Review: All Man by Jay Northcote

"You’re the sleek little sports car to my Land Rover.”

From the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.

At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.

With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.

This story is a spin off to Top Me Maybe? where Jules appears as a minor character. Both stories are standalones and don’t need to be read in order.

So, there’s a bear in this here story huh?

Well, since that’s basically my siren’s song I was all over this one. My favorite thing about this one is how much Jules gets it. Why are the bear types so damn sexy? His musings about Gareth were perfect and I really appreciated how much the opposites-attract thing worked. Neither one of them understood their own appeal but completely saw it in one another. It made them so charming together, reading their smitten exchanges was swoony and summed up their attraction with the perfect balance of showing and just enough telling.

My only real niggle with this one was using assault as a plot point. To me the story was a little too short to take on a heavy topic like this. Jules wasn’t flippant about what happened but his casual attitude about drugs and hookups didn’t seem like a match for Gareth. But, then Gareth didn’t seem too bothered but I kind of wanted him to be. I think it was just me wanting the best for both of them and being a little Pollyanna about it all. I think if this were a novel where the whole thing could have been explored fully it would have worked better for me.

I hadn’t read Top Me Maybe? first, but I can tell you I bought it right after I finished this one and devoured that little gem in one squirmy sitting. Overall these are charming characters and I love Jay Northcote’s writing. The flow was a bit of a miss for me as I said, but Gareth made up for it in spades.

For more info on All Man, check it out over on Goodreads.

** a copy of this story was provided for an honest review **

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