn’t feel enough of a connection between the main characters to get attached to them or their relationship. This book was about Quentin and George. George is in the closet still and is the older man at 45 years of age to Quentin’s 27 years. This was also George’s first experience with another man.

I liked that we got to check in with the main characters from the prior books in the series. It’s almost like going home again, especially any time that Seb is around. I really liked Quentin’s twin sister and seeing their relationship.

My favorite book in the Rainbow Place series is book 4, Mud & Lace. These books can all be read as standalone, but I think it is much more fulfilling to read them in order. I recommend this series.

The narrator has been the same throughout the entire series. He does a really good job.

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

Embracing Truth

I had a bit of harder time with this final story of the series and I think it was because I really was worried about Quinton with George's reluctance to admit his truths. I know that everyone needs to come out in their own time but I don't like the idea of the timing causing another harm. I'm am proud that even Quinton realizes that he needs to have a line without making demands. I did appreciate the internal pain that George was facing and my heart goes out to anyone that has that much fear and self-loathing. The ending did redeem the story for me.

Listened to the audio version and it was very well done.

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

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

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

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