Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly revised and expanded M/M contemporary romance from Jay Northcote. TOPS DOWN BOTTOMS UP sounds like spring break gone severely wild, but it’s a sweet story about a man falling for a morris dancer.
I’ve adored all Jay’s books to-date including SUMMER HEAT, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, and THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, and TOPS is another stellar story about getting over prejudices and accepting love at the right time.
Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?
All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.
When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?
A much shorter version of this story was originally published in the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology by Dreamspinner Press. This version has been revised and extended. Almost half of it is new content.
Rowan is a young British man helping out his pal sell cheap tat at a weekend concert festival when his mind is figuratively blown. He has memories of festival morris dancers, a rag-tag lot of beggar-types who are well known in many areas of Great Britain. Morris dancing is essentially an English folk-dancing style, and there are many “sides” (teams of dancers) in the UK and worldwide that celebrate this tradition. The groups I’ve read about wear constructed costumes of rag shirts in black and purple, but images I’d gathered often showed persons dressed in an almost lederhosen-type of outfit. They invariably involve bells attached to the legs/knees of the dancers and sometimes employ a bit of play acting with swords or handkerchiefs. as they perform their choreographed dances.
So, all that to say: Rowan thinks morris dancers are the epitome of lame until he meets Seth, a tall, dark and sexy morris dancer performing at the festival. Rowan gets conned into an open-air lesson and he and Seth truly hit it off, but is their connection due to only be a weekend affair?
Turns out Seth and Rowan don’t live to far from one another in real life. Rowan senses his connection with Seth was more than just a festival fling, but he’s disheartened that Seth doesn’t reach out as he’d promised. I liked how Rowan’s friend stepped in and cleared up some of the mystery–and all of the melancholy. Seth really did dig Rowan, but circumstances were bad, and then awkward. It’s a short, but fun, read with a total HEA for Seth and Rowan. I did love how Rowan had to admit his preconceived notions about morris dancing, and the folks on their “sides” aren’t as as dreadful as he’s intimated. He was wrong and he manfully accepted that and made his apologies. This paved the way for a sweet and sexy fling that turned into far more than he’d even anticipated.
About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.
One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.
Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!