Audiobook Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) by Jay Northcote

Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires

Shawn’s always denied... Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction. 

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
Narrator: Lewis Carter

The entire Housemates series is a deliciously filthy treat and Watching and Wanting may now be my favorite of the 4. Although I seem to say that after every one I listen to, sooooo take that how you will. The author says this can be read/heard as a standalone (and it can), I would ask, why would you do that???

Shawn has been a periphery flatmate from early on and I’m so glad he got his story and Jude was the perfect person for him. When two characters sexual appetites and preferences line up, the chemistry can be downright explosive and that is certainly the case with Shawn and Jude.

The two are flatmates but don’t really socialize. Shawn and his girlfriend have split up and he’s floating through life aimlessly. He’s always had an inkling that he may not be completely hetero, but fear has made him bury feelings deep and he has a tendency to be a bit of a dick when he’s feeling cornered. So he doesn’t always come across as the most likable of characters at times. As you get inside his head though, you can’t help but feel for the guy, especially living in a house where a decent portion of the sexual identity spectrum is represented and he doesn’t feel as if he can be a true part of it. He doesn’t even know how to try.

Jude is an exhibitionist who makes cash while going to school by hosting a cam show where he is quite popular. Jude makes no apologies for who he is or what he does with his life. He’s not ashamed but he does keeps the cam thing quiet, it’s his private gig and he likes to keep it that way. One day Shawn walks into Jude’s room while a show was in progress and oh my sweet baby jeebus is Shawn thrown for a loop. You remember how I said Shawn buried all the things? Well, seeing Jude in action, however briefly, digs up all those feelings with a backhoe and shines a spotlight on them.

I have to give Shawn credit for being self aware when it’s time for him to be. He could have very easily kept burying, but he’s tired of being adrift and he likes Jude, the two of them talk and a tentative friendship with cam benefits is born. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the narrator to this point and while this is the first book I’ve listened to from Lewis Carter, it will not be my last. He was a perfect fit for this story. His characters were distinctive and his tone matched their moods very well throughout. He’s also really good at the dirty bits. Really good. Really. Good.

Jay Northcote is a master of giving his characters unexpected depth. This setup could easily have been a fun diversion and nothing more, but it is more and the author always delivers that extra something that fully fleshes out his MC’s and takes a cute setup and turns it into a bit of a character study with multi dimensional characters.

Shawn isn’t accidentally stumbling on a previously unknown kink, he’s finally accepting a piece of himself he’s kept hidden and it will affect him greatly and deeply. I don’t think he would have been able to do it in such a healthy way without Jude. Jude’s confidence gave Shawn strength and the real Shawn, the Shawn that had been hinted at throughout finally comes out. Shawn becomes the man that Jude deserves, Jude hides in the closet for no one and both of them deserve to be happy, out and proud.

It’s amazing what love can do and Watching and Wanting reminded me of that in the best of ways.

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

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