• Rainbow Place

  • Rainbow Place, Book 1
  • By: Jay Northcote
  • Narrated by: Hamish Long
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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Rainbow Place  By  cover art

Rainbow Place

By: Jay Northcote
Narrated by: Hamish Long
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Publisher's summary

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?  

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe-bar.  

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man - allowing himself only the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.  

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.  

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be listened to as a stand-alone.

©2018 Jay Northcote (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Rainbow Place

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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

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

This is my first book by this author but will not be my last. I think this is a great start to a new series. Seb & Jason's love story was sweet, sexy and difficult. I love the idea of the Rainbow Place, a place for everyone to be themselves without worrying about being judged. I usually don't love MM romance with someone in the closet but this one felt very different and I really felt the growth and strength of these characters throughout this book. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Hamish Long is also a new to me narrator. I really enjoyed his voice and narration style. I am happy to see that he will be narrating the entire series.

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10 people found this helpful

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

Rainbow Place

You know when you start a book that feeling like you know you won’t want to stop it. This book gave me that feeling right from the very beginning these characters stole my heart. Jason’s inability to be out struck a nerve for me. Maybe if he had a supportive family, something I personally strive to be for my own children. Maybe that is why I felt so deeply for Jason. I wanted his growing up years to be a safe place. But it wasn’t and that is ultimately that is why he was still so against being who he was to anyone that might know him.
I did love that his ex-wife was so supportive. She was the hero in this book for me.

Seb is a great guy but I do wish he had been a little more understanding at parts. He said he knew what it was like to be bullied growing up. So maybe if he had thought about that and what it would be like at his age he might have seen why it was so hard for Jason.

Overall I loved the message in this book. It’s what I as a parent of a Bi daughter want. For her and her friends to feel 100% safe to be whoever they are. No judgment here.

The narration was lovely, I am a huge fan of the way this book was written and with the mix of the perfect person to narrate it was a huge hit for me. More, please! Just MORE.

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4 people found this helpful

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

So many emotions, such a beautiful story!

Jay Northcote’s writing manages to give life to characters in a way that they become real to me, with every one of their multi-layered emotions getting to me, too.
We live Seb’s excitement, along with the anxiousness, for the opening of Rainbow Place, his new LGBT friendly cafe, and the hopes he has for his budding relationship with Jason.
And we live through Jason internal battle, where his fear and wish to protect himself keep him deep in the closet, but these are at war with Jason’s newfound feelings of wanting to be free, and wanting to be with Seb in the open.

The book is not excessively angsty, but emotions run deep and it sure kept me glued to my earbuds and rooting for these two wonderful men!

Hamish Long is a new to me narrator, but I loved his accent and his narration!

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3 people found this helpful

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

Reminded Me Why I Love the Book So Much

I love audiobooks and they are a very very nice way to make the commute more interesting. Jay's books are amazing on their own, but the narrator brought characters to life in his own way and it was amazing. The only teeny tiny thingy was that he went too in on the stereotypical Italian accent for Luca. The rest of it was just amazing and I loved "rereading" the book.
I can't wait for the other three books to come out! <3 <3

Book review:

Oh wow! Where to start?

Seb is an openly gay man who has moved from London to the seaside town in Cornwall after a breakup. He expected from the town to not have a thriving queer community, but he didn’t realise just how bad it can be. Luckily he ends up being a neighbour of a lesbian couple with whom he becomes friends.

During one of their conversations, the idea of Rainbow Place is born. A specifically queer/LGBT-friendly place in an environment that doesn’t have it yet, but sorely needs it.

Jason, on the other hand, is one of the discreet guys Seb has skipped over while on Grindr. Yet he is thrown into the story as Seb hires him to help renovate the cafe. Deeply in the closet, but not denial, Jason eventually, or actually slightly incidentally, outs himself to Seb.

We all know what happens when an out and proud person and a closeted person are attracted to each other? ‘Friends with benefits’ and sneaking around ensues. While I did understand Jason, I felt really sorry for Seb, as hiding and sneaking around wasn’t in his nature.

I liked how Jason knew it was internalised homophobia that was plaguing him, and he did try to deal with his feelings and fear, but it was also described how tough it is to ‘unlearn’ something you’ve been listening while you were a child. Even though it took him longer than it maybe should and actually happens after he lets Seb deal with horrible thing on his own.

There is some explicit homophobia, and ANGST! I was shocked, sad, angry! when the moment came. It was realistic and disgusting and awful. But the event I am talking about, also showed the best in people – when Seb needed help, most of the community came and helped him. And that was amazing!

I also loved the redemption arc. Jason went to the extreme of grandest gestures and I loved that Seb took him back. The actual opening of the cafe scene and generally the whole end were so sweet and perfect! (And come on, Rainbow cake and Unicorn poo? Tell me you don’t want to try them, I dare you 🙂 )

I expected a lot from this book and Jay certainly hasn’t disappointed! (And also, how great is that cover? 🙂 )
Oh wow! Where to start?

Seb is an openly gay man who has moved from London to the seaside town in Cornwall after a breakup. He expected from the town to not have a thriving queer community, but he didn’t realise just how bad it can be. Luckily he ends up being a neighbour of a lesbian couple with whom he becomes friends.

During one of their conversations, the idea of Rainbow Place is born. A specifically queer/LGBT-friendly place in an environment that doesn’t have it yet, but sorely needs it.

Jason, on the other hand, is one of the discreet guys Seb has skipped over while on Grindr. Yet he is thrown into the story as Seb hires him to help renovate the cafe. Deeply in the closet, but not denial, Jason eventually, or actually slightly incidentally, outs himself to Seb.

