Review: Passing Through by Jay Northcote

Don’t waste a chance at happiness…

Leo is a lonely workaholic with no time for romance in his life. His job in London takes all his energy and commitment. When he goes to Cornwall to stay with his terminally ill uncle, Edwin, love is the last thing Leo expects to find.

Tris lives in a cottage on Edwin’s land. Gay, but still half in the closet, he and Leo bond over their affection for Edwin, and the pull of attraction between them proves too strong to ignore. In Tris’s arms, in the wilds of Cornwall, Leo finds a peace he’d forgotten existed.

On his return to London, Leo finds himself grieving for more than just the loss of his uncle. When some unexpected news gives Leo the chance to return to Cornwall, he’s afraid it will be too late to rekindle things with Tris. But having learned much from his stay with his uncle, Leo doesn’t want to look back and wish he’d done things differently.

This book was everything I've come to expect from Jay Northcote - characters I relate to, a great storyline and real love. The Cornwall setting of this book is beautiful and sets a great tone for the story. Like the beautiful Cornish coast, there is real beauty but also hidden treachery. 

Leo didn't expect to learn about love from his beloved Uncle Edwin. He doesn't expect the secrets he learns and he certainly did not expect to feel those stirrings of love himself with his uncle's gardener. The trouble is he's left with a choice to make - the life and job that he has worked so hard for, or to risk it all for the possibility of love. How do you know the difference between love and just sex? Is it worth taking the risk for?

I loved watching Leo and Tris and see how their relationship develops, but I have to admit Edwin was also a very key character and possibly my favourite. In learning his story I have to admit my heart ached a little. Not just for a man who is dying, but for a man who lived his life without the option of choosing the life he wanted. There was such a truth in this story, of the then and now, of society forcing people to make choices it has no right to, of making judgements based on nothing but a love they deem incorrect. I'm not going down that road as it will make my blood boil. 

What Jay Northcote does beautifully is draw the attention to then and now and how much things have changed. It doesn't make the now right, it doesn't make it better that things were worse before, but it does help Leo realise that he has a true chance at happiness, a chance that many, many before him would have given anything to have.

I'm making this sound quite political, and it really isn't, it is just a lesson Edwin teaches Leo, one we could all learn from - don't throw away those opportunities because of fear. Remember to live.

A really, really enjoyable story.

On the beach they crunched along the shingle to the edge of the rocks, then turned to look out over the sea. It was almost completely dark now, and the moon was rising, casting streaks of bright silver on the oil-black water.

They stood in silence, watching and listening to the crash of the waves. Leo’s heart felt suddenly too large for his chest. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, a place that had barely changed since his childhood. The sea came and went with the tides, the sands shifted, but the rocks were constant. Yet here Leo was, an adult now rather than a boy, and his uncle reduced to an echo of the man Leo remembered—physically, at least. Unexpected tears prickled the backs of Leo’s eyes as a rush of emotion so strong that it made him draw in a sharp breath assaulted him. He swallowed hard, forcing the feelings back down.

Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Tris turn towards him, but Leo carried on gazing out at the gentle, rolling movement of the sea. Tris shifted his feet in the sand, bringing him closer. The warm skin of his arm brushed Leo’s, and Leo ached for more contact. He needed human warmth and touch to chase away the cold emptiness in his heart.It’s time to seize the day—if it’s not already too late.

Title: Passing Through
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: contemporary m/m romance
Length: 43,000 words approx
Release date: Friday 20th Feb 2015
Publisher: Jay Northcote

Author Bio:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

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