Tag Team Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote

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--only allowing himself 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 read as a standalone.


Adam - 3.5 Hearts

‘Rainbow Place’ is quintessential Jay Northcote! Sweet, sexy, easy-to-read, and leaves you feeling happy.

The book introduces readers to Seb Radcliffe, who moves from London to the Cornish coast to begin a new chapter in his life - opening an LGBT friendly cafe/bar called ‘Rainbow Place’.


He knows it won’t be easy, especially not in a small and fairly conservative town, but he’s determined to build a safe place from the local queer community.

I immediately liked Seb. Despite his recent rough patch, he was determined to make a fresh start in Cornwall, and to create something he could be proud of.

Making matters more complicated is Jason Dunn, the builder Seb hires to renovate the cafe building. The attraction between Seb and Jason is immediate, but Jason’s deep in the closet, and Seb can’t live a life in hiding.

I could understood where Jason was coming from. His family background and the community he lived in weren’t exactly the best circumstances. Plus, I liked how devoted he was to his daughter and ex-wife.

Seb and Jason start off very cutesy. There’s flirting, longing looks, and daydreaming. They try to keep things professional, but eventually the two give in to the attraction between them.

And when they do, they’re hot. These were some steamy scenes!

Before long, the chemistry between them in the bedroom follows them outside, and both men find themselves falling for the other.


But Jason’s paranoia and refusal to come out put a damper on things. At some point, Jason’s hot and cold routine just got old and I found myself wanting better for Seb. Especially given Jason’s actions in Seb’s hour of need.

But, Jason does make amends and their happy ever after was all sunshine and roses.

Overall, this was a nice and easy read. While I wasn’t as invested by the end, I still enjoyed ‘Rainbow Place’.

Ann - 4 Hearts

The title led me to believe I was going to get a sweet story with quintessential Northcote characters and it would end with me getting a book hug and warm fuzzies. Now, I’ve read enough of Jay Northcote’s books to know that he’s going to give me way more than that and I really should know better by now.

Sebastian has left London, where he’s become disenchanted with city life and moves to the small town of Cornwall to open his own cafe. While the idea of village life is appealing, he didn’t realize how disconnected he’d feel from the community. He’s new in town, sure, but he’s also out and proud and one of the very few. He knows that can’t be true statistically, and with the help of some good friends puts together a plan to open an LGBTQ friendly place that will be a safe place for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. He wants to build a truly inclusive community in Cornwall starting with his restaurant, Rainbow Place.

I couldn’t help but love Seb from the beginning. He’s open, fun and has an altruistic streak that made me want to just be around him. He’s the kind of guy that makes wherever he is a better place.

Seb has his hands full with the renovations of his restaurant and hires a builder and his assistant that are reasonable, personable and said builder, Jason, is damn dreamy. And also WAY DEEEEEEP in the closet. Only his ex-wife knows his orientation and while I really liked him he also made me so sad. He’s relatively happy with his very few friends and his daughter, but he was also very lonely and scared and it broke my heart.

I don’t usually go out of my way to read in-the-closet stories because of the aforementioned sadness, but Jason had me rooting for him and his future pretty hard. This is where the story moved beyond a sweet romance to much more. All the discussion about inclusiveness and the support by the town really has Jason thinking about his future. Not to mention the relationship he has with Seb. It’s everything he’s always wanted and it’s everything that scares him to death. Coming out is something he needs to do for himself and Seb isn’t going to stay a secret.

There is some general assholery by a town bigot, which is, unfortunately, to be expected and it brings Seb’s new community together but sends Jason running. This was a tough, but understandable part to read. I wanted Jason to be there for Seb, I wanted Seb to be there for Jason, but neither one of those things would be a legitimate story arc so the way it played out made sense and made their resolution more believable in the long run.

I would have liked a bit more of the two of them together at the end. I felt like I lost a bit of connection with them as a couple for a bit there with everything else going on and I really liked when the two of them were together. I liked their banter and the affection they couldn’t help but show to one another and a bit more of that at the end, when they could both be their authentic selves would have been wonderful. But, they did get their well deserved HEA and I was happy to get my book hug and warm fuzzies at the end.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I've been debating this purchase, you've made up my mind!