Length: 67,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
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 licence, 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.
I want to just take a minute to say Thank you to Jay Northcote the author of "Second Chances." I was so honored to be able to read and do a review of this amazing book.
I will be honest and say that I have never read a full novel where the main character was transgender. In the past, I have touched upon short stories but none that fully gave me the true understanding of the characters feelings or how the people that involved in said character's life handled the transformation.
Jay was able to tell this story in a beautiful way that let me see for the first time through the eyes of a transgender. I was in awe of the strength of the character Nate. He was an amazing son, father, and a beautiful, kind-hearted man inside as well as on the outside. Although life for him was hard in the beginning, it took him some time to fully capture who he was, he did it and on his own. So when he finally does come home and meets up with his long lost best friend Jack, he is able to see that hurt and despair in him.
Jack to me was another amazing character. The love and loyalty that he showed his best friend when they reconnected was amazing. I can’t reveal too much about the story because this is one you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Just be ready for a whole different kind of friendship when these two friends meet up. 20 years changes a lot and in Nate’s case a whole lot.
Jay Northcote your story was absolutely one of the best I’ve read in a while.
A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.
Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.
How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly. Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.
Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.
“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”
Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”
Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.
As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.
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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.
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