Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

What can I possibly say about this book that hasn't already been said?

So many reviewers have said everything so well and so much better than I can.

So what do I do? Try to match the hot gifs?

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Try to say something others haven't?

Did anyone mention how apropos the title is? Because apropos title is apropos.

Jez and Mac lend helping hands literally and metaphorically. They are roommates who have made a pact to focus on their education this semester whilst their other roommates continue to party like it's 1999 and give them both 16 different kinds of shit for being old ladies.

Little do they know their ain't no knitting happening in that house when the cats are away.

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It is hot. It's not the hotness that spoke to me, though; it was the authenticity and the lack of labels. 

I don't like labels. Gay, straight, bi, pan, Chinese, Black, White, rich, poor, smart, disabled... who cares? People are people not check marks on a demographic worksheet and all the stereotypes associated with those labels. Thankfully, Jez and Mac come to the conclusion that they don't really care what others want to label them. They're into each other. The end. I respect that.

The way they explore their sexuality gets more high marks for Northcote. They're awkward and fumbling often. They don't jump into buttesex or even oral for that matter. Hell, it takes an eternity to get to the kissing bits!

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It's all told through Jez but it's painfully obvious that Mac struggles with his feelings. I think maybe if we had been privy to his thoughts I would've felt more of a connection between them. As it stands, I think this is a promising beginning to their relationship that I wouldn't mind reading more of, if that were in the works.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.


  1. Honestly, I didn't read the review yet, but I know from those gifs I'm going to love it. Pretty gifs are pretty!

  2. Honestly, I didn't read the review yet, but I know from those gifs I'm going to love it. Pretty gifs are pretty!