Second Chance by Jay Northcote was everything I had hoped for after reading the intriguing blurb! This is a childhood friends to lovers M/M Romance with a trans protagonist.
I’m always on the lookout for good M/M Romance, and even more so when the audiobook is read by a British narrator! And since the audiobook challenge, I also want to read more love stories with trans characters. So, when Second Chance crossed my path (or more specifically, my Facebook timeline) I was hooked!
written by Jay Northcote
narrated by Hamish Long
Everyone deserves a second chance.
Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack—his best friend from school and unrequited crush—his feelings return as strong as ever.
Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s license, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate—or Nat as Jack once knew him—is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.
Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.
Second Chance by Jay Northcote has a very atmospheric beginning that matches the black and white cover perfectly. I was instantly there and finished this book in 2 days because I was so utterly captivated from start to finish!
For me, this didn’t feel so much like a typical Second Chance Romance (as the title might make you think) because the two men, Nate and Jack, never actually had a romantic relationship before. Instead, they were best friends in school and this story has a wonderful childhood friends to lovers theme.
It’s also a very steamy book as they’re trying the friends with benefits thing now that they’ve reconnected as adults. And while this might not be for everyone, I absolutely loved how the characters talk about what worked and what didn’t work for them. They have very honest and open conversations, not only outside, but also in the bedroom.
I also have to mention how much I enjoyed Cass and the relationship she and her dad have. I generally loved that the characters were a bit older (around 45), but due to their current circumstances, returning to their hometown, there was also this teenage vibe in there. It was a fun mix and handled so nicely!
This was my first Hamish Long audiobook. But it most definitely won’t be my last! Not only could I listen to his accent all day long (and I did!!). He also has a fantastic narration style! I loved the distinct voices for each person. And I thought he made a great choice for how Nate sounded. This was simply an all-around perfect audiobook!
One of the things I love about reading Romance is that it shows me how other people live and love. And at the same time, it makes it so obvious that in our essence we’re all just people, with similar hopes and dreams. Second Chance did this so perfectly and I absolutely loved listening to this novel!
If you’re looking for a great M/M and/or Trans Romance with a fantastic narration, Second Chance by Jay Northcote is a must! Honestly, I recommend you spend your next Audible credit on this.