Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a new book out from Jay Northcote. LIKE A LOVER is a yummy, customer-to-boyfriend tale that features Josh from HELPING HAND. While the books share a few characters, LIKE A LOVER is fully enjoyable as a standalone.
About the book:
Josh has a plan: get through uni with a good degree and no debts. Focused on his goals, he’s working as an escort to pay his way. He enjoys the no-strings sex and doesn’t have the time or inclination for a relationship. Falling in love definitely isn’t part of the deal—especially not with a client.
When Rupert meets Josh in a bar, he’s smitten on sight. He’s never paid for sex before, but when Josh propositions him, he can’t resist. He should have known one night would never be enough. Luckily for him, he has an inheritance to support his addiction to Josh, because his job in IT wouldn’t cover the cost.
With each appointment the lines get increasingly blurred. Something is developing between them that feels more like a relationship than a business transaction, but they come from different worlds and to go from client-and-escort to lovers seems impossible. If they want a future together, Josh and Rupert have a lot to overcome.
How about a little taste?
“I like your lip ring,” Rupert said. His gaze dropped lower to Josh’s collarbones. “What are your tattoos of?”
“Swallows.” Rupert would just be able to see the wing tips that showed in this low-necked T-shirt. “Two of them.”
“Have you got any other tattoos?”
Josh gave a slow, teasing smile. “Maybe. Do you want me to show you?”
Rupert met his eyes again. There was a flicker of uncertainty before he answered. “Yes. I’d like that.”
Josh turned over the possibilities in his mind. It had been a long time since he’d had sex for anything other than for money. He usually saw clients at least three nights a week. They scratched the itch for him, and he didn’t have the time or inclination to hook up with other guys. He hadn’t dated since he’d started working as an escort. Josh didn’t like lying about his job, but most guys didn’t want to date escorts.
It would be easy to pick Rupert up tonight, though, and have no-strings sex with him for fun rather than cash. But Josh’s rent was due.
“Me too. But it’ll cost you,” he finally said.
Rupert frowned, obvious confusion crossing his features as he tried to make sense of Josh’s words. “What? I don’t—”
“You’re hot, and I wish I could do this without asking you for money. But a client let me down this evening. I have a hotel room booked and paid for next door, and I need someone to cover the cost for me.” The lie came smoothly. “I can’t afford to have sex for free tonight.”
Rupert’s mouth dropped open. Shock was evident on his face, but there was something else that was harder to read. His cheeks flooded pink again and his eyes went dark. “You’re….” His voice came out husky, and he cleared his throat. “You’re a….”
“A sex worker. An escort, to be precise. Hooker, rent boy, you get the gist. I’m an expensive one too. But my clients think I’m worth the money.” Josh waited, tension making a muscle tick in his jaw as he forced himself to stay still and hold Rupert’s gaze. On the occasions he’d tried picking up clients face-to-face, their reactions had varied. Interest, anger, excitement, disgust… he’d seen them all. He steeled himself, ready for rejection.
Rupert licked his lips. “How much?” he finally asked.
I really liked this sexy read! Josh is a professional escort earning his way through college by turning tricks. For Americans I’d like to point out that this is PERFECTLY LEGAL BEHAVIOR because prostitution is legal in England, where the story takes place.
Josh is an enterprising young man, with his own website and everything. He has done a lot of tricking in the past few years, but that’s far better than the alternative of loans. Plus, Josh is working hard to get good grades and can’t really focus on finding, or keeping, a boyfriend. Josh has no real contact with his family, but has some close friends, namely Dani, Mac and Jez who are his housemates. Josh picks Rupert up when one of his regular johns flakes out, and the results are freaking hot.
Rupert is a shy IT professional who can’t fathom why he decides to pay Josh for sex, but it works for him. He gets a strange, and unexpected, thrill, knowing Josh will be his for an hour, or more. One night is surely not enough, however, and he proceeds to book Josh for more and more evenings–sometimes including enough time for a drink or a meal prior to the sexytimes. Each time the encounters felt more date-like for me, and Rupert. Josh isn’t unaware of the danger of encouraging Rupert–he just can’t turn the guy away.
I absolutely died for Rupert. He is such a loving man, and has so little love in his life. How his mother invited him to such an important function, but wanted him to bring a female date–knowing he was gay? *shakes head in disbelief* I was rooting for these guys to become a couple on Page Ten, and it took a lot more pages, but they did get there. Expect a lot of delicious sexytimes, some uptight family, and a bit of serious soul-searching on both sides of the coin. I was caught up in the tenderness and love, especially when I had Rupert’s point-of-view to guide me.
I have a growing affection for all Jay Northcote stories–there is so much love stuffed into every page–and this story is no different. I wasn’t sure I’d like the prostitute-turned-boyfriend trope here, but she totally pulled it off. Also, I had NO idea Josh was a prostitute when I read HELPING HAND, in which he has a bit of a role, but I loved the way these stories dove-tailed. Good stuff!
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About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.