We all know what happens when an out and proud person and a closeted person are attracted to each other? ‘Friends with benefits’ and sneaking around ensues. While I did understand Jason, I felt really sorry for Seb, as hiding and sneaking around wasn’t in his nature.

I liked how Jason knew it was internalised homophobia that was plaguing him, and he did try to deal with his feelings and fear, but it was also described how tough it is to ‘unlearn’ something you’ve been listening while you were a child. Even though it took him longer than it maybe should and actually happens after he lets Seb deal with horrible thing on his own.

There is some explicit homophobia, and ANGST! I was shocked, sad, angry! when the moment came. It was realistic and disgusting and awful. But the event I am talking about, also showed the best in people – when Seb needed help, most of the community came and helped him. And that was amazing!

I also loved the redemption arc. Jason went to the extreme of grandest gestures and I loved that Seb took him back. The actual opening of the cafe scene and generally the whole end were so sweet and perfect! (And come on, Rainbow cake and Unicorn poo? Tell me you don’t want to try them, I dare you 🙂 )

I expected a lot from this book and Jay certainly hasn’t disappointed! (And also, how great is that cover? 🙂 )

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2 people found this helpful

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

Fantastic narration, great story.

It's happened again… I enjoyed this book very much when I read it last year and it got 4 stars from me. After listening to the fantastic performance by Hamish Long I'm upping that rating to 5 stars across the board.

Rainbow Place is the first book I've listened to performed by him and I'm a fan now. I don't find many audiobooks by him on Audible so perhaps he also uses another name. I think he's too good to be a newbie narrator. His British accent was 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 absolutely on point.

I was particularly happy to learn the correct pronunciation of several words that I had pronounced differently in my head while I read the book. I just can't say enough good things about this new-to-me narrator and this story by Jay Northcote.

* * * * * * * *
Below is my original review when I read the book last year:

I love to read books by non-US authors. I love reading about different countries and I love reading the stories they write, written the way they speak English. Jay Northcote is one of those writers whose stories I really enjoy. He sometimes challenges me with the British terms he uses but I love looking things up and building my "non-US" vocabulary. 😊

Rainbow Place is the beginning of a new series of standalone books set in the same world and it's off to a great start. Seb moves to a small town in Cornwall for a variety of reasons and he's happy there but he misses the community feeling and queer spaces of the city. His dream is to start an LGBT-friendly café/bar where all are welcome.

Seb hires Jason to build out the leased space where his café will be. There's a spark between the two of them but Seb's unsure if Jason is even gay or bi. Jason is deep in the closet and wants no part of being "out" until his feelings for Seb make him want more.

Rainbow Place is a story that made me feel lots of things and I enjoyed it a lot. Jason feels like he has a lot to lose if he comes out. Men in his line of work don't usually react well to gays and he definitely doesn't like drawing attention to himself. He's also afraid of what his daughter will think.

Seb is OK with Jason staying out of the light for now but he knows that he won't be OK with it long-term. When something awful happens, Jason lets Seb down in a big way and their relationship may never recover from it.

Just the right amount of tension/angst along with a lot of hot sexy time between Seb and Jason and a nice HFN (happy for now). I'm looking forward to more books in this series.

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

Just WOW!!!!

I listened to this book at 1.20x

To start with I never heard of Jay Northcote the author never read any books by him. And a also never heard of Hamish Long the narrator. Saying this I was very skeptical about this book. But boy was I surprised. This was a wonderful story. It was so well written.
I enjoy almost every genre of book out there. So I have listened to a few m/m romance , but This one blew me away.
It dealt with coming out and homophobia. Along with bullies and standing behind each other. Bottom line love is love.
The vocal artist did a wonderful job with all the different characters he had to be in the book. He brought the story to life with his enthusiasm and calmness. If I could give this book 10 stars I would.

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

Amazing!

I am so in love with this story even more then want I read this one! I love Jason and Seb! Jay Northcote has pull so much emotions in these characters that I feel everything. Then Hamish Long does such an amazing job bring even more of the emotions into this story. I mean I love this story before listening to it but now I love it even more!

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

Super sweet

low angst, fun coming out story, with being ok with who you truly are. love who you love
great narration

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

I want to go to the Rainbow Place Cafe!

A contemporary with both fluffy and emotional angst elements. I thought the cafe owner + builder pairing was a cute one, and the coming out was nice and emotional. Gotta love someone coming to grips with their identity. I appreciated how much friend and family support this had, and while I'm not the biggest social media fan, I liked how it was used to show community coming together.

I enjoyed that the closeted hero would say/think something with full anxiety on how he couldn't do it, and then a minute later, do it. Anxiety likes to tell you stories sometimes. I liked the balance of him doing things out of his comfort zone, while not completely changing personalities. He felt safe, secure, and comfortable meeting other LGBT couples, but still wasn't ready to come out to the rest of the world. I feel that. I also love a supportive ex.

Some of the plot was a bit idealistic, but I was rooting for the romance and didn't really care. I would have liked to see a bit more of the relationship after they were out and together, but I'm hoping that the rest of the series has cameos.

I also really liked the slice of life moments, and then skipping ahead to not get too much mundane "and then they got tea" moments. A good balance.

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

#allhands

I love the way that Seb has a dream and is willing to work for it. You have to feel for Jason who is having so much trouble accepting himself. It is amazing how much voices from others can mess with your head. There are some wonderful and meaningful moments in the story. Don't want to say to much and spoil this wonderful story.

I really enjoyed the audio version of this story.

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