REVIEW: The Housemates collection by Jay Northcote

The Official Description:All six of the bestselling Housemates Series in one volume.

“This box set brings six incredible tales together with their uniquely British feel and the emotional highs and lows of college age sexual exploration.” Mirrigold

Helping Hand: bi-awakening, friends-to-lovers
Like a Lover: escort and client, reluctant romance
Practice Makes Perfect: first times, innocent seeks experience, friends with benefits fall in love
Watching and Wanting: bi-awakening, exploration, mild kink
Starting from Scratch: transgender FTM, first times
Pretty in Pink: bi-awakening, crossdressing, gender fluidity

Helping Hand

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

Like a Lover

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.

Practice Makes Perfect

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

Watching and Wanting

Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction to Jude.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

Starting from Scratch

Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Pretty in Pink

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy—and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes—normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest—first with themselves, and then with each other.

Just the facts:  A collection about m/m romance. These housemates would be the MOST fun to live with, let me tell ya! 😀

This is a great collection! I am new to this series and gobbled it up! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: I have read a few of Jay’s books, although I had not read any of the stories in this series. This is a great collection and will keep you busy for a while!

If you have a favorite M/M romance trope, it probably comes up in this series! There are friends experimenting with sex, a sex trade worker who picks up a conquest in a bar but ends up with an emotional bond, fake boyfriends, learning about sex, neighbors on Grindr, not dating when they really are, bisexual awakening, etc. At the same time as these books are entertaining, they also cover some very serious issues: homophobia, family issues, self-discovery, coming out (as bisexual and trans), and gender norms.

There is some really cool diversity in this series and Jay addresses a lot of things that come up for people. There’s quite a bit of focus on bisexual awakening and I really liked it. There are unique challenges to being bisexual or pansexual and Jay does a great job of clearing some of that up without it being preachy.

There is a great Trans character in the series named Ben. Ben faces a lot of issues that must be very common for Trans people. There’s a really well-written scene during which Ben comes out as trans. While most of the responses are supportive and interested of course, the “what does your junk look like?” question comes up. (Let me tell you, this is TOO real… I have a trans friend who has been asked that question in so many different and inappropriate circumstances) Ben corrects the assumption that it is okay to ask that and Jay does a great job of revealing the internal impact questions like that have on someone.

What’s really great about these novels is the way each character is quite unique. These men might all be connected by the thread of living near one another (Often in the same house) but they are all very different. The characters are diverse, a nice representation of a queer community. I also really enjoyed the way that characters from previous novels were woven into the story in later books.

Basically, a lot of the conversations are really down-to-earth interactions that can involve some homophobia, apologies, learning, and moving forward. I really like the way that Jay follows through with his characters. There are conversations about saying homophobic things even if you think it’s “a joke”, there are conversations about what people like sexually, there’s teasing, there is laughter… there’s pretty much everything you could imagine.

As always with Jay’s writing, the sex scenes are hot and well-written. There’s quite a bit of variety throughout the course of the series. There’s no kink-shaming here! You can find a bit of everything and it’s written with the characters displaying open curiosity even when they may be struggling a little with self-discovery.

This is a great series and while I think it’s more tilted towards the erotica side of the romance spectrum than some of Jay’s other work – if that’s your bag then this collection would be a great investment for you! 800 plages of great characters and chemistry!


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 self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press.

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I received an ARC of The Nothing Collection by Jay Northcote from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.


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